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Is Red Yeast good for you?
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sandichot posted:
I am 70 yrs.old. I have had high cholesterol that Dr. said is hereditary. I was put on Lipitor for 10 yrs. I am also on medication for osteoporosis. Lately I developed tingling/twitching feet that no one knows what caused it. I stopped both medications on my own. The twitching stopped but the tingling subsided but not go away. I tried experiment of going back to each drug alternately for a short time. Each time I had more tingling with both drugs, so now I stopped both again.
I am trying diet which I have been good anyway with eating lots of fibers, now I am eating more fruits, vegies, low on carb, no red meat, more fish and fish oil. My last check up my cholesterol was 260 down from 276 last time. One of my docs. mentioned Red Yeast but she said wait awhile for a few more months, they might come up with more investigation/acceptance. I am thinking I want to start now anyway before I start having a heart attack. Any one has any experience good or bad with Red Yeast please reply.-Thanks, Sandi
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bobby75703 responded:
Sandi,

Red yeast rice is the original statin. It is a statin and it will lower your cholesterol. But it does it the exact same way as other statins, by blocking the livers production of cholesterol.
Red yeast rice bears the same risks as other statins. Muscle twiching and tingling are neurooglical symptoms that are well associated with cholesterol lowering drugs.

Congratulations on the diet. Sounds like you are doing great! Keep up the good work.

Try not to let your total cholesterol levels cause you to do anything you may regret, especially at age 70. Total cholesterol corresponds poorly with heart attacks and strokes. Its actually more detailed than that. And we still don't have all the answers on how lipids and calcium build artery plaque. There are a lot of good theories out there, but the jury is still out on the underlying cause of atherosclerosis. People with very low levels of cholesterol can still develop artery plaque.

Meanwhile, the lifestyle changes you are doinhg is the best thing you can do for yourself. Lifestyle has the biggest impact on longevity.

Bobby
 
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sandichot replied to bobby75703's response:
Thank you Bobby, you sound like an M.D.talking, very knowledgeable. My LDL this time is 134, HDL= 90. It's the triglycerides that is not so good=181.
I go to gym 2-3 times a week, go dancing with my husband every Monday night. This is ballroom dancing:- Cha cha, Swing,Tango, Waltze, Viennese Waltze etc. very energetic dancing for two hours every week. What else can I do? I want to live healthy and happily for at least two more decades.-Sandi
 
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bobby75703 replied to sandichot's response:
Wow Sandi,

When I reach 70 years old, If I reach 70 years old, I hope I can do the cha cha and Tango.

Very few people are that active at your stage of life. Stay active and watch your diet. Get adequate sunshine to maintain vitamin D levels. Maintain healthy relationships and laugh alot.
These are the things that contibute to long healthy lives.

You may be interested in "the blue zones". A guy from Minnesota is doing great research into longevity as he studies the lifesyles of centenarians around the globe.

By the way, there is nothing about your lipid results that I see as reflecting any problems at all.

I want you to see a short video of a 100 year old woman who still chops wood with an ax. Its from AARP and the man from minnesota doing longevity studies. I will post the link for you below when I find it.

Bobby
 
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bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
As promised, following is a link to a heart warming video of a 100 year old lady named Panchita who lives in Costa Rica, and still swings an ax chopping wood. Watch what she cooks for dinner.
Enjoy,

Bobby

http://www.aarpmagazine.org/lifestyle/living_healthy_to_100_secrets_and_video.html
 
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sandichot replied to bobby75703's response:
Thanks a bunch, Bobby, but I could only read the PDF version of the Bluezone. Tried download the Adobe flashplayer version10.0.45.2. the dowload was successful but I could not see the video. It has been this way since I bought this cheap PC. I will ask GeekSquad first chance I get. When I am able to watch this video, I will let you know. The concept of creating prototype Bluezone in Minnesota is great.
I will heed your recommendation and try to do all those things to live a long and happy life. Appreciate your kindness.-Sandi

