This edition is about:
Lowering of blood cholesterol levels using diet, herbs and statins. And how supplements can help the muscle pain experienced by some people who are taking statins.
The benefits of a side lying massage- which I do use in my treatments
Gift vouchers for Fathers' Day on 1 September
Lowering lipid levels using diet, herbs, statins and test results
The latest research into high lipid levels
I went to a seminar recently on this subject and there were some very interesting findings. Below I will share some of the highlights.
Did you know that high cholesterol begins as young as the 18-24 year olds! 35% of men sand 38% of women . And from age 55 onwards lipid levels occur in 75% of men and 82% in women!
That the drugs of choice are statins and that 10M people are on Crestor and 10M are on Lipitor.
The primary cause is genetic with elevated cholesterol and or trglycerides and a family history.
Secondary causes are diet, drugs and diseases or disordered metabolism.
The disease that has the most effect on cholesterol levels is hypothyroidism. Other diseases that effect lipid levels are metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, renal disease, PCOS and alcoholism. And of course menopause.
Hypothyroidism can cause muscle pain with the statins. Some people cannot take statins because of severe muscle pain. Also, low Vitamin D levels,(< 80nmol/L) , high levels of exercise and a family history can also cause extreme muscle pain with statins.
As we know it is LDL cholesterol that is one of the bad cholesterols plus triglycerides. To be more precise small dense(sd) LDLs and apolipoprotein A and B are very important risk factors too which need to be measured as well to determine risk.
sdLDLs (because they are so small) are able to penetrate the artery wall more easily and we get atherosclerosis. They are related to a very high carbohydrate intake especially fructose, found in syrups and fruit.
There are comprehensive pathology tests which test for these but are expensive. There are surrogate marker tests which you can work out yourself using your current total cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL levels to work out the size of the LDL particles and apolipoprotein B. If you want to find out give me a call, using your last blood tests for lipids.
So, what herbs are useful in bringing down these sd LDLsizes and numbers?
A herb called Phellodendron is very effective .
The well known herb Cucurmin or more commonly known as turmeric has many uses here:
It is an antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
decreases statin associated muscle symptoms which increases the effects of statins , therefore you may be able to reduce the dose. It can safely be used with statins too.
stabilises 'rupture prone' plaques in the artery wall.
CoQ10 - The ubiquinol form is best as it gives maximum benefit, 300mg a day. Statins can reduce the levels of COQ10 in the muscles including heart muscle so it is important to keep levels up.
Resveratrol is a potent anti oxidant and anti inflammatory agent. It protects the artery walls from damage and stabilises any plaques that may be there. There is the most resveratrol in red wine, particularly pinot noir but you would have to drink an awful lot to gain any benefit! Would defeat the whole purpose of lowering cholesterol! You can buy it in tablet form.
It seems that saturated fat is not the major issue. Several large studies have shown that whole dairy products have a neutral or positive benefit on cardiovascular health. It is the low fat alternatives laden with sugar that are more detrimental to cardiovascular health.
Fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt and cheese have been found to increase HDL cholesterol ( good) and increase large LDL particle size(good) and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Red meat - Strong association of coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes with processed meats - salami, chorizo type meats.Must reduce sodium and preservatives.
No association of unprocessed meats with the incidence of CVD.
Summary for diet
Reduce trans -saturated fats
Increase plant based foods particularly vegetables. Nitrate rich foods such as beetroot,celery,kale and chinese greens are marvellous for producing nitric oxide in the body which helps to relax artery walls.
Increase omega 3 fats whether from oily fish or fish oils.
If you do not want to go on statins, go on a 12 week diet and see if cholesterol levels are lowered. If that does not work then herbs or statins need to be considered.
If you have sany questions or need some help please do not hestate to call me.
The benefits of side lying in massage
I sometimes use sidelying as a way of more easily accessing certain muscle groups. Such as the side of the thigh and legs,waiste muscles and pectoral muscles. There are also other benefits for you as a client which I will list below.
If you have blocked sinuses, there is nothing worse than lying face down and as a result not being able to breathe.
Using pillows side on is very comforting and takes the strain off the lower back
Surgery or medical equipment
If you have had surgery on the front of your body such as heart, breast, eyes or mouth doctors' will often advise not to be face down.
Medical equipment such as pace makers, colostomy bags etc can be very uncomfortable when lying face down.
Severe lumbar or pelvic pain
A side on position allows the spine to be in a neutral position often relieving the pain, instead of having the joints compressed into the bed. Working the back muscles in this position is of greater benefit too.
In the side on position pillows in between the knees and/or at the chest or hips makes for more comfort too.
This year Fathers' Day is Sunday 1 September. I have gift vouchers available for massage for any males in your life.
They cost $80 for one hour and I can arrange to send the gift voucher out to you.
Massage is excellent if you are stressed or have a particular ailment from sport or over doing it with home renovations.
Quote of the Quarter
' I have three treasures:
1`. The first is compassion 2. The second is economy 3. The third is humility.
From compassion comes courage, from economy comes generosity, from humility comes responsible leadership.
Today men have discarded compassion in order to be bold, they have abandoned economy to be big spenders and have rejected humility in order to be first.
This is the road to death. ' From The Tao of piglet ' by Benjamin Hoff.
Think of some of our World leaders today!
Enjoy Spring with all of its new beginnings, the flowers, new leaves on trees and birds making nests.
Massage Therapist and herbalist
Ph: 02 9436 0306