Medication vs. Supplementation Thread

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
The last few years have illustrated to many of us that there is good cause to doubt the trust we put in doctors, western medicine, and have opened a lot of eyes to pitfalls of allopathic medicine, and the corrupt power structures that support it, and keep our society at large on "legal" drugs.

As a result, many have started to look more seriously at "self care", and "doing your own research", which the news will tell you is exactly what we shouldn't be doing. Apparently those without a medical degree are incapable of making any informed health choices. It is interesting to note that prior to the AMA/Rockefeller takeover of medicine, becoming a doctor was a fairly straightforward and easy process. It was only after that stranglehold was established that homepathic medicine became a pariah.

While I can say that I have been using various supplements for years, it is only within the last year or two that I have taken a much more serious view of my own health, and how supplements and my own health are linked. Over that time, some supplements have come and gone, and based on my own research or response to each, have abandoned or introduced new ones.

In the meantime, I have made a conscious effort to eliminate prescription medications where I felt more natural solutions would exist, and wherever possible, validating the impact through periodic blood tests. Just to kick things off, I have made a list below of what I currently take, and why. I am curious to know what others have done or are doing.

First with the rx list:

Statin -- I have high hereditary cholesterol. Things I have tried before going on a statin: I was a vegan for 3 years after being a vegetarian for 6. I had the highest cholesterol as a vegan. I do not believe doctors understand cholesterol in my case. I was continually told to cut out the fat. I'm increasingly convinced that keto is a better fit for my situation. Anyway, I am still on the statin (for now).

Metoprolol -- I had bad PVCs about 6 years ago. I had an echo and a stress test and those looked fine. I have some kind of branch block something I didn't understand, but that is not too unusual (nor are PVCs). But it was enough to keep me up at night. So, at the advice of cardiologist I went on metoprolol and was cured. Original rx was 2x daily 100mg. Looking back, that is an insane amount.

--

Now the rx update. I am already down to 25mg metoprolol and am in the course of weaning off entirely. I fully believe that my PVCs were primarily driven by stress. I have since changed jobs and having progressed from 200mg down to 25mg, I have not seen any uptick in PVCs. But this is a drug you HAVE to get off of slowly. Months not weeks or days. One additional motivation to get off metoprolol was research I read that showed how metoprolol can have a really bad longterm impact on your cholesterol! So much so that the researchers suggested those at risk of high cholesterol may actually do more damage to their heart ON the heart medication beta blocker (metoprolol) than off of it.

For the statin, I am still doing a keto intermittent fast (great progress). Also, to reduce triglycerides. I am also looking for and adding supplements for cholesterol, where I find them. This is an experiment in progress where I might eliminate the statin should it turn out a healthier diet and lifestyle and supplements is sufficient.

And now the supplements and why I am taking them, when not obvious. Some of these are experiments like tart cherry for example. I have high uric acid so am prone to gout.

Vitamin D -- general health
Magnesium -- PVCs and general health
Calcium -- general health
Zinc -- Immune support
Apple Cider Vinegar -- Gout, cholesterol, triglycerides,
Niacin - Cholesterol and general detox
Tart cherry - Gout
Vitamin C - Gout, general health, immune support
NAC - General health and it is perhaps the best supplement I take, so naturally its now being banned by the FDA. It can still be found, with effort.

It may be worth listing what things Ive tried and abandoned. I'd have to think about that one to make a list, so I'll end the post for now. While I am sure to break off of the metoprolol train, I am still trying to find a combination of supplements, diet, and exercise that can bring my cholesterol and triglycerides in check.

Although not doctor sanctioned "medicine", I have also completely eliminated alcohol. I have concluded, at long last, simply nothing good comes from it.

I'm looking forward to other(s) thoughts and experiments. Validating these with bloodwork is a new approach for me, but it coincides with taking a serious approach to health and not a seat of the pants feels method, confirmation bias, or placebo effect. Between tests, I try to limit any changes I make to at most one.

