Thursday, April 8, 2010

20. Red rice yeast to lower cholesterol?

Apr 9, 2010. perth. last day of visit.

Julia had high total cholesterol over past many years. Statin caused muscle ache and rapid heart beat. So, the doctor recommended lipantol for the past 3 years. Cholesterol reading never went below 200. Latest reading was 230 and liver enzymes were raised, indicating liver disorder after so many years of taking of drugs to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. What to do?

"You can try nicotinic acid," the good doctor had diagnosed that Julia's high cholesterol was hereditary. No hope of reducing. Cholesterol continues to plug her arteries. But nicotinic acid has adverse side effects and may not work. "You can try red rice yeast," the doctor suggested. "But it is not scientifically proven nor arre the ingredients standardised or declared. It is like taking herbal medicine. You take it at your own risk."

Is there a solution for Julia's high cholesterol? The doctor had run out of drug options. "Dr Chua has excellent bedside manners," I said to Julia. "If I were him, I would tell you to stop eating fried food, oily noodles and go on a 90% vegetable and fruit diet. And a serious program of exercise daily." Julia disliked exercise. TV and movies in air conditioned rooms and her office manager's job were her sedentary life-style. She lives to eat and good food is definitely not vegetables, fruits and rice. She was not particularly worried about high cholesterol. So far, no sickness.

Many mothers in their late 40s and 50s start putting on weight. It is the mother's sedentary lifestyle but they seem not to be able to reduce their weight. How about red rice yeast? I went to Boorangoon in Perth. Only 2 bottles were available for sale. I bought them. I went to Southmall in Willeton. None available. "Why?" I asked the health food shop operator. "The demand spiked last 2 months when the red rice yeast was advertised on TV," he said. "TV advertisement sells the product very fast." That was why I could not locate any bottles for Julia. There must be many people in Perth allergic to the statins and/or using the herbal alternative.

I bought glucosamine and chrondition brand for the mother of another student studying in Perth. This particular brand was on sale in Sydney at A$49.00 for 200 capsules. But in Perth's Boorangon shopping centre, it was more. The girl did not want to buy it. It is again the lifestyle of the mother. She just could not reduce weight and now her knees were painful. "You know," I said to the gierl's mother, "You just reduce 10 kg over 1 year and your knees would not need to bear so much weight." Since this was not what she wanted, I bought the 200 capsules which was what she wanted.

Lifestyle changes seldom appear in intelligent women in their 50s. They are proficient and good in their careers. But good oily meat and salty food is so much tastier. And deadly for them. It is such a pity. As for red rice yeast, I did a bit of internet research at:
It was statin in low doses! The statin is deadly to Julia. So in fact, julia has no herbal alternative. Two bottles down the drain.

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