Can Natural Remedies Lower High Cholesterol Without Statins
Exercise on its own doesnt lower your LDL much often only a few points. Exercise helps minimize many heart disease risk factors, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Make a point to exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day.Diet is incredibly important in managing your cholesterol.Every patient who comes to our preventive cardiology clinic for cholesterol management sees a nutritionist as part of the visit because we feel so strongly about the importance of diet. There are many patients for whom weve delayed prescribing statins, or suggested that they get off their medication if it isnt appropriate for their level of risk.Some patients think, Im on a statin I dont have to exercise, and I can eat whatever I want! But thats not the case. Lifestyle choices absolutely matter. For high-risk patients, its not a question of either improving the diet or getting on a medication, its both lifestyle changes and taking a statin together are necessary to protect high-risk patients against heart attack and stroke.If your cholesterol is borderline but not yet high, changing your diet and incorporating healthier food choices can help lower your cholesterol a decent amount. Eating more fiber and lowering your intake of saturated fat definitely can help. For people with relatively low risk, this may be enough to lower heart attack and stroke risk.
Crestor Side Effects History
Unfortunately, the risks associated with Crestor have been evident since before the drug was even approved by the FDA, although the public was largely unaware, and its reputation is not improving. Recent studies have compared Crestor to Baycol, another powerful statin drug which was recalled in 2001 after its potential for danger became apparent, and has since been linked to over one hundred fatalities. A number of studies have detailed the harmful side effects of Crestor on individuals with high cholesterol, but a study published in The Lancet, indicates that Crestor may cause significant illness and even death in previously healthy individuals, for which the new Crestor indication is intended. According to The New York Times, the Lancet study was based upon an extensive analysis of several clinical trials involving statins. Furthermore, the study included unpublished data and the results of the Crestor clinical study that was reviewed by the FDA before the expanded use for Crestor was approved.
More Connections Between High Cholesterol And Diabetes
Smaller, denser LDL-C molecules
LDL-C cholesterol levels in people with diabetes can underestimate the cardiac risk that is posed. Borderline high LDL-C levels, along with Type 2 diabetes pose a 2 to 3 times greater risk for CVD than for people without diabetes. The LDL-C particles are proportionally smaller and are denser in people with diabetes. These particles are more likely to invade the walls of arteries and cause a significant cardiovascular problem. This typically leads to more hardening of the arteries in people with diabetes due to the small and dense LDL-C particles.
There is also a relationship between the smaller, denser, LDL-C molecules and an increase in triglycerides. It is the insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity that is the metabolic syndrome of diabetes that causes elevated triglycerides. Insulin resistance in muscles converts carbohydrate energy into triglycerides that are generated in the liver. This tends to make VLDL-C, which means that the LDL is loaded down with triglycerides. It is in persons with greater than 100 mg/dl triglycerides that we see the smallest and densest VLDL-C particles forming. This in turn increases cardiovascular disease since these small particles of bad cholesterol are predominant in the bloodstream.
Is it correct to focus on LDL-C lowering therapy for those with diabetes?
Intensive therapy to lower LDL-C
Higher insulin levels raise LDL-C levels, lower HDL-C levels, and raise triglyceride levels
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Foods To Eat And Avoid
Cutting down on fatty foods may reduce the impact of a fatty liver or NAFLD. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and foods such as bread and potatoes that release energy slowly can help.
A diet with plenty of protein is a way of obtaining adequate energy supplies without eating high-cholesterol foods. Eggs, nuts, chicken breast, and pulses are excellent sources of protein.
Eating regularly and snacking between meals can be a healthful way for a person to get enough fuel.
A person can help prevent health problems, such as damage to the liver, by reducing high levels of LDL cholesterol.
They can lower cholesterol by eating a healthful diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Saturated fats contain a high level of cholesterol.
Many fast foods, cakes, butter, fatty meats such as sausages, full-fat cheese, and cream contain saturated fats.
Taking regular exercise can help to lower a persons cholesterol. Giving up smoking can also be beneficial.
Alcohol Or Drug Use Disorder
Drinking too much alcohol or using illicit drugs may lead to liver inflammation or damage.
Liver inflammation due to alcohol consumption is called alcoholic hepatitis. When drugs are the underlying cause, doctors call it toxic hepatitis.
The symptoms of alcoholic and toxic hepatitis are similar to those of other strains of hepatitis.
If a person is experiencing symptoms of alcohol or drug use disorder, the doctor may check their liver enzyme levels and offer various forms of treatment and support.
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The Types Of Fats That Are Found In Your Bloodstream Include:
- HDL cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
- Triglycerides . Triglycerides are made in the liver from dietary carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol.
