Since the release of the JUPITER study a couple months ago, I've been answering a lot of questions about whether you should take a statin drug to lower C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP, as you know, is an indicator of inflammation in the body, and lowering it can help prevent heart attacks.
The JUPITER study showed that rosuvastatin (Crestor) can reduce the risk of cardiac events in people with healthy cholesterol levels. Though this news generated a lot of media excitement, it didn't really come as a surprise. We already knew that statin drugs reduce inflammation--it's just that we'd seen the effect predominantly in people who took them for the purpose of reducing cholesterol. JUPITER merely proved the same to be true in people whose cholesterol levels are already low.
It also wasn't surprising that many people (including doctors) interpreted the study results to mean that everyone can benefit from taking a statin drug--whether they have cardiovascular problems or not. Unfortunately, these people are playing into the hands of the pharmaceutical companies who would love to have millions of people taking statin drugs. They're also overlooking safer, natural ways to lower c-reactive protein.
If you have concerns about how to lower your C-reactive protein levels, proper nutritional supplementation can, be just as effective as medication. I recommend that you start by upping your Vitamin C intake to at least 1,000 mg per day. Shortly before the JUPITER results were announced, a study at the University of California-Berkeley showed that Vitamin C could similarly lower C-reactive protein in people whose levels are higher than 1 mg/L (the upper limit of normal).
Supplements that Lower C-Reactive Protein and Inflammation
Other supplements that help reduce inflammation include fish oil (2-4 g daily), the brown seaweed extract Ecklonia cava (720 mg daily), curcumin (50-100 mg daily), and nattokinase (50-100 mg daily). I also recommend losing weight, if need be, and exercising regularly. Both help lower C-reactive protein.
However, if your doctor insists that you take a statin drug, be sure that you fit the profile of a patient who will benefactor of the drugs' greatest benefits: You've had a previous cardiac event; you have elevated heart risk factors and a family history of cardiovascular problems; or you are a male between the ages of 50 and 75 with diagnosed arterial disease. Finally, be sure to supplement with coenzyme Q10 (50-100 mg daily). Statin drugs interfere with the natural enzyme pathway that your body uses to produce this nutrient, which is essential for a healthy heart.