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Cholesterol and Healthy Lipid Levels

In its natural state, cholesterol is a waxy substance that doesn't mix with blood. Cholesterol must combine with other proteins to become HDL (beneficial) or LDL (harmful). HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol scavenges LDL (low density lipoprotein) and transports it to the liver for breakdown. Antioxidants inhibit cholesterol from oxidizing onto the linings of the arteries.

High total cholesterol levels (consistently above 200 mg/dL total) are considered a risk factor for heart disease. However, low levels of HDL are also a serious risk factor for coronary disease. Raising HDL to respectable levels definitely will reduce cardiac risk. Research shows that the ratio of LDL to HDL is a better predictor for heart attack than total cholesterol, LDL, or HDL alone. A ratio of 5:1 or lower (LDL to HDL) was associated with a much lower risk for heart attack than a ratio above five.

Viewed by itself, patients' HDL should ideally be 60 mg/dL or greater. At a minimum, men's HDL should be 35 mg/dL and women's 45 mg/dL or more. This could mean that patients need to reduce LDL levels and raise HDL levels so that the ratio of LDL to HDL is lower than 5:1.

Alternate Therapies

Doctors often prescribe treatments using statin drugs like Lipitor® and Mevacor® to reduce cholesterol. Although data shows increased survival rates among people with high cholesterol and advanced heart disease who take statins, these drugs certainly aren't for everyone. The side effects of these powerful statin drugs may present symptoms that are difficult to identify, but are nonetheless harmful in the long run. These side effects include muscle pain, muscle loss, memory loss and fatigue. Please see the article on Drug Induced Nutrient Deficiency for more information. People with mildly elevated cholesterol, within the normal range, may benefit from alternate therapies.

For a person who is not in serious condition, the best way to regulate cholesterol (and blood pressure) is to eat well, exercise, and take targeted nutritional supplements.

  • Eat a modified Mediterranean diet using olive oil instead of other cooking oils, high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and spices, high in fish and low in beef and pork.5
  • Compliment this diet with high fiber sources and using garlic and onion liberally.
  • Take a robust multivitamin, such as Maximum Vitality, containing Niacin, Vitamin E tocotrienols, Coenzyme Q10, Lutein, Curcumin, and OPCs from grape seed.
  • Be sure to consume adequate magnesium.
  • If compensating for mildly elevated cholesterol within the normal range, take special supplements such as Krill Oil and/or Sytrinol.

Special Supplements for Lipid Management

The table below shows preliminary results from patient populations with elevated cholesterol. Enhancing the diet with supplements will have varying effects on individual patients. One may try different combinations until the ideal individual supplement regime is determined.

Supplement Dose Total
Cholesterol
LDL Cholesterol HDL Cholesterol Triglycerides Parameters
Fish Oil1 3 g/day -5.88% -4.56% +4.22% -3.15% n=120, t=90 days
Fish Oil6 4 g/day       -18.3% n=116, t=56 days
Krill Oil1 1-1.5 g/day* -13.44% -32.03% +43.92% -11.03% n=120, t=90 days
Krill Oil1 2-3 g/day* -18.13% -37.42% +55.30% -27.62% n=120, t=90 days
Krill Oil1 1-1.5, 0.5 g/day** -18.90% -44.40% +33.40% -25.40% n=120, t=180 days
Krill Oil + Statin2 1-1.5 g/day** + 10 mg/day   -37% +51%   n=30, t=90 days, 55% Lipitor, 45% Zocor
Statin2 10 mg/day   -29% +13%   n=65, t=270 days, 46% Lipitor, 54% Zocor
Sytrinol™ 300 mg/day -25% -23% +2% -28% n=120, t=30 days
Sytrinol™ 300 mg/day -28% -24% +4% -33% n=120, t=90 days

* Dose range dependent on BMI (body mass index).
** 1-1.5 g/day for first 90 days, 0.5 g/day maintenance dose for next 90 days.
n=number of study participants, t=time/duration of study