The liver plays a central role in the metabolism of fats and if it is working efficiently the liver makes more of the good cholesterol and less of the bad cholesterol . If you have a fatty liver this healthy state of affairs becomes reversed and you end up with excess levels of LDL cholesterol floating around in your circulation and this can lead to blocked and hardened arteries. Even more dangerous is the build up of triglyceride fats in the bloodstream that occurs in most people with a fatty liver. Triglycerides are sticky fats and make your blood too thick this can cause poor circulation and blood clots.
What Statins Are Available To Treat High Cholesterol
Available statin drugs
- Increased blood glucose levels.
- Reversible memory issues.
If youre unable to take statins because of the side effects, youre said to be statin-intolerant. If you are taking a statin, you should avoid grapefruit products because they can increase side effects. You should limit the amount of alcohol that you drink because combining alcohol and statin usage can increase your risk of liver damage. You may want to talk with your provider or pharmacist if you are concerned about any other types of interactions.
PCSK9 inhibitors are designed to attach to a particular liver protein, which results in lowered LDL cholesterol. This class of drug can be given with statins and is usually for people at high risk of heart disease who have not been able to lower their cholesterol enough through other means.
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About One In Three Adults Has Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease An Often
The largest organ inside your body, your liver performs hundreds of vital functions. It converts food into fuel, processes cholesterol, clears harmful toxins from the blood, and makes proteins that help your blood clot, to name a few. But an alarming number of Americans have a potentially dangerous accumulation of fat inside their livers. Known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , this condition is a leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United Statesand an increasingly recognized contributor to heart disease.
NAFLD increases the risk of heart disease independent of other traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital. Among people with NAFLD, heart disease is the top killer, accounting for more than 25% of deaths.
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Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries
- transient ischaemic attack often known as a mini stroke
- peripheral arterial disease
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease also rises as your bloods cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
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The Problem With Vegetable Oil
The vegetable oil you buy in the supermarket to cook with has usually been through a number of processes that have damaged the beneficial fats once present in the oils, and produced some toxic substances. Most oils come from seeds, nuts or fruit.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated vegetable oils are quite delicate and unstable. This means that they are easily damaged and go rancid quickly. This can make them quite harmful to our health. Currently most vegetable oils are extracted in factories through the use of heat and chemical solvents. They are exposed to light and oxygen during processing, which negatively affect the oil.
If you cook with these kinds of processed vegetable oils and heat them to high temperatures, you are further destroying them and adding to the quantity of trans fatty acids they already contain. If you eat a lot of damaged, oxidized oils, they will cause your LDL cholesterol molecules to be oxidized. This kind of cholesterol is more likely to accumulate in artery walls and block them. The inflammation generated in your body also raises cholesterol production.
Weigh Risks And Benefits With Your Doctor
Further evidence is needed before recommending that individuals take statins specifically for liver disease. While there may be a benefit, there is also a small but real risk of side effects and the consideration of cost.
If you have liver disease and are planning to start a statin for cardiovascular disease, it would be worth discussing with your doctor the risks and benefits of selecting a lipophilic statin such as atorvastatin or simvastatin. In the meantime, ongoing and future studies will help to define the precise role of these medications for preventing liver cancer and the progression of liver disease.
About the Author
Irun Bhan, MD, Contributor
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Most Common Causes Of High Ast/alt
There are MANY, MANY conditions and disease states that lead to high AST and ALT but the majority of them can be boiled down to just a few conditions.
This list below is not all encompassing but should give you a good idea on how to get started.
Emphasis should be put on #1 and #2 which will most likely account for the vast majority of slight elevations in AST and ALT in most people.
The reason you should focus on these is that they are treatable and reversible.
#1. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
This is by far the #1 cause of elevated AST and ALT in the United States with a prevalence of up to 30% and its primarily caused by insulin resistance and almost entirely preventable!
How it happens:
As you consume sugary, especially refined sugar, your body rapidly metabolizes glucose into fats or lipids in the liver through a process known as de novo lipogenesis.
As the influx of glucose becomes more than your body is able to handle this fat begins to get stored in the liver.
As fat increases in the liver, it results in damage to the liver cells.
This damage is seen in the serum as an elevation in serum levels of AST and ALT.
If the diet is not changed or if insulin resistance is not managed then this fat accumulation will eventually cause permanent and chronic damage to the liver.
This may result in complete liver failure over time.
People who have metabolic syndrome and high AST/ALT should be evaluated for diabetes and insulin resistance.
What Are Some Possible Side Effects Of Pcsk9 Inhibitors
Possible side effects include pain, including muscle pain and back pain, or swelling at the injection site and cold-like symptoms. Another drawback may be cost as these products may be expensive.
Fibric acid derivatives
Fibric acid derivatives make up another class of drugs that reduce blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats that come from food that are created when you consume calories that are not spent.
