Drug Danger Hits Home

This information has been provided by Al Sears, MD and Doctor’s House Call. For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, visit alsearsmd.com.


I had a narrow escape with danger last month. LM, a 68 year-old retired teacher living in Boca Raton came to see if I would help her lower cholesterol without drugs. She had heard through a friend that I specialized in natural alternatives.

LM had been given Zocor, one of the “statin” drugs. Soon after taking it, she began to feel tired and sore. “I told my doctor that I was aching all over and I had no energy. He said it couldn’t be the medication and I needed to keep taking it. He prescribed Celebrex for the pain but it didn’t help. I’m not supposed to see him again for three months.”

“It got so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. So … I don’t know if I should tell you this, but … I stopped the Zocor on my own, against his advice. I felt so much better. The next day, my energy came back. I haven’t taken any for a week. My muscles are still a little sore but that’s getting better too. I know it was the drug and I’ll never take it again.”

I reassured LM that she had done the right thing. She could use natural alternatives that would be safe. I checked her blood to make sure her kidneys were recovering. They were. But her cholesterol was a whopping 290. And it was mostly the unhealthy kind, LDL cholesterol. This combination makes having a heart attack or a stroke more likely.

* A Clear Case for a Natural Alternative *

So did I tell her to take a drug? Absolutely not! Natural alternates work as well without the dangers. I informed her about a little known natural supplement called policosanol.

Policosanol is an organic alcohol derived from plants. I know of at least 15 studies proving its effectiveness and safety. I’ve never seen any side effects and no serious side effects have been reported. I gave it to LM and in just one month, her total cholesterol plummeted to 208. Even better, that important ratio of good to bad cholesterol has already normalized.

You can get policosanol at any of the nutrition chain stores. I’ve seen it at GNC, Wild Oats, Nutrition World and others. I’ve used multiple brands with equally good results. I usually recommend starting with 20 milligrams per day and measure a cholesterol blood test in 3 months. You can take it any time of day, with or without food.

We made one other important change with LM. We stopped several other drugs and replaced them with natural alternatives – including what she had been told was HRT. That’s the subject I want to bring up in your next letter.

Al Sears, MD