God bless,
- Basil
 

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
Oh... and when it comes to gout, the official mantra is "allopurinol". Just take it. End of story. Case closed. If you don't take it, you're foolish. Gout forums are downright militant about it. Bizzare.

I'm not convinced. So, it would be a last resort. There seem to be many natural options that can be used alone or in combination to mediate high uric acid. We'll see.
 

Tedd

Pigeon
Agnostic
What's your concern with cholesterol specifically? Do you only have high overall cholesterol or high oxidated LDL cholesterol (oxLDL) as well? Because if oxLDL isn't unusually high, I think it's worth putting some more research into the statin and the possibility that it might not be all that necessary. - I'm intentionally being somewhat vague here because while I don't think statins arevery beneficial in most cases, I#m not familiar with how that might be different with familiar hypercholesterolemia (which, if I understood it correctly, is what you have.)


Here's what my wife and I are doing:
Medications: I use allergy medication for now, until I somehow find a way to stop my dust mite allergy from being to severe that it keeps me up at night. My wife uses eye drops for keeping intraocular pressure in check. She's had to use them pretty much since birth, but we're wanting to try and see if she can go without them by now.
Supplements and why we need them:
Cod Liver Oil - for vitamins and omega-3s
Vitamin D3 during fall and winter, because we don't want to realy on the vit D content of our foods
Vitamin K2 MK7 to balance out the D
Magnesium glycinate because nowadays the soil is so depleted of it that we can't match our demand just with food
Collagen because we eat quite a bit of muscle meat and not enough skin, cartilage, and bone broth.

We take as few supplements as possible though and try to meet as many of our micronutrient needs from food instead. So our diet is as nutrient dense as we can make it with lots of meat (muscle and organ), raw dairy, eggs, etc.
We're planning to get all our levels checked soon, so we'll see then how well our approach is working so far.
 

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
I was not implying that one size fits all. That wouldn't make for much of a discussion. In fact, as I mentioned, I still take cholesterol medication and at the time of the post I was still taking metoprolol for PVCs (I'm not any longer). In any case, while I was hoping to learn more about what others do, it was certainly not the intent to suggest a single path rather to explore what others have done and their experiences.

My lipid panel and normal values before diet changes while also on a statin:

CHOL/HDLC RATIO: 6.8 > 5.0
TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: 278 > 129
LDL/HDL RATIO: Can not compute, Triglycerides too high
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL: 237 > 130
TRIGLYCERIDES: 558 > 150

- Basil
 
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SebastianReal

Pigeon
Catholic
Supplements and why we need them:
Cod Liver Oil - for vitamins and omega-3s
Cod Liver Oil is a wonderful source of natural vitamin D3, retinol-based vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids. BUT, most of the products on the market process their cod liver oil with such harsh methods that they destroy the natural vitamin A and D, and the manufacturers compensate for this loss through adding in synthetic vitamin A and vitamin D3 post-processing. These harsh processing methods are cheap and usually extend the shelf life of the oil (preventing rancidity and bacterial contamination), but in my opinion, the destruction of the natural vitamins defeats the purpose of taking cod liver oil in the first place...

What brand do you use? And do you use extra-virgin cod liver oil or fermented cod liver oil?
 

infowarrior1

Crow
Protestant

Tedd

Pigeon
Agnostic
I was not implying that one size fits all. That wouldn't make for much of a discussion. In fact, as I mentioned, I still take cholesterol medication and at the time of the post I was still taking metoprolol for PVCs (I'm not any longer). In any case, while I was hoping to learn more about what others do, it was certainly not the intent to suggest a single path rather to explore what others have done and their experiences.

My lipid panel and normal values before diet changes while also on a statin:

CHOL/HDLC RATIO: 6.8 > 5.0
TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: 278 > 129
LDL/HDL RATIO: Can not compute, Triglycerides too high
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL: 237 > 130
TRIGLYCERIDES: 558 > 150

- Basil
Wow yeah nevermind the cholesterol, those triglycerides are alllll the way up there. I don't know too much about triglycerides (besides the fact that many people successfully lower them by restricting their carbohydrate intake); what have you tried so far to bring them down and has any of it helped?


