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Are statin drugs the best way to lower cholesterol?

The Treatment to New Targets (TNT) study reported at the 2005 meeting of the American College of Cardiology showed that very high doses of 80 mg per day of Lipitor lower cholesterol far better than lower doses, and reduce the rate of heart attacks and strokes by 29 percent. At the 2006 meeting, the Asteroid study showed that taking 40mg per day of Crestar for one year removed plaques from arteries. These studies show that your doctor should try to lower blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol as much as possible, probably to below 75. Statin drugs such as Lipitor usually don’t cause many serious side effects, but they can cause muscle pains, particularly in heavy exercisers.

On the basis of this latest research, doctors are encouraged to treat people at high risk for heart attacks with diet and high doses of statin drugs. People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes are at the highest risk. All people at increased risk for heart attacks should restrict saturated and partially hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates, and base their diet on plants: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other seeds, whether or not you take drugs.

May 1, 2006

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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