Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in the United States. These diseases are so prevalent, drugs that help manage them or reduce their likeliness are as common as Nyquil. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person in the country dies from a heart disease approximately every 30 seconds. This translates to over 650,000 deaths per annum, or roughly a quarter of all deaths in the United States.
Thankfully, there are plenty of medical and pharmaceutical options that can help reduce the risk of heart disease. One such family of drugs that can improve your cardiovascular health are the statins.
But what are statins? And can you use natural statins to reduce your cholesterol?
What are Statins?
Drugs come in families, categorized according to their intended effect on your body. These drugs are given names by the United States Adopted Names Council, or USAN, an organization responsible for giving drugs simple but understandable generic names. As a rule, the USAN gives drugs that are in the same family similar names. This lets pharmacists and doctors know immediately if a drug they’re prescribing is correct for the patient’s condition.
For example, a new cholesterol medication will get a name that ends with the suffix “statin.” Drugs that belong in this family are among the most common drugs prescribed for managing high cholesterol. These drugs help your cardiovascular system in two ways.
First, certain statins prevent your body by making low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is the bad type of cholesterol. A new cholesterol medication that belongs in this category would stop your liver from using a chemical that synthesizes this type of cholesterol. The second type of statins work by reducing the cholesterol that is already in your bloodstream.
Both type of statins are long-term commitments. Unlike some medicines, these prescription drugs only help if you keep using them. You will also need to enact some significant change in your lifestyle and health if you want the statins to work for long. You will have to be careful about making your lifestyle changes. For example, you may think employing something dangerous and unproven, like the Snake Diet, to reduce weight. As with all things, you should consult with a physician before making such a radical change to your health and lifestyle.
Despite their usefulness in helping you reduce your cholesterol, not everyone can use prescription statins. Sometimes, the drugs can interact negatively with other types of medication you’re taking. Or you may just want to have an alternative to over-the-counter medication.
The following are some natural statins that can help reduce your cholesterol without pharmaceutical intervention.
If you’ve ever gotten into a healthy eating phase, you’re probably familiar with omega-3 fatty acids. This substance is found in rich, fatty fish like salmon and tuna. It can also be found in smaller fish like sardines or anchovies. There have been many studies that highlight how incorporating such fish and their oils into your diet can help lower the levels of triglyceride in your body. This can do wonders in preventing the development of heart disease. If you don’t like eating fish or can’t afford to get enough of them, you can buy fish oil capsules instead.
Fenugreek is a pant that’s endemic to southern and eastern parts of Europe as well as the western areas of Asia. The plant’s most useful part are its tiny brown seeds, which have been used in medicine for a very long time. Some studies have discovered that these seeds may have properties of a natural statin and help reduce your cholesterol. Powdered fenugreek seeds can be bought from select health food stores and supplement shops. The whole seeds can sometimes be found in grocery stores in the spice section, Indian food stores can also have fenugreek seeds among their shelves.
Sometimes yeast may grow on rice grain due to certain conditions. One kind of yeast is more boon than bane. The red yeast rice is a common food component in some Asian counties. Enterprising doctors and physicians have discovered that this is a natural statin, thanks to a chemical known as monacolin, which prevents your body from producing bad cholesterol. Unfortunately, red year rice may also cause side effect that include lightheadedness and disruption of your digestive processes.
The psyllium plant is an unlikely new cholesterol medication¸ since the herb is more often associated with constipation treatment than heart disease. The seeds and husks of the psyllium herb are rich in fiber, hence the use in constipation medication. However, consuming the powdered form of the herb, mixed thoroughly in water, can help reduce your cholesterol. Combined with its high fiber intake, psyllium has the potential not just to be a natural statin, but also as a great food supplement.
Natural statins can provide you with dietary supplements, but they aren’t as effective as their pharmaceutical counterparts. If you must reduce cholesterol but unsure of the efficacy or effects of statins, consult with your physician for viable alternatives.