Life Extension Update
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Adding psyllium to simvastatin as effective as doubling dose
Researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey randomized 67 patients with elevated LDL to receive 20 milligrams simvastatin plus a placebo, 10 milligrams simvastatin plus a placebo or 10 milligrams simvastatin plus psyllium for eight weeks. Treatment was preceded by a four week diet stabilization period. At the conclusion of the treatment regimen, the group who received psyllium experienced a 6 percent greater reduction in LDL cholesterol than those who received 10 milligrams simvastatin alone, which was comparable to the benefit provided by 20 milligrams simvastatin.
Lead author and professor of medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Abel E. Moreyra, MD, stated, "The results of this study present a breakthrough in the treatment of high cholesterol, providing patients with a viable option to taking high-dosage statins to lower cholesterol. This is an important new perspective because while statins are a safe and effective way to lower cholesterol, there are risks associated with a higher dosage treatment."
Chairman of the National Fiber Council and professor of the Metabolic Research Group at the University of Kentucky James Anderson, MD, commented, "This new research further validates what doctors and researchers have been saying for decades -- fiber plays a critical factor in a nutritionally balanced diet. With millions of Americans falling short of the recommended 32 grams of fiber per day, these findings make it even more critical for physicians to educate all consumers about how fiber works in the digestive system and how it contributes to overall health."
Chitosan is a fiber composed of chitin, which is a component of the shell of shellfish. Scientists in Norway have processed chitin to provide a magnetic binding affinity for fat and cholesterol in the digestive tract. Chitosan can absorb as much as seven to eight times its weight of fat and bile in the digestive tract. The fat and cholesterol are then excreted through the bowel, thereby improving bowel function and reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
One of the first studies to show a direct correlation between lowering of serum cholesterol with chitosan-suggesting that the agent could be used to inhibit the development of atherosclerosis in individuals with hypercholesterolemia-appeared in the June 1998 issue of Atherosclerosis Journal. Researchers at the Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand, found that animals fed for 20 weeks on a diet containing 5% chitosan or on a control diet attained blood cholesterol levels significantly lower in the chitosan-fed animals throughout the study and at 20 weeks were 64% below that of control animals.
Additionally, when the area of aortic plaque in the two groups of animals were compared, a highly significant inhibition of plaque deposits was observed in the chitosan-fed animals-42% and 50%, compared to 42% in the control animals. Earlier in the August-October 1994 issue of the journal ARM Medicina, Helsinki, clinical studies with chitosan demonstrated that in 5 weeks total cholesterol (LDL) was reduced by 32%, HDL increased by 7.5%, and triglycerides were lowered by 18%.
Another study done almost 20 years ago in the April 1980 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported a 25 to 30% reduction in cholesterol over a several-month period, initially documenting chitosan's potential cholesterol-lowering effectiveness.
Because of chitosan's ability to bind fat, chitosan is also an excellent aid in weight loss as well as normalization of cholesterol levels in the body.
Chitosan is a fiber composed of chitin, which is a component of the shell of shellfish. Scientists have processed chitin so that it has a high binding (absorption) affinity for fat and cholesterol in the digestive tract. Fibers such as chitosan can absorb many times their weight of fat and cholesterol. Since cholesterol is normally secreted with the bile and reabsorbed in the intestine, fibers like chitosan can help remove cholesterol from inside of the body. The absorbed fat and cholesterol are excreted through the bowel, improving bowel function.
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) helps activate chitosan in the stomach and intestine into a fat-absorbing gel.
Fiber Food provides natural, bulk-producing soluble fiber. These fibers help maintain healthy bowel function and help to maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. Fiber Food helps clean the walls of the intestines and enhances the elimination of fecal mutagens.
A newly available, all-natural supplement has been shown in human studies to significantly lower cholesterol levels—particularly of LDL, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B—thus helping to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This supplement, called Sytrinol™, is an important option for health-conscious people seeking a safe, effective, and convenient way to lower cholesterol levels without the side effects and expense of drugs.
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