Best 7 of New Statin Alternatives (Effectively Lower Cholesterol)

Prescription drugs called statins are designed to reduce cholesterol. Statins function by inhibiting an enzyme that the liver needs to produce cholesterol. The body cannot produce cholesterol from the fat you eat if this enzyme is absent. It is dangerous to have excessive cholesterol in your arteries since it might lead to plaque. A build-up of plaque can impede blood flow and raise the chance of a heart attack.

There are several statins on the market. They consist of:

Two high-intensity statins include rosuvastatin (Crestor) and atorvastatin (Lipitor).
Fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor) are statins with a moderate degree of intensity.
Despite the fact that all statins function similarly, your body may respond differently to some than to others. This is one of the reasons why before selecting the statin that is best for you, doctors may try a variety of them.

Interactions between some pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals or other medications are more common. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source states that grapefruit juice may interact negatively with the statins Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin).

The exchange might be quite dangerous. When these drugs are taken with grapefruit, the medication's blood level may rise, which might have very negative effects.

Hazards and Unfavorable Results

Statins help the majority of individuals, although they do have some unfavorable side effects. Those who take other drugs or have underlying medical conditions are particularly at risk for severe side effects. As your body gets used to the drugs, many adverse effects go away.

A common side effect of statins is aches and pains in the muscles and joints. Moreover, statins may cause nausea or vomiting. The most dangerous side effects include harm to the kidneys and liver, elevated blood sugar, and detrimental effects on the nervous system. Statins have the potential to promote muscle cell degeneration in some individuals, which might lead to irreversible muscle damage.

For this reason, it's essential to keep a list of statin substitutes close at hand so you may take them instead of experiencing the unfavorable side effects of statins. Some substitutes are listed below:

1. Fibrates

Most frequently used to reduce high triglyceride levels in people at risk for pancreatitis. They could have a little effect on lowering LDL cholesterol (15–20 percent), but there is no evidence that they lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes. They are thus not regarded as a suitable statin replacement.

2. Plant Stanol and Sterols

Research indicates that meals high in these stanols and stems, such as yogurt drinks and specifically made sunflower spreads, may reduce cholesterol by a moderate eight to twelve percent. However, there is no proof that they lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, hence prescribing them for use in the UK is not advised.

3. Cholestyramine and Other Bile Acid-Binding Resins

They are a rather older medication that was widely used before statins. Although they are still widely used, it is not recommended to use them to lower the risk of future heart attacks. If consumed for extended periods of time, they may result in vitamin shortages and gastrointestinal problems. Prescription medications known as bile acid sequestrants aid in the body's removal of acidic bile. The body has the capacity to produce acidic bile and break down cholesterol. Sequestrants for bile acids help the body eliminate bile acids more effectively.

Bile acid sequestrants cause the body to produce less bile acids, which in turn causes an increase in the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. As a result, the body's cholesterol levels drop. The body produces more LDL receptors when the liver produces less LDL cholesterol. The amount of LDL cholesterol removed from the blood increases with the number of LDL receptors.

The medications listed below are bile acid sequestrants:

Colesevelam , colestipol, and cholestyramine
Bile acid sequestrants are a prescription drug that doctors can provide to lower LDL cholesterol. The greatest level of drug efficacy can be experienced after two or three weeks of cholestyramine use.

The following are the most common side effects of bile acid sequestrants:

swollen and cramping
Elevation of the liver enzymes and constipation


4. Niacin

An additional prescription drug used to decrease cholesterol is niacin. It's vitamin B3, and it's available for purchase. However, its benefits are limited to increasing HDL cholesterol alone. It is probable that niacin won't improve clinical trial results when compared to statin medications. Usually, doctors give statin medications in addition to niacin. Niacin can help balance cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes or high cholesterol with mixed levels. When using niacin and statin drugs together, this impact is amplified.

The painful side effects of niacin are experienced by some persons. One typical adverse effect is flushing. Itching, rashes on the skin, and burning feelings on the face and chest can all result from flushing. One can spend 20 to 30 minutes flushing. With time, this negative effect will go away. According to research, those who take niacin but do not currently have diabetes have a 34% increased chance of getting the disease in the next five years. Patients with diabetes may have a rise in their fasting blood sugar levels. Before using vitamin B3 over-the-counter for cholesterol management, see a physician.

5. Policosanol

Sugarcane wax is the source of policosanol, which has been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol and treat a number of illnesses. Its effectiveness is not well supported by data, and other investigations have found no benefit at all.

6. Red yeast rice extract (RYRE)

Red yeast rice extract is a traditional cholesterol-lowering agent used in China. Red yeast rice extract is thought by experts to lower LDL cholesterol. Rice extract from red yeast includes monacolins, such as monacolin K. This compound inhibits the hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase enzymes, which are the same enzymes that statins target. Thus, it could have effects akin to those of the statin drug Mevacor (lovastatin).

Products made from red yeast rice extract that include more than trace quantities of monacolin K are prohibited by the FDA in the US. Products containing red yeast extract are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as prescription drugs.

Monacolin K might be found in a variety of goods. Customers are unable to ascertain the amount. Additionally, citrinin is a product contaminant that can cause renal failure. Consult a physician about red yeast rice extract.

Twenty distinct investigations on red yeast rice extract were analyzed by experts for a review paper that was published in Atherosclerosis. The researchers were unable to evaluate the safety of red yeast rice extract due to the subpar quality of the individual studies.

7. Natural products

Despite the fact that many goods make this claim, there is little data to support it. Statins do not work with them. You can try a few natural things that might aid in lowering your cholesterol. Beta-glucan, a fiber that helps decrease cholesterol, is abundant in oats. However, it won't have the same advantages as statins if you take 3 to 4 grams daily in addition to eating a balanced diet. A 40g portion of oat-based porridge contains 2g of beta-glucan.


Statins come in a variety of forms, and there are substitutes. Finding the right course of therapy requires open communication with your doctor. You can alter your diet and exercise routine if statins are making you feel uncomfortable. Consult your physician as soon as you begin taking medicine. You can ask your doctor if you need to take less or more medicine. Go with what feels right for you! 

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