I want to share something important with you.
Many years ago I went to the doctor for something totally unrelated, and after having blood work done, I discovered that my cholesterol was high. Your cholesterol should not be over 200 and mine was over 260!
Let me tell you, I was shocked!
Even though my dad had high cholesterol, I thought that I was “ultra-healthy” and so did everyone who knew me. I worked out and I didn’t eat a lot of junk food. To top it off, I had been a chemist with a pharmaceutical company that made cholesterol-lowering drugs years before. I probably inhaled and absorbed a lifetime’s worth of that medication during my three years working with them. If anyone should have low cholesterol, believe me, it should have been me!!
I was 38 years old at the time, single, and always on the go. For the past several years, I was trekking back and forth from my home in Miami Beach to my practice in Boynton Beach, a 2 hour round trip five days a week. I got so burnt out, I finally sold my Optometry practice. In fact, I was so stressed that I even considered not practicing Optometry at all! At the same time, over the span of two to three years, Florida had been hit by a record number of hurricanes. This all added to my level of stress because when you live close to the ocean, it’s a mandatory evacuation every time there’s a hurricane warning. And I had been evacuated several times. So yes, I had a lot of stress, but who doesn’t? It was still shocking to get that diagnosis of high cholesterol.
As a licensed health professional, I knew how deadly that can be. High cholesterol can cause strokes, heart disease, and worse of all–DEATH! My doctor declared that he was placing me on medications.
My immediate reaction was “HELL NO!!” and I told him that he could write the prescription but I wouldn’t be filling it. I didn’t take even aspirin for headaches, so damned if I was going to start taking something that obviously didn’t work when I was inhaling the raw material as a chemist. So in order to appease me, he told me that he would give me a month to try and lower it myself, but then he was going to give me the medications. I could tell that he didn’t really believe that I would be able to achieve that.
Well, I proved him wrong.
When I went back to him for my 30 day check-up, my cholesterol had dropped 100 points!! He was flabbergasted, and basically told me, “well, whatever you’re doing, keep on doing it!” But I can bet, that he’s never recommended my regimen to any other patient with high cholesterol!
So, let me tell you what I did!
First, I stopped eating butter! Let me tell you, THAT was difficult! I LOVED butter, and I used it liberally. To go cold turkey, that was rough! Then, I cut out the white from my diet: potatoes, bread, pasta. All those things required butter (well for me anyway!), so that wasn’t too difficult a task.
I did some research on the internet, and discovered a natural cholesterol-lowering remedy: Chinese red-yeast rice. This product comes in capsules and has the properties of an extremely mild “statin” drug. In fact, the statin drugs were probably based off of this. I purchased a bottle, making sure to get a brand that was liver-protective. All medications, natural or synthetic, must be metabolized by the liver, so it is very important to limit the toxic load on the liver at all costs.
My research also recommended taking Fish Oil, so I added that to my regimen as well. Be careful when choosing Fish Oil. You need to make sure that the oil comes from very small fish such as anchovies or krill as large fish contain high levels of mercury.
I continued exercising and walked for thirty minutes around my neighborhood four to five times a week.
It’s as simple as that!
After sharing this information with many clients, Chinese red-yeast rice became very popular. (Not saying that I was the cause, mind you, but it seemed that way at the time!) Everywhere you looked online, there was Chinese red-yeast rice. It worked so well, the FDA took notice and suddenly "determined that red yeast rice products that contain more than trace amounts of monacolin K are unapproved new drugs and cannot be sold legally as dietary supplements".
So now, the red-yeast rice supplements that you find online and in the health food stores are not as effective as they were years ago.