Statins are the first type of medication prescribed to bring high LDL cholesterol within normal limits. However, they can have varied side-effects, and even be ineffective, in case your cholesterol problem stems from a genetic disorder.
Read on to know about the different alternatives to statins that can help treat high cholesterol.
Below are a few alternatives to statins that your healthcare provider might recommend.
Bile acid sequestrants
Sequestrants bind themselves to bile acid in the intestines and get flushed out of the body via the stool. The liver starts absorbing more cholesterol if it senses a drop-in bile acid content. This entire cycle ends in effective reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Bile-acid-binding medicines include colestipol, cholestyramine, and colesevelam.
The second most recommended form of treatment – ezetimibe, is an inhibitor medicine that has a two-pronged approach to lowering your cholesterol. It first blocks proteins that facilitate the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine, decreasing the cholesterol levels reaching the bloodstream.
Second, the inhibitors work to reduce the amount of cholesterol available to the liver. This forces the liver to make up for the loss, by absorbing cholesterol from the bloodstream. Together, these effects can successfully lower your cholesterol levels.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 or niacin is a promoter of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. It also attacks adipose tissue, ridding it off high triglyceride stores. It does this by inhibiting the synthesis of triglycerides and the secretion of LDL particulates. Although niacin is not as effective as bile acid sequestrants or ezetimibe, doctors recommend Vitamin B3 to regulate blood cholesterol levels and save you from the side-effects of statins.
Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are carriers of triglycerides and cholesterol. Fibrates, which are derivatives of fibric acid, drive the liver to reduce its production of VLDL. Simultaneously, they also speed up the process of triglyceride removal from the blood circulation. Clofibrate, gemfibrozil, and fenofibrate are examples of fibrate medicines.
Research shows that polyunsaturated fatty acids or Omega-3 fatty acids make good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. They help keep your triglyceride levels in check and are effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels. Although Omega-3s are available from food sources like fish and flaxseed, there are supplements that you should use for effectual treatment of cholesterol.
The medicine options discussed above can have potentially had side-effects and interactions with other medications. A proper consultation with your doctor is needed before you can begin alternative treatment.
High cholesterol levels are mostly a result of dietary habits. Increase your intake of naturally low-intensity saturated fat, and minimize your intake of unhealthy processed oils. The myth around saturated fat being bad for cholesterol has been disproved time and again. But remember to opt for clean, natural sources of fat, and cut your intake of processed food and sugar.
Foods that need to be included in your dietary changes include:
All green vegetables contain a yellow pigment lutein, still, spinach carries the highest amount. Lutein helps the arteries repel cholesterol particulates that can lead to artery clogging and cause a stroke or heart attack.
This fruit contains beta-sitosterol, which is a plant-based fat that attacks cholesterol molecules and decreases their rate of absorption from food.
Dark or bitter chocolate compounds are power-packed with antioxidants, these keep blood platelets from getting attached to each other and clogging the arteries. Ensure you eat dark chocolate (ideally above 70%).
- Olive Oil
Olive oil should be used for cooking purposes as it contains more plant fat that prevents cholesterol to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can be a great alternative to statins.
Beans are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as loaded with gut-healthy fiber. Fiber causes a decrease in the rate of absorption of bad cholesterol.
Research has unearthed many benefits surrounding tea. Tea has a number of antioxidant properties. It works to not only help beat cancerous cells but also helps reduce lipid concentration in the blood.
Similar to lutein, garlic carries molecules that thwart the formation of plaque, by holding back cholesterol from sticking to the walls of your arteries.
- Red Wine
If you’re drinking alcohol, opt for red wine. Red wine is rich in antioxidants and resveratrol, which protect your body from additional damage.
Oats are another cholesterol-lowering food, containing beta-glucan, which can absorb LDL cholesterol.
Physical exertion is key to keeping cholesterol numbers within the healthy range. Cardiologists recommend starting with low intensity exercises such as brisk walking or gardening and slowly build up towards a more rigorous workout routine. For example:
- Running, jogging
- Sports like tennis or soccer
If possible, you can also start weight training that will lead to muscle build up. This helps in burning more calories and improving your body’s metabolism and they can work as an alternative to statins.
Now that you know about the various alternatives to statins, go on, work that bad cholesterol out of your system, and lead a healthier life.
How to fund your college degree programRead More...
It’s not a surprising fact that college education is an expensive investment to make. This is the primary reason why most young students end up opting for jobs straight after high school. But, limited financial resources doesn’t mean that pursuing a college degree is impossible. If you happen to be in a similar situation, there is no need to be perplexed. To help you get organized and started, here are some effective strategies for funding your college degree.
