Lowering Cholesterol Naturally With Nutrition, Lifestyle, & Supplements



hello everybody this is dr. Shobha Saxena you might notice I have a different background because less than a half an hour ago the entire power grid around our office and neighboring town had shut down so my staff and I made we kind of did like a mission impossible I guess I would be Tom Cruise maybe not actually I'd like to think I was maybe so we're all here at my home so please bear with us love what humidity does for hair why don't you give me some thumbs up or thumbs down based on your relationship with humidity and your hair so we talked so a lot of people are feeling my humidity hair pain apparently so we talked last week about cholesterol and lipids and I want to kind of get deep into this conversation because I want to be able to recap what we said last week we are in a small town overall in our internet connection is not always so working with us so I just want to make sure that you caught those pearls in case you had any issues tracking what we were talking about so the first thing here's kind of like the quick bullet points of last week's Facebook live talking about how you can lower your cholesterol without statins that's the subject for those of you who are joining us today so number one many people look at their total cholesterol level which in the u.s. here the cutoff is 200 on the high end and people assume that if they're lower that their you know walk and easy not having to worry about heart disease which by the way is heart attacks and strokes primarily number one killer for men and women more than any other cancer combined so when we're looking at total cholesterol just because you're lower than 200 you should not get some sense of security because your total cholesterol is equal to your good plus your bad cholesterol your good cholesterol think of as healthy HDL your bad cholesterol think of as your lousy LDL so you can see you can actually have a cholesterol below 200 if you don't have enough healthy HDL and you need that actually in order to clean up plaque which develops in your arteries and then puts you at risk for stroke and heart attack so do not look at total cholesterol as your end-all be-all what you should actually be looking at more well let me actually give the next bullet point so then let's just say you took it a step further and you're looking at your lousy LDL cholesterol level and your healthy HDL this is what 95% of you are likely getting from the standard doctor's visit you see if you had normal or near normal levels on your LDL and your HDL did you know that 50% of people with heart attacks have normal or in range LDL cholesterol levels so even having an LDL cholesterol in range should give you no real sense of security in fact the latest and greatest science at Cleveland Clinic at many institutions academic and research institutions what it's showing is that your LDL cholesterol think of it as water and it gets packaged in these water balloons and depending on how much LDL is in there and then how much of this other thing that you see on your lab panel called your triglycerides so think of them as the terrible triglycerides so when your Laozi's and your terrible's make a little water balloon then depending on them the ratio they can be small and dense which is not good for you versus large and fluffy which is better for you now we don't want a lot of anytime but if you're gonna you're gonna need some LDL because LDL is important if you don't have enough LDL you get low testosterone production then that's why many people who take statins and drive their LDL cholesterol like down below 70 start having erectile dysfunction has you don't even have enough LDL to make your testosterone women it's not that much different with your female hormones so don't drive it down too low so LDL particle number is the fancy term for the water balloons so you don't want so many particles and whatever particles you have you want them to be more larger and fluffier because if your LDL water balloon or particle is small and dense what happens is is that anything that causes inflammation like stress bad nutrition bad sleep poor exercise infections blood sugar problems like pre-diabetes and diabetes got gum disease skin infections all allergies all that kind of stuff that inflames your body what that basically does is it comes and it burns this oxidant excuse me this small LDL and it makes it oxidize okay so this is my ugly LDL now this is no longer useful to your hormone production to your brain to your cells and so what your white blood cells do they're like security guards so they were walking along your blood vessels flowing they go ooh ugly oxidized LDL and they take it and they escort it under the skin of the artery we call that your endothelium so when it goes underneath it's like a big zip forming under the surface of the skin of the artery the inner skin of the artery think of like a garden hose and so as that plaque is Uzi and gooeys it I'm sorry I'm just or volcano if that makes it a little more palatable there are other forces that can make the top skin of that zit or volcano have a lot of leaks just like you can have a leaking gut that we've talked about you can have a leaky blood vessel and if that zip has enough like gook and plaque underneath the surface room or all those oxidized LDLs that are being shoved underneath the surface and if there's a lot of inflammation then those pop or you can call it a ruptured plaque and then your body's like ooh that's crazy we can't have all this you know loses it volcano stuff flowing in our bloodstream and so it makes a clot to try to patch that up because it doesn't want Matt leakage and so when it does that if the clot is too big then that blocks the flow of the blood in that blood vessel if that blood was flowing to the heart you would have a heart attack if the blood was flowing to the brain you would have a stroke so what we're gonna talk about now is how to reverse out of that problem of the uzi rupture 'is it