Are Statins Doing More Harm than Good?

A study published recently in the British Medical Journal revealed some eye-opening facts about statins—mainly that the highly-touted cholesterol-lowering drugs end up doing more harm than good when taken as directed.

Statins work by blocking cholesterol production in the liver, which in turn causes the liver to create a type of protein that helps eliminate bad cholesterol (LDL) from the body. Unfortunately, results of the study—which included more than 2 million participants—show that statins help only a very small percentage of those who take them, but that twice as often they result in serious health problems, including liver damage, acute kidney failure, extreme muscle weakness and cataracts, as well as an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Not only that, but statins, like all synthetic drugs, are chock full of chemicals that can wreak havoc on the body and overall health.

Omega-3s: A Natural Alternative to Statins

Decades of research regarding the natural health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids has shown that a diet rich in Omega-3s helps prevent a wide range of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure, prompting experts like the American Heart Association to recommend between 1 and 4 grams (1,000-4,000mg) of combined EPA and DHA daily for people with known heart problems.

Because the standard American diet is severely lacking in beneficial Omegas, a daily Omega-3 supplement can help provide safe and effective natural support for a healthier heart. In addition, fish-derived Omega-3 fats have been shown also to improve brain, eye, and immune function, as well as promote healthy skin, bones, joints and mood.

Acid Reflux? New Studies Warn Against Acid-blocking Drugs

Each year more than 100 million Americans are prescribed acid-blocking drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for heartburn and acid reflux, but a recent series of studies may have PPI users thinking twice about whether or not they really need them—or want them.

CBS this week ran a segment about drugs like Prilosec® and Nexium® that stated that “more than half of prescriptions for these drugs are unnecessary”. What’s more, PPIs often come with serious side effects that many people are unaware of—including a nearly 75 percent greater risk of developing a severe intestinal infection known as C. diff, as well as an increased risk of developing pneumonia, and a greater incidence of bone fractures (due to the fact that PPIs block calcium absorption in the body).

Essentially, taking PPIs upsets the healthy bacterial balance in your intestines (which is where the majority of your natural immune defenses can be found), leaving your body vulnerable to illness and infection. However, experts had some good advice about smarter, safer alternatives to harmful acid-blocking drugs, many of which include simple changes in diet and lifestyle that could reduce the chances of heartburn and reflux happening in the first place:

  • Limit caffeine intake
  • Avoid fatty and/or spicy foods
  • Avoid chocolate
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Quit smoking

A natural heartburn relief supplement made with ingredients such as ellagic acid (from raspberries and pomegranates) may also help ease the pain and discomfort of occasional heartburn, and a daily digestive enzyme with added HCl can help ensure complete digestion and prevent the onset of heartburn and reflux symptoms. Daily supplementation with a high-potency probiotic supplement may also help to reestablish and maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the intestinal tract.