If you're using any treatment, alternative or conventional, to lower your cholesterol, there's a nutrient that can improve the treatment's effectiveness and help you avoid a heart attack. A National Institutes of Health study shows that patients who use this nutrient along with statins can lower their risk of coronary problems by as much as 80%.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled study was presented at a recent meeting of the American College of Cardiology by Dr. Xue-Qiao Zhao. It followed 77 coronary artery disease patients with syndrome X (insulin sensitivity) for 36 months. They were divided into two groups, one that received simvistatin (10-20 mg daily) and niacin (2-4 grams daily) and the other group received a placebo. Both groups were followed for all coronary events including death.

Dr. Zhao said only 18% of those taking the combination had events compared to 30% for those on placebo.

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Another 83 patients without Syndrome X were followed. In this group, 14% of placebo patients developed heart problems compared to just 2% of those taking the combination.

In other words, there was an 80% reduction in events in those without Syndrome X and a 40% reduction in those with insulin intolerance. Most statins reduce coronary events by only 23-34%. That's a substantial boost in effectiveness.

The researchers initially thought the results were due to a decrease in insulin sensitivity. But the insulin and glucose levels remained the same in both groups, indicating that the effect was not based on alteration of insulin sensitivity.

Niacin is a very effective cholesterol treatment that can enhance your cholesterol treatment. However, I don't recommend statins. There are better ways to control your cholesterol, including policosanol, guggul, red rice yeast, and magnesium. All of these have cholesterol-lowering ability, and have been proven to lower coronary events on their own. In combination with niacin, which also lowers cholesterol, the benefits might be multiplied.

If you do want to take statin drugs, for whatever reason, this is good news. Just be sure to take CoQ10, since all statins lower the body's production of this critical nutrient.

If you'd like more information on why statins aren't a safe way to lower your cholesterol, there are many articles on my website that detail the problems these drugs cause. There's also a lot more information on the nutrients I've mentioned here. If you're a subscriber to my newsletter, you can access these for free. If you're not a subscriber, you can do so on my website and you'll have total access to all the articles I've written.

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