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Originally published June 7 2005

Healing foods beat statin drugs for lowering high cholesterol

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A recent study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" shows that eating certain foods can lower your cholesterol levels just as well as taking statin drugs. This is the second study we've seen revealing that certain foods are as effective, or even more effective, than prescription drugs in regulating biochemical markers such as cholesterol levels or in treating conditions such as chronic depression. In this particular study, researchers found that foods such as soy protein, tofu, various other soy products, plus almonds and cereal fiber, as well as plant sterols, can lower total cholesterol and especially LDL cholesterol, better than statin drugs.

Once again, this is no surprise at all to nutritionists. We have known for a long time that if you want to have healthy biochemistry and healthy cholesterol levels, you have to turn to natural foods and adopt the strategies of natural health. We've also known that drugs are all but worthless compared to the healing power of foods.

If you want to be healthy, you have to give up the standard foods available in America, such as processed and manufactured foods, and replace them with natural whole foods such as nuts and whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and then supplement your diet with nutritional supplements and superfoods. If you do that, you're going to have greatly enhanced cardiovascular health, and you're going to have normal cholesterol levels. It's basic cause and effect. This follows the laws of biochemistry: if you eat the right foods, you can't help but to have healthy cholesterol levels.

As you probably know, I've put my own statistics out there as an example for quite some time. Using nothing but healing foods and nutritional supplements combined with regular exercise and frequent doses of natural sunlight, I've been able to achieve a total cholesterol level of 129, with an LDL level of 67 and an HDL level of 62. If you ask any cardiologist, he or she will tell you that these are phenomenal numbers - that a person who shows this ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol has a near-zero chance of having a heart attack or suffering from cardiovascular disease. The point is, I got there by eating natural and super foods, relying on nutrition and physical exercise while avoiding all drugs. I take no drugs whatsoever. No over-the-counter, prescriptions nor recreational drugs, including alcohol and caffeine. There are no drugs in my system -- only good nutrition. Once you start doing that, your cholesterol will achieve very similar numbers to what I'm showing. It's natural cause and effect. It doesn't mean you'll have the exact same numbers, but they will definitely improve.

Pushing drugs for convenience

By now in our country, over half the population has total cholesterol numbers over 200. That puts them at greatly increased risk for heart attacks. When they go see doctors, however, they're mostly told to take statin drugs. It's easier for a doctor to prescribe a drug than it is to teach someone how to live a healthy lifestyle. More often than not, the doctors themselves are ignorant of the cholesterol lowering capabilities of these foods. If you ask a typical doctor to name three foods in the grocery store that are shown to directly lower cholesterol, most doctors would be unable to name even one. But there are in fact many such foods available in the grocery store.

I'll be covering this in an upcoming book called "Grocery Healing," which talks about using everyday foods to prevent and even reverse chronic disease. In this book, I'll also be talking about cholesterol. Some of the simple foods you can use to lower cholesterol are blueberries, garlic and soy products. Blueberries alone help lower cholesterol as effectively as statin drugs. If you combine that with some soy products, such as tofu or soy milk, and consume healthy nuts like almonds and macadamias in addition to fiber, then you'll dramatically lower your cholesterol and you'll most likely be able to get off statin drugs.

Statin drugs: poison for your brain

What’s really important for people to understand is that statin drugs are very dangerous drugs to be taking, especially if you take them for the long term. They can cause muscle-wasting diseases; they can cause chronic muscle pain, which can be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia; they cause mental disorders including brain fog, loss of memory, and signs of dementia or Alzheimer's. These drugs inhibit the production of healthy cholesterol in your body, meaning they interfere with sex hormones and the normal healthy functioning of the endocrine system.

These are drugs that are only appropriate for short-term use if any use at all. No patient in the world should be taking statin drugs for longer than 30 days at a time in my opinion. These drugs do not belong in the human body and they devastate the health of our population. Currently they are over-prescribed, over-hyped, over-advertised, and they are probably the next big drug crisis we're going to see down the road. We already saw a huge scandal with Vioxx and the Cox-2 inhibitors, and how drug companies have been pushing those drugs onto the population even though they were fully aware, as we now know, of the dangerous cardiovascular effects of those drugs. I think drug companies are also fully aware of the dangers of statin drugs. Down the road, this is going to go public, and statin drugs are going to be pulled off the market or seriously restricted in their use.

Why drugs? Follow the money...

The truth is, as a nation, we don't even need statin drugs. If people were told to just eat some soy products, blueberries, and garlic, while getting extra fiber in their diets and so on, then not a single person in this country would need statin drugs at all. So if you ask, "Well, why are statin drugs being used so much? Why are they so popular?" The answer has to be that they are very profitable.

Statin drugs are sold because they generate profits. They are marketed by drug companies and hyped up in the press precisely because they create revenues for companies that own the patents on these drugs. Frankly, it would be a much more effective public service message to run some ads and tell people about the wonderful cholesterol-lowering effects of blueberries, almonds, or any of the other healing foods. But that's not what you hear in this country, because that's a message that really doesn’t serve the financial interests of any company. It only helps individuals, and it's frankly not in the financial interests of large companies to make individuals healthier.

Public health isn't the goal of the pharmaceutical industry - the goal is to sell more drugs. And if that means hyping up drugs that are potentially dangerous while being simultaneously quite profitable, then that's exactly what they're going to do. Big Pharma has proven that time and time again, that that's exactly what they will do. The message that would be genuinely helpful -- the message of using regular everyday foods for healing -- doesn't see the light of day.

The bottom line is that it turns out we have 40 percent of the population in the United States of America now taking prescription drugs. Virtually all of those drugs are medically unjustified. There is no need for anyone to be on any statin drug. There is no need for anyone to be on antidepressant drugs. There is no need for people to be on beta blockers and other drugs related to cardiovascular health. You can go down a list and look at the thousands of drugs that are available, and in nearly every case, there is a food, an herb, a nutritional supplement, or a lifestyle change that will work far better and eliminate the need for that drug entirely.

And yet we live in a nation that's focused on drugs, and not focused on healing foods. If we would just turn to the healing foods, we could solve this health problem and return to a national state of outstanding health, with a shocking drop in health care costs to boot.


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