P.S. If I live to be 100, I will seek you out and let you know
 
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painperdu responded:
Been on RRY for years, Sandi, ever since participation in Dr. David Becker's 'Change of Heart' study. Total cholesterol is down to 160 /- from about 240; LDL is routinely under 100. The stuff's a statin, so it acts much in the same way as prescription drugs without, in my experience, the sides. I also take fish oil which appears to protect against inflammation. You don't want a piece of plaque breaking off and heading off for a place that will cause untold damage. Most importantly, as with all supplements, you have to be confident that what you're buying is what is described on the label and no contaminants. Google everything, ask your doc plenty of questions and email me if you want the names of those products. I don't believe they'd care to have me hawk them on this site. And get as much exercise as you can, walking or biking, besides the fox trot.
 
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maresan responded:
Hi, I read with interest about your cholesterol. I have taken Red Rice Yeast for probably 4 or 5 years and it has totally controlled my levels, which at one time were in the 300's. I exercise, eat right and believe this natural way of lowering numbers without side effects.I'm in my 60's and cholesterol runs high in my family.
My doctor approves as it works. My levels are down to normal. I started out with 4 pills and now can take 2 a day. I get the best source of it from Thornes Research.
Marianne
 
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Joannerose responded:
I've just turned 60 and was diagnosed last year with cardiovascular disease after a TIA (fortunately, no permanent damage). My doctor started me on simvistatin and a high blood pressure medication, and I began a rigorous, healthy diet. The simvistatin very quickly lowered my total cholesterol to 166, but after taking it for one month I wanted to lay down and die - tremendous fatigue and severe muscle aches began after just the first week. I thought it was from the blood pressure medication, but my Dr. said probably the simvistatin so he had me stop taking it for two weeks and then re-start with a much lower dose; the same fatigue and muscle aches reappeared almost immediately. He recommended I try red yeast rice (RYR) instead, though it has the same action as statin drugs, before trying another type of anti-cholesterol drug. I found an all natural, kosher certified formulation (Bluebonnet brand) at my local natural food store (I'm not Jewish but wanted something that was pure and natural), and it has been a godsend for me! My total cholesterol is now at 140, with great HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels all around. I also take Omega 3-6-9 supplements each day, eat only healthy whole foods, and am getting more exercise. My MD said for some folks (like me and some of his other patients) statin drugs are terrible; he has had many other patients who had excellent results from RYR, some who didn't. I encourage you to try the RYR, and look for a good, natural formulation and not just the cheapest version you can find at the supermarket. I've also eliminated processed foods, especially meats, almost all sugar except fresh fruit and the occasional piece of dark chocolate, and have lost 55 pounds and finally gotten relief from a serious case of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Best of luck to you, Sandi, I hope you have a good experience and feel better soon. Joanne
 
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Mrs_Vee replied to Joannerose's response:
My husband has been a heart patient (at age 58) for over a year now (hereditary issues, unfortunately), and I have had highish cholesterol since I became perimenapausal 8 or more years ago. Although we both tolerate statins fairly well, one of the things that seems to have helped us both with our HDL (good cholesterol) levels has been niacin. My husband's cardiologist prescribed niaspan (a prescription version) for him immediately after the first stents were inserted, and it has raised his HDL levels very well, as has consistent vigourous exercise (both aerobic and strength training - we work out about 4-5 times a week for 45 minutes). I recently found an over-the-counter version of a time released niacin (so you don't have to experience the sometimes uncomfortable flush that comes with this B vitamin), and have been taking it for several months. For the first time my HDL levels recently tested above 60. For HDL higher levels (above 50) are considered better.

Raising HDL is just important as lowering LDL (maybe more important). The link with niacin is often overlooked, and although well understood and used by most cardiologists, is often not part of the recommended regimen from a primary care doctor. If you can use the over-the-counter version with success, it is a very inexpensive way to help your overall lipid profile.

