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Home > Anti-aging Research > Statins


Note:  Red yeast rice is a non-prescription statin but check with your doctor first.  See red yeast rice at Amazon.com.

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Alternative News:

  • Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum on lipid profile in patients not tolerating statins at high doses - Atherosclerosis. 2014 Dec 24 - "To evaluate the effects of Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum in dyslipidemic patients intolerant to statins at high doses ... B. aristata/S. marianum reduced fasting plasma glucose (-9 mg/dl), insulin (-0.7 μU/ml), and HOMA-index (-0.35) levels compared to baseline and also to placebo. Lipid profile did not significantly change after 6 months since the reduction of statin dosage and the introduction of B. aristata/S. marianum, while it worsened in the placebo group both compared to placebo and with active treatment (+23.4 mg/dl for total cholesterol, +19.6 mg/dl for LDL-cholesterol, +23.1 mg/dl for triglycerides with placebo compared to B. aristata/S. marianum). We did not record any variations of safety parameters in nether of groups" - See silymarin at Amazon.com and berberine at Amazon.com.
  • Curcumin enhances cell-surface LDLR level and promotes LDL uptake through down-regulation of PCSK9 gene expression in HepG2 cells - Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Aug 27 - "Curcumin exhibits hypolipidemic activity and may serve as a useful supplement to statin treatment for hypercholesterolemia" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of vitamin D on plasma lipid profiles in statin-treated patients with hypercholesterolemia: A randomized placebo-controlled trial - Clin Nutr. 2014 May 2 - "Patients with hypercholesterolemia were enrolled in this single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Beijing (39°54' N). Fifty-six patients were randomly assigned to receive vitamin D (n = 28, 2000 IU/d) or a placebo (n = 28) as an add-on to statin ... At 6 months, the primary end point, a difference in the fall of serum total cholesterol levels between the vitamin D and placebo groups after 6 months of treatment was significant -22.1 mg/dl (95% CI -32.3; -12.2) (p < 0.001). The difference between the groups in the fall of serum triglyceride levels after 6 months of treatment was -28.2 mg/dl (95% CI -48.8; -8.4) (p < 0.001)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Stabilizing effect of combined eicosapentaenoic acid and statin therapy on coronary thin-cap fibroatheroma - Atherosclerosis. 2014 Mar 5;234(1):114-119 - "The addition of highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) to statin therapy prevents cardiovascular events ... Patients were randomly assigned to EPA (1800 mg/day) + statin (23 TCFA, 15 patients) or statin only (26 TCFA, 15 patients) treatment. The statin (rosuvastatin) dose was adjusted to achieve a target low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level of <70 mg/dL ... The concomitant use of EPA and rosuvastatin may stabilize vulnerable plaques better than the statin alone, possibly by suppressing arterial inflammation" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves metabolic parameters, liver function and mitochondrial respiration in rats with high doses of atorvastatin and a cholesterol-rich diet - Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Jan 25;13(1):22 - "The aim of this study was to evaluate the actions of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on rats with a cholesterol-rich diet (HD) and high doses of atorvastatin (ATV ... Two experiments were done, the first one without coenzyme Q10 supplementation. On the second experiment all groups received coenzyme Q10 0.57 mg/day as supplement. After a 6-week treatment animals were sacrificed, blood and liver were analyzed and liver mitochondria were isolated ... the combined administration of ATV and CoQ10 improved biochemical parameters, liver function and mitochondrial respiration in hypercholesterolemic rats" - See ubiquinol products at Amazon.com.
  • CoQ10 and L-carnitine for Statin Myalgia? - Medscape, 1/4/13 - "In summary, it has been proposed that CoQ10 can help to treat statin myalgia. While this is not conclusive, there are two randomized controlled trials showing significant improvements in the severity of muscle pain with the use of CoQ10 in patients treated with statins. Thus, it is not unreasonable to supplement a patient who is experiencing muscle pains on a statin with CoQ10. While there are no clinical trials showing improvements in muscle pain with the use of l-carnitine, patients who experience statin myalgia frequently have carnitine abnormalities. It is too soon to recommend l-carnitine for statin myalgia, but future trials should test this supplement to see if it has any place for this adverse effect. Other common alternatives for treating statin myalgias are supplementation with vitamin D or vitamin B12, especially in the setting of suboptimal serum levels" - See ubiquinol products at Amazon.com, GPLC at Amazon.com and acetyl l-carnitine products at Amazon.com.
