statins and grapfruitFor treating cholesterol problems, Western doctors prescribe statins as an overwhelming majority to any other treatment plan.  That is because they work on each element of the cholesterol panel- HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.

In order for drugs to work, they must be broken down and absorbed into the body. The process by which this happens is the work of special enzymes.

In the Grapefruit Effect, the enzymes that statins need to do their job are blocked by bergamot in, which is a chemical in grapefruit.  It is called a furanocoumarin.

If medication cannot be metabolized, it builds up in the system and causes dangerous side effects.  Grapefruit is listed primarily as the key “offender” because its furanocoumarin concentrations are higher.  But other citrus fruits can cause the same problem if consumed in high enough volumes.

The irony is that this compound is one that makes the absorption of other drugs better, thereby decreasing the dosage of that kind of drug needed to achieve the same effect.

Who would have thought that something so good for you can wreak such havoc?  This dynamic only exists because of one key element: The statin drug.

Statins are sometimes the only recourse for people with very dangerous cholesterol levels.  Many times, however, the cholesterol problem is a stubborn one and statins are necessary because taking a pill is the only treatment that a doctor feels a patient will reliably do every day.

This is a pity, since many doctors I know sometimes throw their hands up when asked about cholesterol treatments.  They don’t like to have to limit their patients’ food choices when healthy food is involved.
But they feel that their hands are tied because they can’t trust their patients to actually trade the bowl of ice cream for a bowl of grapes.

Now I know there are a good number of readers that will say, “Christian…I am very careful about what I eat and I still have a problem with cholesterol.”  This may be true, but my comments here are directed more to the people who aren’t as careful…or who may be lying to themselves about what they are actually eating.

No one likes to be lectured or shamed, especially as an adult.  Part of the reason we move out of the house is to make our own way.  But that shouldn’t mean discarding solid advice about proper nutrition when Granny or whomever tried to impart nutritional wisdom.

With that in mind, the following fruits that you may have had growing up in some form are worth working back into your diet.  Of course, diabetics should balance the sugar in these fruits as they normally would with lower-calorie foods, and everyone should be packing their diets with quality fiber.

But for now, throw these little guys in a blender with a little sugar-free yogurt and a few ice cubes:
Blueberries- Contain a powerful antioxidant in the form of a phytosterol, pterostilbene, which binds to the receptors that cholesterol would normally find.
Grapes- Packed with flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. They help naturally sweeten juices, salads, and other recipes where you might not otherwise think to use them.  They also prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Pomegranate- Increases nitric oxide in the blood, which helps reduce arterial plaque because it is a vaso-dilator. The blood vessels soften and expand, loosening the plaque.
Once you start using natural methods to Beat Cholesterol, your numbers may improve enough that your physician or mid-level may feel comfortable reducing the dosage of your statin.  With his or her close supervision, you may eventually be able to free yourself from it.

Then, you can start working grapefruit, orange, lemons, and other citrus back into your diet to make use of all the extraordinary benefits of this family of foods such as improved vision, memory, skin, and heart health.

You will also be able to start using that new bergamot tea that you weren’t able to drink before, or the bergamot essential oil that is so good for the skin.

Try my guide today for naturally reducing cholesterol, and see yourself healthier in less than 30 days.