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Just one of the reasons that many people have a hard time with their cholesterol levels is because of how they respond to the popular statin drugs used to treat it.
For some, drug therapy appears to work, but for others… not so much.
But I have good news… and even better news further in… on how to safely manage your cholesterol, especially if you’re one of the ones playing statin-styled Russian roulette.
Medicine gets personal
It turns out that the condition of your gut microbiome (the community of bacteria that live in your gut) impacts the effectiveness of statin therapy and may impact whether a statin medication your doctor prescribes will lower your cholesterol or not.
You’ve probably read a lot lately about it — and about how, even though doctors know there’s a problem, they’re still scaring their patients into taking a statin medication — despite numerous worrisome side effects, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, to name a few.
The doctors can’t offer a viable prescription alternative and feel their patients’ lives are on the line without the drugs either way.
I think these doctors — and their patients, like you and I — need to trust our “gut” instincts…
Because it turns out that improving your gut microbiome can improve the way you respond to statin therapy — because researchers believe it’s your gut bacteria that affect whether a statin drug works to lower your cholesterol or not.
This finding is a result of a specialized kind of science called metabolomics — which entails thousands of biochemical components involved in cellular metabolism and how they affect health. According to a lead researcher in the field, it’s considered personalized medicine and reveals that not only your genetic makeup, but your gut microbiome is why we respond differently to medications.
Fixing the problem at the core
Of course, improving the diversity of your gut bacteria is a relatively easy fix…
You can take a daily probiotic. Probiotics have so many health benefits you really can’t afford not to take one. But if you have trouble remembering to take them on an empty stomach, at least half an hour before eating (so the bacteria survive the journey to your gut), you need to also eat foods that nourish your gut bacteria…
That would include plenty of fresh, preferably organic, fruits and vegetables that serve as prebiotics — a fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
Get plenty of omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in salmon, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, tuna and krill. Good for the gut and positive changes in cholesterol.
Consider adding more fermented foods to your diet, like yogurt. But don’t limit yourself: try miso, kefir, tempeh, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, kvass, natto, poi… the list goes on and on. Foods that you may not realize are fermented, include beer, wine, chocolate, bread, salami and cheese.
There are also foods you should avoid to boost your gut’s diversity. That would include over-processed foods and no-fat/low-fat foods (that rob you of healthy fats). It’s a good idea to swap out refined grains for whole grains.
Doing all of the above will strengthen your gut microbiome by diversifying the bacterial colony — and that should provide the optimal environment statin medications appear to need to work better at lowering your cholesterol.
But guess what else it will do…
You’ll find that after following these steps for a short period, your cholesterol levels find their balanced sweet spots — ALL ON THEIR OWN — without any help from a statin medication.
The exception may be if you suffer from Familial hypercholesterolemia.
But for the majority of us, whole foods and the nutrients they contain, help optimize cholesterol naturally.
In addition, normalizing your cholesterol levels naturally doesn’t carry the negative, sometimes dangerous, risks that taking a nutrient-robbing statin does.
What do I mean by nutrient-robbing?
Well, despite what you’ve been led to believe… research shows us that the link between cholesterol, heart disease and statins is inconsistent at best. Cholesterol is actually an important nutrient (a hormone) required by your body to support many functions directly related to your health…
Cholesterol helps your body make vitamin D… makes up the protective sheath that surrounds nerves and brain cells… is vital for sex hormone production and your overall neurological function.
You need cholesterol. So your aim should be to optimize it — not blindly lower it. What you eat has a profound effect on naturally obtaining normalized cholesterol.
Last but not least, cholesterol is quite literally brain food and helps you make and keep your memories. Stop for a minute and ask yourself if there is any connection between the rising rates of Alzheimer’s and the fact that the mainstream medical community is pushing statins like vitamins. Then read about the statin that doubles dementia risk.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!