  • Cholesterol medicine affects energy production in muscles - Science Daily, 1/3/13 - "A well-known side effect of statin therapy is muscle pain. Up to 75 per cent of the physically active patients undergoing treatment for high cholesterol experience pain. This may keep people away from either taking their medicine or from taking exercise -- both of which are bad choices ... Scientists also showed that the patients examined who were being treated with statins had low levels of the key protein Q10. Q10 depletion and ensuing lower energy production in the muscles could be the biological cause of the muscle pain that is a problem for many patients" - See ubiquinol products at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of n-3 fatty acids on major cardiovascular events in statin users and non-users with a history of myocardial infarction - Eur Heart J. 2012 Feb 1 - "In statin users, an additional amount of n-3 fatty acids did not reduce cardiovascular events [HR(adj) 1.02; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.80, 1.31; P = 0.88]. In statin non-users, however, only 9% of those who received EPA-DHA plus ALA experienced an event compared with 18% in the placebo group ... In patients with a history of MI who are not treated with statins, low-dose supplementation with n-3 fatty acids may reduce major cardiovascular events. This study suggests that statin treatment modifies the effects of n-3 fatty acids on the incidence of major cardiovascular events" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Gut bacteria may affect whether a statin drug lowers cholesterol - Science Daily, 10/13/11 - "Among the group who had a strong response to the drug, three bile acids appeared to play a role. The bile acids are produced by certain gut bacteria, which are increasingly understood as factories for chemicals that can contribute to a state of health. Among the people who responded poorly to the statin, five different bile acids were commonly evident ... new strategies could be developed to manipulate the gut microbiome using probiotics to spur different gut bacteria, which could then give the drugs a boost" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Statins reduce deaths from infection and respiratory illness, data eight years on from trial suggests - Science Daily, 8/28/11 - "In the lipid-lowering arm of the trial, over 10,000 patients in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia with high blood pressure were randomly allocated either atorvastatin or placebo between 1998 and 2000. In 2003, the trial was stopped early because the statin proved to be highly beneficial in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Since then, most participants from both groups have been taking statins ... The new analysis looked at the number and cause of deaths among the 4,605 participants in the ASCOT trial who are based in the UK. After 11 years' follow-up, overall mortality is 14 per cent lower in the group originally assigned atorvastatin, due largely to fewer deaths from infection and respiratory illness"
  • Protective effect of lycopene on serum cholesterol and blood pressure: Meta-analyses of intervention trials - Maturitas. 2010 Dec 14 - "Lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes ... Meta-analysis of the effect of lycopene on systolic blood pressure of all trials suggested a significant blood pressure reducing effect (mean systolic blood pressure change+/-SE: -5.60+/-5.26mm Hg, p=0.04) ... Our meta-analysis suggests that lycopene taken in doses ≥25mg daily is effective in reducing LDL cholesterol by about 10% which is comparable to the effect of low doses of statins in patient with slightly elevated cholesterol levels" - See Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com.
