Hypercholesterolemia is a collective term reflecting high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It in itself, is not the disease, but is a major underlying cause of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease/cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States at 652,091 deaths per year. Elevated cholesterol is due to abnormalities in the levels of lipoproteins in the blood. The type of hypercholesterolemia depends on which type of lipoprotein is in excess with Type IIa and Type IIb being the most common. Risk factors include diet, genetics and the presence of diabetes, hypothyroidism, sedentary lifestyle and obesity.
High cholesterol levels are treated with diets low in cholesterol, decreased refined carbohydrates, increased fiber, increased cardiovascular exercise to an extent of thirty minutes or more than six times a week, medication prescribed by your physician and by adding supplements. A major issue that should be discussed is the use of statin medications. While they can have their place in therapy, there are two major issues that arise. The first is the manifestation of muscle pain that especially plagues men. Patients typically complain of leg pain. The second is the significant drop in coenzyme-Q10 levels. This is particularly of concern as patients with hypercholesterolemia already have low levels of coenzyme Q-10. Coenzyme Q-10 is important for the mitochondrial creation and formation of energy. While all cells have mitochondria, the cells of the heart have a particularly high density.
Of course, prevention is the best defense for Hypercholesterolemia. The recipe for success is:
Follow a good diet like the Harvard Study Diet and add a bowl of oatmeal every morning
Get a personal trainer – Cardiovascular exercise. We all need the structure!
Bio-identical hormone replacement
Policosanol – 10mg twice daily (Cholarest by Metagenics)
Fish oil – 1,500mg daily (Carlson’s or Super EPA Pro by Thorne Research)
Garlic extract (Not the cooked kind!) – (Kyolic)
Coenzyme Q10 – 100mg once daily (Q-Best 100 by Thorne Research)
Shannon M. Maguadog, Pharm.D.