Good plant sterols also bind cholesterol in your gut. I like Cardo Edge, which can be taken with breakfast and dinner.
Chia seeds (two tablespoons, mixed into four or eight-ounces of water, can be taken twice a day after meals) contain the perfect ratio of soluble and insoluble fiber. They bind the cholesterol with the soluble fiber and sweep out the cholesterol with the insoluble fiber. Chia seeds can lower cholesterol about 10%, when combined with a modified Mediterranean diet.
Soluble fiber, such as beans, peas, chickpeas, hummus and lentils, are great cholesterol binders.
When a patient has really high LDL levels (say 160), and you do prescribe a statin, is there anything those patients can do to mitigate potential side effects?
If you take statins, you need to take co q 10 or ubiquinol, the active form of co q 10, because statin drugs inhibit the production of Co q 10 in the body, which is important for energy production. Lots of people on statins become tired and fatigued. I recommend taking at least 100 mg of co q 10 or ubiquinol twice daily. Co q 10 is a wonderful antioxidant which works on the fat and water soluble compartments of the body and in the brain. It protects your arteries from oxidized cholesterol, and oxidation in the body and in the brain, which is primarily fat. Doctors aren’t taught this!
Does loss of estrogen affect our cholesterol levels?
Many times when estrogen goes down, your liver will churn out more cholesterol and your good cholesterol level will decrease. Interesting, the estrogen levels of most men in their 60s is almost always higher than that of their wives. The men have an estrogen range of 30 to 60 and their wives’ estrogen levels are less than 20.
The liver actually uses cholesterol as the main foundation to produce the sex hormones estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, so it’s important to get your estrogen level to the low normal range (40 to 60). Estriol cream (.3%) can be applied to the vulva once or twice weekly, or a woman can take low-dose bi-est (20% estradiol and 80% estriol), which is a tab that’s placed between the lower lip and gum My wife is 62 and she gets the protective effects of bi-est for her cholesterol and arteries. She takes it along with bio-identical progesterone.
Why aren’t doctors routinely checking our estrogen levels, particularly during menopause?
Most doctors have been very hesitant to prescribe estrogen since the women’s health initiative study was released, back in 2002, indicating that estrogen increases the risk of blood clots, and dramatically increases the risk of breast cancer when combined with progesterone. Now, most doctors will only prescribe estrogen for short windows of time, to control hot flashes or night sweats associated with menopause. After that, you can forget it, the majority of doctors won’t touch it. But estrogen is so important for women.
Your book claims we can “beat dementia and Alzheimer’s” with our diet. Is that really possible?
A couple of years ago, Dr. Dale Bredesen, a world-renowned neurologist out of UCLA, ran a small pilot study of 10 patients with age-associated memory impairment, all the way to severe Alzheimer’s. The 36-point lifestyle and diet program he created, as a result of the study, reversed early-to-moderate Alzheimer’s in 90% of the patients.
‘Alzheimer’s is a disease that’s like having a roof with 36 holes in it,’ Dr. Bredesen explained. ‘The medical community is simply addressing one hole in the roof, and it does a good job of sealing that hole, but it’s not addressing the other 35 holes.’ Unfortunately, the doctor died shortly after the study came out and no one went on to verify his results with a larger study. Hopefully, someone will conduct a double-blind placebo study with more patients.