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Dr_decA condition that affects 70 million Americans, high cholesterol continues to be a growing concern in today’s society. Unfortunately, it is very common for practitioners to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as statins, in hopes of preventing a possible heart attack.

But did you know that taking these drugs could actually increase your chances of getting a heart attack?

There are serious risk factors associated with taking statins—which include name brands such as Crestor and Lipitor—that need to be considered by doctors and patients before starting treatment.

For example, statins are known to lower production of Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an important antioxidant produced by the human body, which is needed for basic cell function.

When CoQ10 levels are depleted, cells lose energy and free radicals are increased in the body, which in turn causes damage to mitochondrial DNA.

Without CoQ10, one of the most important nutrients in the body, your heart muscle loses strength and its ability to pump blood, which leads to heart failure.

Although statins are intended to help you reduce the risk of a heart attack, they interfere with important body functions and might be at fault for causing the very same condition you are trying to prevent.

CoQ10 production slows down naturally as we age so if you are on a statins regime, it’s critical to ask your doctor about supplementation.  With research shedding light on serious complications of statin usage, patients should consider alternative, more natural options to improve their health.

At a functional medicine practice, we can treat high cholesterol through medical grade nutraceuticals—natural supplements that do not deplete the body of important nutrients.  Examples of natural supplements we use are aged garlic extract and bergamot. It must be noted that when working with supplements, it’s not only the type that’s important but its purity as well. Supplements must be administered in the proper form and dosage to ensure success—and this is where the expertise of the functional medicine doctor comes in.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all parts of the body and it is critical to the normal function of all cells. Your body produces the cholesterol it needs, but cholesterol is also found in the foods you eat.  When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it can build up on the walls of the arteries causing these to narrow or harden preventing your heart from getting the blood it needs thus increasing the risk of a heart attack.  High cholesterol is caused by different factors and a good doctor must not only look at total cholesterol levels but also particle size and content of that cholesterol. The particle size is extremely important as dense particles in large amounts may cause inflammation and plaque, which recent research indicates may be more important when it comes to morbidity and mortality than just the total number of LDL, also known as the “bad” cholesterol.

While prescription medications temporarily hide symptoms or silently worsen serious conditions, functional medicine offers a comprehensive approach that can help restore your health and vitality through a combination of natural supplements and lifestyle changes. Just know that there is a better way.

Call us today and schedule your free consultation at 954.384.8989. Dr. Jean-Claude Nerette is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Functional Medicine and Stephanie Muniz Nerette is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and a Diplomate to the Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Bellissimo Medical is located at 2665 Executive Park Drive, Suite #3, in Weston.

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