6 Steps to Healthy Cholesterol, Or Why You Should Stop Your Statins Now

by

“How do I lower my cholesterol?” It’s a question often asked by millions of people. You know why? Because your doctor, the medical profession, the media, and the government have all told you that the secret to living a long, healthy, heart disease-free life is lowering your cholesterol.

But what if I told you that the countries where people have higher cholesterol tend to have lower rates of heart disease, that people with the highest cholesterol have the least risk of death? What if I told you that studies don’t prove any benefit to taking cholesterol medication in people who have no risk of heart disease, if their cholesterol’s just a little high, or that there’s no reason for any woman over 69 to take cholesterol medication to prevent heart disease? What if I told you the studies show that cholesterol medication works only for those people who have already had a heart attack but not for the 75% of people who’ve never had a heart attack, which is most of the people taking the drug?

I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the scientific establishment is often different from the established science. I’m interested in the established science, rather than what is said by the scientific establishment, which is often influenced by pharmaceutical companies.

Your body needs cholesterol

Cholesterol is not the enemy. Your body needs cholesterol to make your hormones, your cell membranes, and your brain cells. Without enough cholesterol, your testosterone levels would drop and your sex drive and function would plummet, your cell membranes, which are made of cholesterol couldn’t function properly, and your body would no longer be able to make CoQ10 (an important nutrient whose production in your body is blocked by cholesterol medication), which could lead to neurological problems.

So, it’s not about having lower cholesterol; it’s about having the right type of cholesterol.

Believing that a low cholesterol count is the best way to prevent heart disease, doctors often prescribe medications like statins to keep those levels low. But these drugs can introduce a whole host of problems: muscle damage, brain damage, memory issues, Parkinson’s-like symptoms, and muscle aches and pains. All of this has been caused by cholesterol medications, which don’t necessarily even work.

Here’s the shocker: You have to treat 50 people with statins to prevent one heart attack, or treat 890 people to prevent one death. It’s just not a very effective drug.

The truth about cholesterol

So, what is the way to prevent heart disease? What is the best way to deal with cholesterol, and what is the truth about cholesterol?

Well, here’s the truth: most of you are not getting the right cholesterol test. You need to get the test of the 21st century, not the test of the 20th century, which is most doctors are doing. The 21st century test measures not just your cholesterol by weight (mg/dl), let’s say 200, but it measures the number of particles that make up that number and the size of those particles.

I had a patient come to see me recently who was 220 pounds and had high cholesterol. Today, he’s 160 pounds. Before he came to see me, he was on a statin to control his cholesterol levels. Today, he is off the statin, and his cholesterol is far better now than when he was on the statin.

Why?

Because the cholesterol in his blood consisted largely of those small, dense cholesterol particles that cause heart disease. These small particles are like golf balls that bang around in your arteries and cause damage, as opposed to large, fluffy beach ball-like ones that just bounce off and don’t cause a problem. So, he went from having 1,000 small, dense cholesterol particles, which was very bad—you want less than 400—to having zero. Zero! He was almost diabetic, and we changed that by simply changing his diet and lifestyle. We didn’t give him a statin medication.

You might be surprised to learn that I did not recommend a low fat diet for this patient. In fact, I had him increase the fat in his diet! But I also advised him to decrease the amount of sugar and flour he was eating. Most people don’t realize this, but it’s not fat that causes your cholesterol to go up. It’s sugar or anything that turns to sugar like flour! Why? Because when you eat sugar, particularly fructose, which is in high fructose corn syrup, it causes the cholesterol-producing factory in your liver to turn on.

So, if you have high triglycerides, if you have a low HDL, if you have high cholesterol, the best way to fix it is to get off flour and sugar. Eat more quality fat—nuts, avocados, seeds, and coconut butter. And eat good quality protein with every meal. These are very helpful in balancing your blood sugar, balancing your insulin, shutting off the fat-production factory in your liver, and making your cholesterol normal.

6 steps to healthy cholesterol

So, how do you get the right type of cholesterol? How do you lower your triglycerides and raise the level of good—and necessary—cholesterol in your body?

Here are some very simple treatments you can use. I find them very beneficial, and often, I see people getting better cholesterol off medication than on medication.

