This Could Be the Drug That Lowers Cholesterol Without Statin Side Effects?
Statins have been a hot topic of debate for years, but evidence shows they may actually make your heart health worse. While they may be effective at reducing cholesterol levels, the fact is that statins are unable to improve cardiovascular health, and they put you at risk of serious side effects.
Side effects from statins may include urinary tract infections, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, hepatitis, hyperglycemia, joint pain and muscle pain, among a long list of others. In hopes of reducing or eliminating these side effects, comes a new experimental drug — one that researchers say can lower the body’s “bad” cholesterol levels without the risks associated with statins.
Called bempedoic acid, the drug works by targeting the enzyme ATP citrate lyase. This enzyme is involved in the production of LDL cholesterol. According to a recent study, adding bempedoic acid to a statin led to a greater reduction in LDL cholesterol compared to an increase in statin dosage only. In a one-year trial, researchers studied 2,000 patients who had atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, genetically inherited high cholesterol or both conditions. All of the patients took the highest dose of a statin they could tolerate, and randomly received either a bempedoic acid or a placebo.
Results from the study showed that participants in the bempedoic group experienced a greater decline in LDL cholesterol levels, but adverse events occurred at similar rates in both groups. The FDA is requiring a cardiovascular outcome trial for the drug, which won’t be completed until 2022, so you won’t be seeing this drug on the market in the near future.
Besides the fact that the most concerning risk factors for cardiovascular disease are insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and chronic inflammation — not high cholesterol levels — natural drug-free strategies are the best way to protect your health, including your heart health. Heart-healthy strategies include:
• Reducing, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from your diet
• Consuming a good portion of your food raw
• Getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omga-3 fats from fatty fish low in mercury, such as sardines, anchovies, herring and mackerel
• Replacing harmful vegetable oils and synthetic trans fats with health fats like olive oil, grass fed butter and coconut oil
• Including fermented foods in your diet
• Checking your iron levels
• Exercising regularly
• Avoiding cigarette use and excessive alcohol consumption
• Getting plenty of high-quality, restorative sleep
• Practicing regular stress management techniques