Complete Health, Inc. - Proactive Health Consulting Since 1976
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Cholesterol

A lot of people seem to be trying to avoid statin drugs, and I can't blame them.  While statins are still recommended by many physicians to lower cholesterol, they're not without risks and potential side effects.  The discussion as to whether you should be on a statin needs to be between you and your physician, but you might want to be aware of some natural substances that can positively influence lipids and thus cardiovascular risk.  An example is Pantethine, which is an activated form of vitamin B5.  A most impressive study was published in 2011 which showed that Pantethine had a significantly positive effect on total and LDL cholesterol (in low to moderate cardiovascular risk subjects ) at a dosage of 600-900mg per day.  As far as other natural substances that may have a positive effect on lipids, another interesting study showed that coconut oil had a positive effect on HDL cholesterol and also improved BMI (body mass index) and reduced WC (waist circumference) in women.  The amount consumed was 2 tablespoons per day.  A large study done in the Phillipines also showed that coconut oil consumption had a positive effect on HDL.  Previous research has suggested that coconut oil does not increase cardiovascular risk despite being high in saturated fat.  On the herbal front, Gymnema is an plant from India that has quite a bit of research reflecting potential benefit for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, weight, and lipids.  Because Gymnema has a blood sugar lowering effect, caution needs to be used if you are a diabetic and/or are on medication for diabetes, so don't start taking it without communicating with your Doctor.  Brand new research on the phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Gymnema can be found here.  Be aware that the quality of herbs varies widely, so be discerning when considering the purchase of herbal products.  On the whole subject of cardiovascular risk, keep in mind that diet, exercise, and lifestyle must be looked at first and foremost.
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