• Archives

  • Twitter Updates

  • Recent Comments

    Run #4 -Kapalua, HI… on Kapalua Coastal Trail
    rocky on Race Across America (RAAM)…
    astalos on Race Across America (RAAM)…
    rocky on Race Across America (RAAM)…
    Steve on Race Across America (RAAM)…
  • Advertisements

Curing Cholesterol Without Medication

While we’re on the recent topic of heart health, I thought I’d share the fix I have found for high cholesterol.  Two years ago, my doctor wanted to prescribe Lipitor for my high cholesterol (was 214).  I told him I wanted to try a different approach before going on statin drugs that have side effects, so he gave me 90 days to lower my numbers.  My in-laws turned me on to red yeast rice (RYR) and it has made all the difference.  I’ll preface the following by stating I’m not a doctor, medical professional or a nutritionist.  I’m just passing on my own research and what has worked for me and many family members.  Some of my research is taken from mayoclinic.com but this is largely a formula derived through lots of experimentation on my wife’s side of the family.

Red yeast rice is the product of yeast grown on rice, and is served as a dietary staple in some Asian countries. The use of RYR in China was first documented in the Tang Dynasty in 800 A.D.  It contains several compounds collectively known as monacolins, substances known to inhibit cholesterol synthesis.  Since the 1970s, human studies have reported that red yeast lowers blood levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein/LDL (“bad cholesterol”), and triglyceride levels.   Now here’s the rub. 

The drug companies don’t want people to take RYR as it replaces their statin drugs.  I used to buy RYR from Swanson’s but the FDA made them change their formulation to significantly reduce the amount of natural statin, rendering it ineffective in reducing cholesterol.  The new formula from Swanson’s is called “Traditional RYR.”  Nature’s Way RYR sold by Swanson’s hasn’t been forced to change their formula yet, so that’s what I take now.  In California, prop 65 prevents selling RYR with the higher concentrations of statin.  That’s why you can’t buy effective RYR at your local health food store in California.  Naturally, we’re the only state to have this restriction.

I also take policosanol with the red yeast rice.  Policosanol is a supplement that is made up of fatty alcohol derived from plant waxes.  Several studies from a manufacturer of the supplement in Cuba have shown that it can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and can increase HDL cholesterol (“high” cholesterol).  Policosanol tends to improve HDL numbers but doesn’t do as much to reduce the overall cholesterol number, so I take it as an additional help in improving the cholesterol/HDL ration.  It might not be necessary but I started taking it when Swanson’s sold RYR combined with policosanol so I continue taking it separately now.

I add Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to this mix.  CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme in the body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells.  RYR tends to reduce the availability of CoQ10 and CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age, so taking an additional 100mg/day doesn’t seem to be dangerous.

Finally, I take a multivitamin and vitamin C just because it seems like a good idead.  I take all these supplements at night before I go to bed as it’s supposed to work better while you’re resting. 

Here is a summary of what I take every night for cholesterol:
Nature’s Way Red Yeast Rice :: 1200 mg capsules
Swanson Ultra Policosanol :: 20mg capsules
Swanson Ultra CoQ10 :: 120 mg capsules

Results: my numbers from December 2008
Total cholesterol — 189 (target <200)
HDL — 66 (target >39)
LDL — 101 (target 0 – 99)


2 Responses

  1. This does not qualify as curing cholesterol without medications. RYR is simply a statin, but without the quality control in its production that would be present in pharmaceuticals. Also, there are other compounds, chemicals in RYR that are not listed, whereas pharmaceutical statins are one chemical and one chemical only. RYR can also cause the same liver and muscle problems as prescription statins.

    • Outstanding! Thanks for the clarification, especially coming from a physician. I have had several other comments clarifying the pros and cons of non-prescription approaches to lowering cholesterol. This is very helpful, although I plan to continue taking RYR and think the benefits far outweigh the downside of taking prescription drugs. Just one man’s opinion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: