High Cholesterol Treatment and the Depletion of Essential Nutrients
This is a guide designed for patients with high cholesterol to help understand how commonly prescribed medications like statins deplete essential nutrients in the body, and what you can do about it
High Cholesterol Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion
If you take medication to treat high cholesterol, it’s very likely those medications are depleting essential vitamins and nutrients. This page outlines nutrients observed to be depleted by commonly prescribed cholesterol medications, and solutions that restore those nutrients to maintain healthy bodily functioning.
About Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion
Drug-induced nutrient depletion happens when the medications we take for high cholesterol or other health related issues interfere with the absorption, storage, metabolism, or synthesis of vital vitamins and minerals in our body. Over time, nutrient deprivation can make the body more susceptible to other illnesses and problems as a result of these depletions.
Considering that most people today take one or more medications to treat health problems, drug-induced nutrient depletion is quickly becoming an emerging problem on which most Americans should be educated and cognizant of how this medical knowledge affects them or their loved one’s.
About High Cholesterol
Most of blood cholesterol comes from the liver, helping cells perform their jobs and playing a key role in the function of several hormones. When we talk about blood cholesterol, we’re talking about cholesterol produced by the liver. When we talk about dietary cholesterol, we’re talking about the cholesterol we eat. We get our dietary cholesterol from foods like eggs yolk, shrimp, and certain “organ meats”, like liver.
We can raise our blood cholesterol moderately by eating too much dietary cholesterol, but its those saturated and trans fats that cause significant increases in blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, in order to control our cholesterol level through diet, we should stay away from too much red meat, butter, cheeses, creams, whole milks, and certain kinds of hydrogenated oils — like cookies, biscuits, donuts, and store-bought cakes.
Reducing High Cholesterol
The first manner by which physicians typically aim to get patients’ high cholesterol under control is through lifestyle and dietary changes. To lower cholesterol in this manner, doctors typically recommend patients with high cholesterol significantly decrease the amount of saturated and trans fats they consume; lose weight through diet and exercise; and by eating a diet high in foods shown to naturally lower blood cholesterol.
Which Foods Naturally Lower Blood Cholesterol?
Foods rich in soluble fiber have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. You can get soluble fiber by eating beans, legumes, yams, oats, barley, berries, Brussels sprouts, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
Cholesterol Lowering Medication | Statins
When lifestyle and dietary changes fail to do the job, physicians turn to a class of medications called statins. Statins are a commonly prescribed to treat high cholesterol, and have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and prevent other complications such as atherosclerosis, or heart disease.
Nearly 28% of Americans between the ages of 40 and 59 use cholesterol-lowering statins, yet less than half of adults with high LDL levels are receiving treatment. Statins are found under brands names such as Lipitor, Crestor, Mevacor, Pravacol, and Zocor. Statins work by reducing production of cholesterol by the liver, blocking the enzyme used by the liver to produce cholesterol, HMG CoA Reductase.
The Liver & Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance similar to fat that is found in every cell of the body. Two types of cholesterol exist: HDL (high-density lipoproteins), or “good cholesterol”, and LDL (low-density lipoproteins), or “bad cholesterol”.
The liver plays an important role in the regulation of cholesterol. HDL “good cholesterol” helps remove excess cholesterol from the body. LDL “bad cholesterol” creates buildups in the arteries. There’s a lot more to the liver than simply producing cholesterol, and those things are not impacted by statins. We have particles called LDL bad cholesterol floating around in the blood, and its the role of the liver to capture and clear excess cholesterol through tiny receptors.
Without these tiny receptors, too much cholesterol can build up and seep into our artery walls. When this happens, plaque build up occurs, resulting in other complications, like blocked particles which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
The problem many people with high cholesterol face is that by eating lots of saturated and trans fats, along with too much dietary cholesterol, we reduce the number and effectiveness of LDL receptors, and there’s not much statins can do to counteract this damage.
What to Do About High Cholesterol
It’s important for people with high cholesterol to take a two-pronged approach to keeping cholesterol in check. That includes a regimen of both prescription medications and lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that the combination of a healthy cholesterol diet alongside prescribed statins is way more effective than just taking statins alone.
