Statins are a common type of medication often prescribed for lowering the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL). Many with poor heart health will be given statins for this exact reason – but for a lot of these people, there is one thing they all share in common.
This is the belief that the side effects of Statins far outweigh the benefits, with many questions about whether they are safe, or not. So, really This opens the door for another question…
What Are the Best Natural Alternatives to Statins?
Well, If you have high cholesterol (LDL), in most cases, statins are usually what they will give you. For many of us, as we grow older, heart problems are unfortunately a lot more commonplace.
Of course, medication is often the solution and statins are often what is recommended.
So Statins are inhibitors for lipoprotein commonly given to patients with a high risk of cardiovascular disease. They work by lowering cholesterol levels by blocking a substance in the liver.
Although, as they work to lower both HDL & LDL cholesterol this can as a result become problematic.
Mostly because what the doctor might not always tell you is that as much as our bodies can suffer from too much LDL Cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein) we likewise still need HDL Cholesterol (High-Density Lipoprotein) for energy metabolism as well as several other important functions including the synthesis of Vitamin D from sunlight.
It really can be like a kind of double-edged sword. Much like radiotherapy for cancer patients because as beneficial as the treatment can potentially be it can also be devastating to healthy cells.
So, It’s kind of like do you or don’t you? Very much like taking Statins when you know what the side effects are.
It is really just one of the countless examples when it comes to the many different pharmaceuticals, and this is exactly why someone in this situation might look for the Best Natural Alternatives To Statins for Better Heart Health.
Please keep reading if you would like to learn more. I have quite a lot to share with you today – hope this is able to help.
What Are The Best Natural Alternatives To Statins?
Now, just a bit of background on why I decided to write this. So according to my mother, who is in her mid-sixties, she was prescribed statins for her heart. She took this medication for a number of years but ultimately decided to give them up because of the negative impact this had on her health.
From what I was told by her one very big reason she decided to stop was because they made her legs swell up. She has actually suffered from thrombosis for quite a long time but this course of medication apparently made this a lot worse.
I don’t know the facts exactly but It was actually her idea that I write this post. As she asked me if I had any ideas for the best natural alternatives to statins.
I’ve kind of left this quite long but I said I would do some research and share a new article with her.
So What are the Best Natural Alternatives to Statins?
It’s a good question – I mean I get that statins must be helpful, at least to some degree. For some people, they must work because millions of people take them worldwide every single day but then I also think there are plenty of cultures around the world that don’t take statins or for that matter any other pharmaceuticals.
The Big Pharma ‘profits before health’, argument rears its ugly head yet again but is this dangerous nonsense?
I mean I don’t want to attack general practitioners and medical professionals that may recommend statins but certainly, there are many natural ways to lower cholesterol (LDL) without taking Statins. Which is a proven fact!
For instance, quite simply changing your diet and lifestyle is one very good example.
High cholesterol can be caused by a lot of generally unhealthy things – drinking too much alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs, fast food, not exercising etc.
Even some types of medication can affect cholesterol levels. Although this is perhaps the biggest argument to consider.
Why Are Statins Dangerous?
Of course, this is questionable. Some will say that Statins are not dangerous at all but according to those that have taken them and reported negative side effects here are just some of the possible reasons not to take them.
- Muscle Pain
- Elevated Blood Sugar
- Liver Inflammation
- Neurosis, Memory Loss and Confusion
- Digestive Problems and issues related to poor gut health.
You could bet there are even more than this as well.
However, just the fact that they say, as a lower-end estimate, that 10-15% of all Statin users may experience mild to severe side effects [R] – there definitely does seem to be some evidence to corroborate these claims.
It is really typical for many OTC medications and it does beg the question if there are natural alternatives to statins that will do a better job. I would say there is based on my personal beliefs –
Although you should always look at these things from both sides I think.
Why We Might Need Statins?
If we are deemed at risk to have Cardiovascular disease Statins are the main drugs that are recommended to lower lipid levels.
Basically lipoprotein and triglycerides. Both together are what create fat cells (adipose tissue) and what can not be argued is that we need the right balance of both.
Too much or too little can negatively affect the body so statins can be useful here. If our lipid levels are too high then we must find a way to lower them.
However, if they become too low then this itself is a whole other set of problems.
So yes out of all the drugs that are prescribed to lower cholesterol statins are by far the most prescribed.
This is because, it is said, that Statins are some of the only cholesterol-lowering drugs that will demonstrably reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Both of these are quite serious health conditions that can be absolutely devasting to our health and well-being. So in this respect, it is wrong to completely dismiss them.
This could be a matter of life and death but how about the best natural alternatives to statins?
How Do Statins Work?
