Statins Are Not the Only Way To Lower CRP Levels

Articles
November 17, 2008

Statins Are Not the Only Way To Lower CRP Levels

All over the media this week are reports of a new study announced at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans which showed that people with normal cholesterol levels were able to cut cardiac risks by taking statin drugs. The statins reduced arterial inflammation, evidenced by lower levels of an inflammatory marker in the body called C-reactive protein, or CRP. But nowhere in the media has there been any mention that statins are not the only way to lower CRP levels. Lifestyle changes like the Pritikin Program have also proven very effective. "In fact, lifestyle is the most effective way to reduce CRP," asserts Robert Vogel, MD, one of America's leading cardiologists and co-author of the newly published book The Pritikin Edge: 10 Essential Ingredients for a Long and Delicious Life (Simon & Schuster). In just two to three weeks, the food and fitness principles of the Pritikin Program have been documented to dramatically reduce CRP levels in men, women, and children.

All over the media this week are reports of a new study announced at the American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans which showed that people with normal cholesterol levels were able to cut cardiac risks by taking statin drugs. The statins reduced arterial inflammation, evidenced by lower levels of an inflammatory marker in the body called C-reactive protein, or CRP. 
 
But nowhere in the media has there been any mention that statins are not the only way to lower CRP levels. Lifestyle changes like the Pritikin Program have also proven very effective. 
 
"In fact, lifestyle is the most effective way to reduce CRP," asserts Robert Vogel, MD, one of America's leading cardiologists and co-author of the newly published book The Pritikin Edge: 10 Essential Ingredients for a Long and Delicious Life (Simon & Schuster).
 
In just two to three weeks, the food and fitness principles of the Pritikin Program have been documented to dramatically reduce CRP levels in men, women, and children. 
 
"We reported an average 45% reduction in CRP levels for women (Metabolism 53:377, 2004), 39% for men (J. Appl. Physiol. 100:1657, 2006), and 41% for children (Atherosclerosis 191:98, 2007)," notes Dr. James Barnard, UCLA scientist and author of more than 110 studies on the effectiveness of the Pritikin Program in preventing and controlling cardiovascular-related diseases like heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. 
 
The new study using statins saw CRP levels drop on average 37%. 
 
It is critical that Americans understand how powerful lifestyle changes can be in curbing CRP and other inflammatory markers, notes Drs. Vogel and Barnard, because many Americans may prefer to try non-pharmaceutical options first.  They can then avoid the potential side effects of statin medications, which include muscle weakness and cognitive problems such as memory loss.
 
Lifestyle changes are also much cheaper. Critics estimate that wider use of statins could cost our already bloated health care system more than $9 billion annually.  
 
Finally, lifestyle changes like the Pritikin Program attack all facets of cardiovascular-related problems, including high cholesterol levels, high glucose levels and diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, as well as inflammatory markers like CRP.