Heart Disease is Reversible

From Integrated Roots e-newsletter, November 2010

I recently worked with a 60 year old gentleman to decrease his high diabetic-state blood sugar and cholesterol levels to normal, without drugs, in 3 months. His triglycerides fell by over 60%, his total cholesterol and long-term measures of blood sugar decreased to normal limits, and he lost more than 20lbs. He reviewed these test results with his Nurse Practitioner and Medical Doctor and was confused by their response: “Great job. Keep up what you’re doing. Start this statin drug Crestor, because your good cholesterol should be a bit higher.” It’s true that his good cholesterol should be higher – it was only 0.73. However, if a few more weeks of effort could demonstrate similarly drastic improvements in good cholesterol levels, isn’t this preferable to using a statin drug?

Though research studies vary considerably in their results, a common finding is that some statin-type cholesterol medications will lower risk of death by 12%. Compare this to studies that evaluate the risk for survivors of a heart attack who made only modest dietary changes: 56% reduced risk of death. And they weren’t even required to exercise! If we additionally consider the possible side-effects of cholesterol-lowering medication, the financial cost of using a pharmaceutical daily for years, the intangible health benefits acquired for other family members eating an improved diet, and the environmental benefit of eating more local produce, the comparison hardly seems fair.

Heart disease is reversible for many people. The lifestyle changes required can be challenging, but they’re simple, and rewarding. We have a whole team of health professionals at KIHC who can support you in your effort to achieve these desired changes.

For those interested in some more technical information, please review these referenced websites here, and here. I’ve included a summary of some very interesting recent research pertaining to heart health, below.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Sonya Nobbe, BScH, ND
Naturopathic Doctor, KIHC Clinic Director