Krill Oil

Krill Oil was tested on a group 120 patients with mild to high hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). In a multi-clinical, 3-month, prospective, randomized study, the patients were randomly assigned to 4 groups: Krill Oil 2-3 gm/day (based on body mass index - BMI), 1.5-1.0 gm/day (based on BMI), an active control group taking 3.0 gm/day fish oil, and a placebo group. Primary parameters tested were: total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and Cholesterol/HDL ratio.Omega-3 rich fish oil generated a mild 3-5% beneficial change in cholesterol parameters. Krill oil generated a dose- and time-dependent improvement in lipid levels: LDL reduction ranging from 32-44%, triglyceride reduction ranging from 11-27%, and HDL increase from 33-55%. These changes yielded a significant improvement in the Total Cholesterol:HDL ratio.1

In a May 2006 prepublication announcement, McGill University researchers reported highlights of their study on patient lipid levels with use of Krill Oil and statin drugs. The combined KO/statin treatment increased HDL by 51% and decreased LDL by 37% compared to a 13% HDL increase and 29% LDL decrease achieved by statins alone. In the KO/statin group, 55% of patients took 10 mg/day Lipitor® and 45% took 10 mg/day Zocor®. In the placebo/statin group, 46% took Lipitor® and 54% took Zocor®.2 This study reflects the medical community’s recognition of the importance of an HDL increase and the ratio of HDL to LDL in lipid management and is seeking to improve upon the performance of statin drugs alone.

In other human studies, Krill Oil supplementation demonstrates anti-aging characteristics, makes women feel younger, demonstrates anti-wrinkle fighting power, supports healthy joints, the heart and blood sugar levels, energy production, athletic performance and liver function, and eases women's PMS symptoms.

The omega-3 fatty acids in Rejuvenation Science Biom3ga Krill Oil, which are almost exclusively EPA andDHA, come in the form of PHOSPHOLIPIDS contrary to all other marine oils where the fatty acids are in a triglyceride form. Krill Oil builds healthy cell membranes and provides antioxidant protection.

More information on Krill Oil may be found here.

Sytrinol™

Sytrinol™, a patented proprietary formula derived from natural citrus and palm fruit extracts, combines citrus polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), palm tocotrienols and other proprietary constituents. This combination results in a synergistic effect for maintaining cholesterol levels in the normal range, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as demonstrated by a long-term, three phase clinical trial.3

More information on Sytrinol™ may be found here.

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Omega-3 fish oil has a minor effect on cholesterol levels,1 but a major effect on decreased mortality risk. In a meta-analysis, published in the April 2005 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers in Basel, Switzerland reviewed over 10,000 clinical trials published between 1965 and 2003 and chose 97 for statistical evaluation. They included 275,000 subjects. The scientists compared mortality risk of diet, lipid lowering drugs categorized as statins, fibrates and resins, and nutritional supplement omega-3 fatty acids (commonly found in fish oils).4

While the fibrate class of drugs failed to influence overall mortality and mildly elevated noncardiac mortality, and while diet and resins appeared to provide insignificant benefits, statins and omega-3 fatty acids significantly lowered both overall and coronary heart disease mortality risk during the trial periods.4

The risk of overall mortality was reduced 13 percent by statins. You will find this statistic publicized by the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture statins. In the same 97 studies, mortality risk was reduced 23 percent by omega-3 fatty acid supplements - Omega-3 fatty acids provided almost double the benefit of statins. When the risk of mortality from heart disease alone was analyzed, the use of statin drugs was found to lower mortality risk by 22 percent; the use of omega-3 fatty acids lowered mortality risk 32 percent (almost 50 percent more than statins).4

Magnesium

References

  1. Bunea, R. Khassan, EF, Deutsch, L. Evaluation of the Effects of Neptune Krill Oil on the Clinical Course of Hyperlipidemia; Alternative Medicine Review; 2004; Vol 9, No. 4; 420-8.
  2. Prepublication announcement, May 4, 2006.
  3. Prepublication.
  4. Studer M, Briel M, Leimenstoll B, Glass T, Bucher H. Effect of Different Antilipidemic Agents and Diets on Mortality: A Systematic Review; Arch Intern Med. 2005 Apr 11;165(7):725-30.
  5. Estruch R. Effects of Mediterranean-Style Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145:1-11.
  6. Schwellenbach, Lisa J. “The Triglyceride-Lowering Effects of a Modest Dose of Docosahexaenoic Acid Alone Versus in Combination with Low Dose Eicosapentaenoic Acid in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease and Elevated Triglycerides.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 25, No. 6, 480-485 (2006).