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Lowering cholesterol naturally

I have a male patient that needs to get his cholesterol down 15 points in 6 weeks.  His triglycerides are 118, LDL 181 and HDL 50.  Sounds like his weekly diet is mostly whole foods, (an occasional beer and french fries on the weekend if they go out) he swims 3x/week.   Hes been doing Omega Plus and Vit D3 for 9 months and our red yeast rice since April.  Have any other suggestions from our arsenal?
appreciate it.
– SF Acupuncturist


Dear SF Acupuncturist,
There are many possibilities and it depends on TCM pattern diagnosis. Is there an obvious phlegm damp problem? Liver effulgence or heat? Anything that treats/cleanses/dredges/ detoxifies the liver is likely to be of some help.  High antioxidant activity can also be helpful.

Chlorine may be slightly problematic for estrogen/testosterone balance which can effect HDL levels negatively.  The swimming is certainly good, but 15-20 minutes of interval training 3 x per week will do more for cholesterol and blood sugar lowering.

What was his fasting glucose, or better yet his HgA1c?  Has he had a CRP test done for inflammation?

While the Triglycerides at 118 are OK, and they can fluctuate depending on recent food intake, it still looks like he may be getting too many carbs.

Some ideas :


Cholisma by Evergreen.  I used this as a cornerstone of treatment for a patient and we got her total cholesterol from 350 to 160 in about 6 weeks.

If you want to make a formula I recommend: Hua Tan Jiang Zhi Fang as a typical base formula. Lots of choices depending on pattern diagnosis.  I would modify it as needed for pattern diagnostics.

As a powder I would recommend these percentages:
Rhizoma Atractylodis (Cang Zhu), 15g,
Rhizoma Pinelliae Ternatae (Fa Ban Xia), 10g,
Sclerotium Poriae Cocos (Fu Ling), 15g, Rhizoma
Atractylodis Macrocephalae (Bai Zhu), 10g,
Semen Coicis Lachryma-jobi (Yi Yi ren), 15g, Radix
Saussureae Seu Vladimiriae (Mu Xiang), 10g,
Radix Ligustici Wallichii (Chuan Xiong), 10g,
Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae (Dan Shen), 15g.

Cholesterol problems involve the liver, spleen and stomach.  Since we want to Fortify the Spleen to transform dampness and phlegm, my first choice would be to have him moxa Zu San Li for 30 minutes between 7-9 AM every day for ten days.  Then take 5 days off and repeat for another ten days.  Continue for the six weeks.  This is a very powerful treatment, with about a 60-70% success rate in Chinese studies.

Of course any acupuncture treatment that treats his spleen, stomach, liver to fit his TCM patterns would be great when he sees you. Kidney vacuity can complicate this but usually in older patients.

Supplements and Diet:
Niacin (warn him about the niacin flush.)  start at low level and build up to 500 mg one time per day
High quality fiber product before meals.  I prefer 2 capsules of PGX konjac mannan fiber
Pu Erh tea with meals.
Green tea between meals or take Epigalocatechin gallate (EGCG) or supplement
100 mg of Ubiquinol (high quality Co-Q10) to balance the Red Rice Yeast
Fenugreek capsule 500 mg bid
IP 6;  Inositol Hexaphosphate
Continue the Fish Oil
Vitamin D @ 5,000 iu per day unless he has been tested {25 (OH) vitamin D3} and needs more
As many cruciferous vegetables as he can stand (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, caulifower, bok choy, kale etc.)

If he does most of this, he has about a 95% chance of reaching the goal within 6 weeks.

Dr. John Nieters, L.Ac. DAOM

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