This causes the liver to remove cholesterol from our blood which as a result affects the creation of lipids alongside triglycerides. So this can be quite beneficial as it is helping to lower LDL Cholesterol (the bad kind) but also as statins remove HDL cholesterol (the good kind) this itself creates a new problem.
It really could be argued that this is just collateral damage. You can be tested for lipid levels. Even with home tests that can be bought online and perhaps you can determine if your HDL is too low by this means. Maybe this could help you decide whether or not to stop taking statins but here is the thing.
If you have high levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides you do really need to bring this under control.
Statins might have quite a bad reputation but If they are just going to kill people and make them ill how are the pharmaceutical companies going to make any money?
The reason Statins are so popular is because they at least to some degree must work.
Although still, this is what it really boils down to and is the reason why natural alternatives to statins should be considered.
Please don’t shoot the messenger but if you do want to come off statins you do have options available.
Anyway let’s get to this list;
What Are The Best Natural Alternatives To Statins? 11 Ideas To Consider
According to my research here are 11 of the best natural alternatives to statins to help lower LDL cholesterol.
Let’s begin here…
1#.) Nuts, Pulses and Legumes
Between the three of these food sources Nuts, Pulses and Legumes there are a number of health benefits. Lowering blood sugar, increasing healthy gut bacteria and of course lowering unhealthy LDL Cholesterol.
Lentil sprouts for example or one good source that can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
Pinto beans which are popular in Mexico are another possible good alternative to statins as it helps reduce blood cholesterol by decreasing production in the liver and intestinal absorption.
Navy beans are another one to try for their beneficial effects as are peanuts. [R]
2#.) Ox Bile for Gall Bladder Health
So this is a kind of strange one and definitely not vegan-friendly but one possible treatment for lowering cholesterol is Ox Bile. Mostly because Ox Bile is a digestive aid that helps to absorb fatty tissue.
It also is thought to help support liver function by reducing cholesterol gallstone formation. With this, it means less risk of gall bladder removal which is an organ that is essential for removing excess cholesterol from our bloodstream. [R] [R]
3#.) Porridge Oats and Beta Glucan
Inside Oatmeal is a soluble fibre called Beta Glucan. This fibre can help lower LDL cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Although some sceptics say that beta-glucan is not as effective as statins still it is definitely beneficial to start each day eating a bowl of porridge as this is not only great for this but also gut health as well. [R]
4#.) Omega-3 fatty acids. (fish oil)
Interestingly consuming enough Omega 3 fatty acids does NOT lower cholesterol. It may seem strange that I have added them to this list of the best natural alternatives to statins. However, what Omega 3 Fatty Acids does is have an impact on other risk factors associated with heart disease. Such as lowering triglycerides, blood pressure and the Omega 3 Index.
Foods that contain Omega 3 include Oily fish, nuts and seeds, and some healthy vegetable oils. [R]
5#.) Niacin and B-Vitamins To Lower Cholesterol
B-Vitamins and especially Niacin (Vitamin B3) are good for lowering LDL cholesterol. Niacin in particular is said to help because it raises both HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides.
Also, it is said that Vitamin B12 Deficiency can also negatively impact heart health. Primarily because this leads to higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Making sure to add foods that are rich in these B-Vitamins is definitely a good idea here and can certainly be considered one of the best natural alternatives to statins. [R]
6#.) Red Yeast Rice to Lower Cholesterol
So not sure if this fits the criteria for natural alternatives to statins as Red Yeast Rice actually contains a natural form of lovastatin. Which as the name suggests is a statin (kind of). But yes Red Yeast Rice extract can indeed help lower cholesterol as it blocks the substance that creates cholesterol in the liver.
It (Red Yeast Rice) is created as a food by a process of fermentation where it is cultivated with Monascus Purpureus. This is a type of fungus that is naturally red in colour.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Red Yeast Rice Extract (RYRE) has been used for centuries and inside it contains many components including sterols, isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Each is known to positively affect LDL cholesterol but it also may be noted that RYRE may not be safe for everyone that takes it. More studies are needed to conclude this but as a natural form of statins, this is an interesting one. [R]
7#.) Citrus and Apple Pectin
Some studies suggest that pectin from apples and citrus fruits may be considered natural alternatives to statins for lowering LDL cholesterol. This is because pectin is thought to increase gut viscosity, a process which reduces the re-absorption of bile acids. Thus increasing the synthesis of bile acids which thereby reduces circulating blood cholesterol. [R]
Pectins are a type of water-soluble fibre found in the peelings of the likes of apples and citrus fruits. Besides lowering LDL cholesterol Pectins are linked to health benefits for lowering triglycerides, a remedy for heavy metal poisoning and treatment for acid reflux (GERD). [R]
8#.) Plant Stanols and Sterols
Known sometimes as Phytosterols these are compounds found in plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains. These compounds have a similar structure to cholesterol and are believed to work because they help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
By incorporating a healthy diet that includes plant sterols and stanols more cholesterol passes through the body and less is absorbed into the bloodstream [R]
Examples of plant-based foods that are rich in stanols and sterols include Broccoli, Red Onion, Brussel Sprouts, Spinach, Corn and Carrots. As well as Blueberries, Blackcurrants, Bananas and Strawberries. [R]
9#.) Policosanol / Cuban Sugar Cane
Another possible treatment to add to this list of alternative treatments to Statins is Policosanol.