  • Red Yeast Rice Comparable to Pravastatin for Statin-Intolerant Patients - Medscape, 1/21/10 - "After 12 weeks of treatment, red yeast rice reduced LDL-cholesterol levels 30% from baseline, from 181 mg/dL to 126 mg/dL, while pravastatin reduced LDL-cholesterol levels 27%, a nonstatistical difference between treatments. Similarly, there were no significant differences observed in changes in total cholesterol, triglycerides, or HDL-cholesterol levels ... Regarding the primary end point, the incidence of treatment discontinuation because of myalgia, both red yeast rice and pravastatin were equivalent. In the red-yeast-rice arm, one patient of 21 (5%) withdrew because of muscle pain, while two patients of 22 (9%) withdrew in the pravastatin arm. Also, there were no reported differences in the mean pain severity scores with the two treatments" - See red yeast rice at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin B niacin offers no extra benefit to statin therapy in seniors already diagnosed with coronary artery disease, study suggests - Science Daily, 11/18/09 - "This does not mean that niacin therapy may not have other cardiovascular benefits, but any such benefits are independent of reducing the amount of plaque buildup and patients should be aware of that ... Lima cautions that an ongoing national study of the long-term vascular benefits of dual therapy and whether extended-release niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, lowers death rates from heart disease should provide more definitive data" - Note:  The article implies that prescription Niaspan works better than immediate release niacin.  See http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?q=effect+of+niacin&dpg=7 which implies the opposite.  The prescription might have less flush but I couldn't tell the difference.  Like I've said in the past, the flush gets less the longer you use it and is practically non-existent after you taken it for several months if you take it with food.  Also, the slow release may produce liver damages.  See:

  • CoQ10 Improves Endothelial Dysfunction in Statin-Treated Type 2 Diabetics - Medscape, 5/29/09 - "Study subjects were randomized to receive either 200 mg/day of oral CoQ10 or placebo for 12 weeks ... Our absolute improvement in FMD of 1% with CoQ10 supplementation may potentially translate to a 10-25% reduction in residual cardiovascular risk in these patients" - See ubiquinol products at Amazon.com.
  • Taking Statins? Five Ways to Boost Your Energy - ABC News, 4/14/09 - "It's a cruel irony that if statins make patients more lethargic, it could impair their ability to exercise or make dietary changes that would help them address their high cholesterol ... some studies have found that patients' energy levels increased while using CoQ10 and statins together ... Try pomegranate juice or a small chunk of dark chocolate, both of which have beneficial antioxidants ... Skimping on sleep has been found to increase calcium deposit build-up in your arteries" - See ubiquinol products at Amazon.com.
  • Statins' Adverse Effects Documented - Science Daily, 1/29/09 - "Coenzyme Q10 ("Q10") is a compound central to the process of making energy within mitochondria and quenching free radicals. However, statins lower Q10 levels because they work by blocking the pathway involved in cholesterol production – the same pathway by which Q10 is produced. Statins also reduce the blood cholesterol that transports Q10 and other fat-soluble antioxidants ... "The loss of Q10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage mitochondrial DNA," said Golomb, who explained that loss of Q10 may lead to a greater likelihood of symptoms arising from statins in patients with existing mitochondrial damage – since these people especially rely on ample Q10 to help bypass this damage" - My favorite is QH-Absorb by Jarrow.
  • Fish Oil, Red Yeast Rice Cut Cholesterol - WebMD, 7/23/08 - "We followed them for a three-month period ... The LDL declined 42% in the supplement group and 39% in the Zocor group ... The supplement group also lost an average of 10 pounds in 12 weeks, but there was no significant weight loss in the medication group. Triglyceride levels, while on average normal in both groups at the start, decreased by 29% in the supplement group but just 9.3% in the medication group -- a significant difference" - See red yeast rice at Amazon.com and Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Lowering Blood Cholesterol With Fish Oil And Red Yeast Rice Instead Of Statins - Science Daily, 7/8/08 - "The alternative treatment group participants received daily fish oil and red yeast rice supplements ... The statin group participants received 40 milligrams (mg) of Zocor (simvastatin) daily ... The researchers noted that there was a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels in both groups. The alternative treatment group experienced a 42.4 percent reduction, and the statin group experienced a 39.6 percent reduction. Members of the alternative therapy group also had a substantial reduction in triglycerides, another form of fat found in the blood, and lost more weight" - See red yeast rice at Amazon.com and Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Lycopene as effective as statins for artery health: rabbit study - Nutra USA, 7/3/08 - "The results of our experiment in the high-fat diet rabbit model showed that lycopene and fluvastatin lowered serum levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, improved lipid metabolism, and reduced the amount of triacylglycerols ... Lycopene intervention reduced the increase in ox-LDL levels in rabbits on the high-fat diet, whereas fluvastatin did not show such an effect. The cause of this difference is at present not known, although the result speaks in favour of lycopene ... These findings provide a theoretical rationale for the use of lycopene as a preventive in atherosclerosis" - [Abstract] - See Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com.
