2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Can You Lower Cholesterol with Supplements?

Click here for the original post.

The answer, like many of my courageous medical comments, is a firm “It depends…”

Most of my patients aren’t thrilled when I reach for a prescription pad, especially when it’s for a drug they might have to take for the rest of their lives. Consider also the dollar signs that appear in the eyes of pharmaceutical industry executives if you are, say, 40 years old and your doctor writes you a Lipitor prescription to lower your bad cholesterol. If you live to be 80, over your life span you’ll be spending about $50,000 on this drug.

Statins like Lipitor are the main medication family used for lowering cholesterol. These drugs interfere with your body’s ability to manufacture cholesterol. Undeniably, statins lower cholesterol, and as far as meds go, most people tolerate them without too much trouble.

However, you also can make dramatic reductions in your cholesterol levels using lifestyle changes and supplements. I would definitely go this route first.

Here are your first steps:
1. Lower the saturated fat in your diet by cutting back on meat and fat-containing dairy products (butter, cheese, 2% and whole milk, cream, ice cream). If you need help, visit a nutritionist. In the Chicago area you can make an appointment with Marla Feingold, the clinical nutritionist at WholeHealth Chicago.
2. Start exercising.
3. Reduce stress.
4. Get your weight down (steps 1 through 3 are the way to accomplish this).

Here are the supplements that help lower cholesterol:
• Red yeast rice is molecularly very similar to the statin drugs–so much so, in fact, that the pharmaceutical industry tried unsuccessfully to get it pulled from health food store shelves. Sold as red yeast rice extract in the product Choleast, the usual dose is one or two capsules twice daily.
• Niacin, one of the B vitamins, lowers both LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. You’ll need a larger dose than the one found in most B complex capsules. As a prescription (so your insurance company will pay for it), niacin is sold as Niaspan. You can also find it over-the-counter in your health food store as inositol hexaniacinate. Because capsule sizes vary, just follow the instructions on the package. Niacin may cause a flushing sensation, but this often clears up as your body gets used to the vitamin.
• Pantethine, another B vitamin, slows cholesterol production in your liver and lowers LDL and triglycerides. Although it has a similar name, pantethine is not the same as the pantothenic acid found in your B vitamin. The dose of pantethine needed to lower cholesterol is 300 mg taken three times daily.
• Sterols are molecularly similar to cholesterol and block its absorption through the intestines. There are several brands, available in your health food store or from our apothecary, derived from either sugar cane or beeswax.

Pantethine, and sterols are sold in convenient capsule packets in a product called Triplichol, which also includes capsules of fish oil. You take one packet twice a day.

If you’re going to try dietary changes and supplements–Choleast or Triplichol, or both–give them at least two full months to work and then get your cholesterol rechecked.

Supplements simply do not work for everyone and if you want to avoid the heart problems associated with high cholesterol, you just may have to bite the bullet and use a prescription drug.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Pain Relief with Myofascial Balls
Tuesday, October 29, 6-8pm
With Renee Zambo, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

Course Fee: $65.00
(includes WholeHealth Chicago Myofascial Release Kit, $40 value)

Does that same spot in your neck, shoulders, back or hips seem to bother you every day? Do you have joint aches and pains in the hands and feet? Would you like to learn ways to alleviate that pain and tension?

Join WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga and Movement Therapist Renee Zambo for an evening of muscle tension release with myofascial therapy balls.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Dandruff, Fungi, and Cancer of the Pancreas

    It’s an eye-catching title, I’ll admit. But the links are quite real and further research may guide medicine in new directions of cancer prevention and treatment. It all starts in your gut microbiome, the totality of microorganisms–bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi–present in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, mouth to anus. Until recently, researchers and clinical physicians alike paid virtually no attention to the microbiome and the Read More

  • New Hope For Sinus Sufferers

    When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, and thick goopy drainage in the back of his throat. Read More

  • Director of IV Therapies Katie McManigal, BSN, ANP

    Most people at some point in their lives have had an intravenous (IV) line. An adept nurse warned you about the tiny pinch of the needle as it was smoothly inserted and taped in place.  Then the  fluid dangling above your head slowly started making its way through a tube and into your body. IVs are all over the place in hospitals. They’re seen in Read More

October Sale – Save 20% off UltraMeal Rice

UltraMeal RICE is a tasty, non-dairy, nutritionally fortified, powdered meal replacement for those who want to support healthy body composition but may be sensitive to soy.

Click here to take advantage of this month’s promotion!