Extracted from Cuban Sugar Cane is a mixture of alcohols that are said to help lower LDL cholesterol by decreasing cholesterol production in the liver. It is also said to help increase the breakdown of LDL cholesterol and is thought to have a positive impact on the activity of HDL cholesterol.
This is by many sceptics debatable whether this really works to lower cholesterol but on the contrary, there is plenty of research that indicates that this does indeed work.
Also besides this Policosanol has been shown to decrease the stickiness of cells in the blood known as platelets. Which may have added benefits to heart health. [R]
10#.) Psyllium Husks
According to studies from Harvard University taking 10g Psyllium Husks for 3 weeks can lower LDL cholesterol by around 13 mg/dL. [R] Psyllium for anybody that has never heard of it is a type of pseudo-grain that is very high in fibre. Many soluble fibres (if not all) are known to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.
Psyllium in particular works as a kind of gel that helps to enclose bile and its cholesterol inside the digestive system. This prevents it in its low-density form (LDL) from entering back into the bloodstream. [R]
11#.) Fenugreek and LDL Cholesterol
Fenugreek is an Asian Spice popular in both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s a popular treatment for both digestive health and metabolism. However, there is more – blood sugar control, heartburn relief and even getting rid of headlice are other benefits but most importantly Fenugreek helps keep cholesterol and triglycerides within a healthy range. [R] This is believed to be because Fenugreek increases LDL receptors which decrease cholesterol in the bloodstream.
So quite a mix here and I am sure this is not all either. If you would like to share any of your own natural alternatives to statins please let us know in the comments section below;
Can Supplements Help Replace Statins?
I think this is a good point to cover. There is most certainly plenty of supplements you can buy that claim to reduce LDL cholesterol much as Statins do. I actually doubt there will be many doctors willing to make this recommendation but nether the less getting better nutrition is a sure way to better heart health and for lowering unhealthy cholesterol.
Above, of course, I have shared 11 different natural alternatives to Statins that may be considered to help lower cholesterol. However, if you are looking for a more convenient means of sourcing the nutrients your body needs then supplements might just be something to look into. This is not as good as a healthy diet but still something for you to look at xx
*Please note some of the products below that I’m about to share may contain my affiliate links – the price you pay will not be affected but if clicking on any of these links leads to you making a purchase I may receive an affiliate commission.
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Do You Have High Cholesterol?
and IF SO – Are you looking for a way to;
- Promote Healthy Cholesterol Levels,
- Balance Out HDL/LDL Cholesterol Rations,
- Improve Liver Health and Detoxification,
- Support Healthy Tryglcerides and Homocysteine Levels. ✅
For anyone looking to give up something like Statins, there are quite a few things to consider first. Mostly making sure that you are not risking your health is the most important thing. As much as finding natural alternatives to statins might sound appealing you really should speak to your GP first to advise on the best course of action.
It may transpire that your GP will advise against you giving up your medication but still you should ask whatever you have decided. At the end of the day, your doctor should have your best interests at heart and if you have made the choice to consider alternative treatments then they should advise you on what they feel is safe and sensible.
Also, if you are looking to try a cholesterol-lowering supplement then show your doctor the ingredients and see what they have to say. Ingredients like Red Yeast Rice may raise a few eyebrows but ultimately finding the right nutritional blend to lower your LDL cholesterol could really be what makes the difference for you and your heart health.
Finally, I hope the information I have shared today is helpful to you. If you would like to share your own natural alternatives to statins for lowering LDL cholesterol then please do so in the comments section below. It would be great to hear from you. The list I have shared above I have researched from several different sources but I’m sure this is not everything.
If you would like to share your feedback or any questions I will look to respond ASAP. I will be very interested to see what you have to say and of course, anyone you know that may benefit from reading this please give this a share.
Take great care of yourself because you are worth it.
Alexander B. Chivers
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please consult a doctor before taking supplements of any kind. I’m not a medical professional and this article is for informational purposes only.
This information is not to diagnose or treat you.