Alternatives to Statins for Lowering Cholesterol

What is Non-Statin Drug?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is a class of medications that have been shown to reduce inflammation in various diseases including arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, gout, psoriasis and others. NSAIDs are generally considered safe when taken for short periods of time but they may cause stomach bleeding or ulcers if used long term. They are usually prescribed to relieve pain from surgery or illness.

The main reason why statins are widely used is because they work very well at lowering cholesterol levels. However, some studies suggest that they might increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Other studies show no effect on these risks, however, most doctors still recommend taking them for their benefit in preventing cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

Natural Alternatives to Statins for Lowering Cholesterol

There are many natural products that can be used instead of statins. These include:

Herbs – herbs like dandelion root, nettles, parsley and rose hips contain compounds called flavonoids which have been found to reduce cholesterol levels. Some studies show that they may even prevent heart disease. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA so it is difficult to tell how effective they really are. And some studies have shown that the amount of active ingredients in these supplements varies greatly from the amount stated on the labels.

Dietary Supplements – there are a wide range of dietary supplements that can help lower cholesterol. These include:

Garlic is believed to reduce cholesterol levels and to prevent blood clots. There is some evidence that this is true but not enough research has been done to recommend it.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in oily fish and some seeds such as flax. Some studies have found that they can reduce cholesterol levels.

Red Yeast Rice is a common ingredient in many dietary supplements. It contains a substance that is similar to the active ingredient in statins. It might be helpful in reducing cholesterol but it can cause headaches and other side effects.

Curcumin is an extract of the curry spice turmeric.

Sources & references used in this article:

Oligonucleotide therapeutics—a new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs by A Khvorova – N Engl J Med, 2017 – cardioaragon.com

… novel approach to cholesterol lowering: KONG W, WEI J, ABIDI P et al.: Berberine is a novel cholesterol-lowering drug working through a unique mechanism distinct from statins … by SA Doggrell – Expert opinion on investigational drugs, 2005 – Taylor & Francis

Efficacy and safety of alirocumab vs ezetimibe in statin-intolerant patients, with a statin rechallenge arm: the ODYSSEY ALTERNATIVE randomized trial by …, DA Gipe, Odyssey Alternative Investigators – Journal of clinical …, 2015 – Elsevier

Role of dietary supplements in lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: a review by PS Nijjar, FM Burke, A Bloesch, DJ Rader – Journal of clinical lipidology, 2010 – Elsevier

Best alternatives to statins for treating hyperlipidemia by P Bouknight, L Mackler, M Heffington – American Family Physician, 2007 – aafp.org

Pleiotropic effects of statins: benefit beyond cholesterol reduction?: A meta-regression analysis by JG Robinson, B Smith, N Maheshwari… – Journal of the American …, 2005 – onlinejacc.org

Novel lipid modifying drugs to lower LDL cholesterol by AJ Cupido, LF Reeskamp… – Current opinion in …, 2017 – ingentaconnect.com

Bayer decides to withdraw cholesterol lowering drug by F Charatan – BMJ: British Medical Journal, 2001 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Alternative approaches to cholesterol-lowering therapy by SM Grundy – American Journal of Cardiology, 2002 – ajconline.org