Fibric acid derivatives may also increase the level of HDL, also called the good cholesterol, while lowering liver production of LDL, the bad cholesterol. People who have severe kidney disease or liver disease should not take fibrates.
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How Are Fatty Liver Disease And Liver Fibrosis Diagnosed And Evaluated
Your doctor will begin by asking you about your medical history and symptoms. You will also undergo a physical exam.
In order to diagnose FLD and liver fibrosis, your doctor may order blood tests to evaluate liver function, including tests to assess the level of the liver enzymes ALT and AST, which can be high when the liver is fatty.
Your doctor may also order imaging tests of the liver such as:
What Causes High Cholesterol
Many factors can increase your chances of having heart problems or a stroke if you have high cholesterol.
- an unhealthy diet in particular, eating high levels of saturated fat
- smoking a chemical called acrolin, found in cigarettes, stops HDL transporting cholesterol from fatty deposits to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries
- having diabetes or high blood pressure
- having a family history of stroke or heart disease
Theres also an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. This can cause high cholesterol even in someone who eats healthily.
Read more about the causes of high cholesterol
Cholesterol Drug Zetia May Cause Serious Liver Injury Including Hepatitis And Liver Failure
Health Canada First Raised This Zetia Safety Issue In February 2005 News Reporter Discovers In December 2007 That Information Known By Merck and Schering-Plough About These Zetia Side Effects May Have Been Withheld
Back on February 1, 2005 Health Canada posted on its web site a so-called “Dear Doctor” letter about Zetia — called Ezetrol in Canada — from Merck Frosst / Schering Pharmaceuticals that was intended to draw attention to some serious side effects associated with Zetia. That 2005 Dear Doctor letter included the following:
The Warnings, Precautions, and Adverse Events sections are being updated to reflect the occurrence of the following adverse events in patients taking Ezetrol® alone or in combination with a statin:
- thrombocytopenia and
- suspected interaction between Ezetrol® and warfarin
In the U.S., however, Merck and Schering-Plough — the drug companies responsible for Zetia, here — chose not to send any corresponding Dear Doctor letter to American health care professionals, nor did the FDA mandate that they do so.
Returning to this 2005 Dear Doctor letter about Zetia, here is what was said about liver injuries to patients using Zetia and a statin drug :
Now we have some idea about why, perhaps, Zetia-induced liver injury side effects were not more widely known.
We’ll start with comments from two doctors who spoke with Mr. Berenson about this emerging drug safety issue:
How Are Doctors Sure That Statins Really Are Safe And Beneficial
Statins have been studied more than nearly any other drug that people take. In fact, more than 170,000 people who take statins have been studied in detail and for extended periods of time. We certainly know the benefits of statins.We also understand the risks of statins. In some instances, after doctors have prescribed a drug for 10 years or more, it is taken off the market because of unforeseen, adverse side effects. Weve been prescribing statins since the 1990s for patients at high risk for stroke and heart disease. With statins, the side effects actually are well known. But how can we put that in perspective?Any focus on statin side effects needs to be counterbalanced by the fact that statins reduce peoples risk of dying from heart attack, heart disease, or stroke. Data from the 2008 JUPITER Trial suggest a 54 percent heart attack risk reduction and a 48 percent stroke risk reduction in people at risk for heart disease who used statins as preventive medicine. The data are not speculative rather, they reflect statins real potential to save lives and avoid illness.There are many varieties of brand name and generic statins available. All statins work in more or less the same way to lower bad cholesterol in patients at high risk for cardiac events.Below are a few of the common brand names you may recognize, along with their generic counterparts:
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What Liver Enzymes May Be Elevated
Elevated liver enzymes indicating potential cellular damage include the following aminotransferases:
- Alanine transaminase
- Alkaline phosphatase
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase
AST and ALT are the most frequently measured enzymes, although GGT is measured occasionally, especially in alcoholic liver disease.
Adverse Effects And Hepatotoxicity
Although similar mechanisms as in CVD are involved in development and progression of liver disease, caution is required because of hepatotoxicity. Hepatic cells make a considerable contribution to cholesterol production and therefore are a major target of statins. The pharmacological activity and the hepatic metabolism of statins depend on their molecular structure and physical properties, such as lipophilicity, solubility, and absorption. Simvastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin, and atorvastatin are metabolized by cytochrome P-450, while pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and pitavastatin remain almost unaffected by any hepatic metabolic processes.
The effect of statins on aminotransferase levels in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases was investigated in several studies with contradictory results. This inconsistency may be explained by pharmacogenetics and differences in the statins used. Although statins are generally well tolerated, reports about statin-induced liver injury can be found mainly for atorvastatin and simvastatin. However, this might be coincidental since these two statins are also the two most commonly prescribed ones .
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