volcano big clot oxidized LDL all those players made for the heart attack and stroke not just the LDL cholesterol you can't just look at your LDL cholesterol level on a standard lipid panel and think you know what's going on in the entire artery that contributes to your risk for heart attack and stroke that's why we suck at identifying people at risk really I mean we catch some but we miss a lot excuse my French I do say that because certain ethnicities including mine as an Asian Indian Hispanics African Americans there are and Asians in general we have a higher risk for having heart disease and if we're just going by getting our standard lipid tests and following some basic generic advice that's really not paying attention to what's going on in the artery we're just sitting ducks people and I for one refuse to be if there's good science out there that tells us otherwise so let's get to that science now what can you do to be able to make that Zipp volcano thing if you have it stabilized and if you don't have it keep it from happening alright so number one let's talk nutrition there are so many code it's that are out there I mean there's paleo there's keto there's Mediterranean there's low fat there's high fat low carb high carb I mean whatever you want it's out there and the question is for most people like what's the right one so what I would tell you is is that first of all there's no one right diet for everybody but as it relates to heart disease risk there is one diet that is studied far more than any other diet and it is the Mediterranean diet it has been shown consistently that to a minimum and when I say sugar I don't mean fruit sugar in general I'm talking about fake sugar processed sugar processed foods that contain these sugars you may want to follow a 90/10 rule I think it's very difficult for most people to go a hundred percent sugar-free if you can do it all the power to you people but if you can't you are not a failure if you only do a 90/10 or maybe you're an avid exerciser and you can get away with 80/20 but you can't have 80% sugar and 20% vegetable that for sure has been shown to be a Down okay thumbs a double thumbs down so you've got to remember there's a lot of like you know when anybody has some sort of addictive dependence on a substance and sugar is no different you'll see that there's this bargaining kind of behavior that you may be doing about sugar or your you know some unhealthy fat and that is like I'll hear people say oh well I eat broccoli yeah if you ain't broccoli once or twice a week and that's your only vegetable that will not undo your daily you know frappe and your daily like run to the vending machine for some candy or the you know the candy that you're hiding in your garage when you've had a typically hard day and you feel like you need to reward yourself because you're a good person I get that we need to come up with safer and better rewards because life is tough but sugar is not really the safe one in fact if there were three things that I would tell you that could bring your cholesterol and more specifically your oxidized LDL down it would be number one reduce slash completely avoid sugar that's number one okay that's number one lever to really make a big dent in your risk number two would be you may not like me for this but I'm just reporting the science it is to reduce your alcohol intake because alcohol my dear friends is just a sugary drink in fact it's in liquid form so the sugar can get straight in go straight to your liver not only make your liver process that sugar and turn it into terrible triglycerides and lousy LDLs but it kind of punches your liver while it's there you know I'm saying and you may or may not remember from last week's Facebook live that the liver is not only your body's blood filter one of the main blood filters but it is also the organ that regulates if you're gonna have large fluffy LDL particles or water balloons or if you're gonna have this small dense ones remember the small dense ones are the ones that can get oxidized and turn into that ugly stuff that then turns into plaque that can then turn into the volcano zit rupture which turns into clots which turns into heart attack stroke risk it all starts back with sugar alcohol so just to kind of point it out what the guidelines are a female should drink no more than one unit of alcohol a day in fact if you want to reduce your risk for breast cancer I would drop that down to three units per week one unit of alcohol is one 12-ounce beer four to five ounces of wine or one to one and a half ounces of hard liquor just just to kind of put it into perspective I mean I definitely see like the people who have their one drink which is like four units of hard liquor nope you don't get to call it one when you just get a bigger carrying container for it so we talked about nutrition right so we said good fat we want good carbs what does what is a carbohydrate well remember many of us use the word carb from the word grain but carbohydrate actually includes vegetables and grains and so we want healthy low glycemic and anti-inflammatory vegetables so guess what's not a vegetable corn white potato not our friends okay they do taste great and they are so readily available because they're so cheap that's why when you go to fast food restaurants you'll see that there's usually some white potato version but it's also because it works great as an addictive substance I mean you might know this but a white potato has more capacity to raise your blood sugar then jelly beans this is not permission to go eat jelly beans okay it means sub out for a sweet potato cuz the sweet potato for example has a lot more fiber in it and it does not raise your blood sugar like that white potato Nick's corn completely over all it is not it acts more like a grain the best vegetables are the ones that are dark green leafy for your liver they love this sulfur II kind of vegetables like broccoli and cabbage and Brussels sprouts and kale and bok choy cauliflower we also want to get a rainbow