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Jenny Logan.
Jenny Logan.

Many people suffer with high cholesterol, which is thought to be a factor in heart disease. It is therefore felt that reducing cholesterol levels is beneficial for health.

There are a number of dietary factors – most people are aware that eating a diet which is high in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol, therefore avoiding food like bacon, cheese, sausages, lamb and butter can be very helpful.

Making sure the diet contains plenty of good fats such as the oils found in oily fish, nuts and seeds is also sensible.

The other major influencing factors on cholesterol in the diet are sugar and fibre. Eating a diet which is high in sugar can actually also lead to higher cholesterol levels, so keep all sugars to a minimum and make sure you eat plenty of fibre, which helps to carry cholesterol from the body, for example oats, oat bran, brown rice and fresh vegetables.

However, dietary changes alone are often not enough to get a person’s cholesterol levels down. This could be due to the fact that their cholesterol was very high to begin with, or the fact that genetically they simply produce a higher amount of cholesterol.

There are a range of medical drugs, collectively referred to as statins, which are prescribed for high cholesterol. However, there are also a number of side effects commonly associated with statins, including muscle pain which can be quite severe, fatigue and even breathlessness, therefore there are a number of people who do not want to take statins.

There are also a number of people who have tried statins but have found the side effects so bad that they have been unable to continue with the medication. So we do see quite a lot of people who are looking for a natural alternative to statins which do not have the same side effects.

For those people we often suggest Solaray Cholesterol Maintenance. This contains red yeast rice which can naturally help to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol being produced by the liver and as a result naturally decreases the cholesterol levels.

One lady who tried it, came to us on her doctor’s recommendation. Because the side effects had been so severe her doctor had taken her off statins and told her to see if there were any natural products which could help.

We told her about cholesterol maintenance and she decided to give it a go. After 12 weeks, with no problems, she returned to her doctor’s to have a cholesterol test.

The results came back better than we could have hoped for, her cholesterol had reduced from 8.7 to 4.8.