Fiber Beats Statins in Reducing LDL Levels
Patients concerned about the side effects of statin drugs (ie, kidney and muscle function) may find a fiber alternative beneficial.During the recent American Heart Association meeting, the researchers reported that individuals can add a fiber supplement to theirdiet and see the same effect as doubling the dose of statins. The results of the study also supported the recommendation that ahealthy diet high in natural fiber is the best prevention against heart disease and cholesterol.
In the study involving 68 patients, the participants who had taken 10-mg doses of simvastatin had lowered their low-density lipoprotein(LDL; "bad") cholesterol levels by 29% at the end of the 2-month study. The patients who had taken the same amount of simvastatinplus 3 doses a day of Metamucil (Procter & Gamble) had lowered their LDL cholesterol by 36%, the same percentage asthose who had taken 20-mg doses of simvastatin. Metamucil contains psyllium husk, which is high in cholesterol-lowering fiber,according to researcher Abel Moreyra, MD.