You can immediately improve your diet and reduce foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats.
- use olive oil instead of butter or margarine blocks
- yoghurt instead of cream
- steam or grill instead of frying
- use low-fat milk and cheese
- try the fish and tofu in place of red meat
- avoid fried and fatty foods like chips, bacon, burgers and cakes and biscuits made of hydrogenated fats
- avoid chips and peanuts if you are snacking and replace them with dried fruit or pretzels
- eat more fruits and vegetables, especially raw.
- on top of that, it is worth taking a dietary supplement called red yeast rice. It comes in capsules and is taken daily.
If you have tested for high levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins. a “bad” cholesterol), take red yeast rice capsules daily and ask to be re-tested every month for three months to see if your body can be corrected.
Avoiding statins and their well-known side effects by improving your diet with this supplement will help maintain your overall health for longer. If you encounter other related problems or can not overcome your diet, go with a medical herbalist.
Know more about red yeast rice
Red yeast rice (Monascuspurpureus), or RYR for short. is a dietary supplement made from a red yeast grown on rice, which is widely used in Chinese cooking to make such as Peking duck and Char Siu. That’s where they get their red color characteristic. RYR contains many natural compounds, including a group of fourteen monacolins. One of them, monacolin K, is that the statin drug lovastatin is made from.
These monacolins function similarly to statins and cholesterol levels. But maybe they are not as concentrated, or perhaps because other compounds offer a protective effect, RYR does not seem to cause the same level of side effects that statins.
RYR does not cause the same side effects, but is still effective in reducing the harmful LDL. Side effects where clinical trials have shown RYR, for example, similar levels of muscle weakness to pravastatin, RYR dose was surprisingly high (2400 mg x 2 times a day, or a total of 4800 mg).
How much the doses
An overview of multiple studies, showed that doses greater than 2000 mg per day in total are useless. They have also shown that plant sterols and stanols work best when combined with a diet low in unsaturated fats.
- Try taking the 400 mg capsules three times a day (a total of 1200 mg) in combination with a better diet, to help your LDL levels return to normal without experiencing side effects.
- If they are very high, you could take 5 capsules per day (a total of 2000 mg) for the first week or two, but then drop again the amount, especially if you have been previously intolerant to statins.
If you are already on statins, you can decrease the statin dose and increase the dose of RYR, but it must be done under the supervision of your medical herbalist with access to frequent tests. It is best, if possible, to try RYR first before starting statin therapy.
How to choose the right red yeast rice
You can buy RYR on its own. This is the cheapest way, but there are some things to consider. RYR capsules made in USA do not contain monacolin K. This is because FDA regulations require that it be removed to prevent people taking statins with receiving too high. So it is “weaker” than RYR produced in the European Union where it is not necessary.
RYR is often sold in combination with the natural enzyme CoQ10 (ubiquinone) located in each cell of the body. Low levels of CoQ10 are particularly associated with:
- heart failure
- Parkinson’s disease
- gum disease.
Statins can reduce CoQ10 levels up to 40%. Some studies have also found, although the results are mixed, that CoQ10 supplementation helps reduce muscle weakness commonly known as a side effect of statins.
CoQ10 also has other advantages as well as support a healthy heart, it can increase energy. The heart, liver and kidneys that have the highest demands of energy of course also have the highest levels of CoQ10 in the body. It also boosts antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are found in berries, grape seeds and vitamin E. They help fight free radicals that are a primary trigger in cell aging.
Although it is more expensive, it is a wise precaution to purchase a capsule RYR rice with CoQ10 included, especially if you take high RYR doses or always take some statins under the supervision of your medical herbalist or health care professional.