  1. Cut out or dramatically reduce flour and sugar, because those are the things that turn on the cholesterol factory in your liver.
  2. Eat the right fats—avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut butter, olive oil, and fish oil. These are the good fats that help balance your blood sugar, balance your insulin, and correct lipid problems.
  3. Have protein for breakfast and at every meal (nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken, fish, grass-fed meats).
  4. Exercise.
  5. Manage your stress.
  6. Take supplements to help balance the whole system.
  • First, fish oil, is great; two to four grams a day will help lower cholesterol, lower triglycerides, boost the good cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.
  • Next, you can take PGX; it’s a super fiber that helps lower triglycerides and lower cholesterol in the right way. You take a scoop or five grams in a glass of water about 10 minutes before every meal. It’s a very simple but very powerful way to help you balance your insulin.
  • Red rice yeast 600 mg two twice a day can help balance cholesterol, as well.
  • And I use plant sterols like phytosterols that help to balance insulin, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

So, follow these simple steps, and if you want, you can find the best quality supplements that I’ve been able to find that I use with my patients on my website.

Now, I’d like to hear from you…

  • Are you on statin medication?
  • Do you have high cholesterol?
  • What have you tried?
  • Have you tried anything else that’s worked besides taking the medication?
  • Have you had side effects?

Tell us your story; share what you’ve learned with our community in the comments section below. Next, share this on Facebook and Twitter and with your friends and family, because I bet some of them are on statin medication and may not need to be. They should be able to find out a different way to do this. Also, sign up for the newsletter to receive one each week. And submit your questions so that, next week, I may make a House Call to you. Thank you.

56 Responses to 6 Steps to Healthy Cholesterol, Or Why You Should Stop Your Statins Now

  1. David McIlroy October 9, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Are all Coconut butter brands good? The one I bought has guar gum, sustainable palm oil, canola lecithin… Are things ok?

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      Hi David, you want to find a coconut butter that is in its purest form, there are many varieties available or you can make your own!

  2. marie rogers October 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    my triglycerides and cholesterol is on high side but my hdl is 55 and my A1C was 97, what is my likely problem, I know I am 10 lbs heavier than I want to be and I am hypothyroid…I am 62..

    • Hi Doctor April 11, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Both my bad and good cholesterol are high. Also my triglycerides are high. I had a stroke 15 years ago, but my heart is fine. I’ve been taking a statin, but I found after three difference statins (all of which cause muscle or joint aching or tingling and burning of feet and hands) that my body doesn’t like statins. I’m a little over weight for my bone structure, so I’ve started a diet, which I plan to continue, and more exercise. I’m in my mid 70’s. What is your suggestion?

      • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
        Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

        Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

        You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/

        Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
        Wishing you the best of health,
        Dr. Hyman Staff

  3. P.W. Dowdy October 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Does one need doctor approval to stop statins? I’ve heard that it’s a complicated lengthy process.

  4. Nicole October 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    How do you get the test of the 21st Century? What is it called? I heard about the size issue but didn’t know the test is available to the public.

  5. Pamela Contos November 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    I have been (20years) a professional Aerobic/Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer.
    I had a quintuple by pass 7 years ago, age 54. Heart decease is most definitely in my family history.

    I have recently stopped my Lipitor….as Alzheimer decease is also in my family history….

    Most all my states have been good…but since stopping the Lipitor my total CHL came in at 239…HDL was 75

    I have been cutting out “white” foods….and really cut back on the sugar…blowing it approx. once a month.

    Suggestions?

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  6. Margaret January 24, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    HI Dr Hyman. thank you for your EXCELLENT Advice,Books and Website. I am VERY frustrated. I lost 30 pounds to get healthier and lower my LDL without meds. My HDL is 85 always been good my Triglycerides 67 always been even lower than that but my LDL actually went up! It is now 200.5 WHAT to do? THANK YOU!

