By now, the side effects of cholesterol-lowering statins are well-known…
Not only that, they are largely ineffective for people who have never actually had a heart attack.
So, if you’re in general good health, why run the risk of developing diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or breast cancer, when you can take control of your health naturally?
If you do have concerns about your cholesterol level and heart health, there are far safer ways to lower your risk. A few of them can be found right in the produce aisle…
That’s because a growing number of health researchers have been examining the connection between citrus fruit and cholesterol levels.
And the evidence is mounting: these juicy treats have cholesterol-lowering benefits and may be a safe, sweet option to avoid deadly statins…
Bergamot: an exotic, natural statin
You may not be familiar with the bergamot orange, but you’ve probably enjoyed its tangy citrus aroma in Earl Grey tea.
A cross between a Seville orange and pear lemon, it looks more like a large lemon than an orange.
The sour bergamot isn’t a good snacking fruit because it tends to be acidic and tart, but it can be used in light salad dressings, or to flavor seafood dishes, baked goods, even yogurt.
Two compounds in bergamot, brutieridin and meltidin, have been studied. Both are natural antioxidants that demonstrate statin-like effects…
In a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Cardiology, researchers saw significant reduction in LDL cholesterol when subjects took 1000 mg. of bergamot extract daily for a month.
When these patients had their statins cut in half, their cholesterol levels did not increase.
If you don’t care for the bergamot’s strong citrus flavor, you can purchase bergamot extract in capsule form.
You may also want to read about bergamot’s effect on blood pressure when used as an essential oil.
If you’re not taking statins, try red grapefruit
In 2006, Israeli researchers looked at a group of 57 patients with high blood cholesterol, all of whom had recently undergone coronary bypass surgery, and whose lipid levels were not responding to statin drugs.
Patients who added either red or white grapefruit to their diets for a month showed a significant drop in blood lipid levels. Red grapefruit produced more dramatic results.
Those who didn’t eat grapefruit at all showed no change.
It’s easy to add some grapefruit to your diet. It’s a great way to wake up your senses in the morning. Add a bit of sugar if you need to.
One precaution: If you are already taking statins, it is not advisable to eat grapefruit. Doing so may actually increase the harmful side effects of the statin.
An orange a day …
All citrus fruits contain a nutrient called d-limonene. It’s what gives them their pleasant aroma.
The peels of lemons and oranges are especially high in d-limonene. This little-known nutrient has the ability to dissolve lipid-containing gallstones, and to lower cholesterol naturally.
Eating oranges, or drinking lemonade with pulp, are good ways to get some of this compound. It can also be taken in supplement form.
Other ways to enjoy citrus fruits
The possibilities here are almost endless.
- Include them in a fruit or green salad
- Make some guacamole, and squeeze in the fresh lime juice
- Make candied citrus peel: Cut the peel into long strips, and simmer in sugar and water until they’re tender. Chop them and use in baked goods, or dip the strips in melted dark chocolate.
And, while you’re at it, don’t forget these other members of the citrus family:
- Ugli fruit
Editor’s note: Did you know Americans fear Alzheimer’s more than any other disease, including cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes? But every day most of us take this one pill because the doctor tells us to — and it’s harming your mind! Just one more reason to avoid statins! Learn more in Dr. Michael Cutler’s ground-breaking guide, The Cholesterol Super-Brain. Get it today, plus two free reports!
- Bergamot polyphenolic fraction enhances rosuvastatin-induced effect on LDL-cholesterol, LOX-1 expression and protein kinase B phosphorylation in patients with hyperlipidemia — International Journal of Cardiology
- Red grapefruit positively influences serum triglyceride level in patients suffering from coronary atherosclerosis: studies in vitro and in humans — Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
- Red Grapefruit Appears To Lower Cholesterol, Fight Heart Disease — American Chemical Society
- Why You Shouldn’t Mix Grapefruit and Statins — Healthline
- Improve Your Cholesterol Numbers with Citrus Fruits — University Health News
- D-Limonene: Effective for Lowering Cholesterol Naturally and Much More — University Health News