Cod Liver Oil is a wonderful source of natural vitamin D3, retinol-based vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids. BUT, most of the products on the market process their cod liver oil with such harsh methods that they destroy the natural vitamin A and D, and the manufacturers compensate for this loss through adding in synthetic vitamin A and vitamin D3 post-processing. These harsh processing methods are cheap and usually extend the shelf life of the oil (preventing rancidity and bacterial contamination), but in my opinion, the destruction of the natural vitamins defeats the purpose of taking cod liver oil in the first place...

What brand do you use? And do you use extra-virgin cod liver oil or fermented cod liver oil?
This is gonna sound weird, but bear with me. The cod liver oil I use is from a German pet food brand. It's not fermented and not "extra-virgin" as far as I can tell, but it also costs only a fraction of the more well known brands. And - this is why I feel safe taking it - they publish lab analyses from every batch on their website. So with every bottle, I have a pretty clear idea of the amounts of vitamins, omega-3s, free fatty acids, peroxides, etc. that are in there.
Here is the website: http://www.lunderland.de/analyse/lebertran.html

Gout according to some studies may be the result of too much carbohydrates:

Specifically Fructose.

Intermittent fasting has cured this man's gout:
Yes, fructose is a major culprit. Oxalates are also a big contributor and should likely be avoided. That's most leafy greens, many beans and berries, chocolate, nuts, and a couple other foods.
 

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
My intermittent fasting results were astoundingly great.

CHOL/HDLC RATIO: 6.8 now 3
TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: 278 now 129
LDL/HDL RATIO: Can not compute, now 1.6
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL: 237 now 86
TRIGLYCERIDES: 558 now 95
Didn't mention before HDL Cholesterol was 41 (fine) now 43 (finer)

This was after one month. I check again at my 2 month interval in about a week. So yeah, it's working. If the results continue to look like this will experiment with dropping the statin.

My takeaway from all of this is that, it is important to know what works and what does not work for your own individual health, and not assume that medicine solves all.
 
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Tedd

Pigeon
Agnostic
My intermittent fasting results were astoundingly great.

CHOL/HDLC RATIO: 6.8 now 3
TOTAL CHOLESTEROL: 278 now 129
LDL/HDL RATIO: Can not compute, now 1.6
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL: 237 now 86
TRIGLYCERIDES: 558 now 95
Didn't mention before HDL Cholesterol was 41 (fine) now 43 (finer)

This was after one month. I check again at my 2 month interval in about a week. So yeah, it's working. If the results continue to look like this will experiment with dropping the statin.

My takeaway from all of this is that, it is important to know what works and what does not work for your own individual health, and not assume that medicine solves all.
That's awesome, I'm glad it worked so well for you! And I agree, our bodies are so neverendingly complex that really you have to make your own experiments and see what works and what doesn't. I'm looking forward to when I'll get my blood tests done and see if my current diet and regimen are working.

Getting back to the statin, I think it could be interesting to get your oxLDL tested as well. High LDL in and of itself often isn't harmful, only if it's oxidised it becomes a problem for the body. So if LDL is high but oxLDL is low, I think you could still go ahead and experiment with lowering or stopping the statin.
 

Knight.of.Logos

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Here's what my wife and I are doing:
Medications: I use allergy medication for now, until I somehow find a way to stop my dust mite allergy from being to severe that it keeps me up at night. My wife uses eye drops for keeping intraocular pressure in check. She's had to use them pretty much since birth, but we're wanting to try and see if she can go without them by now.
I've heard some people have success using quercetin for allergies. I'd look into that, I started taking it after getting the Coof and I think it is a powerful supplement. It's also in foods, and having a good diet will get natural quercetin, but it may be a beneficial thing to supplement. I've heard it recommended to take it with zinc to make it more effective.
 

The Beast1

Peacock
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
My supplement stack is simple and built up from previous wisdom learned from this forum

1. Zinc (miracle supplement for men and women)
2. Magnesium (helps sleep)
3. Melatonin for sleep
4. Vitamin D 5k IU (taken between daylight savings time in the morning)
5. Copper taken occasionally to prevent hair loss
6. Fish oil

I have other stuff but I don't bother. These have served me well, are cheap, and my blood tests look great.
 

