Drugs typically prescribed for reducing cholesterol have no impact on Lp(a) levels. In fact, a study involving these drugs showed an increase in Lp(a) levels! And therein lies the dilemma.
While drugs prescribed to help you attain healthy cholesterol can reduce LDL, they can’t alter Lp(a). If you find that Lp(a) runs in your family, you must attack it with an alternative approach. Here’s what I recommend:
- If you’re as concerned about good cardiovascular nutrition as I am, I hope you’ll follow my Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean diet. You’ll eat fresh fish (cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel) and fish oils at least two to three times a week. You’ll also want to omit saturated fats. Instead, choose monounsaturated fats like olive oil and polyunsaturated fats like alpha-linolenic acid, found in flaxseed and flaxseed oil. (Visit me here on the Web for additional details on my Pan-Asian Modified Medietrranean diet.)
- Take 100 mg of niacin, twice a day. If you experience side effects like flushing, headache, and diarrhea, follow the diet and stop the niacin. You can try a lower dosage at a later date, then slowly increase the dose to 500 mg a day, twice a day for further protection. TwinLabs' quick-acting Niacin is a good product.
- Take 1–2 grams of vitamin C and 100–200 mg of CoQ10 each day.
- Policosanol—20 mg daily at bedtime.
- Exercise regularly.
- Ask your doctor about screening techniques to assess your risk factors for heart disease. If you’re concerned, you and your family members should have your Lp(a) and other risk factors (homocysteine, fibrinogen and serum ferritin) evaluated by your doctor.
- Be aware of other risk factors for heart disease, including smoking, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, high triglycerides, obesity, glucose intolerance and repressed emotions, which can have a harmful effect on the health of your heart.
For more information on cholesterol lowering diets and cardiovascular nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.