Student loan – The most common remedy for alleviating the burden of college fees is taking loans from financial institutions. Usually, these are offered to students after scrutinizing factors like parent’s or guarantor’s income, academic profiles, and courses applied for. If you have an ideal financial profile, then you may secure a significant amount of loan at a lower rate of interest. However, if this is not the case then, you can consider dropping an application in a co-operative institution or federal programs.
Merit-based scholarships – Almost all the colleges you will be applying too will have a scholarship program based on merit. If you have wonderful grades and an impressive overall performance in high school, they can significantly lower your financial strain by waiving a part amount of your fees. So, ensure that you begin preparing at least a year before the college starts accepting applications. This will give you an upper hand to work on all your areas of weaknesses and help you build a better academic profile.
Scholarships outside college – There are several institutions and corporate companies which offer paying for education if you perfectly fit in the prescribed criteria. Mostly, such scholarships not only take your merit into account but also consider your financial hardships and additional setbacks. These scholarships can be meant for a single discipline of study like engineering, liberal arts, mathematics, etc. or might fund all kinds of college degrees.
Part-time job – Funding your college also involves additional expenses like accommodation, food, books, etc. Therefore, if you can support miscellaneous costs like these by getting a part-time job. Although, in such cases, time management is everything as college schedules can be demanding. So, make sure that you don’t unnecessarily strain yourself by working in long shifts.
7 factors to look for before purchasing a 4K television setRead More...
Before choosing any attractive smart TV or selecting an excellent 4K TV deal, be careful unless you want to lose some essential desired features such as Ultra-HD quality. Like every electronic product, purchasing a TV is can be complicated due to a huge number of choices, brands, and offers. Here’s a list of the aspects which one must consider while buying a 4K TV.
- Be sure that it’s 4K TV: The name 4K suggests that the TV has 4 times more resolution than a normal HD set with 1080p. In this case, the screen resolution will be 3840 x 2160 or 2160p whereas TV sets offer a maximum of only 1920 x 1080p. A 4K TV has 8 million pixels in a smart TV. This will give a clearer picture, mainly in case of larger screens. The difference might not be as evident as that of a standard definition or a high definition TV. TV sets like Microsoft’s Xbox One support 4K and online streaming sites like YouTube or Netflix demand such features. During sales, crosscheck the quality of the smart TV before going for a cheaper deal. Make sure you’re not getting a 65″ 1080p deal instead of a 4K set.
- Ensure that the TV is UHD premium: The manufacturers of TV sets have come together with UhD premium to fulfill all the fundamental criteria that the makers have agreed to. Anything less than it will give wrong features as well as won’t be safe for future. A resolution of minimum 3840*2160 with 10-bit color depth or 1024 shades of primary colors to meet the finest shades more prominent, High-dynamic range, and many other features are there for UHD premium TVs. Do the research and be sure that you are taking your desired TV.
- HDR capability: The high depth color and the richness of the high dynamic range makes a 4K TV worth buying. If you are opting for a new TV set, don’t be satisfied in any less. There is more than one kind of HDR like HDR10 format, Dolby vision format for different brands.
- Curved or Flat: In terms of TV technology, the curved TVs were hyped as the next big thing but eventually phased out. The flat screens are the thing presently. Although it depends on personal views, curved TV also offers a very good picture quality and it’s quite good in terms of reflection.
- Ensure to get 10-bit: Old technological features offer 8-bit, there is now 10- and 12-bit that have a close range of colors. According to experts, a 10-bit must future proof the TV for a long time, and is essential for real HDR display. Don’t go for anything less which might be cheaper but not worthy.
- OLED or LED: Nowadays almost all TV sets have LED display, which is a backlit one and can produce awesome brightness. However, this is not great for displaying darker images. Another costly alternative is the OLED that covers up this issue and can display perfect black pictures in spite of struggling with brighter ones. OLED screens use pixel-by-pixel basis for lighting the screen; so in the case of one dark scene, all the black pixels are completely shut off, to show a perfect black. It has more contrast that produces a richer image.
- Know about input lag and refresh rate: It’s an important aspect for video gamers as the games need to twitch like reflexes. Input lag is an obstruction in case of this factor and a lower input lag of TV can give faster image transfer from a game console or Blu-ray player onto the display screen. For most people, this is not an important factor; however, for hard-core gamers, smart TVs with low level of input lags are the best.