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Can Grapefruit Lower Your Cholesterol?

March 11, 2006 | 17,300 views
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A recent study found that one grapefruit a day can significantly lower your blood cholesterol levels, which are a major risk factor for heart disease.

Red, White, or None

The new study showing this adds to the mounting evidence of the heart benefits of citrus fruits. Nearly 60 patients who recently had coronary bypass surgery were divided into three treatment groups. They were either given red grapefruit, white grapefruit, or no grapefruit along with their meals for a month.

Lower Triglyceride Levels

Patients who ate both red and white grapefruit showed a decrease in blood lipid levels compared to those who ate no grapefruit. Red grapefruit was the most effective in lowering triglycerides, the cholesterol often associated with heart problems.

Red grapefruit has higher levels of antioxidants than white, but it may also contain as yet unknown chemicals responsible for lowering triglycerides.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

News has been mounting about the health benefits of grapefruit for reducing gum disease and treating stomach ulcers. Looks like they can also lower your cholesterol significantly. That is in large part due to the potent bioflavanoids present in grapefruit.

While it is encouraging to find additional supporting evidence that eating whole foods can do so much more good for your health than taking a supplement or a toxic, useless drug for conditions ranging from high cholesterol to depression, there are some concerns here.

While grapefruit has many helpful bioflavanoids that produce many of its benefits, it is also loaded with fruit sugar, which can actually cause your cholesterol to skyrocket, especially if you are a protein nutritional type like me.

When the Fit For Life diet came out in the '80s I was still a clueless conventional doctor so I gave it a try. This diet promotes having large amounts of fruit and nothing else for breakfast.

Well this is about the worst thing you could possibly do for a protein type. My triglycerides skyrocketed to over 1000 after a few short weeks. While this would not happen in a carb type, it is certainly possible in protein types. If you happen to start increasing your grapefruit consumption based on stories like this you might actually cause the problem you were hoping to avoid.

So the key is to do your homework before you make drastic dietary changes. Hopefully you can use the information I freely provide on this site of my last three decades of clinical experience to guide you in your journey.

Additionally, the usual conventional medical response to high cholesterol is to prescribe a dangerous statin drug. Not only are statins hazardous to your health, they don't even really do anything for you.

They treat your symptoms, by lowering your high cholesterol, but they do nothing to treat the underlying causes, which have led to your high cholesterol, leaving you just as sick as you were to begin with.

And while achieving nothing for your health, statin drugs are linked to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects including, but not limited to:

  • Weakness

  • Muscle aches

  • An increase in cancer risk

  • Immune system suppression

  • Serious degenerative muscle tissue condition (rhabdomyolysis)

  • Potential increase in liver enzymes, so patients must be monitored for normal liver function

So What Can You Do to Normalize Your Cholesterol?

If you want to reduce your cholesterol levels safely, while treating the problems that have caused your high cholesterol in the first place, there are two primary strategies that work well over 99 percent of the time if properly implemented. They are:

  • Daily cardiovascular exercise

  • Low-grain diet

Exercise

The key to exercising effectively is to keep in mind three important variables: length of time, frequency and intensity. By doing so, you will ensure all your hard efforts are not wasted and are having a positive effect on your body.

I encourage my patients to gradually increase the amount of time they are exercising to 60 to 90 minutes a day. Initially the frequency is daily. This is a treatment dose until you normalize your weight or insulin levels. Once normalized, you will only need to exercise three to four times a week.

Also, you should exercise hard enough so that it is difficult to talk to someone next to you. When you are exercising that hard your cardiovascular system is under such a significant amount of stress that the mere act of talking makes you unable to provide your body with enough oxygen. However, if you cannot carry on a conversation AT ALL, then you have gone too far and need to decrease the intensity.

Eating Right

A healthy food plan with little to no grains and sugars will effectively lower insulin levels, and elevated insulin levels are one of the primary drivers for raising cholesterol.

Also, while fish oil and cod liver oil will not lower your cholesterol, in most cases they will, without question, reduce your risk of heart disease. Isn't that really the point? You probably couldn't care less what your cholesterol level is, all you want to do is avoid having a cardiovascular event.

Please remember that the highly conservative American Heart Association actually has approved fish oils as a proven item to reduce heart disease. Fish oil is one that no one is arguing about. There is universal agreement that it is something good to take.

So please be sure to take a high-quality fish or cod liver oil that is chock full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to find a fish oil that is independently tested by a lab and found to conform to the highest purity guidelines. This will ensure that the oil is free of mercury and other toxins.

Anyone interested in regulating their cholesterol without drugs can find these methods completely explained in my book Total Health Program. Most anyone who follows it will find that their cholesterol levels will reach a healthy level, and numerous other health complaints will disappear as well.

Warning

Be prepared for the side effects -- following the guidelines in the Total Health Program will inevitably cause you to:

  • Normalize your weight

  • Increase your energy

  • Lower your blood pressure

  • Lower triglycerides

  • Feel better than you have felt in years

If you are willing to accept the side effects above then you might want to consider following the program. Please remember that we warned you about the side effects; most conventional physicians don't.


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