A recent study known as the JUPITER trial is an acronym for justification for the use of statins in primary prevention touted the benefits of using cholesterol lowering drugs for those individuals with normal cholesterol levels. This trial involved 18,000 subjects in the usual double blind test over two years. Those in the study had normal levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, but high levels of C-reactive proteins (CRP) another indicator of coronary heart disease. The statistics produced claimed by taking a statin drug one’s risk of heart attack was reduced by 50 percent.


Since this past fall’s presidential elections I think we all have a better idea of just how statistics can be manipulated to suit one’s own needs. Another look at the Jupiter trial based on relative risk or what is called real world numbers found that only one person out of 120 benefited from the drug, that’s less than one percent. The side effects from taking statin drugs are not minor headaches and a hangnail. Twenty-five percent of individuals using statins are more likely to develop type two diabetes, liver problems and severe muscle aches and pains.


Why use a cannon when a peashooter would work? There is an array of natural alternatives that do the same thing without all the nasty side effects or expense.


Back to the basics:


Multivitamin/mineral: The foundation of any good supplement program. Deficiencies will cause CRP levels to rise. Studies show that by using a high quality multivitamin/mineral supplement CRP levels were lower within 6 months.


Vitamins C & E: These two essential vitamins fight free radicals and curb inflammation. Vitamin C supports immune function basic to lowering CRP levels.


Niacin Vitamin B3: This powerhouse vitamin has been on the scene since the 1950s. Niacin will quickly improve lipid profiles and CRP levels. Be sure to use the “no flush” niacin and do not use large doses without professional supervision.


Curcumin: More than 2,000 studies support the anti-inflammatory benefits of this ancient spice. Turmeric not only reduces inflammation it helps reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.


Fish Oil: Rich in omega-3 fats this is arguably the healthiest ways to exchange unhealthy fats for healthy ones. The body cannot stay healthy without fats. The list of benefits with the regular use of fish oils is lengthy including: lowered bad cholesterol levels and CRP levels, slows heart rate, improves the flexibility of the blood vessels, reduces the risk of death due to heart attack, helps reduce problems and symptoms related to arthritis, asthma and other inflammatory diseases.


Red yeast rice extract: This supplement contains minute amounts of naturally- occurring statins. It reduces bad cholesterols and CRP levels without the side effects of the prescription statins.


While all these supplements listed can help reduce inflammation and your risk of coronary artery, disease without the use of a diet based on whole foods, improved cholesterol levels and an energetic life style may elude you. Till next time, Rebecca.