/PRNewswire/ -- Eleven million people are currently lowering their cholesterol with statins -- and that number continues to climb as doctors prescribe these pharmaceuticals to those with normal cholesterol as a preventive measure. But these powerful drugs have many side effects, some of which are permanent. Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living's February issue, on newsstands now, explores these side effects and describes healthy lifestyle choices and alternatives to statins.
"Medical experts agree that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and whole grains is the key to keeping cholesterol low," said Natural Solutions' editor-in-chief, Linda Sparrowe. "Lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthier diet, taking certain supplements, and exercising regularly, can be challenging at first, but why not do what we can before resorting to drugs that may have negative effects?"
The article, "The Scary Truth About Statins," reveals some of the major side effects that come with statin drugs. Of particular concern to doctors are muscle and joint pain -- a primary reason why many people stop taking the drugs -- and neurological and cognitive function. Women should be aware of the elevated risk of breast cancer from taking statins.
The article also recommends taking three to six months (with a doctor's OK) to lose weight, especially around the middle, and begin an exercise program before starting statins. Certain supplements may also help: niacin lowers LDL and raises HDL cholesterol; the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation, thus lowering cholesterol; and red yeast rice extract, a fermented food, may lower cholesterol as well as a statin but without the side effects. Another article titled "The Heart Healthy Diet" offers several low- or no-cholesterol recipes, including dark chocolate and date truffles, vegetable frittata, and grilled cod with black bean-mango salsa.
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