Cholesterol: Sugar Raises It, Nuts Lower It, Chinese Medicine Treats It

Most associate cholesterol with a high fat diet. Increased consumption of sugary soft drinks combined with more sedentary lifestyle (sitting in front of computers & electronic devices) have caused the rise in obesity seen since the 1970’s. The NY Times reports in Vital Signs that sugar and soft drinks also account for high cholesterol.

A recent study (funded by the nut industry, but confirmed by results in other independent studies) found that eating nuts lowers cholesterol.

In the NY Times Vital Signs column, Roni Caryn Rabin reports:

“Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats, and that is a main driver in lowering cholesterol,” said the lead author, Dr. Joan Sabaté, a professor of nutrition at the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California. “They are the richest source of protein in the plant kingdom, and they also contain fiber and phytosterols, which compete with cholesterol to be absorbed. All these nutrients have been demonstrated to lower cholesterol.”

“The more nuts they ate, the greater the effect.”

Chinese medicine can support your efforts to lower cholesterol. We work to improving digestive function with acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas. Some herbs have proven effects in lowing cholesterol, such as hawthorn fruit and red yeast rice. I’ve seen many patients cholesterol levels improve with acupuncture and herbal therapy. I recommend an initial 3 month course of acu/herbal therapy & lifestyle/dietary modifications, followed by a lipid panel re-test. The results for of the 3 month follow up test are encouraging. When blood lipid levels return to nml i recommend working with the prescribing doctor or pharmacist to begin decreasing statin drugs. Once the drugs have been fully eliminated, we begin reducing the frequency and dosing of acu/herbs. The eventual goal being see if normal blood lipid levels can be retained without the support of acu/herbal or drug therapies, while keeping the dietary/lifestyle modifications in place.

However i will offer the caveat that it is beneficial to get on a regular acupuncture maintenance schedule, be it monthly, seasonally, or on the solstices, to keep the body in top performance level, reduce the effects of stress and maintain a strong immune function.

Here’s an article from my website discussing varies dietary suggestions to lower cholesterol, the role of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, & various herbs and supplements, such as red yeasted rice and policosanol. KB

Lowering Cholesterol: Drug-free Solutions