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Heart Health

A randomized trial discovered that preventive low-dose statin therapy significantly reduced LDL cholesterol for individuals without heart disease, surpassing the effects of dietary supplements and placebo.

In a study that included comparator groups taking fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols, or red yeast rice, those taking rosuvastatin 5 mg per day for four weeks had an average 37.9% reduction in LDL cholesterol, the only group to perform better than the placebo arm (P0.001 for all comparisons).

According to Luke Laffin, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, who presented the SPORT trial at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual conference, a garlic supplement was the study’s poorest performer, increasing LDL cholesterol by 7.8% over a placebo (P=0.01). The American College of Cardiology Journal immediately after the data were released.

He urged cardiologists and other medical professionals to use the findings of the SPORT trial in evidence-based conversations with patients who needed to lower their LDL cholesterol. He cited the lack of excessive gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, or neurological side effects among statin users in the study as reassuring.