Friday, January 18, 2008
Medical Reports: High Cholesterol
With nearly one in three people having high cholesterol, many doctors choose to reduce those levels with a quick fix from the pharmacy. But, in tonight's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz shows us why popping a pill isn't the only option.
WSVN -- Over 100 million Americans have high cholesterol.
David Jenkins: "Heart attack is obviously the big danger that everybody is worried about."
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. Many doctors immediately put patients on cholesterol-lowering drugs. But doctor David Jenkins says taking a pill isn't the only way out.
David Jenkins: "Our research tells us that there is still life in diet, yet and you don't have to give up and go straight to drugs."
Some foods do lower cholesterol, but alone they only lower it by about five percent. Dr. Jenkins wanted to find out what would happen if you combined those power foods.
David Jenkins: "Stack them up in terms of what we would call a sort of financial portfolio."
His study shows a diet that includes soy proteins, nuts, plant sterols (found in some oils and margarine) and fiber-rich foods, like oats and barley, actually lowered cholesterol by more than 20 percent.
John Flys was worried about his high cholesterol.
John Flys: "Taking the medication was what bothered me more than anything else."
John's never taken any drugs, not even aspirin, so he joined Dr. Jenkins' diet study, and it paid off.
John Flys: "You end up with a lot of energy. I've lost a lot of weight. I feel a lot better."
Not only does he feel better, but he can actually see the difference. John's lost 30 pounds!
John Flys: "I think it's a miracle."
And his cholesterol? It's back to normal. No drugs needed.
Christine Cruz: "An important thing to note, the diet lowered bad cholesterol, but didn't significantly lower patients' good cholesterol levels. To help raise those good levels, Dr. Jenkins says to exercise and maintain a healthy weight."
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