  • Comparison of lycopene and fluvastatin effects on atherosclerosis induced by a high-fat diet in rabbits - Nutrition. 2008 Jun 26 - "Compared with the control, levels of total cholesterol, total triacylglycerol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, malonaldehyde, oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and interleukin-1 were increased and total antioxidant capacity and nitric oxide were decreased in the animals with a high-fat diet (P < 0.05). Intragastric administration of lycopene counteracted the change in these parameters (P < 0.05). In this case, the data showed that lycopene in the used dose was better than the fluvastatin intervention. Morphologic analysis revealed that lycopene and fluvastatin markedly reduced the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta compared with the situation in rabbits on a high-fat diet alone ... Lycopene, like fluvastatin, significantly attenuated atherogenesis in rabbits fed a high-fat diet" - See Jarrow Lyco-Sorb (contains Lyco-O-Mato) at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of CoQ10 supplementation on plasma lipoprotein lipid, CoQ10 and liver and muscle enzyme levels in hypercholesterolemic patients treated with atorvastatin: A randomized double-blind study - Atherosclerosis. 2007 Aug 4 - "All patients showed definite reductions of plasma CoQ10 levels in the placebo group, by 42%. All patients supplemented with CoQ10 showed striking increases in plasma CoQ10 by 127%. In conclusion atorvastatin definitely decreased plasma CoQ10 levels and supplementation with CoQ10 increased their levels"
  • Effect of coenzyme q10 on myopathic symptoms in patients treated with statins - Am J Cardiol. 2007 May 15;99(10):1409-12 - "coenzyme Q10 supplementation may decrease muscle pain associated with statin treatment. Thus, coenzyme Q10 supplementation may offer an alternative to stopping treatment with these vital drugs" - See ubiquinol at Amazon.com.
  • Combining Agents Leads to Safe Treatment of Lipid Abnormalities - Physician's Weekly, 5/7/07 - "Combining the use of statins and niacin should be encouraged because it appears to safely treat multiple lipid abnormalities in appropriate high-risk patients"
  • Niacin Extended-Release Tablets Combined With Low/Moderate Dosed Statin Achieves Better Total Lipid Control Versus Higher Dose Statin Monotherapy or Simvastatin and Ezetimibe - Doctor's Guide, 6/22/06 - "patients given Niaspan in combination with a low to moderate dose of Lipitor or Crestor achieved equivalent reduction in LDL-C (51-58%), 1.2 to 1.9-fold greater decreases in triglycerides and 2.5 to 3.5 fold greater increases in HDL-C, than patients who received high-dose Crestor or Zocor/Zetia" - See niacin at Amazon.com.  My favorite is Twinlab niacin 1000mg at Amazon.com.
  • Coenzyme Q10 Lessens Muscle-Related Side Effects in Patients on Statins - Doctor's Guide, 3/7/05 - "Patients with significant myopathy who are taking statin therapy have a significant decrease in myopathic pain after 30 days of supplementation with coenzyme Q10" - See ubiquinol at Amazon.com.
  • Diet Can Lower Bad Cholesterol Like Statin Drug - WebMD, 2/8/05 - "Load up on fiber and vegetables: They lower cholesterol almost as much as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs ... Here's your shopping list: Cholesterol-lowering margarines containing plant fats such as "Benecol" or "Take Control", soy proteins and soluble fibers like oats, barley, psyllium, plus all kinds of vegetables, including eggplant and okra"
  • Atorvastatin Decreases the Coenzyme Q10 Level in the Blood of Patients at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke - Arch Neurol. 2004;61:889-892 - "Even brief exposure to atorvastatin causes a marked decrease in blood CoQ10 concentration. Widespread inhibition of CoQ10 synthesis could explain the most commonly reported adverse effects of statins, especially exercise intolerance, myalgia, and myoglobinuria" - See ubiquinol at Amazon.com.
