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

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and conditions, alternative therapies, nutrition, nutritional supplements, and much more. Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine Aging Allergies & Food Sensitivities Alternative Therapies Big Pharma Evils Bone Health Candida (Yeast) and Parasites Cardiovascular Health Case Studies Chiropractic & Physical Medicine Dermatology Digestion Diseases Ear, Nose & Throat Environmental Sensitivities Eye Care Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Fitness & Exercise Health Insurance Issues Healthy Lifestyle Immune System Inflammation Integrative Medicine Lyme Disease & Morgellons Men's Health Mental Health Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins, & Herbal Remedies Pain Management Sexual Health Thyroid, Adrenal, & Sex Hormone Issues Weight Issues Women's Health

Crestor: To Take or Not To Take

Click here for the Health Tip link.

When drug research like the recent Crestor study makes headlines in the Chicago Sun-Times and the national media, I know I’ll be fielding questions from patients. The very day after the Crestor study, in fact, the perky Crestor drug reps arrived in my office, barely able to contain their glee about the study’s conclusions. I was pretty sure their unmitigated joy was vastly surpassed by that of their company’s CEO, whose dollar-sign eyeballs were surely glowing somewhere in a darkened Crestor boardroom.

So what’s all the fuss about? We discussed statins in an earlier health tip, but in case you missed it, I’ll review. Crestor is the newest of the statin drugs. Everybody knew it would lower cholesterol, but lowering cholesterol per se doesn’t seem to prevent heart disease. Stuck with a cholesterol-lowering product just when it’s becoming passé to lower cholesterol, researchers were curious about what would happen if they gave it to people with completely normal cholesterol levels. So they did.

Dividing several thousand patients regardless of cholesterol, high or low, into two groups, they gave one group a standard 10-mg dose of Crestor and the other a placebo. After a couple of years, they found that Crestor, even when taken by someone with a perfectly normal or even low cholesterol, reduced heart attack risk. (Everything has a price: there was a slight increase in cancer among the Crestor users, possibly because statin drugs block your body from making the antioxidant Coenzyme Q 10).

Crestor worked not by lowering cholesterol, but by reducing inflammation. It’s the inflammation inside your arteries that predisposes your cholesterol (no matter how low) to deposit itself as artery-blocking plaque. To measure inflammation in the test subjects, researchers measured blood levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein (CRP) and indeed Crestor did lower it.

This news came out the same week that extensive research poo-poo’d the heart-protecting effects of vitamins C and E. With this study result, Crestor is now poised to become “the new and really effective Vitamin C.” I can see their next ad: “Toss your Vitamin C and start taking Crestor.” (Don’t do it. Vitamin C is good for a lot of other stuff in your body.)

So, you sensibly ask, should everyone be taking Crestor? For a straight answer, it’s probably best not to look to our starry-eyed Crestor rep. Personally, with a normal cholesterol level, I certainly wouldn’t. Here are several reasons why:

• Statins are not the safest drugs on the planet. They cause a variety of side effects, including alteration of liver enzymes, muscle cramps, digestive problems, and change in mental functioning.

• You may not have a problem with inflammation. To check inflammation, you can ask your doctor for a hs-CRP (high sensitivity-CRP) test. The test costs about $50, but be aware many insurance companies won’t pay for it. Some of your inflammatory risk is genetic, some lifestyle-driven. Dr Andrew Weil describes a healthy low inflammation diet here. The diet itself is quite tasty, but you’ll need to abandon your cigarettes, Little Debbies, and corn dogs, all inflammation boosters.

• Keep in mind that the Crestor study went head-to-head against a placebo. Plain old penny-per-tablet aspirin, a proven preventer of heart disease, is also an anti-inflammatory. Just take the heart-protecting dose of 81 mg a day. If you’re sensitive to aspirin or simply prefer a non-drug solution, my personal favorite anti-inflammatory is the spice turmeric, available as Circumin Plus in a convenient once-a-day capsule here. You can also add turmeric to many foods. Try it in scrambled eggs or sprinkled on pizza.

Meantime, don’t hold your breath waiting for a Crestor-vs-aspirin or Crestor-vs-turmeric study to headline any time soon. These studies are generally funded by drug companies and they’ll never pay for a study in which their product might be proved inferior to a kitchen spice.

Leave a Comment


  1. Nancy Bachelder says:

    I am taking Crestor. My Dr. put me on it 3 months ago and told me to join weight watchers. I would like to get off Crestor and take a herbal product Dr. Oz recommends called Garcinia Cambodia. I know I shouldn’t do both. Can I stop cold turkey without it hurting me. /And how long should I waitbefore starting the weight loss tablets.

  2. Dr E says:

    Hi
    Actually the closest natural product to Crestor that lowers cholesterol is red yeast rice which is available at most health food stores. I do suggest discussing this change with your primary care physician
    Dr E

  3. Jane Peters says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have been taking Crestor for the past 26 years and I’ve noticed for a while now that my fingers and left hand cramps sometimes, also my legs muscles hurts and lately I am getting stomach cramps but I never thought it would be Crestor causing all these problems. Tomorrow I am going to my family to change my medication. What medication should I really take? I am thinking about just taking asperin.

    Once again thanks a lot.

    Jane

  4. Grahamawebb@gmail.com says:

    Crestor

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

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

**Facial Rejuvenation
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!
With Mari Stecker, LAc
Thursday, January 18, 2018; 6:00-7:30 PM
$65 course fee 
(includes guasha tool and anti-aging facial oil)

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself! Guasha treatment is a 2,000 year old Chinese massage technique that uses a flat tool to apply pressure to the skin to increase circulation as it moves along acupuncture channels.

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Space is limited and registration is required.
Register online or call WholeHealth Chicago at 773-296-6700
More>>

 

**Vaginal Rejuvenation
Thursday, February 1, 2018;  6:00 – 8:00 PM
With Mari Stecker, LAc & Renee Zambo, RYT
Fee: $65

Are you experiencing vaginal dryness? Or pain with intercourse? Have you been told you have vaginal atrophy due to menopauseAre you frustrated because you believe your sex life is overWell, it doesn’t have to be!

Come learn easy, non-pharmaceutical, non-hormonal, low cost techniques that you can do at home to help alleviate vaginal dryness, atrophy, thinning of vaginal skin and/or painful intercourse.

Spots are limited, and registration is required. Register on-line or by calling (773) 296-6700. More>>

 

 

Recent Health Tips

  • Why Conventional Medicine Hates Homeopathy

    If it’s of any comfort to US homeopaths, until the past ten years or so, when the health insurance industry gave conventional medicine something serious to fret about, the organized hostility toward alternative medicine was mostly democratic. It hated all forms. Their battle cry, “We’re …Read More »
  • The Flu

    It’s here, folks. You’ve likely had the flu in the past and if you’re currently coming down with symptoms you’re not looking forward to the next few days. Your throat hurts, your nose is first watery, then clogged with something approximating cement. Your muscles ache …Read More »

January Sale: 20% Off the UltraLux IV Light Box

Full Spectrum Solutions has been an industry leader for the past 20 years, offering therapeutic lighting that is made right here in the Midwest (Michigan). The UltraLux IV is the first and only LED light therapy unit on the market that is both fully adjustable. Unlike many of their competitors, they boast a high CRI rating (90+) and a lifetime warranty so you never have to purchase replacement bulbs again. Full spectrum light therapy is often recommended in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to help make up for the sunlight that is missing from these shorter, winter days.

To learn more about and purchase the UltraLux IV, click here.

To see past Health Tips on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Dr. Edelberg’s recommendations, including a full spectrum light box like the UltraLux IV, click here.