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Doctors in Russia have proposed a real solution to the worldwide problem of high cholesterol. In the modern world, nearly everyone has health or diet issues that call for reducing total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. Statin drugs for billions of people are simply too expensive. A workable solution for the problem of high cholesterol may be a functional food, or a food that can be used as a medicine.
Why Are Doctors So Keen To Lower Cholesterol?
The leading cause of death in most of the world is heart disease, caused by clogged and dysfunctional arteries wrecked by atherosclerosis. About one in four people dies of heart disease. Nearly 100 percent of people, however, have "subclinical" atherosclerosis by the age of 40. Their arteries are occluded but they do not yet display the symptoms of heart disease or other vascular problems that would spur them to go to their doctors and get treatment.
For lowering cholesterol, statins have definite advantages. Most statin drugs (except pravastatin, which is sold under the trade name Pravachol in the Western world) are very effective. They produce dramatic lowering of total and "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels. They can produce side effects, but only in a few people, and side effects typically go away when a more appropriate statin drug is prescribed. For instance, rosuvastatin (Crestor) is simply too strong from some people. It makes them "loopy." It can cause fatigue. However, the undesirable side effects generally disappear when rosuvastatin is replaced by atorvastatin (Lipitor).
The problem with statin drugs is that they can be quite expensive. Four of the generic statin drugs, atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin, are widely available at a discounted price, as low as $4 a month in the US, and no more than $35 a month in most other countries. The brand-name statin drugs, however, can cost up to $250 a month. If you don't have an insurance plan to pay for them, chances are you will tend to skip doses, especially if you have merely "subclinical" atherosclerosis, with no symptoms yet. In a large part of the world where heart disease is a problem, even $35 a month (in poor countries there usually aren't programs for cheap generic drugs) can be too much of a financial burden. What is needed is an even more inexpensive natural medicine.