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Dr Russ Blog - High cholesterol
 
Does Everyone Need A Statin?
Created on 12/6/2013
New guidelines for the management of blood cholesterol were released last month.

According to the guidelines, nearly 50 million adults between the ages of
40-79 could benefit from taking statin drugs.

Almost 50 million people - just in the US!

Can it be that human beings have evolved to where statins are necessary for good health? Read More>>
Statins and Muscle Aches
Created on 1/4/2013
Statin drugs can be very helpful in lowering cholesterol levels and lessening the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Some people, however, develop a bothersome side effect - muscle pain or weakness - that can ultimately be more than just bothersome.

The good news is that 2 supplements may help lower the risk of this side effect.

The best news of all is that the majority of people on statin drugs do not develop muscle pain or weakness. Read More>>
Egg-zactly - A Few Eggs a Week Are Okay
Created on 8/31/2012
Eggs have long been a meal staple, especially for breakfast.

But the simple egg has been at the center of controversy in recent years - how safe it is to eat them, and how many we should eat?

A recent study made the claim that eggs, specifically egg yolks, are very bad for us.

But I am not convinced, and many others aren't, either.

A few eggs each week should be fine, maybe even good for you. Read More>>
Muscle Aches with Statins - Now What?
Created on 3/6/2012
Statin drugs can be extremely effective for lowering high cholesterol levels.

Some people, however, develop aches, pains and fatigue in association with the use of statin drugs.

You can help lower your risk of developing muscle pain with statins by making sure you have adequate levels of vitamin D in your system, and perhaps by also taking the vitamin-like agent called coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

If need be, your doctor has other agents to prescribe that can help lower your cholesterol levels instead of statin drugs.  Read More>>
Muscle Aches with Statins - What to Do?
Created on 3/6/2012
Statin drugs can be extremely effective for lowering high cholesterol levels.

Some people, however, can develop aches, pains and fatigue in association with the use of statin drugs.

You can help lower your risk of developing muscle pain with statins by making sure you have adequate levels of vitamin D in your system, and perhaps by also taking the vitamin-like agent called coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

If need be, your doctor also has other agents to prescribe that can help lower your cholesterol level besides statin drugs.  Read More>>
Statins - Yes or No?
Created on 8/5/2011
High cholesterol affects a lot of people. And statin drugs help a lot of people with high cholesterol.

Not that you or your doctor should jump to drug therapy right away, of course - a healthy diet and regular exercise together help lower cholesterol.

And if that isn't enough to lower cholesterol there is at least one supplement that may help, but statins work very well and are easy to take.

Are there potential side effects? Yes, but they can often be avoided. Read More>>
How Low Can You Go (Cholesterol)?
Created on 5/7/2010
It's important to know your numbers, including cholesterol levels.

We all know how important it is to keep your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels low while keeping your "good" (HDL) cholesterol levels high.

Some research findings suggest that lowering total cholesterol levels too much can actually increase the risk of significant illness, even death. The majority of research supports the idea of "lower is better," at least when it comes to cholesterol levels, but too low may not be advantageous. 

How low is too low? That's the problem - we're not sure. Your doctor can best advise you, but there are supportive data on both sides of the fence.

Read More>>
Maybe Vitamin D Can't Do Everything After All
Created on 3/5/2010
Vitamin D seems like the "super vitamin" - it can help with almost anything, right?

Well, finally some data that suggest vitamin D can't cure everything...

A recent trial looking at women who took both calcium and low-dose vitamin D supplements over 5 years had similar changes in their cholesterol levels compared to women taking placebo pills.

Vitamin D still rocks (!), and the dose used in the study was low, but there are better ways to manage your high cholesterol levels. If you're interested, read on... Read More>>
One Way Yeast Can Be a Good Thing
Created on 7/7/2009
Red yeast rice is a supplement made from rice fermented with Monascus purpureus yeast. Interestingly, it naturally contains a mixture of small amounts of the active ingredients found in some statin drugs, and has been shown to help lower "bad" cholesterol levels.

A recent study suggests that red yeast rice could be a reasonable alternative for controlling cholesterol in people who cannot take statins.

BUT - it's not for everyone, has to be taken multiple times a day, and can have side effects. If you're interested in using red yeast rice speak with your doctor about it first to be sure it's a good choice for you. Read More>>
What if treating high cholesterol causes pain?
Created on 4/7/2009
The combination of high cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels can point to an increased risk for heart disease. Doctors often prescribe statin drugs to help lower cholesterol levels, which are typically very effective. Some people, however, develop muscle aches and pains when taking statin drugs.

If muscle discomfort develops after you begin using a statin drug (any drug!) be sure to speak with your doctor, as your medication may need to be changed.

Some experts believe that the muscle pain sometimes seen with statin drugs is actually related to low vitamin D levels. You might ask your doctor if having a vitamin D level drawn would be worthwhile.  Read More>>
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