Posted by: Integra Massage | January 21, 2011

The truth about statins is out

A report published recently shows what natural health practitioners and enlightened doctors have known for years:  there is no evidence that statins improve heart health or lower the risk of heart attacks. This is important information if you taking statins, particularly if you are experiencing any of their many side effects.  (you’d be surprised how many of my clients with chronic joint and muscle pain improve when they come off statins).

In fact many of us believe that the focus on cholesterol as a “bad guy” is misplaced.  Cholesterol is essential to many functions in our body, including the production of most of our hormones. One of its functions appears to be to “patch up” arteries that have been damaged. This may be why its levels in the blood can be found to be elevated in some people.

The real problem is not the cholesterol, but the arterial damage and inflamation, most likely caused by “free radical” molicules. Free radical damage is likely to occur when our diet is high in so called trans-fats.  Thes are found mainly in many convenience and processed foods and in fried and baked foods. Diets high in refined sugars and carbohydrates are also likely to increase free radical damage.

There also many foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on cardio vascular health by counteracting free radical damage and improving circulation.  Here are just three of them:

Avocado: Often mistakenly thought to be fattening, avocados are in fact are a heart healthy super food packed full of antioxidants and nutrients such as potassium. It has a lot of different vitamins and minerals and a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Some people shy away from avocados because of the fat, but really that monounsaturated fat is great for cardiovascular health. Personally, I like to eat an avocado every day.

Walnuts:   A recent study at the University of Barcelona showed that including walnuts in your diet “improves, and even restores, endothelial function (the property of arteries to dilate in order to meet an increased demand for blood, for instance due to a physical effort). Walnuts also reduce harmful cell adhesion molecules which are associated with atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries. These dual effects enhance the circulatory system, therefore aiding in the prevention of heart disease.”  A small handful of walnuts makes a healthy snack at any time of day but do not roast them as that will destroy the healthy oils they contain.

Berries: The pigments that colour berries red or black are powerful anti-oxidants which have widespread benefits.  Its not just the fashionable blueberries and cranberries: all berries including black currants, strawberries, raspberries are wonderful healing foods.  Eat freely, fresh for preference, although they still have benefits when cooked or made into jam (Check out the organic sugar jams in the St Dalfour range in your supermarket.

At Integra we believe that cardiovascular health lies literally at the heart of our well being. We can work with you using diet, herbs , exercise , and relaxation techniques to help you maintain your health naturally and reduce you dependence on harmful and possibly ineffective drugs.



  1. Would the berries include other red-skinned fruits such as cherries and plums?

  2. Yes cherries and plums are good sources of anthocyanins and other antioxidants. They also contain many other important nutrients. Available research mainly relates to the sour cherry, Prunus cerasus, but almost any dark skinned fruit is going to be beneficial. Certain fruits have been marketed very strongly for their health benefits such as blueberries, but many of our common garden fruits like cherries and black currents, and wayside bushes like elder are at least as potent.

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