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Red Rice Yeast
mainstay of Chinese medicine since ancient times
now available OTC as supplement for lowering cholesterol
promoted as alternative to statins
docs may recommend it when someone can't tolerate statins dt muscle pain
derived from a fungus that grows on rice
eaten as a dietary staple some places in Asia
BUT: RYR is a statin drug too w/ same SEs

study #1: n=62 with high chol, half given RYR 2xdaily x6mo, placebo for other half
people taking RYR also met weekly x3mo and learned about nutrit, exercise, stress mngmnt
seems like this education biases the study as you can't tell which part made the changes
results: LDL down by average 35mg/dL in RYR group, 15mg/dL in placebo group
total chol lowered more in RYR group
study #2: n=5,000 who've had MIs found
those taking RYR for 5 years lowered "risk of repeat" heart attack by 45%
also lowered odds of having bypass or angioplasty, mb also CA risk by up to 2/3

CONSTITUENTS
monacolins incl moncolin K aka mevinolin or lovastatin
lovastatin was 1st statin approved by FDA (brand names of Mevacor and Altocor)

WHY STATINS ARE BAD
deplete Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (needed for heart and muscle manufacture of ATP)
heart needs most CoQ10
SX: fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness (rhabdomyolysis), heart failure (CHF)
statins activate the gene atrogin-1 gene-->muscle atrophy, breakdown-->kidney failure
incr risk of polyneuropathy
dizziness, cognitive impairment, memory loss
incr CA risk, decr immune fx
depression
elevated liver enzymes
possibly incr risk of Lou Gehrig's dz

WHY CHOLESTEROL IS GOOD
it's integral to cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids
helps in the formation of memories
vital for your neurological function
lowering cholesterol too much increases one's risk of dying
precursor to steroid hormones: es, test, cortisone, etc
liver recycles cholesterol into bile
high chol = "invented dz"
high inflam-->high chol
chol used for healing, repair
no evidence that getting LDL to 100 or lover is good for you but AHA recommends it

CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
too low under 150
optimum may be 200 which is currently the upper limit of the OK range
over 330 too high (Mercola)
common medical knowledge is we should keep total under 200mg/dL
Dutch men w/ chronically low chol-->depressed
chol involved in serotonin metabolism
Canadians lowest quartile chol have 6x risk of suicide relative to highest quartile
low chol levels-->low serotonin-->violent behavior, aggression
n=41,000 meta-analysis: statins-->low chol-->more CA
low chol-->Parkinson's dz
ratio of HDL to total is good indicator of chol metabolism: should be over 25%, more is better
15-20% high risk, under 10% very high risk of heart dz
ratio of TGs/HDL should be under 2

HOW TO LOWER BLOOD CHOLESTEROL
make sure you want to
don't worry so much about dietary chol: most is made by liver, provoked by insulin
to lower chol: optimize insulin
optimize insulin by:
exercise
eat low glycemic diet: eliminate grains and sugars from diet, add raw foods
eat omega 3 fats, best is animal based: fish oil, krill oil
eat other good fats: olive, coconut oils, raw dairy products, avods, nuts, seeds, eggs w/ raw yolk, grass fed organic meat
avoid smoking and excessive alcohol
manage stress

SOURCES:
[1] Annals of Internal Medicine 2009 Jun 16;150(12):830-9, W147-9.
[2] American Journal of Cardiology 2008 Jun 15;101(12):1689-93.
[3] MayoClinic.com "Red Yeast Rice (Monascus Purpureus)" (Accessed July 2, 2009)
[4] The Journal of Clinical Investigation December 2007; 117(12):3940-51
[5] Mercola.com Sudden Memory Loss Linked to Cholesterol Drugs (Accessed July 2, 2009)
[6] Nature Medicine September, 2000;6:965-966, 1004-1010.
[7] Nature Medicine, December, 2000; 6: 1311-1312, 1399-1402
[8] Edwards, I. Ralph; Star, Kristina; Kiuru, Anne, "Statins, Neuromuscular Degenerative Disease and an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Like Syndrome," Drug Safety, Volume 30, Number 6, 2007, pp. 515-525(11)
[9] Mercola.com, Cholesterol is NOT the Cause of Heart Disease, Ron Rosedale May 28, 2005 (Accessed July 3, 2009)
[10] Fallon, S. and Mary Enig. "Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven’t Been Told About Popular Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines," The Weston A. Price Foundation (Accessed July 3, 2009)
[11] American Heart Association, "What Your Cholesterol Level Means," accessed May 22, 2008 (Accessed July 3, 2009)
[12] Psychosomatic Medicine 2000;62.
[13] Epidemiology 2001 Mar;12:168-72
[14] Annals of Internal Medicine (1998;128(6):478-487), The Journal of the American Medical Association (1997;278:313-321)
[15] Journal of the American College of Cardiology July 31, 2007; 50:409-418

Comments

lgsunshine
Sep. 15th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I think it's also about what feeds what. We are presented with seemingly silver bullets - take this medication. Changes in diet and exercise require that I take on a level of responsibility. I can imagine not having the faith that a patient would be willing to make changes. I haven't made many changes to my diet. But I did make some major changes to my work out routine in both quantity and intensity. Part of listening would be to have that conversation with the patient. The silver bullet suggests to me that neither party is truly responsible for my health. Medication feels to me to be subscribed without much of a conversation. Thanks for your warm wishes.
liveonearth
Sep. 15th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
I agree completely. The problem lies in everyone's attempts to avoid responsibility. Truth is, we are most responsible for ourselves, and doctors bear responsibility for their actions and omissions as well. I think that just about everyone becomes willing to adjust their lifestyle including food choices, once they understand how essential they are to vitality and longevity. The education process, and the individual's process of becoming ready to change, are slow things, not easily done in a 5 minute office visit.

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