Getting off prescription drugs

If you are suffering from conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension and heart disease risk reduction; stomach acid disorders; asthma and COPD; depression and anxiety; mental disorders; pain problems, and infections and taking prescription medications to treat them, would you consider a way to safely get off these medications if you were presented with one?

In this article and the next few to follow, I want to discuss holistic approaches for these and other common health conditions—approaches that may allow you to end your dependence upon prescription drugs altogether.

Cholesterol and heart disease risk reduction

You may or may not be aware that a year ago the new cardiovascular disease risk reduction practice guidelines became the new standard of care. The scientists and doctors only considered strong data evidence for their recommendations, and since statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor such as Lipitor or Zocor) have been so extensively studied and found to reduce heart attacks, they became the main treatment recommendation. The new guidelines recommend a statin drug for anyone with known heart disease or diabetes (now considered a heart disease equivalent, not just a risk factor). Now I get to share a way to lower cardiovascular risk and get off your statin drug.

The way to cut your cardiovascular risk does not begin with supplements. It begins with these important basics:

  • Moderate exercise 150 minutes or vigorous exercise 75 minutes each week.
  • Effective stress management and adequate, consistent sleep.
  • 90 percent of your food consists of nutrient-rich whole (mostly raw) whole foods, minimal refined sugar or trans-fats and the consumption organic produce to eliminate food chemicals—especially apples, celery, cherries, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.
  • Maintaining a BMI below 25 kg/m². Quickly calculate your BMI here.
  • Optimal intestinal health: adequate stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
  • Balancing your thyroid, sex and adrenal hormones with professional guidance.

Only after achieving these basics do I recommend certain supplements supported by the scientific literature to lower cardiovascular disease risk. [1] [2] Those supplements are:

  • Vitamin K2 MK7: 100-150 mcg daily to increase arterial elasticity, decrease arterial plaque, [3] decrease coronary heart disease and total mortality.
  • Polyphenols: Resveratrol, [4] quercetin, flavonoids, red wine (6 ounces twice weekly), dealcoholized red wine, [5] purple grape juice [6] (independent of alcohol content), red grape polyphenolic extract, [7] dark chocolate, [8] [9] pomegranate juice [10] [11] and other plant-derived polyphenols [12] have all been shown to reduce endothelial inflammation [13] and/or increase nitric oxide (a vasodilator).
  • Alpha lipoic acid: Lowers blood pressure; [14] improves endothelial dysfunction; [15] reduces reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress [16] and has other cardio-protective mechanisms. [17] The optimal dose is 300-600 mg twice daily.
  • Arginine: (6 grams daily) significantly increases nitric oxide secretion which is a powerful vasodilator with endothelial anti-inflammatory effects, [18] [19] [20] especially in salt-sensitive persons. [21]
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (fish or fish oil): At 5,000 mg daily with EPA/DHA at a ratio of 3:2 lowers endothelial inflammation. [22] [23]
  • B vitamins: Niacin (vitamin B3, a.k.a. nicotinic acid) 500 – 1,000 mg is a vasodilator; the extended release form lowers blood pressure and raises good cholesterol levels. [24] [25] Also, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) stabilizes nitric oxide [26] (a potent vasodilator).
  • D-ribose: [27] Improves angina, heart failure, arrhythmias, weakness, and fatigue at 5 grams 3-4 times daily for those already diagnosed with heart disease
  • Aged garlic (Kyolic): Is clearly cardio-protective and there are multiple mechanisms for this. [28] [29] Clinical experience shows 600 mg twice daily reduces coronary artery plaque progression in people on statins. [30] [31]

High blood pressure and heart disease risk reduction

The important basics I listed above will be the first things to address. If you have known heart disease (or diabetes) and take a prescription drug for heart disease prevention, you may want to continue getting that benefit if the drug risks are low. However, if you have essential hypertension and only need prescription drugs to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range, then consider these:

  • CoEnzymeQ10 has been shown to lower blood pressure by 17 / 10 mm Hg at modest doses of 60 mg twice daily in a meta-analyses [32] of 12 studies (n=362) and in another study [33] this dose reduced blood pressure by 26 mm Hg systolic on average of the 55% who responded to treatment.
  • Green coffee bean extract contains chlorogenic acid, shown in a number of studies to significantly lower blood pressure. [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] An average daily dose of 140 mg lowered blood pressure 5.6 mmHg systolic and 3.9 mmHg diastolic.
  • Soy isoflavones [39] [40] because they contain diadzein and genistein are known to lower blood pressure.
  • Lycopene extract lowered blood pressure by 9 / 7 mm Hg in a small study [41] (n=30) for 8 weeks; when added to ACE-inhibitor, Calcium channel blocker or a diuretic medication it lowered blood pressure by 10 / 5 mm Hg. [42]
  • Carnitine (1 gram twice daily) lowers blood pressure and lowers insulin resistance. [43] [44] The optimum dose is 3 grams twice daily for the hypertensive diabetic person.
  • Taurine lowers blood pressure and has cardioprotective effects [45] at the dose of 3 grams twice daily.
  • Hawthorne berry has ACE-inhibition effects (like the prescription ACE inhibitors such as Lisinopril®) and mildly reduces systemic vascular resistance. [46] [47] [48]
  • Herbal teas like green tea extract contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to lower blood pressure. [49] Dandelion leaf tea is a mild diuretic and therefore can lower blood pressure; fresh ginger tea lowers blood pressure; [50] Hibiscus tea helped lower blood pressure according to a few studies. [51] [52]

In my next article let’s look at more conditions and how to safely get off drugs used for them. To feeling good off prescription drugs when possible.

Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Options

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[52] http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/lower-blood-pressure-naturally-zmgz11zrog.aspx#axzz2e7uDm5iF

Dr. Michael Cutler

By Dr. Michael Cutler

Dr. Michael Cutler is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine and is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder of the original Easy Health Options™ newsletter — an advisory on natural healing therapies and nutrients. His current practice is San Diego Integrative Medicine, near San Diego, California.