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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
August 14, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber, 


Have you had your iodine levels checked lately? This hidden micronutrient deficiency is becoming more prevalent as fluoride and bromine become more ubiquitous, iodized salt is less available/desirable, and bakers have removed iodine from their bread products in favor of bromine. More to come on this issue next week.   


Have a happy, healthy day. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Drug-Free Cholesterol Therapies That Work

Two new studies further legitimize non-pharmacological therapy for addressing high cholesterol.

The first study, from the August issue of Clinical Lipidology, meticulously examines alternative therapies for reducing cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors.

The authors acknowledge that there now appears to be a cultural and philosophical shift toward Eastern Medicine and many patients are increasingly using alternative approaches for prevention and therapeutic purposes. Here is what they found:

Functional Foods with Cholesterol and Glucose-Lowering Properties 

  • Red Yeast Rice - while containing similar properties to its synthetic statin counterpart that inhibits an enzyme that produces cholesterol, high quality RYR has much less risk of myalgia (muscle fatigue) and is just as effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Goji Berry
  • Amla
  • Rhubarb
  • Artichoke

Functional Herbs with Cholesterol and Glucose-Lowering Properties 

  • Garlic Powder
  • Fenugreek
  • Curcumin
  • Ginger

Medicinal Plants with Cholesterol and Glucose-Lowering Properties 

  • Licorice Root
  • Sea Buckthorn
  • Silymarin
  • Berberine

Therapies with Cholesterol and Glucose-Lowering Properties 

  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Yoga

"[The study] is meant to further raise awareness and the potential of a variety of natural products, as well as alternative approaches that include yoga and acupuncture, for possible control, management and prevention of CVD and associated risk factors. Millions of patients use herbal medicine products for prophylaxis or therapeutic value. Several functional foods and herbal medicines have been identified as exhibiting hypocholesterolemic properties. In addition to lowering blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL-C, some of these products have been demonstrated to lower circulating triglycerides and glucose levels, as well as inhibit lipid oxidation. Furthermore, some of the functional foods and herbal medicines described in this review can also elevate HDL-C levels. The relative safety of these products seems to be supported by the fact that many of these are used in traditional medicine as well as culinary practices around the world."

Steve: Please note that any natural substance has the ability to cause an adverse reaction or contraindicate with medication. The authors state emphatically that one should always seek counsel from a knowledgeable health professional to address individual needs.

The second study was published in the August issue of American Heart Journal. Compared with the a group receiving usual care (statin medication only), a lifestyle change group had greater reductions in LDL at weeks 12 and 24 and was 2.3 times more likely to achieve an LDL less than 100 mg/dL.


The lifestyle change group lost more weight for 1 year. All lifestyle change group participants who had weekly counseling sessions, followed a modified Mediterranean diet, moderately exercised, and took Red Yeast Rice for 12 weeks had significant decreases in LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol for 1 year.

Bonnie: Given the fact that new JAMA commentary published this week admits that statins are only an adjunct to diet, exercise, and not smoking, why ever try statins if the aforementioned is possible? Instead of most of the world being on statins, as Big Pharma wants, it seems the only individuals who really need them are those who have a family history of high cholesterol/CVD disease, to which nothing other than statins can keep the levels at bay.


How to Prevent Hearing Loss.
How many of us are taking measures to protect this important sense? Apparently, not enough. Approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The good news is...
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