All Posts tagged high cholesterol

Improve High Cholesterol With Artichoke Leaf Extract

In an eight-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 92 overweight subjects with mild high blood cholesterol levels, researchers from Italy examined the effects of artichoke leaf extract (250 mg, twice per day) on serum lipid profiles.

After eight weeks of treatment, subjects given artichoke leaf extract showed significant increases in beneficial HDL cholesterol with significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to subjects given a placebo. The study authors concluded that “these results indicate that [artichoke leaf extract] could play a relevant role in the management of hypercholesterolaemia, favouring in particular the increase in HDL-C, besides decreasing total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.”

Rondanelli M, et al. Beneficial effects of artichoke leaf extract supplementation on increasing HDL-cholesterol in subjects with primary mild hypercholesterolaemia: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2013 Feb; 64 (1): 7-15.


High Cholesterol Treatment – Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. The study comes from Dr. Richard Tulley at Louisiana State University (LSU). “(The) oil lowers cholesterol in healthy, moderately hypercholesterolemic adults,” says Dr. Tulley. High blood cholesterol – known as hyperlipidemia – can damage heart health. That’s because it causes fat and cholesterol to build up in your arteries. Then plaques begin to form…they harden…blocking arteries as they do…and damage your heart. This is called atherosclerosis. Dr. Tulley’s new study shows that this oil can stop that from happening.

He conducted a 10-week study with 14 volunteers. The oil was added to everyone’s diet. In fact…it made up one-third of their total dietary fat. They compared the oil with another oil blend…which had a similar fatty acid composition. The oil reduced LDL cholesterol by seven percent. And HDL cholesterol stayed the same. Dr. Tulley says the results were positive given the short time frame. “Total cholesterol was significantly lower with consumption of (the oil) than with consumption of the control diet,” says Dr. Tulley. 

At the University of Rochester Medical Center, Mohammad Minhajuddin showed the oil lowers cholesterol in humans and animals. Minhajuddin’s latest work used an isolated compound from the oil to lower cholesterol in animals. Total cholesterol levels dropped by 42 percent. Bad (LDL) cholesterol levels dropped by a whopping 62 percent. The results were published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Rice bran oil contains gamma oryzanol. It’s a combination of sterols and ferulic acid. It’s already approved in Japan to treat high cholesterol. 

Rice bran oil is extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It’s suitable for high-heat cooking. Try substituting it for olive oil next time you cook on high heat. Olive oil should be kept on temperatures below 250 degrees.

Gamma oryzanol is available as a supplement…in capsule form. Studies show 300 mg daily of gamma oryzanol can lower cholesterol.


Soy Isoflavones reduce cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, blood pressure and endothelial function

Supplementation with soy isoflavones could improve blood vessel endothelial cell function and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a new study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. Isoflavones supplementation has a valuable benefit on endothelial function.

“…exposure to soy isoflavones can modestly, but significantly, improve endothelial function” reported the researchers.

Soy foods have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, with recent evidence suggesting that isoflavones could reduce other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, such as blood pressure and endothelial function.

Endothelial dysfunction signifies the early stages of heart disease and is a predictive marker for long-term CVD and mortality.

Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery is used as an assessment tool for endothelial function. Impaired FMD response is a CVD risk factor and can precede clinically symptomatic CVD by many years.

The significant improvement in FMD observed in response to isolated isoflavone exposure is within the range deemed clinically relevant, “thereby indicating that exposure to isoflavone supplements may beneficially influence vascular health,” added the authors.

Researchers stated the key mechanism behind endothelial dysfunction involves the impaired release of nitric oxide (NO), causing blood vessels to constrict. Increased availability of isoflavone is suggested to increase NO production.

Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases Published online ahead of print

UltraMeal Plus 360 provides soy isoflavones to provide nutritional support for the management of metabolic syndrome & CVD. Check out the multiple flavor options @

Supplements used to lower cholesterol

I’ve been upset about cholesterol lowering drugs for years. I want what’s best  for you. My practice and the techniques I use are based on enhancing the nervous system through more natural alternative therapies. Cholesterol is integral to your cell membranes and is critical for nerve function. Every nerve in the body is covered in fat (cholesterol). Sixty percent of the brain is composed of fat (cholesterol). And cholesterol is vital for the production of sex hormones. Lowering cholesterol levels too much can have a very dangerous effect on brain and nerve function. From everything I read I believe that a healthy cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dl and greater than 110 mg/dl. Some studies even suggest a cholesterol of 230 mg/dl is healthy. Strive for LDL less than 100 mg/dl; HDL for males – greater than 50 mg/dl, HDL for females greater than 60 mg/dl. I am now actually  seeing patients on cholesterol lowering drugs with levels too low. Cholesterol is so important that your body does not rely on food sources alone.

