The Cholesterol Solution
Cholesterol is a hot topic of discussion in medical circles as well as social circles. But what is the best way to control cholesterol levels? Are statins the answer? Or are there natural ways to bring levels down into acceptable levels?
Statins, according to Dr. Richard Delany, MD, do not prevent coronary artery disease in 76% of the people using this class of drugs. Sadly, numerous people are not aware of the side effects of their medicines and do not know that statin drugs put them at risk of gallbladder disease, gastro-intestinal cancers, sudden onset amnesia, and more. Is there a better way?
Surprising, vitamin B3 or niacin, comes in as the front-runner in cholesterol treatment according to the National Cholesterol Education Program. Available as niacin (nicotinic acid) or as niacinamide, studies prove it to be more effective than statins at improving cholesterol levels. In fact, clinical studies have found it to increase HDL by 15-35% and to reduce LDL by 5-25% and triglycerides by 20-50%. Niacin also lowers fibrinogen, another negative indicator in cardiovascular disease. It also is a vasodilator which means that it opens up and widens the blood vessels which can help with stroke prevention.
Food sources of niacin are beef, fish, pork, cheese, milk, potatoes, whole wheat, eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots. The recommended supplement form of choice is niacin, not niacinamide for the highest effectiveness rate in lowering cholesterol. The form of inositol hexaniacinate (IHN) appears to be the best tolerated in reducing the uncomfortable flush and wave of nausea that frequently accompanies the taking of niacin. If it’s not effective in lowering your cholesterol, a trial of traditional niacin might be indicated. Sustained release niacin is not recommended due to possible elevated liver enzymes. The suggested dosage is 250-1000 mg or up to 2000 mg under professional supervision.
Lieberman, Shari and Nancy Bruning. The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book, New York, NY: The Penguin Group, 2007.
Rogers, Sherry. The Cholesterol Hoax. Sarasota, FL: The Sand Key Company, 2008.