Lower your funeral rate
Q: I’m not touching statins with a ten-foot pole. So what’s the best way to keep my cholesterol in check?
Dr. Wright: For the most effective way to protect your heart, you need to look at the issue from a different perspective—one I’m sure no mainstream medical doctor has ever told you about.
While cholesterol is an important part of the heart-health equation, it’s not the only factor you should consider. Another well-established, major cardiovascular risk factor is inflammation. And the best and most effective way to reduce inflammation everywhere in your body -including your cardiovascular system-is to consume omega-3 fatty acids. You can get them from eating fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or mackerel or by taking 1 or 2 tablespoons of fish oil daily.
I’ve never seen anything reduce C-reactive protein (CRP, a marker of cardiovascular inflammation) to normal as rapidly and effectively as 1 or 2 tablespoons of fish oil daily. (Remember to always take it with 400 to 800 IU of mixed tocopherols in order to keep the fish oil from breaking down too quickly.) As an added bonus, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also help reduce cholesterol levels-and they do it much more safely than statin medications.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine analyzed the results of 97 controlled trials involving 276,116 randomly selected individuals taking various lipid-lowering agents (including statins and omega-3 fatty acids).
Compared with control groups (whose risk factor is arbitrarily assigned a value of 1.0), the risk for cardiac mortality (the “funeral rate” from heart-related causes) in the omega-3 fatty acid group was lower than that of the statin group (at 0.68 vs. 0.78). In fact, the risk for overall mortality (deaths from all causes) was also lower in the omega-3 group (at 0.77 vs. 0.87).
Omega-3 fatty acids may not lower cholesterol as dramatically as statins do, but, given the choice, would you opt for the treatment that promises you a lower cholesterol level or a lower funeral rate?