How can you lower cholesterol without the use of statin drugs? These are the most consistent recommendations I have made that get results:
Most people are familiar with  garlic as a cholesterol lowering substance. Allicin, the main biologically active ingredient in garlic, along with its associated chemical constituents, have been shown to lower total cholesterol. If you use a supplement, take 600 to 1200 mg a day divided into 2 or 3 doses.

UltraMeal Plus contains phytosterols – plant extracts that are sterols. These are types of compounds that bind to the bad fat when we eat, and take it out of body. They greatly reduce the production and absorption of bad cholesterol. UltraMeal Plus can be ordered from Metagenics.

Another one of my favorites is niacin, also known as vitamin B3. It has a tremendous efficacy. Niacin can raise HDL – the “good” cholesterol – by 15 to 35 percent, making it the most effective drug available for raising HDL cholesterol. In larger doses, niacin can reverse atherosclerosis by also lowering LDL and triglyceride levels. 

Another substance that lowers cholesterol is red yeast rice. But it is not one of my favorites because it is really no different than taking Mevacor (a statin drug), and like other statins, it will interfere with CoEnzymeQ10. So, if you are taking a statin drug, I believe it’s absolutely mandatory that you supplement with CoQ10. This compound supports cardiac function and statin drugs block its production. Take 100-200 mg a day.

After several years of educating patients on the paleo diet and seeing the results on lab tests and body composition tests – I still highly recommend the paleo diet – low carb, minimizing  fruits to a max of two per day, mostly sticking to only berries in small amounts, multiple servings of non starchy veggies, especially dark leafy greens, eating lots of protein from fish, meat, eggs, and chicken. I especially recommend wild salmon 2-3 times per week, grass fed meat only, a variety of nuts & seeds especially macadamia nuts, walnuts & almonds for snacks.  I even want you to eat healthy fats:  avocado, coconut butter, use coconut oil for sauteeing, or extra virgin olive oil.  I would avoid dairy as much as possible. 
In addition I recommend omega 3 fish oils (EPA-DHA 720) daily, liquid CoQ10 (NanoCell Q10), and UltraMeal Plus medical food shakes (

Be sure your diet is high in fiber. Eating eight to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day lowers LDL cholesterol by about 5%. Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber. Also, soluble fiber supplements are available now (Metagenics has a good brand). Soluble fiber can also be taken as a weight loss aid. People who take a serving of soluble fiber in 8 oz of a calorie-free liquid 30 minutes or so before every meal tend to eat less. They lose weight without changing anything else.2-3

Of course exercise has so many benefits — maintaining function, controlling weight, lowering blood pressure, fighting depression, etc. — if exercise were a drug, it would be a blockbuster. Most people look for a pill instead of making healthy choices and taking action. Don’t be like them. Exercise is the best way to raise your HDL (the “good” cholesterol).

I have patients that are decreasing there overall cholesterol by double digit points in one month by including UltraMeal Plus medical food shakes. UltraMeal Plus contains plant sterols which have benefits in lowering cholesterol. I recommend using UltraMeal Plus as an adjunct to Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC).  If TLC is not enough, then resort to formulas such as Cholarest SC and LipotainInsinase alleviates the underlying inflammation that interrupts the signal from the insulin receptor to the glucose transport vesicles to allow glucose into cells.


Hyothyroidism & lab tests

Taken from Biotics Research Newsletter April 2010: 

The test commonly used to screen for hypothyroidism is TSH. 

Many cases of hypothyroidism are missed because screening for TSH is not always done and because TSH is an inadequate test for thyroid function. As many as 13 million Americans may have an undiagnosed thyroid problem, according to a study known as the Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study. The study w a s  p e r f ormed  b y k n o l l Parmaceutical (makers of Synthroid).

