I receive Dr. Mercola's newsletter regularly. I don't, however, regularly read it. My concern is the amount of "stuff" sold on the website. However, this heading caught my attention - Why You Should Avoid Red Yeast Rice. I know of people using it and have done some research on the product. I was thinking it would be a good "safe" option to try. Dr. Mercola has provided some food for thought to the contrary.
I knew/know the active ingredient in Red Yeast Rice (monacolins) is the same as the active ingredient in lovastatin (a major generic statin). I also know that the active ingredient has side effects (e.g. muscle pain, liver effects, etc.). I personally refuse to take statins. I don't care what the ADA has to say on the subject. The entire diabetic population does not have to take a drug, that costs money and has some substantial side effects.
Dr. Mercola, also not someone I take as the gospel according to xxx, provided some valuable "how it works" information. For example, did you know that the active ingredient in these statins actually DECREASES Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)? Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is actually helpful to the heart and is frequently mentioned as a supplement to take; it's also pretty expensive. So, why would I take a statin that decreases the effectiveness of another natural enzyme and then need to take more of that expensive enzyme in hopes of negating the damage of the statin? Seems pretty silly to me.
Another part of Dr. Mercola's conversation that made me think - and usually does - is the arbitrary designation of HDL, LDL and total cholesterol guidelines. Again, the gospel according to ... demands diabetics lower their LDL levels to less than 100 even if they have a higher HDL level and very good ratio. Dr. Mercola recommends taking your HDL level and dividing it by your total cholesterol. He says that percentage should be 25% or higher. He also suggests calculating the same ratio of triglycerides to HDL. That ratio, he says, should be below 2.
In my case ... my HDL is normally around 75. My total cholesterol hangs in the 200 or less area and my LDL is just over 100. My triglycerides are about 75. Therefore, my ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is 37.5% and my triglyceride to HDL level is 1. Well within Dr. Mercola's recommendations (and others I have read). So, why is it I need to take statins? Or anything containing the active ingredients in a statin? And risk side effects?
So ... I am not advocating statins or red yeast rice or its avoidance. I am suggesting you read this article and note (or read) the reference material Dr. Mercola provides. He did not just make arbitrary statements. The article is fully supported. I am suggesting you do further research. I am suggesting you think before trusting the "you must take statins" (in any form) because you're a diabetic recommendation. Analyze your CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk, your eating habits, your behaviors, your body structure, your family history, etc. Therefore, you should be able to make a wise and educated decision not just trust someone else as the gospel according to ...
Doris J. Dickson