Statins VS Diet

January 3, 2014 — Leave a comment

statins vs diet

After reading my article entitled The Closest Thing To An AntiAging Miracle on the Market Today a reader asked how do statins compare to diet and exercise. I’m thankful he asked that question because if one person asks, several others are probably thinking the same thing.

Dean Ornish, a prominent cardiologist, has written several books on the effects diet has on heart disease. He says “Our studies show that, with significant lifestyle changes, blood flow to the heart and its ability to pump normally improve in less than a month, and the frequency of chest pains fell by 90% in that time.” He also says. “Within a year on our program, even severely blocked arteries in the heart became less blocked, and there was even more reversal after five years. That’s compared with the natural history in other patients in our study, in which the heart just got worse and worse.”

When I first heard that diet could unclog arteries I was shocked and amazed. I didn’t even think it was possible, but the South Beach Diet, also written by a cardiologist, testifies to this as well.

It turns out statins also unclog arteries. According to Web MD, if you lower LDL cholesterol to very low levels and keep it there for two years, you can remove plaque in fairly significant quantities and partially reverse coronary artery disease,<http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol>

So what we need is study comparing both.

In 2002 a study enrolled adult 120 men with previously untreated fasting serum cholesterol between 232 and 309 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL). After 12 weeks of treatment, good and bad changes associated with diet, simvastatin 20 milligrams/day, or the combination were measured. In addition to the good effect of lowering LDL cholesterol, they also recorder the harmful nutrient depletion caused by simvastin. Specifically they recorded betacarotene levels, natural co-enzyme 10 levels called ubiquinol, and insulin function. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11829698

The results are as followed:

MEAN % CHANGES……….DIET……..SIMVASTATIN……….DIET & SIMVASTATIN

LDL-C*……………………….-10.8………………..-29.7……………………………….-40.5

Beta-Carotene……………… +8.0………………-19.5 ………………………………. -11.5

Ubiquinol…………………….+1.4……………..-22.0……………………………… -20.6

Insulin………………………..-14.0……………..+13.2………………………………. -0.8

HOMA Insulin Resistance**…….. -15.1……………. +14.1……………………. -1.0

*LDL-C – low-density lipoprotein cholesterol **HOMA – homeostasis model assessment

As you can see when used in combination, there was an additive effect related to cholesterol reduction and the modified diet counteracted the adverse effects of insulin dysfunction and nutrient depletion. The results would have been even more dramatic if a higher dose of simvastatin was use. Twenty mg’s is considered a starting dose.

But there is one thing diet will do that statins can never do, that is make you look good. Statins do not help you lose weight, have a better complexion, or any of the other wonderful things that come with a good diet.

If you have high cholesterol I highly recommend the combination of both diet and statins. I see statins as a safety-net incase you fail at diet and exercise, which is a big concern. Most people are not motivated enough to sustain the extreme changes in diet and lifestyle that Dr Ornish talks about.

But that’s not the whole story. There is something really major that statins do that diet and exercise will never do. It’s a miracle and I’m only revealing it in my book. Stay tuned.

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