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Supplements vs. Statins

Posted by moddoctor On July - 18 - 2008

The July Mayo Clinic Proceedings features an interesting study by the University of Pennsylvania. Penn’s team compared red yeast rice plus fish oil to statin drugs relative to improvement in serum lipids and triglycerides. The study randomly assigned patients to two groups. Either the patients were assigned to take prescription Zocor (simvastatin) or the fish oil plus red yeast rice. The supplement group also commited to lifestyle change and were trained regarding Mediterranean dietary choices.

The findings proved interesting. Both groups showed significant improvement in lipids and triglycerides, but the lifestyle and supplement group also lost weight. The weight loss was a significant 12 pounds on median. Now while this study is preliminary and needs to be repeated with a larger group it does suggest strongly that aging against the machine doesn’t necessarily have to include drugs like statins.

For those interested in replicating the protocol themselves: The fish oil capsules contained 351mg of EPA and 280mg of DHA per dose. The red yeast rice tablets contained 5.3mg of monacolins per dose. Shop around and read labels at the vitamin shop and this shouldn’t be too hard to replicate.

2 Responses to “Supplements vs. Statins”

  1. John C. Campbell III says:

    Summarily, the base active agent in “manufactured” statin prescriptions … (lovastin) … is the same that is the active compound (a toxin) in Red Rice Yeast … Google for “SpaceDoc” and look at Dr. Duane Graveline’s site for starters …

  2. moddoctor says:

    While true to a point, it’s worth noting that the fraction of active compounds in Red Yeast Rice that is chemically identical (monacolin K) is minute, 2.53mg in each dose in the study. Compate this to 20mg of the commercial product Mevacor as a typical starting dose. So, either there is a synergistic effect of providing the surrounding monacolin compounds or the fish oil or both.

    Use of HMG-CoA reductase type compounds like monacolin K/lovastatin carries with it significant biological liabilities such as inhibition of synthesis of Co-Enzyme Q10. Even if clinically we end up merely using very low dose statins with fish oil, not inhibiting the other legs of the chemical sequences involved (like Q10 synthesis) I think the patient comes out ahead.