Tags: Heart Disease | High Cholesterol | statin | cholesterol | supplements | raise | lower

Supplements Can Boost, or Lower, Statins' Effectiveness

Supplements Can Boost, or Lower, Statins' Effectiveness
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By    |   Saturday, 31 March 2018 05:25 PM

One in five Americans between the ages of 40 and 75 take a statin drug to prevent a heart attack or stroke. But few may be aware that mixing cholesterol-lowering drugs with certain supplements, herbs, and even foods can make them more — or less — effective.

“The biggest culprit is grapefruit juice,” Dr. Tod Cooperman, founder of ConsumerLab.com tells Newsmax Health. “Other fruit juices may also interfere with the way statins are absorbed, but we found in our testing that grapefruit juice impairs the body’s normal breakdown of statins drugs, allowing them to build up to potentially excessive levels in the blood.”

Cooperman says that since the effects of grapefruit juice may last as long as three days in your system, it should be avoided if you are taking atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev), or simvastatin (Zocor).

But some statins do not seem to be affected by grapefruit juice. These include pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol) and rosuvastatin (Crestor).

St. John’s Wort, a popular supplement used to treat depression, may decrease the blood levels of certain statins and when taken with atorvastin, can actually result in increased cholesterol levels.

Certain forms of magnesium, another popular supplement, can also negatively affect the benefits of Crestor.

“Be aware that this caveat applies not only to magnesium supplements but also to magnesium found in over-the-counter antacids and laxatives that contain this mineral,” cautions Cooperman.”

For example, taking Maalox reduced the effectiveness of Crestor by 54 percent in one study. In another study, Maalox, which contains magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide, showed a 34 percent reduction in Lipitor efficacy.

“My advice is to take any product containing magnesium at least two hours after taking the statin,” he says. “Check with your doctor about any magnesium supplement you are taking now and ask about how it interacts with your medication.”

Niacin is another cautionary supplement.

“While high doses of niacin may help to lower cholesterol, studies show that if you already take a statin, adding high-dose niacin does not appear to provide any additional benefit and may carry serious risks,” says Cooperman.

The same goes for red yeast rice extract, which contains a naturally occurring statin, lovastatin. You shouldn’t combine this product with prescription statin drugs.

By the way, ConsumerLab did a study on available brands of red yeast rice, and found that some formulations contained no cholesterol-lowering properties at all. For more information on this report, visit ConsumerLab.com.

Berberine, the yellow-colored compound found in goldenseal root, appears to be effective in people with Type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. But Cooperman says that his research shows it should avoided or used with caution when taking Lipitor, Mevacor, and Crestor.

Green tea has been touted for all its health benefits, but it can interfere with the absorption of some, but not all, statin drugs. To play it safe, take statins at least two hours before consuming this beverage.

“On the other hand, we have found that taking CoQ10 and fish oil may supplements offer benefits when taken with statin drugs,” says Cooperman.

“When you take statin drugs, you experience a decline in your levels of CoQ10, a naturally occurring anti-oxidant that’s used for energy production in every cell. Only small amounts of CoQ10 are available from food sources so it dietary supplements are recommended.”

Fish oil, used along with statins, can increase the effectiveness of the drug and help lower triglyceride levels, too.

Vitamin D can drastically reduce the classic muscle pain often associated with statin drugs according to a trial conducted at the Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati.

“Take about 800 IUs daily and you should be covered,” says Cooperman.

As always, it’s important to discuss any medication and its possible side effect and interactions with other drugs and supplements with your health care professional or pharmacist. Drug interactions account for 2,216,000 hospitalizations and cause 106,000 deaths annually.

© 2020 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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One in five Americans between the ages of 40 and 75 take a statin drug to prevent a heart attack or stroke. But few may be aware that mixing cholesterol-lowering drugs with certain supplements, herbs, and even foods can be dangerous and even deadly.
statin, cholesterol, supplements, raise, lower, effectiveness, heart, disease
Saturday, 31 March 2018 05:25 PM
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