Saturday, January 19, 2008
Oatmeal for Cholesterol
The recent news about Vytorin and Zetia not being effective for lowering cholesterol was front page headlines across America and in the medical blogosphere. What didn't get any attention was the new research that shows "oatmeal lowers cholesterol even more than we thought 10 years ago ".
Dr James Anderson looked at new studies and compared them with the original conclusion reached by the FDA 10 years ago. He found, without exception, that oat consumption lowered total cholesterol as well as the "bad" LDL cholesterol. He says "Whole grain products like oatmeal are some of the best foods one can eat to improve cholesterol levels."
Other benefits from eating oatmeal have also been found. It can reduce the risk for hypertension, type 2 diabetes and weight gain. It may supply unique compounds that may reduce early hardening of the arteries.
So what's not to like? Whole Foods sells steel cut Irish oatmeal for under a dollar a pound. Statin drugs can run $30-120/month. Oatmeal causes no side effects (unless you are on a gluten free diet) while statins can often cause muscle pain, liver damage or interact with other drugs. At the very least, oatmeal should be "prescribed" by physicians for everyone whose cholesterol is high.
Gotta run...my oatmeal is bubbling over.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 8:50 AM