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Ask Dr. Gott 1/10

High cholesterol responds to natural statin

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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband and I had really high cholesterol levels. Our doctor told us to take red yeast rice, 600 milligrams, twice a day with food. It is a dietary supplement.
    After three months, we went back, had blood work and found our cholesterol levels had dropped. There are no side effects.
    I don't know much about this product, only that it works.
    DEAR READER: Red yeast rice is more than just an herbal therapy. It contains a natural form of Mevacor, a statin drug used to reduce cholesterol levels. If it works for you and your husband, fine; continue it under your doctor's supervision. However, you should have periodic blood tests to check your liver function because the drug can, in some patients, cause liver damage (as can statins in general).
    Other treatment options include omega-3 fish oil, niacin and flaxseed oil. These are all natural, available over the counter and are considered safer than red yeast rice. People may experience flushing from niacin; however, if the dosage is started low and increased slowly, this can often be avoided.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Understanding Cholesterol."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: If I put Certo in red wine, will it work the same as in purple grape juice? I drink a glass of red wine every day, but I'm on the no-flour, no-sugar diet, and I am concerned that the wine and grape juice would be too much sugar.
    DEAR READER: I don't know whether Certo and red wine is an effective therapy for arthritis. My diet allows fruit sugars, so grape juice is allowed. However, if you wish to try the wine/Certo mixture, please let me know the results.
    You may also choose to try rubbing castor oil into the affected joint or joints twice a day. Many of my readers have had stunning success with this.
    Another option is Castiva. This is a castor-oil-based cream that comes in warming (capsaicin) or cooling (menthol) formulas. This is also rubbed into the affected joints and provides a two-step relief process, immediate with the capsaicin or menthol and lasting with the castor-oil base. Castiva is available at most Walgreens and CVS pharmacies.
    To give you related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports "Understanding Osteoarthritis" and "Dr. Gott's Compelling Home Remedies."
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