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Ask Chuck: Can an apple a day keep the statin drugs at bay?

March 20, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 19, 2014 at 10:20 p.m.


By Charles Colson

Charles, since you massage therapists work a lot with health issues, do you think the side effects of statin drugs overpower the benefits?

Going with the most popular public polls, I have to agree that side effects can be extremely dangerous with statin drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor, etc.

I remember a statement a doctor told me once when I asked him a similar question. He said that as doctors, they prescribe medications appropriate for our medical conditions. He said that most of the time, the drugs prescribed do get us well, but sometimes, he sadly said, people die from the side effects.

There is an interesting article in To Your Health magazine about this subject. It states how serious statin drugs can affect our well-being.

"An Apple A Day Keeps the Statin Drugs At Bay" is written by Dr. G. Douglas Andersen. Would you believe it is the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? It was researchers from Oxford who compiled a paper saying statin drugs could be kept at bay. In this paper, the researchers calculated that if everyone older than 50 in the United Kingdom took statin drugs, about 9,400 deaths from cardiovascular disease would be prevented every year. This is because the statin drugs aid in lowering cholesterol in our bodies.

The researchers then went a step further and applied the same formula, substituting an apple in place of the statin drug taken each day.

Their results were fascinating and phenomenal. It revealed that if 70 percent of the people ate an apple a day, that would prevent about 8,500 deaths a year.

The report became more interesting when researchers estimated side effects would also cause almost 14,000 serious problems a year. Simple solution: Compare the side effects of an apple a day to this shocking report. I often wonder, would doctors buy this one? Maybe Mom and Grandma knew best all along. Go figure.

Chuck, since you massage therapists try to teach people the best ways to relax, do you have any great solutions for one like me who can't sleep well?

Excellent question and thought. In the To Your Health magazine, there was an article published recently called "3 Ways to Sleep Soundly." Let's see if it teaches us something.

It says it is time to turn it off. After a draining day at work, sleep is the first thing on your mind - but the last thing on your schedule. Sound right so far? Now, you have to make time to scroll through the hundreds of cable channels not to mention your Wi-Fi, Xbox, iPad, cellphone, etc. Oops, I forgot to mention taking care of the family needs. By the time you get to bed, you find yourself almost too tired to sleep.

How about trying to relax - even during a break at work or a little during lunchtime? Let's call the method a short power nap. You would be surprised how relaxed you feel by bedtime. Next, try and have your heaviest meal at lunchtime. I think they say this is when you should eat like a king and queen.

Now, by the time you get home, forget what you ate at lunch and think light. Just eat minimum portions, and the most important thing to remember is to stop eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. Even my own doctor says it takes four hours for food to metabolize. And guess what? He was right.

Practicing these methods earnestly will come closer to assuring you a good night of sound sleep. Finally, count your many blessings and name them one by one. Sleep tight.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to crcolsonrmt1@sbcglobal.net or call 361-575-5331.

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