Experts predict that as a result of a study, which seems to show that Crestor statin drug reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with high levels of inflammation, will lead millions of people to take drugs with statins.
But the benefits were really small: about 0.72 percent of those who took statins in the trial suffered a heart attack or stroke, compared to 1.5 percent of those who took placebos.
Instead of a statin medication that comes with dangerous side effects, try these five measures:
1. Stop smoking. Smoking hardens the arteries and increases inflammation. But research shows that it can reverse all the damaging effects to your arteries within 10 years of quitting.
2. Think of olive oil, fish and nuts. People who follow a Mediterranean-style diet based on fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil can decrease their levels of inflammation. It works by increasing the amount of foods you eat that are rich in omega-3 fats, which fight inflammation.
3. Stay active. Exercise is a great way to reduce inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications.
Reduce the size of your waist. If you are a woman with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches or a man with a waist of more than 40 inches, you probably have a high inflammation. Cutting a few inches off the waist by reducing portions and increasing activity can help a lot in solving that problem.
4. Sleep enough. A new study shows that elderly people with high blood pressure who sleep less than 7.5 hours a night have a dramatically increased chance of having a stroke or a heart attack. Other research has shown that sleeping too little and too much increases inflammation. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
5. Reduce stress. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals.
Source: News from the United States and World Report November 11, 2008
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