Thursday, April 22, 2010

Supplements to Lower Blood Sugar, Cholesterol and Triglycerides

My triglycerides came back high after a non-fasting blood test.  Who does non-fasting anyway?  lol  I will be going back for a traditional "fasting" blood test, but in the meantime, I researched what natural supplements might be helpful.   I found two and wanted to tell you about them.

First, I ran across Gymnema (Gymnema Sylvestre) and have been taking this for over a month and am on my 2nd bottle.  Directions are to take it just prior to meals, 3 times a day, but I only make it once, maybe twice a day.  I'm working on that. 

Supporters and some studies claim it can help:

Lower Sugar Cravings
Lower "Bad" Cholesterol
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Lower Triglycerides
Studies have been conducted and are showing the reductions in the above.

I have found that I do crave sweets less, but not entirely.  When I want a snack, it is almost always something sweet I crave, rather than something salty.  I am pleased to have this lessened.  In fact, i have some candy sitting right by my computer that prior to Gymnema, would have been gone in a few days.  Instead, I look at it occasionally and think "Hmmm, eh, not in the mood".  Now that is something different for me!

And just this week, I ran across information on Guggul, another supplement known to help in this area.  This supplement in purported to help with:

Weight Management
Lower Cholesterol
Improve Circulation
Relieve Arthritis Pain
Relieve Menstrual Pain
Help with Skin Problems

Check out the results of these clinical studies on Guggul:

Some of the results:

Cholesterol/ Atherosclerosis - A double-blind placebo-controlled study of guggul for reducing cholesterol studied 61 individuals for 24 weeks. After following a healthy diet for 12 weeks the participants were divided into two groups with half of the participants receiving placebo and the other half receiving guggul (100 mg of guggulsterones daily). At 24 weeks the results showed that the treated group had a 11.7% decrease in total cholesterol. Those on guggul also had a 12.7% decrease in LDL ("bad" cholesterol), a 12% decrease in triglycerides, and an 11.1% decrease in the total cholesterol ratio.

Guggul, however, has been found to stimulate thyroid activity, so anyone on thyroid medication needs to check with their doctor to monitor these levels.

I've taken Guggul now for 2 days, just once a day, and I have to tell you - not only do I not crave sweets, but if I eat any, I feel almost ill, like it wasn't a good idea to eat that.  YAY!!!  If I personally eat less sweets, I will lose more weight, guaranteed.  

I am also taking a product called Omega LDL by Nordic Naturals.  I prefer this company for 2 reasons - a former doctor recommended them AND the company verfies they are Mercury/Lead Dioxin and PCB's free by 3rd party studies.  Info on that HERE.   That is very important to me.  When you buy fish oil products at drug stores, be extra careful to check out the company to make sure they are free of those dangerous substances.

Omega LDL - contains Omega 3's, EPA. DHA, Red Yeast Rice and Conenzyme Q10, all shown in numerous studies to lower cholesterol

I will tell you this product DOES have a strong fishy smell, but I do not burp on it, which is great.  

Interesting tidbit on Red Yeast Rice - you know this stuff works when the pharmaceutical industry is going after it to be declared a drug and not a supplement!!!  

Here is an article on ABCNews as to its efficacy:

Interesting quote:  

This latest study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine followed 62 patients who had tried taking prescription statins, such as Lipitor or Zocor, but complained it left them with severe muscle pains. 

In the study, all of the patients received counseling on nutrition and exercise. Additionally, half of the participants also took 1,800 mg of red yeast rice supplements every day. After 12 weeks, those taking the supplements saw LDL, the "bad cholesterol," drop by a remarkable 27 percent. Those who did not take the red yeast rice supplements saw their LDL drop by only 6 percent. 

Only two patents on the supplements reported those persistent muscle pains. 

"I was pleasantly surprised with the degree of LDL lowering," said Dr. Daniel Rader a lipid specialist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an author of the study. "I have to confess, I did not expect this degree of LDL lowering. And there were many fewer side effects than expected." 

Chuck Jones, 59, from Yardley, Pa., started taking red yeast rice supplements in the study and saw his total cholesterol level plummet, from 221 to 135. 
The reason the pharmaceutical industry is going nuts over this is that Red Yeast Rice is not regulated and is a natural product which cannot be patented.  Folks who can go to the health food store and lower their cholesterol will not be beholden to the pharmaceutical industry.  Stay tuned for more information on this developing issue. 

Click this link:

Muscle Pain and Weakness
Neuropathy (nerve damage)
Heart Failure (crazy, huh!)
Cognitive Impairment

This link above also discusses multiple studies on statins, so do read if interested. 

This is NOT medical advice.  Just sharing what I have found and am personally using.  Check with your medical professionals if you are interested in trying any of these products. Do not stop taking current medications to try these.   As with any medication, get educated, discuss with your pharmacist to make sure there will be no drug interactions and be well-informed.

Have a glorious day!



  1. Very good info, I had also heard about the Red Yeast Rice from some nurses, So I had got some for my Mom to use. Some of the nurses used it cuz they heard clients come in that had very high cholesterol and get blood work done after using this and the numbers were very impressive.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  2. omega ldl what a nice product. it controls our cholesterol level.

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