  7. Diana January 25, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    I have a doctor who loves, loves, loves statins, but I refuse to take them. My lowest cholesterol scores have always been after a week of eating fatty foods, which drives my doctor crazy. Here is my question: I’m all for reducing sugar and flour, but how to do I keep up the healthy fats when I’m allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and fish?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 20, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Hi Diana,
      Other sources of healthy fats include olive oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, tahini, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds. Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  8. Rick Barnes January 25, 2014 at 3:51 am #

    I’m a 57 yo male type1 diabetic for 38 year. Kidney transplant 7/06 doing well. I have hypothyroidism controlled with medication. Myocardial infarction 5/12 with a total of 4 stents. On lipitor about 5 yrs ago with some liver function problems. After heart attack I was put on pravastatin and started having trouble with that. My ldl was 180. Cardiologist took me off statin. On my own I started taking 1 1400 mg fish oil / 900 mg omega 3 once a day and 3 1300 mg flaxseed oil capsules daily. I did not change my diet. My last ldl a month ago was 66.

  9. Raelene January 25, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    what is PGX please?

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      PGX is a superfiber that soaks up sugar and fat and will help curb appetite, lower blood sugar and promote weight loss.

  10. Ron April 28, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    64, was put on crestor because of high cholesterol, after over 1 year of side effects that became progressively worse. Muscle pain, nerve pain and the worst skin rash/eruptions, it almost felt like I had lupus with the symptons. After removing crestor, within a month the muscle pain and nerve pain went away and no skin rashes. My doctor refused to believe this was caused by the statins and I have since changed docs. I am now working on diet, lost 20 pounds and have another 15 to go, then will go back for updated tests. I didn’t realize how dangerous statins were till I googled and saw the thousands of similar issues I was having. Statins are the biggest profit center for the drug compaines especially Merke & Pfizer, they are both not going to give up the sacred cash cow without a fight as their next new market is younger folks including teens which is outrageous.

  11. marilyn kennedy May 13, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    I have A-Fib and have had a stroke. I am on Crestor and am taking fish oil supplements. My cholesterol levels are great. I am afraid is I stop the meds, I could have another stroke. Please advise!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Hi Marilyn,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  12. Penny May 19, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    66 year old female. Weigh 118 am 5’3″. Exercise daily, and eat very healthily, no grains or sugar, and only wild meat and wild fish with my veggies. Mother had diabetes and dementia, father had high cholesterol, heart disease, strokes. I have been told I have insulin deficiency and to stay on my low carb diet and take one metformin. My cholesterol was 245. HDL 59. LDL 169. All this while taking the generic form of lipitor. I had been taking the real lipitor for 10 years with no side effects. I do take co q 10 and fish oil along with other vitamins and supplements. My complaint about the generic is that it does not work very well, so I tried niacin but that made my liver enzymes go sky high. Am wondering if red yeast rice is just as effective as my real lipitor used to be. The endochronologist just wants me to add another 10 mg of generic lipitor, but that does not sound right to me. I plan to have a VAP test.

  13. e pharmacy June 7, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    Hi everyone, it’s my first visit at this site, and post is really fruitful in support of me, keep up
    posting these posts.

  14. Judy July 28, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    I just had a lipid panel ran last week because that is when my yearly blood work was due. Ideally, it wasn’t the best time since I haven’t been on a LCHF diet long enough. I have only lost 3# and don’t need to lose weight. I am 5’2 and weigh 112#. I started losing weight the beginning of this year after post holiday indulgences.

    I cut out all grains back in April, drastically cut out sugar next to nothing the middle of January, but increased my fat intake in May, all of this in this year.

    I feel like I eat a well rounded diet, very few fruits-berries if I do, low carb vegetables, spinach/kale blend salad usually 5 days a week, almond milk (unsweetened), Greek yogurt, coconut oil, eggs, butter, meat (including fish), cheese, avocados, I use almond, coconut and peanut flour for baking and cooking. I love peanut butter, cashew and almond butter for sandwiches.

    Has anyone else had such a huge jump in their total cholesterol and LDL? I read all the books and was expecting a minimal change but nothing like this. Of course the doctor wants to see me to discuss this tomorrow.

    I won’t take a statin. My numbers were great before starting this new way of eating, and I am hoping it will take time for my lipid panel numbers to adjust. I eat no grains and maybe 1-2 grams of added sugar a day in a few different recipes that call for an extremely small amount of sugar. Otherwise, I use stevia, xylitol and erythritol.

