Low Dose Statin More Effective at Lowering Cholesterol Than Advertised OTC Supplements

At the Scientific Session of the American Heart Association, researchers presented the SPORT study (Supplement, Placebo or Rosuvastatin Clinical Trial). The study compared .5 mg of Rosuvastatin (Crestor) to multiple over the counter products advertised to lower cholesterol without the ill effects of a statin.

The products included:

  1. Placebo
  2. Fish Oil( Nature Made Fish Oil 240 mg)
  3. Cinnamon ( Nutriflair 2400 mg)
  4. Garlic ( Garlique 5000 mcg Allison)
  5. Turmeric ( BioSchwarrtz Brand 4500 mcg)
  6. Red Yeast Rice ( Amazon 2400 mg)
  7. Plant Sterols ( Nature Made Cholestoff Plus 1600 mcg plant sterols)

Nineteen-hundred adults aged 40-75 years, with no history of cardiovascular disease, were randomized to receive one of the products for 28 days. These individuals had pre-study LDL cholesterols between 70 – 189 and a 5-20% risk of developing atherosclerotic disease within 10 years.

The results showed that Rosuvastatin decreased LDL cholesterol by 37% with the supplements having no more effect than the placebo. Rosuvastatin also reduced total cholesterol by 24% and Triglycerides by 19%. LDL is the adverse cholesterol. It’s helpful to remember the phonic, L stands for “lousy”.

Plant Sterols lowered protective HDL cholesterol and garlic increased the LDL cholesterol when compared to placebo.

This study indicated OTC (over the counter) products just do not work to effectively lower cholesterol and protect against heart attack or stroke. Vitamins, minerals, herbs and supplements are treated as foods in the USA and are not inspected to ensure that what is on the label is in the bottle. Also, there is no assurance that there are no contaminants such as lead, arsenic or mercury in these OTC products.

Some will say that the length of the study was too short for the supplements to show their effectiveness. That may be a valid criticism, but it plays into the anti-science attitude being promoted which encourages sales and marketing of products over scientific testing and results.

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