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A Natural Cholesterol Solution

December 4, 2008 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

It’s an all too common story. A patient walks into his doctor’s office. He sits down with his doctor to review the blood work from his most recent physical exam and he’s given the following speech:

“Your cholesterol is too high. I’d like you to start taking a cholesterol-lowering medication.”

But, what you’re unlikely to hear from your doctor is this: “Your cholesterol is too high. I could prescribe you a powerful medication with potentially dangerous side-effects to help lower your cholesterol. But, I’m not going to do that. I’d like to try something natural first. Something that’s probably a lot safer, healthier and possibly as effective or even more effective.”

Amla, Indian gooseberryIn an ideal world, our doctors would at least offer us a choice. But, since we find ourselves in this real world, let’s do our best to help educate our doctors about options they may not be aware of. That’s right. Patients can teach doctors too. It doesn’t have to be a one-way street.

Here’s one example of something we can share with our physicians:

There was a recent study on a natural substance that could possibly be a viable alternative to the controversial Statin medications. Statin medications are some of the best selling medications in modern medicine. They’re used almost exclusively to lower cholesterol and heart attack risk. You probably know some of them by their brand names: Crestor, Lipitor and Zocor.

The healthy alternative in today’s blog is called Amla or Indian gooseberry. It has a long history of use in a traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda. Amla’s been gaining a lot of interest in modern times because it’s been found to be one of the richest sources of naturally-occuring vitamin C. But, there’s a lot more to this fruit than just vitamin C.

The Good News

A recent study was conducted on 51 men and women who had high cholesterol and elevated C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation in the body. High levels of CRP are believed to contribute to heart disease and a number of other health conditions.

The 51 subjects were split into two groups. One group was given one capsule of an Amla extract, that provided 500mg. The other group was administered two capsules, 1000mg. Each group took their daily dose with a glass of water just prior to going to sleep.

After six months, the researchers took blood samples and analyzed them. Here’s what they found:

  • A significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (sometimes known as the “bad” cholesterol), VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides. They also found a 40% reduction in CRP levels and a significant drop in blood glucose levels.
  • HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol) rose during the course of the study.
  • No significant side-effects were reported.

All of these results are considered positive with respect to combating heart disease. The broad benefits found in this study even go beyond what doctors hope to accomplish with most prescribed medications. All that and no signs of any toxicity.

So, is Amla right for you? I can’t say. I’m not a doctor. But, if your doctor suggests that you try a Statin medication and you’d prefer not to … consider sharing this information with him or her. It just may do you both some good.

For more information about Amla, please check out these links:

Amla Heart Study

Life Extension Foundation Article

Be well!


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements

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