    July 23, 2014
    Total Cholesterol – 291
    Triglycerides – 86
    LDL – 133
    HDL- 141

    Previously before LCHF
    Not Fasting
    Total Cholesterol 163
    Triglycerides – 78
    LDL – 73
    HDL – 74

    • David September 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      I had a similar experience, LDL went from 117 to 205, total cholesterol to 273. But…triglycerides went from 102 to 50 and HDL from 47 to 58. What does it mean? I take it as a good thing. The reason I went VLCHF was because my blood sugar was 386 in September 2013. In July 2014 it was 74. But I am very carb intolerant, and eat < 20 gm/day. So you have a higher cholesterol level. Because your body needs it. Avoid the meds. Cholesterol won't kill you. Meds? They probably will, especially the statins.

    • Chris September 25, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

      My numbers also went up, total cholesterol to 360 from 237, HDL about the same in the 90s.
      Triglycerides from 35 to 55. Very mystifying. On LCHF for about 6 weeks. All I can think to do is cut out the sat fat, and go to as much mono and poly as possible. Interesting to see someone else with the same poor result. I did lose weight, 30 #s or so, which was my target.
      But the lipid numbers are not good.

  15. Natasha August 19, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    I have 250 level cholesterol I want to know best foods to eat and stay away. I thought cholesterol foods all came from Animal meats cheese milk mostly, So confused where to start

  16. Cindy August 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I’ve been taking Lovastatin for about 10 yrs now..I haven’t noticed side affects, but after hearing how bad they are for me, I would like to stop taking them..I’m going to tell my doctor at my next appt.. I take fish oil sups every day and have for years.. In February 2014, I was diagnosed with type 2,diabetes and told my dr that I didn’t want to go on meds.. I was 214lbs, 5′ tall.. I lost 14 lbs so far and my A1C went from 6.5 to 6.1 in 3 mths.. I try to follow the Paleo diet and it has helped immensely.. I hope that now I can get off of the statins for good.. I am still losing weight and exercising.. Thanks for your helpful info.

  17. Karl September 7, 2014 at 1:09 am #

    When Dr. Hyman suggests cutting out sugar, does that include whole fruit and berries?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff September 10, 2014 at 12:03 am #

      Hi Karl,
      Thank you for your question. Fresh whole fruit and berries are part of a healthy diet that will help lower inflammation. Limiting added sugars such as those in processed foods is the key to improving your cardiovascular health.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  18. Kim Gunderson October 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    I recently received blood test results. Quick history would tell you that I gave up wheat, dairy, alcohol, meat, sugar and processed foods almost 7 months ago. I have lost 78 lbs. I feel terrific and am working out 5x week. My migraines are gone. The joint and muscle pain I felt has almost disappeared and I am not feeling lethargic. I thought everything was great until the test results.

    My blood results showed that my HDL cholesterol levels are TOO LOW (38) while my LDLs were 74. I am confused how I can increase the HDL to avoid any negative side effects that I have been reading about. The results also showed that my progesterone and Vitamin D is very low.

    Looking for any assistance in pointing me in the right direction of what I am missing. Thanks

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff November 1, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      Hi Kim,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Cherry January 13, 2015 at 11:19 am #

      Hi Kim,

      I was formerly working as a paramedic in medical research institute. From my own experience, exercise together with taking Vitamin E can improve HDL level.

  19. Annie October 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    Hi Dr Mark

    What do I have to ask my doctor to have the number of particles result ?
    If I had a blood test for my cholesterol, will the number be available..or do we have to request a specific test ?