assortment of fruits and vegetables and the last little tip I'll give you is is that you're supposed to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day so that's around three to four cups worth of fruits and vegetables but for every one fruit you eat one serving of fruit you eat eat two servings of vegetables some vegetables especially those local vegetables will keep your blood sugar down and keeping your blood sugar down keeps your inflammation down that means that your small dense LDL won't get oxidized and burnt and then because it keeps your sugar down that makes your liver happy is a blood filter so that it's not making more LDL either this is especially important if you're pre-diabetic or diabetic and when you have that blood sugar and insulin problem it makes your cholesterol and heart disease risk go up significantly so whatever you can do to get your blood sugar and blood insulin under control by eating's intelligently the less your liver has to then go like oh my god what's all this sugar what am I gonna do with it because you know what it's gonna do is then take the sugar and it's gonna make terrible triglycerides and then it's gonna say oh here's some bad fat and let's put it all together and make a nice little small LDL and then that's remember going out and if you're inflamed because if your poor diet or hey maybe you had a stressful day it gets oxidized you see how that works that's why America is having a heart disease and stroke epidemic we are not making a dent in it in fact all these drugs that we are coming up with in these life-saving procedures you know they might keep you alive but they're actually not making you live any healthier because the rates continue to go up up up up up up up up up for heart attack and stroke and at younger ages so you really want to change those two levers I mentioned the first one is stop or reduce sugar drastically the 90/10 rule stop or reduce alcohol drastically 90/10 rule okay then the third big lever to reduce your cholesterol but specifically your oxidized LDL is exercise yes my friends it is the terrible a word for some of you it might be feeling like an F word for some of you but exercise does not have to be putting on some tight spandex and go into a gym and comparing your body to others and feeling bad about yourself if you don't like the way you look or let's say you have some significant like knee arthritis or back pain physical activity just moving every single day for at least five minutes every hour oh here's a little tidbit we talk about when we go on stage in front of thousands of doctors did you know that sitting is the new smoking what do I mean by that so we all know that smoking is not good for you we all know that smoking increases your risks for heart disease stroke cancer there's really nothing redeeming about smoking health-wise but if you sit on your bum for the most part of eight hours which for many of us is a workday meaning you're sitting at a computer or you might be sitting at home watching what do you call that when you binge binge watch a show if you are sitting on your bum and not getting up at least once every hour and doing something for five minutes you might as well be smoking a cigarette in terms of your heart disease risk what I mean tell me if that's shocking to you tell me if that shocks you that just sitting around is as bad and dangerous for you as smoking cigarettes again this is not permission to smoke cigarettes and eat jelly beans we are not we're not promoting that behavior in fact all you have to do is set a little alarm that recurs on your phone and once every hour I mean get up and take the trash out you know get up and go get a glass of water that's also good for you water there are that you could be doing once every hour I mean you know go love on your dog go iron something and it let's say you're at the office what we've done is we have less garbage cans in our office we have one printer so every time you print something you have to get up and go get it and you might think that's more inefficient but studies show that when people get up and moving like even during a walking conference they're actually more productive because hey by the way the most single important thing you could do to prevent dementia and make your brain healthy is to move it's to exercise I mean you can dance you can Zumba you can do whatever but just lose because it makes certain things work better your brain and your heart alright so we talked about those three levers sugar alcohol and exercise those are huge now the other thing that I want to make sure that you look out for is this thing called sleep apnea so sleep apnea ladies and some gentlemen you may notice that your partner snores at night if they're snoring and especially to the point where they almost like choke or gag on themselves or it looks like they've stopped breathing for seconds at a time you may want to go see your doctor because you may need a sleep study especially if you notice that you're tired during the day cuz because you like that cuz because I'm gonna kind of turn sideways let's see I'm gonna go this way here so that I can model no I'm gonna do it this way so that my profile is in the light here all right so let's just hope this is working out so your tongue sits it's what it's this huge organ actually relative to its size very powerful it sits right here and when you lay back to sleep your tongue can actually fall back into your throat especially your tongue is a muscle just like you can get fat you know in your thigh muscles let's say you can actually get fat in your tongue muscle and if that tongue gets fat it can actually fall down the back of your throat at night and keep you from getting oxygen so not to be overly dramatic but imagine if thirty times the night someone took a pillow and put it over your face and didn't let you breathe for five 10 15 seconds similar to like the tongue falling back in the throat so what people do is they snore they snore they get closer closer until you hear this and