When it comes to risk factors for heart disease, statins address just one: high cholesterol. Other risk factors for heart disease, like high blood sugar, insulin resistance, excess fat, high blood pressure, and high blood fats (or triglycerides) are not impacted by statins. Therefore, it’s especially important to include both diet, exercise an other lifestyle factors like smoking in your treatment approach.
Nutrient Depletion Caused by Statins
Lipitor is the number one selling drug on the planet, but the risk posed by Lipitor and other statins is not as well known. Statins inhibit the enzyme HMG CoA reductase, and as a result, deplete a vital nutrient commonly found in fish oils. Statins have been shown to cause the depletion of Coenzyme Q10 in the body.
In addition to side effects commonly seen due to a lack of cholesterol, as a result of not addressing statin nutrient depletion, side effect such as heart failure, muscle pain and weakness, irritability, mood swings, depression and even impotence can occur.
Less common, but serious side-effects of statins might include an increase in blood sugar levels, or type 2 diabetes; muscle cell damage by the breakdown of muscle cells and the release of a protein called myoglobin into the blood stream; liver damage; along with potential cognitive issues.
While taking cholesterol lowering statins, it’s important to consult with your physician and pharmacist about any supplements you’re considering. Long-term use of statins may increase Vitamin A levels in the blood, and should be monitored with the use of statins.
What’s more, unless discussed with your physician, red yeast rice should not be taken as a supplement when taking cholesterol-lowering drugs as this class of nutrient is shown to lower cholesterol levels. Finally, St. John’s Wart has been shown to increase metabolism of statins, which may reducing the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering medications by decreasing serum concentrations of these drugs.
Other Nutrients Depleted by Cholesterol Lowering Medications
There are other mechanisms by which common drugs used to treat high cholesterol may also deplete essential nutrients. One class of such ingredients include Bile Acid Suppressants, such as Cholestyramine. Bile Acid Suppressants have been shown to deplete:
- Vitamins A, E and K
- Folic Acid
- Calcium/ Vitamin D
- Phosphate Salts
Supplements to Restore Nutrient Depletion of Cholesterol-Lowering Medications & Statins
Many of these risks can be mitigated by ensuring your body is balanced with respect to essential vitamins and nutrients. If you or a loved one is currently taking statin or other medications for the treatment of high cholesterol, it’s crucial to assess nutrient depletion risks to avoid increased side-effects, future symptoms, or the development of co-morbid conditions.
At Davis Islands Pharmacy, we aren’t just satisfied providing you with your prescription statin to help lower bad cholesterol. We understand the risks of statins, the nutrients they are shown to deplete, and other supplements that can reduce unwanted side effects and enhance the effectiveness of your cholesterol lowering drugs. We stock and recommend only the highest quality products designed uniquely for your needs.
Solutions Rx products are developed and created by a team of local pharmacists and health care providers with a track record of optimizing overall health. Providing the body with the proper vitamins and enzymes commonly depleted by cholesterol medications, Solutions Rx Cholesterol Rx Support contains not only CoQ10, but also a combination including Vitamin B, which boosts energy levels and helps in the prevention of a wide array of other conditions including neuropathy and problems with digestion.
SolutionsRx Cholesterol Support tablets are packed with vitamins and nutrients essential for replenishing those lost by the most common cholesterol medications, including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic Acid (B5)
- Coenzyme Q10
What Dosage Should I Take?
By consuming two tablets per day of Solutions Rx Cholesterol Rx Support, our patients report a boost to their overall health, and an offset to the undesirable side-effects caused by cholesterol lowering medications.
Solutions Rx Cholesterol Rx Support combines multiple vitamins and minerals that aid patients with high cholesterol taking statins in one simple product. This specially formulated combination multi-vitamin and enzyme combination was developed with the specific purpose of eliminating the side effects of cholesterol medications as a result of drug-induced nutrient depletion.
Taking Solutions Rx Diabetes Support supplements, many patients report improvement to their overall health and well-being – the result of the restoration of nutrients depleted by the medications they are taking. Gluten free, effects of restoring nutrients with Solutions RX’s unique combination, diabetic patients report feeling better overall, and experiencing higher levels of energy and vitality!
As always, consult with your physician and pharmacist before supplementing your diet and medication regimen with any supplements. Or stop by the pharmacy to learn more about nutrient depletion and ask if Solutions Rx supplements may be right for you.