    thanks

    Annie

  20. N Mac Mahon November 7, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi
    I am a 53 year old female with a healthy lifestyle. I have dangerously high blood pressure and was recently hospitalised due to chest pains and BP of 207/122.
    I have been prescribed statins, beta blockers, and calcium inhibiters. Finding this all very hard to take in. I am not over weight but do have a demanding job and bullying from wealthy ex and his family who dragged me through the family courts even though he had access to our daughter, He now uses the very limited contact time they were awarded to harass daughter so that she refuses to go and then threaten me with further court action because she is refusing.
    Not a lot I can do about that stress.
    Both my parents are deceased due to strokes, my father had his first stroke at 59.
    I do not understand why I was prescribed statins and am worried about side effects. My blood test results showed no raised statin levels.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff November 7, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  21. Alexandra December 7, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    My mother is almost 80 years old. A breast cancer survivor. Benign essential hypertension contrlolled with Lisinopril. BMI 23. Her most recent blood test shows Cholesterol 319, Triglyceride 123, HDL 51, LDL 243. Her doctor insists on CRESTOR. My mother refuses because she had severe muscle pain and weakness years ago while taking Lipitor. She eats an excellent organic plant based diet, no gluten, no dairy, exercises daily, yoga, tai chi.
    Why is elevated cholesterol a problem in her case? What other tests are recommended? Particle size?

  22. Audrey Hurd December 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Dear Dr. Hyman,

    I am 62 and was on statins for 3 years and quit taking my statins after reading on the internet how they can cause nerve and muscle damage. Well I no longer walk without a cane/walker and fall a lot when I try. My GP doesn’t believe statins are the cause. yes my cholesterol is high and trigliserets but there has to be a better way. I’m scared I will never walk right again. Can you please help me figure this out..

    Audrey

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff December 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Hi Audrey,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  23. Sally Crenshaw December 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    I am an 11 year old girl and have high cholesterol. My doctor says i have high cholesterol but should gain a couple of pounds( i weigh 77 lbs). I usually just eat what my mom serves so i am not sure how to gain weight and lower cholesterol?? Help please?!?!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff January 5, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi Sally,
      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. We recommend that you work with your doctor and your parents to find the right diet to help lower your cholesterol. If needed, ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian for expert advice.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  24. Coral January 16, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    I just started the 10 day detox diet, I m on 1800 mg of red rice yeast and coQ 10. It being rice and yeast. Does this qualify under guluten? Is it ok to keep taking it? It’s really helped the cholesterol issue.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff January 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

      Hi Coral,
      Your red yeast rice supplement does not contain gluten and we recommend that you continue taking your prescribed medication and supplements throughout the 10-Day Detox Diet. If you are considering making changes, please consult with your doctor.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  25. Van Rathgeber January 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    Dr. Hyman and staff,

    My father, who just turned 81, is in good health. However, over the past 3-4 years, his short term memory has been rather bad and he always complains about his head being clogged up and foggy. He is had innumerable tests with no negative results found (he blames it on sinuses). I recently read Grain Brain and have read your page along with reading several sites about the negative side effects of statins (which he was put on years ago like everyone else, right?). Mayo, NIH, FDA, WebMD, and others all mention that brain fog and cognitive decline is a known side effect. When I read about this side effect, it sounds like they are describing my dad. He has been tested for Alzheimers, of course, because of the memory issues. However, they just describe him as having “mild cognitive impairment”. I would like to take him off statins and start him on the supplements you suggest along with trying to get him to knock off sugar and gluten. Do you have any thoughts on this? I greatly appreciate any feedback.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff January 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

      Hello Van,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your father the proper care he needs, we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

  26. Withanee Jones January 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    My husband is 78. He has been overweight most of his adult life. He has diabetes type 1. He had a heart attack about 15 years ago. He had two stents put in at that time and another several years later. We were told that the bottom part of his heart was killed off. He has been on Pravastatin 80 mg since that time. He is a pretty active man. He walks in the pool at the gym at least four times a week and he still works in sales and servicing products to stores. He does have parkinson-type shakes in his right hand. He has been on the Ketogenic program for over two weeks. Has cut his Metformiin in half and has lost eleven pounds so far. He blood sugar readings are averaging 89. He does take blood pressure meds also. Blood pressure is normal.