You can search WebMD (and the rest of the internet) by just typing "HDL niacin". A good number of informational pieces will come up.

My 78 year old mother does not tolerate statins at all, and has tried the red yeast rice. I'm not sure if it has helped her much. I think the issue is that legally as I understand it, the FDA has said that RYR with "adequate" amounts of statin in it falls into their area of regulation, and thus should be prescription only. I'm not sure which of the products on the market have ignored this, and still contain sufficient statin to have an impact. The kosher one mentioned in an earlier post may be the best bet for a regulated sufficient amount. My mom's been taking niaspan now for a couple months, but hasn't had new test results to compare with her previous cholesterol levels.

Good luck!! - Lorri
 
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An_188304 responded:
I too had very high cholesterol, hereditary. For years my doctor wanted to put me on med's and for years I refused. Instead I decided to go vegan (no meat of any sort, no dairy, no animal products at all). For 5 years I took Red Rice Yeast with no side effects. It did bring down my total from 260 to high 220's. Well I finally gave in and started taking Lovastatin 20mg. They still wanted your total to be under 200. Taking 20mg only reduced it to 216. My doctor recommended taking 40mg. to bring it down under 200. I haven't had a blood test to confirm the results. Like you I didn't want to have a heart attack, so I gave in to taking prescription meds. - Nancy
 
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plaque replied to painperdu's response:
I am also interested in a good quality RYR product and wonder if you could lead me to one. The latest research scares me away from the average one found in major chain stores. How do I e-mail you for the one you suggest. Thanks.
 
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busterandcallie responded:
I am in my mid 60's and have taken most med's on the market because nothing would put my levels in order. Statin drugs, and RED RICE YEAST is one, nearly put me in a wheel chair before I decided to stop taking it, after telling my DR. who had tried everything possible to see why I had major back issues. I could not dress myself, bath, you know what one normaly does during the day...like walk up right. For two months, we discussed, went to every specialist available with NOTHING showing up wrong. When I told him my concerns from internet information, how my memory faded in and out, how I had over several month before a total , split second shut-down, had had various muscel issues and unexplained pains. Once I stopped Lipitor, two weeks and I was on my way to a full recovery. Four weeks and I felt like running a mile race. My issue seem to be part hereditary and through all the years of med's testing, evaluations, etc, we have determined that "stress"is a major factor in stress. I currently take Omega 3, Zetia, Niaspan (which can cause hot flushes or tingling at times)and have had better reports and I have had in many years. Good luck..I think stressing over numbers is more harmful than enjoying each day to the fullest and letting life be its best rather than having a doctor pressure for better numbers. My doctor thought so and he is the best.
 
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busterandcallie replied to Mrs_Vee's response:
RYR is not FDA approved and does contain statins. I too had major issues with statins. I almost became wheel chair bond before my doctor and I really looked at all the issues I had before my body shut down in a split second. It took us 2 months with every doctor imaginable to determine nothing was wrong with me by all test but I could not walk up right, dress myself and so on. Once I stopped statins, within 2 weeks I felt like a new person, 3, I could run a race. I take niaspan, Zita a non statin, and I am having better results. Over the counter niacin does not have the same impact as prescription version. To control flushing my doctor recommended taking a regular asprin with niacin at bedtime. If you wake to the flushing and let me tell you I have felt like I was on fire from the inside out, take an ibprophen at time of flush and it helps come the impact. Off and on, I increase my niaspan from 500 mg to 1000 mg and it helps at the end for my reports. I can't take the full 1000 all the time. Good luck and hope the numbers improve.
 
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Abekan responded:
Hello Sandi
I have same problem. If you find any answer please email me as well. My mother has had cholesterol and medication did not lower it much and gave her same symptoms. Now I had and it is hereditary about 240
Please let me now if any herbs help. Thanks forabe@yahoo.com


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