  • Are Statins the New Wonder Drugs? - Dr. Weil, 6/21/04 - "For moderately elevated cholesterol, I recommend non-prescription red rice yeast, a natural source of statins with fewer side effects" - See red yeast rice at Amazon.com.
  • Policosonal: Nature's Cholesterol Balancer - Vitamin Research News, 2/04 - "Statin drugs are also known to cause male impotence" - See policosanol at Amazon.com.
  • Low-Cholesterol Diet as Good as Drugs - WebMD, 7/22/03 - "a vegetarian diet combining four types of cholesterol-lowering foods works as well as cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins ... It had four basic components: plant sterols in the form of a cholesterol-lowering margarine; soy proteins; sticky or soluble fibers such as fruits, vegetables, oats, and legumes; and almonds"
  • Policosanol more Effective than Lovastatin for Intermittent Claudication - New Hope Natural Media, 5/29/03 - "Those taking policosanol had a 34% increase in pain-free walking distance, while no change was observed in those taking lovastatin. Quality of life was also reported as being significantly better in the policosanol group compared with the lovastatin group. Both treatment groups had significant reductions in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. However, participants taking policosanol had a significant 32% increase in HDL cholesterol and a 6% decrease in fibrinogen, while these parameters remained unchanged in those receiving lovastatin" - See policosanol at Amazon.comClaudication gets my attention because my father has it and if there is a hereditary factor, I want to prevent it. - Ben
  • Ispaghula Husk [psyllium] Nearly As Effective As Simvastatin For Hyperlipidemia - Doctor's Guide, 12/24/02 - "One group received 3.5 grams of ispaghula husk twice a day and the second group received 20 milligrams of simvastatin each day ... total cholesterol decreased by 15.8 percent and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol decreased by 22.97 percent among patients taking ispaghula husk ... Triglycerides decreased by 20.89 percent and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased by 10.69 percent in these patients ... Among patients taking simvastatin, total cholesterol decreased by 24.15 percent, LDL cholesterol decreased by 36.08 percent, triglycerides decreased by 20.47 percent and HDL cholesterol increased by 11.4 percent" - I've got that. See psyllium husk at Amazon.com.
  • Chinese Cholesterol Control? - Dr. Weil, 10/1/02 - "And it contains seven different statins, not just lovastatin. In my experience, the natural mixture of compounds is less toxic (to the liver and muscles) than isolated lovastatin ... Other brands of red rice yeast extract are still available in the U.S., although they haven’t been clinically proven as was Cholestin, and may not be as effective"
  • Fish Oil May Augment Atorvastatin As Treatment For Dyslipidemia In Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men - Doctor's Guide, 8/7/02 - "fish oils significantly decreased plasma levels of triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein-apoB, decreased the very low density lipoprotein-apoB secretion rate ... combined treatment with atorvastatin and fish oils decreased very low density lipoprotein-apoB secretion and increased the fractional catabolic rate of apoB in each lipoprotein fraction , as well as the percent conversion of very low density lipoprotein to low density lipoprotein" - See TwinLab Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com
  • Dr. Julian M. Whitaker Petitions FDA to Include CoQ10 Use Recommendation in All Statin Drug Labeling - Life Extension Magazine, 8/02 - "On May 23, 2002, Dr. Julian M. Whitaker filed two citizens petitions with the Food and Drug Administration. The petitions call on the Commissioner of Food and Drugs to change the labeling of all HMG CoA reductase inhibitor drugs (the so-called statin drugs), and to issue a Medication Guide, warning consumers of the need to take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) whenever they take a statin drug"
  • Vitamins Help After Heart Transplant - WebMD, 3/28/02 - "The plaque-fighting benefits of the antioxidant supplements were even greater than those found using statin medications, which have already been shown to slow hardening of the arteries after transplants. Previous research has shown that antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, can promote heart health by reducing blood clots and keeping the blood vessels flexible"

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