    I am wondering if it would be ok for him to quit the Pravastatin with the heart situation. As you know, doctors want to cover their butt and will not encourage him to quit taking it. If it wasn’t for his heart attack, I wouldn’t hesitate encouraging him to stop taking it. Any suggestions? Thanks for this great site.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff January 31, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

      Hi Withanee,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide your husband the proper care he needs we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you and your husband the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  27. Elaine February 3, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I have had very stubborn cholesterol for most of my adult life. My Doctor has tried a wide variety of medications to lower it with little or no success. Many of the meds I tried had adverse side effects which prompted me to quit taking them regardless of how they may have been affecting my cholesterol numbers.
    I’m going to try Dr. Hyman’s suggestions but am a little confused. Another article lists a different combination of supplements to use rather than the suggestions posted in this article: http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/01/28/seven-tips-to-fix-your-cholesterol-without-medication/

    Thank you in advance for clarifying! :-)

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 7, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      Hi Elaine,
      There isn’t one single supplement protocol for managing cholesterol. We recommend that you discuss any changes to your medication and supplements with your doctor. He/she knows your health condition the best and can guide you to avoid any potential drug-nutrient reactions.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  28. sue February 4, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

    My cholesterol level was 7.6 which prompted my Dr to put me on to Crestor 5mg. I am also taking CoQ10.

    However I would like to cease taking medications as I am experiencing trouble recalling information. It does come to me eventually maybe hours later. But I really want to come off the Statins and attempt to reduce my levels naturally.
    My Dr wanted me on them as I have a family history of heart disease.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Sue

  29. rrsears March 12, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    I’m confused. I know that Dr. Hyman is not a huge statin fan, but he suggests people take red rice yeast. Isn’t that like lovastatin?

  30. Kent K March 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    I had a heart attack 5 years ago. My doctor then suggested I go on a vegetarian diet. He also put me on statins(Atorvastatin), The dosage was reduced to 10 mg/day because I developed muscle pain. I am concerned about the damage the drug could cause to my liver and kidneys. I have a new doctor now that wants to increase the dosage to 80mg per day. I want to get off the drug. I have changed my diet and have cut out most meat and sugar. my HDL=46.7,VLDL=is 19, Chol/HDL= 3.4, LDLD=105. I am concerned about taking statins. Do you have any suggestions for me?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff March 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. If you would like information on becoming a patient at The UltraWellness Center, please see “How to Become a Patient” at http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/. You may also feel free to call The UltraWellness Center at (413) 637-9991.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  31. Danielle March 22, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Hello,

    Currently, I am 25 and have been on Crestor since I was 19. My grandmother died from CAD, and I decided to have my cholesterol drawn, as my dad has high cholesterol as well (we have familial hyperlipidemia, unfortunately). At 19, my cholesterol was 312. I have never been overweight and have been moderately-quite active all of my life. The specialist told me that no matter what I eat or how much I exercise, because my high cholesterol is hereditary, I will likely have to take a medication for the rest of my life to help lower it.

    I know that you can’t give me medical advice on here, but I am wondering if there have been successes with patients like me that suffer from familial hyperlipidemia and using the natural supplements listed in this article. I do not consume a lot of sugar, I eat organic, clean foods 95% of the time (limiting fruit intake as well), and I exercise 4-6x a week with strength training and mod-intense cardio. I try my hardest to live a healthy lifestyle, as I’ve been told I’m at a higher risk of developing heart disease.

    Are there any resources or books that you recommend for patients with familial hyperlipidemia and how we can lower our cholesterol levels without the use of pharmaceutical drugs? I would greatly appreciate any input!

    Thank you!!

  32. Dan April 12, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/448750418613708/
    Not only that but egg’s have healthy cholesterol, our liver’s make 3,000mg/ daily, our brain uses 25% of that, not to mention ever cell in the body,
    Big diffrence between egg’s cholesterol that does not congel even when chilled to 40 degrees in fridge and bacon and hamburger grease ,
    Last note – our body can use up to 25% of our daily energy reserves to make needed cholesterol

    • Dan April 12, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Of Note Wife and I eat’s 4 egg’s a day each, we wash shell’s (just to be safe) cdc has had no cases of shell egg illness reports in 5 years, and we consume 7.6 Billion egg/ a year, and no telling how many are raw in mayo to dressing, we toss in blender with 2 bananas and sometimes add vanilla ice yogurt, make a Awesome Shake, 1-2 cups of ice, to chill it down, blend 1-2 min’s, nutritional benefits of egg+ bananas are off the charts, + you get the Egg shell calcium and the Inner Egg shell Membrane collagen 1,3,4,5,+10 that stuff heals on contact, be it your digestive tract or even a cut or scrape, Enjoy

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