3 New Ways to Fight Cholesterol

In cases of high cholesterol, your first line of treatment is usually a healthy diet and increased physical activity. But, these changes aren’t always enough to substantially lower your cholesterol levels. For many of you, the next step is getting cholesterol-lowering medications. Even then, those stubborn cholesterol levels may remain high. In fact, only 1/3 of individuals with high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels have the condition under control.

The medical community is always looking for new ways to treat high cholesterol and, lately, there have been several new recommendations. Could one of these work for you?

1. Supplement sunshine

As we spend more and more time indoors, many of us have decreasing levels of vitamin D. This can harm your health in a variety of ways—including creating problems with your cholesterol levels.

A recent three-year study looked at the cholesterol-lowering attributes of vitamin D. Scientists reported that the participants who had taken this vitamin showed a notable drop (4.5%) in LDL (bad) cholesterol. The researchers weren’t confident enough to say that vitamin D supplementation is a cure-all for high cholesterol, but they did refer to it as a definite step “in the right direction.”

 If you’d like to start supplementing with vitamin D, be sure to speak with your doctor about the proper dose. Recommendations start with a daily dose of 300 units of vitamin D, but your doctor may suggest a higher amount.

2. Use less expensive medications

One study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients using less expensive generic drugs were much more likely to take their medication than patients prescribed costly brand name drugs. And, the people taking generic drugs were less likely to have a major cardiac event like a heart attack or a stroke.

Are you taking an expensive brand name prescription for your cholesterol? Ask your doctor if you could try a generic version of your medication. We also encourage you to take advantage of the savings you can get with our card. It even makes generics more affordable.

methylglyoxal

Source: Wikimedia Commons

3.  Cut back on sugar

Sugar comes in many forms, but a particular derivative of sugar could be hijacking your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. The compound called methylglyoxal (MG) is formed from glucose, commonly known as blood sugar.

Researchers recently found that MG damages HDL cholesterol and prevents it from removing the bad cholesterol from the body. Two critical factors that cause high levels of MG are short-term and chronic sugar overload.

The study suggests that cutting back on dietary sugar may help protect the HDL cholesterol in your system. This is incredibly important because, to date, there are no prescription medications that can raise HDL levels.

We encourage you to take an active role in your cholesterol treatment. This blog is just the beginning—do your own research, too! If you land on something you’d like to try, be sure to clear it with your doctor first. 

If you are on a cholesterol-lowering medication and you need help affording the prescription, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone. 

By WHBlogger 
09/28/2014 

Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health. 

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