Over 25,000 participants were studied in 1995. The researchers found that nearly 9% of the participants who were not on thyroid medication were hypothyroid and a little over 1% were hyperthyroid. If this number were extrapolated to the entire US population, the number of patients with an undiagnosed thyroid problem would number 13 million. The study also found that even “subclinical” hypothyroidism may raise cholesterol levels. Research appearing in Klin Wochenschr 636-40) looked at 85 hypothyroid patients, 114 normal subjects and the implications of merely using TSH to evaluate their thyroid status.

Researchers found that T3 and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were lower in subjects with hypothyroidism compared to subjects with normal thyroid function. Treating the hypothyroid subjects with T4 gave them TSH levels on a par with the subjects who had normal thyroid function. Although the TSH level was normal, they tended to have lower T3 (which is the more active form of thyroid hormone) levels. The authors concluded that measuring TSH may not be the best way to monitor hypothyroid patients.


The British Medical Journal [BMJ 2000;320:1332-1334 (13 May)] published research examining t h e  f l aws  i n d i a g n o s i n g hypothyroidism. The authors concluded that there are indeed flaws with the way that we diagnose hypothyroidism. First of all, the research is lacking that shows us the relative importance of lab tests and symptomatology in diagnosing the thyroid. TSH production is affected by the level of thyroid hormone, but it is also affected by other things. We don’t fully understand how various illnesses affect TSH and the thyroid hormones. There is also a need to consider the possibilities of false positive and false negative results then looking at lab tests related to the thyroid. There are a lot of patients exhibiting the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but are told that their TSH is normal and that there is no problem with the thyroid.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigue (and lack of motivation), feeling cold when others do not, dry skin, constipation, depression, difficulty losing weight, brittle hair and nails that break easily, poor memory, muscle cramps, sadness or crying for no reason, high cholesterol, and frequent colds. (The patient does not necessarily have all of the  symptoms). In most medical offices, a TSH value of 6 is considered normal. The reality is that many people with a TSH higher than 3 (or even 2) exhibit many symptoms of hypothyroidism. The symptoms are the key. The lab results help, but are not a perfect way to diagnose.


Egg Whites vs Whole Egg?

Personally, I prefer eating whole eggs rather than just egg whites. I am surprised at the number of patients who eat only egg
whites for breakfast instead of the whole egg. I know the argument for egg whites only is because the whole egg contains cholesterol and saturated fats. But what you might not know is that the yolk actually contains most of the nutrients. 

The egg yolk contains 100% of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K.  The egg white doesn’t contain 100% of ANY nutrient. In addition, the yolk contains more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, B12, and 89% of the panthothenic acid.

As far as the cholesterol issue goes, eating whole eggs does NOT necessarily mean that it will raise your cholesterol. In fact, the body needs cholesterol to help you make hormones. If you eat a food that contains a high amount of  dietary cholesterol such as eggs, your body down-regulates it’s own internal production of cholesterol to balance things out. And when you don’t eat enough cholesterol, your body produces more of it anyway since it plays such an important role in our body’s hormones.

Research has shown that whole eggs raise your HDL ( good) cholesterol levels more so than your LDL cholesterol. This would improve your overall cholesterol ratio, thereby possibly lowering your risk of heart disease.

In summary, I think it is OK to eat the whole egg and I recommend you buy organic eggs with extra omega fatty acids.


Are you going to sign up for a lifetime of statin use?

Here’s my plan. Load patients up with high quality, powerful medical foods, improve food plans, and get them moving around more. We’ll watch the positive results happen and celebrate when clients can decrease the medication they are on.

See, I don’t see serious adverse side effects from the medical foods I recommend. I have lots of patients with type 2 diabetes and narrowing of the arteries. Many of them are able to decrease there dosages of the cholesterol-lowering statins and ACE inhibitors. My recommendations and efforts help get the numbers there doctors want: lower LDL and lower BP.

I am treating human beings, not a compilation of numbers. I don’t think high drug doses is the answer. I am not opposed to drug therapy but I know type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure can be helped with three months of adjusting to proper doses of protein, fats, carbs and exercises.

Are you going to sign up for a lifetime of statin use? Or are you going to try alternative therapy?