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Cholesterol Too High?

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In the past decade, the statin drugs--notably Lovastatin--have revolutionized cardiac care because they have been shown to lower and stabilize serum (blood) lipid levels-a concern for people with high blood pressure.

In the past decade, the statin drugs notably Lovastatin have revolutionized cardiac care because they have been shown to lower and stabilize serum (blood) lipid levels a concern for people with high blood pressure. Serum cholesterol has been shown to be a major risk factor for the development of adverse cardiac and neurological events. Serum cholesterol is comprised of total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density cholesterol (LDL) and high-density cholesterol (HDL). However, there are major problems with this class of drugs.

Approximately three to five percent of people taking these drugs experience liver enzyme elevations. While only a small per cent suffer total liver failure, a state of elevated liver enzymes causes these patients to discontinue use of these drugs. It is thought that one-third of all potential patients wishing to take these drugs can't due to pre-existing conditions or the previous development of liver complications. Fortunately, there is a natural supplement that reduces serum lipids without the side-effects of elevated liver enzymes.

Existing research on several natural ingredients was used to create a new blend that holds promise as a lipid stabilizer. This blend includes an extract from the guggle tree, a small tree indigenous to India. The extract has been shown in several studies to lower serum cholesterol. It also includes polycosanol, a waxy extract from sugar cane with similar effects as the guggle extract. Additionally, the blend contains the vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. These ingredients have been shown effective for lowering homocysteine, which, at high levels, researchers have found is also a risk factor for heart problems. The standard medicinal therapy to reduce homocysteine levels includes daily doses of these three vitamins.

A clinical trial being conducted will meet all standard research criteria. This trial is a randomized, placebo-controlled, blind study with two groups: one receiving the actual supplements and the other receiving a placebo. Sixty subjects, 30 in each group, are expected to complete the trial. These men and women aged 20 to 70 are not currently taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, nor have they taken any six months prior to the trial.

All subjects are screened using a two-step process involving a phone interview followed by a session with a nurse. Blood pressure, weight and pulse are checked at every visit. The duration of the trial is three months.

For ethical reasons, final results will not be released until the trial is completed, but preliminary results show an extremely encouraging average improvement in total cholesterol. Given the safety record of these ingredients and from the preliminary experience with this blend, this should be an excellent tool for individuals wishing to use a non-traditional method for controlling serum lipids and cholesterol.

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