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
Bloodwork is back. I decided to keep the statin for one more month. Although my cholesterol is now looking good. (Results in Fasting thread)

I also tested Vitamin D for the first time on a recommendation since the dose was high (5000 IU daily). The result is right in the middle of good range 30-100. So no concerns there.

Now adding bibhitaki powder (terminalia balerica) as a supplement to see what it does for uric acid, which is now normal (60s), but I am looking to see of it can be further reduced with this natural remedy. A few recent studies suggest it is about 50% as effective as allopurinol, the go to rx.

See those results in a month!

- Basil
 

Knight.of.Logos

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Bloodwork is back. I decided to keep the statin for one more month. Although my cholesterol is now looking good. (Results in Fasting thread)

I also tested Vitamin D for the first time on a recommendation since the dose was high (5000 IU daily). The result is right in the middle of good range 30-100. So no concerns there.

Now adding bibhitaki powder (terminalia balerica) as a supplement to see what it does for uric acid, which is now normal (60s), but I am looking to see of it can be further reduced with this natural remedy. A few recent studies suggest it is about 50% as effective as allopurinol, the go to rx.

See those results in a month!

- Basil
I recently got my vitamin D results of 40. That is in the acceptable range, however I have heard from several functional medicine and similar-type practitioners that the more ideal range is something like 60-80. For that reason I am taking Vitamin D every day (normally I just took it in the winter; I get a lot of sunlight usually) until I get into that range. I'm already feeling better from taking Vitamin D more often, however, there have been several other changes I've made around the same time, so it is hard to isolate the effect of Vit D.
 
Statin -- I have high hereditary cholesterol. Things I have tried before going on a statin: I was a vegan for 3 years after being a vegetarian for 6. I had the highest cholesterol as a vegan. I do not believe doctors understand cholesterol in my case. I was continually told to cut out the fat. I'm increasingly convinced that keto is a better fit for my situation. Anyway, I am still on the statin (for now).

 

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
Bloodwork is back. I decided to keep the statin for one more month. Although my cholesterol is now looking good. (Results in Fasting thread)

I also tested Vitamin D for the first time on a recommendation since the dose was high (5000 IU daily). The result is right in the middle of good range 30-100. So no concerns there.

Now adding bibhitaki powder (terminalia balerica) as a supplement to see what it does for uric acid, which is now normal (60s), but I am looking to see of it can be further reduced with this natural remedy. A few recent studies suggest it is about 50% as effective as allopurinol, the go to rx.

See those results in a month!

- Basil

I realize I never updated this thread about my experience with reducing uric acid with babhitaki (t. Bellirica) powder. The results have been positive, shown below. Note, the rise between month 1 and 2 is likely a side effect of weight loss from fasting.

Screenshot_20220102-043721_Drive.jpg
 

Saxonia

Pigeon
Protestant
I take some supplements myself and watch my diet. That is more of a preventive measure, conventional medicine comes into play when prevention has failed.
 

BasilSeal

Sparrow
Catholic
I have begun to draw the lines differently in my head and into three areas: supplementation, natural medicine, and conventional medicine. I would agree with you that supplementation is primarily a focus of providing some or other form of nutrition that you're not getting from diet, natural sunlight, etc. And so, is preventative in the sense that without supplementation, you're likely to have an effect from the lack of those nutrients. Some supplements are more natural that others, so it can be a gray area. Best is to get those things from diet and lifestyle choices.

I find it a little harder to agree that the next step is conventional medicine as opposed to trying to adjust diet, lifestyle and prayer, or natural medication next, when you're unwell. It is in these areas of health where I feel increasingly certain that the value and promise of those alternatives are downplayed and marginalized, or even stigmatized or written off as junk or pseudo-science, even as we on this particular forum should know that there is a limit to what science can explain about the human condition because we are more than the sum of bio-chemical machinery.
 
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