What Are My Alternatives?
A considerable amount of research has shown that neutraceuticals can dramatically reduce inflammation. In fact, flavonoid and vitamin combinations have been shown in atherosclerosis studies to be more effective than any statin drug. And unlike the statin drugs, they do not increase your risk of dementia, cancer, confusion, immune suppression, muscle pains, weakness, and your risk of dying. In fact, they greatly reduce this risk.
In one impressive study of mice that were fed inflammatory fats, a flavonoid found in the spice turmeric, dramatically reduced the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque in their arteries. The mice had been genetically programmed to develop atherosclerosis. These mice were genetically altered to remove the APOE gene and the LDL receptor (they are called APOE/LDLR double-knockout mice), which makes them so prone to atherosclerosis; they will develop extensive arterial plaques even when fed normal diets. This is the ultimate test.
The mice that were given flavonoid, even in relatively low doses, had considerably less plaque than those given the diet alone. Most statin studies do not use this test because drug manufacturers know the statin drugs will be far less effective than the nutrients. Instead, they quote the ability of their medication to lower cholesterol levels.
A considerable amount of research has shown that neutraceuticals can dramatically reduce inflammation:
• Ellagic acid
• Vitamin E and vitamin C combination
Researchers also have shown that flavonoids prevent other problems common with atherosclerosis, such as smooth muscle proliferation, activation of the inflammatory COX and LOX enzymes, and a buildup of inflammatory immune cytokines. For example, a recent study found that flavonoids reduce the release of inflammatory cytokines.4 Another found that flavonoids dramatically lowered TNF-alpha levels from macrophages, the main immune regulator cell.5 What all this means is that flavonoids powerfully reduce inflammation, immune overactivation, and smooth muscle overgrowth, all things responsible for the lesions causing heart attacks and strokes.
Resveratrol, like other flavonoids, also reduces the immune attack within the vessels.
The following also improve insulin function:
• Ellagic acid
Quercetin also inhibits smooth muscle proliferation in arteries and has been shown in experimental studies to dramatically reduce atherosclerosis.
Hesperidin has been shown to play a major role in correcting insulin resistance. In addition, it strengthens blood vessels, reduces inflammation, and prevents blood clots, which is a major cause of sudden coronary artery blockage. Grapefruits and oranges are high in hesperidin, and it also can be purchased as a supplement. As I stated in the last two newsletters, your diet is the foundation of your nutritional health.
This is also true in preventing heart attacks and strokes. A high intake of omega-6 fats and trans fats greatly increases your risk. Omega-3 oils, such as DHA with some EPA, significantly reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact Omega-3 can reduce LDL and Triglycerides and increase HDL
Drinking fluoridated water also increases risk, because it contains high levels of fluoroaluminum, a powerful poison.
1. Ridker, PM., et al., “C-reactive protein levels and outcomes after statin therapy,” New Eng J Med 2005; 352: 20-8
2. Elkind, M.S., “Inflammation, artherosclerosis, and stroke,” Neurologist 2006; 12: 140-8.
3. Parnetti, L., et al., “Stroke prevention and statin treatment,” Clin Exp Hypertens 2006; 28: 335-44
4. Yuan, H.Y., et al., “Curcumin inhibits cellular cholesterol accumulation by regulating SREBP-1/caveolin-1 signaling pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells,” Acta Pharmacol Sin 2008; 29: 555-63.
5. Quiles, J.L., et al., “Curcuma longa extract supplementation reduces oxidative stress and attenuates aortic fatty streak development in rabbits,” Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2002; 22: 1225-31.