Greater Success Lowering Cholesterol with More Than Just Meds

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs, such as statin medications, a commonly prescribed and relied upon by physician and patients alike. In many cases they've proven to be very effective at lowering cholesterol.

    HOWEVER, it takes more than a medication alone to improve overall health and control cholesterol. Lifestyle changes are necessary.

    Other risks to consider

    Individuals with high cholesterol are often overweight. If you simply pop a pill to correct the cholesterol problem and do nothing to address being overweight you leave yourself at risk for other weight related health conditions, such as diabetes, joint problems, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

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    New research show statins do not reduce cardiac deaths

    Researchers have re-analyzed data from 11 cardiovascular studies and found statin drugs did not reduce the number of cardiac deaths in individuals who had not developed heart disease, even though the statins were linked to reduced cholesterol levels.

    That may seem confusing since high cholesterol levels have been strongly linked to heart disease. If you lower cholesterol, shouldn't you lower your risk of a cardiac death?


    This goes to show that there are more factors affecting your heart health than simple cholesterol. If you live with high cholesterol it's important you do more than just "pop a pill" and call it good. There's no way around the necessity of following a heart healthy diet and increasing your level of physical activity to achieve heart health.


    Unknown risks


    Science is a constantly changing. Everyday we learn something new. One day something is good for us and the next it's not. I think you should keep this in mind when it comes to medication. Yes, medications are necessary for many people, but be aware of the potential side effects - those we currently know and those we're yet to learn about.

    If you make diet and lifestyle changes you can reduce your need for medication and eliminate the risk of some "unknown".

    Be sure to sign up for the free ecourse "How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps" provided by Health Central dietitian Lisa Nelson at

Published On: January 12, 2011