The “Un-Health” Gap, Safe and Cheap Cholesterol Meds, and Turmeric Beats Out 14 Drugs

Hi Everybody,

THE “UN-HEALTH” GAP- According to Chinese Medicine, there are two main measures of your health:  how long you live, and how long you have your health. The two ideas are not the same. If you lose your health at sixty, but medications keep you alive (but miserable) until eighty, this is not a good thing. You want a long life span, but also a long health span, so that the two are pretty much the same length, or as close to that as you can get.

According to a new study posted in the March 2013 issue of AARP magazine, in America, we are doing pretty bad at both. Out of the top 17 industrialized countries, men’s lifespans came in last place, and women’s next to last. Additionally, we also came in on the bottom with health span, meaning that even though we die young, we lose our health even younger and live disabled longer than any other industrialized nation.

It is becoming more and more evident that living a bad lifestyle, and then trying to overcome that lifestyle with medications and surgery is not the best plan. Instead, we need to take our health into our own hands as much as possible, and take better care of ourselves.

SAFE AND CHEAP CHOLESTEROL MEDICATIONS- Niacin (vitamin B3) has been used for lowering Cholesterol for many years by those in the natural health community. We were called ‘quacks’ for this practice, yet modern medicine has begun to follow suit, but with very expensive prescription forms of this simple vitamin.

Unlike statin drugs, which mainly lowers the levels of LDL, niacin seems to be effective at treating all lipid issues – correcting imbalances in good and bad cholesterol, and even triglycerides. In fact, according to one major study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, at therapeutic doses, niacin increased good cholesterol (HDL) by 35 percent and cut triglycerides by as much as 50 percent. Additionally, in people who had already had strokes, niacin reduced re-occurance by by 26 percent.

In fact, there are over 42,000 scientific papers on the effectiveness and safety of Niacin for cholesterol issues. The regular ‘flushing’ version of Niacin seems to work the best and is the safest – the non-flush type doesn’t seem to work, and extended release causes liver damage. You also need to be careful with Niacin if you have blood sugar problems, stomach problems or have problems with gout.

TURMERIC SPICE BEATS OUT 14 MEDICATIONS- Turmeric is one of the most researched plants we have in medicine today. The main ingredient, curcumin, has been in over 5,600 medically relevant research papers.

In those studies, Turmeric has been found to compare favorably to a number of conventional medications, including Lipitor for blood vessel damage, Steroids for inflammatory diseases, Prozac for depression, Aspirin for clotting disorders, NSAIDS for inflammation, Chemotherapy for certain tumors and cancers, and Metformin for diabetes.

This does not mean you should go off your medications and replace them with Turmeric cold turkey, and without your doctor’s knowledge. It does mean that you may be able to add Turmeric to your daily routine, and then over time work with your medical doctor or pharmacist at reducing the dosage of your medications, if the Turmeric is working for you. This is the safe way to approach.

Hope this helps,

Dr Matt and Dr Robin (email)

This week’s bit of Useless Information:  Studies show that eating chocolate can improve your math skills. 

This email is courtesy of Matthew Barnes, D.C. and Robin Barnes, D.C.  Neither this nor any of our emails are intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such.  They are opinion and are for informational purposes only.  None of the nutrients discussed here are meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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