that's the tongue falling back and then what happens is is a certain point the brains like hello we're not getting oxygen wake this guy up or gal and then the person kind of startles but is not fully awake yeah thumbs up if you notice that maybe your partner or somebody you know like oh goodness if you ever get together with family and friends you know who those snoring people are and they probably do too because people let them know like oh my gosh you snore so loud and you almost look like you're choking or dying get checks for sleep apnea because not getting oxygen to your heart multiple times a night is very hard on the heart and it will increase your risk for heart disease now if you also have that and all that drama going on in your blood vessel with the oxidized LDL and your inflammation it's not a good combo so my next bit of advice is about stress you got to make sure that you reduce stress I'm not gonna say much more about it because what you're gonna talk a couple more minutes about the supplements that I recommend but you all know how bad stress is for you it just makes your cholesterol issues potentially worse because stress increases inflammation and remember inflammation is what can burn your small LDL and make it oxidized all right so what supplements do I think you should be considering for lowering your cholesterol so that you may not need a statin I want to make sure I say over here that if have a genetic condition that's quite rare but if you have a genetic condition called familial hyperlipidemia I am NOT suggesting that you go without statins there are certain groups of people very small group of people who really should not kind of go vigilante with just supplements they really do need to see an integrative or functional cardiologist and see what they can do to reduce their statins but for the large like 99% of us who don't have that the first supplement that I really recommend is fish oil just taking a thousand to 2,000 milligrams a day of fish oil divided with a meal will help make your small LDLs larger and fluffier okay if you don't want to take a fish oil capsule or a liquid which by the way we have one that we know works consistently with our patients called omega-3 rewrite and liquid omega-3 rewrite my friends here will put the links in if you're just like just tell me what capsules swallow don't make me eat salmon or don't make me eat what I'll call this smash fish S stands for salmon m4 mackerel a four anchovies s for sardines and H for Heron herring excuse me so if those five fish do not get you salivating then you may want to take a fish oil capsule if you're like most people and you're open to salmon you'd want to have two to four servings a week to really get your heart health in order combine that with exercise and eating all those yummy low glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats and you are on your way to doing a great job now the other supplement that I want to tell you about is one that we're gonna be putting out and launching called lipid rewrite the lipid rewrite is a specific citrus bioflavonoids has been shown to lower the LDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation and reduce kind of the blood sugar blood insulin mess that makes that whole blood-vessel city volcano rupture thing more likely to happen so this citrus by a flavonoid that's in lipid rewrite is completely safe unless of course you're allergic to the the ingredient and you can always find that out on our links but we are going to be launching that soon because we know there's many of you who might have borderline lipid issues so if you work your lifestyle and add this supplement in with some fish oil you can get more than just your lipid or cholesterol level down you are helping reduce cancer pre diabetes and heart disease stroke now one last tip before I sign off and that is on red yeast rice just a public safety warning that red yeast rice which is what a lot of kind of healthy people who like to take supplements versus pharmaceuticals will go to when they're trying to reduce their lipids you've got to be careful that register is the active ingredient in it is called mana : k and mana : k is what is similar to the statin the statins kind of main mechanism to lower cholesterol it's not exactly the same but it's quite similar in fact it's so similar that the FDA says that any reggie's rice product that controls this active ingredient called mana : k is not permitted so here's the rub if you're taking a radius rice for it to work it should have mana : k but if you're ready Streisand's that it has mana : k in it illegally because the FDA says you should not have that in any red yeast rice product because otherwise you're basically taking a statin like compound so red juice rice I'm not saying is completely wrong but I would tell you that it's not regulated very well and so you don't always know what you're getting does it have mana : K or not and that's why I prefer taking this citrus bioflavonoids because it won't deplete coq10 it won't deplete selenium it reduces inflammation it doesn't even come close to the side-effect potential of statins and red yeast rice so there's my tips on lowering your cholesterol without statins we've got a strong push for lifestyle specifically reducing sugar reducing alcohol and increasing exercise you got to compare a also parallel VAT with the Mediterranean diet you're moving you're not stressing you're not choking on yourself with sleep apnea you're taking smart supplements and you're on your way make sure you work with your doctor and look at the data of your lab tests so that you are knowing that what you're doing is working don't kind of go at it blind and just think because you're doing it you're fine so I hope this has been an informative Facebook live I apologize for going a bit over but I really wanted to make sure that we all get informed on this very important public health topic take care and have a beautiful rest of the day

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