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About Common Statin Medications

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe a class of medication known as statins. Statins are common cholesterol-lowering medications that have been proven to be very effective. They can be very helpful when diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to lower cholesterol. But what are statins, and what are the most common brands? Read on to learn more.

What Is a Statin?

Statins are a class of drugs that are used to lower cholesterol levels. They work by blocking an enzyme in the liver that produces cholesterol. By blocking this enzyme, statins can help to reduce overall cholesterol levels in the body, specifically LDL (which is considered bad cholesterol). Lowering LDL cholesterol can reduce an individual’s risk of heart disease and other conditions linked to high cholesterol.

Understanding High Cholesterol and Prescriptions

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that can be found in every cell wall of our bodies. Cholesterol is used for various functions inside our bodies, such as helping to make hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, and more. The problem begins when we have too much cholesterol circulating in our bloodstream. At high levels, cholesterol can become trapped in artery walls and accumulate over time. This causes arterial plaque, which can narrow blood vessels and harden your arteries.

As arterial plaque builds up, it can increase an individual's risk of heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, and more. Fortunately, there are ways to lower cholesterol. By lowering cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, you can reduce your risk of developing plaque and reducing your chances of experiencing any of these negative health events.

Unless your cholesterol is already very high or you already have known heart disease, your doctor will likely recommend dietary and lifestyle changes first. However, these changes aren’t always sufficient, and prescription statin medication may be necessary. Statins often plays an important role in helping people control their cholesterol levels, so you should always make sure to take your statin as directed by your physician.

Popular Statins

Now that we know a little bit more about statin medication, let’s take a look at some of the most popular statins that doctors prescribe to patients with high cholesterol.

Lipitor (Atorvastatin)

Atorvastatin is the generic name for the statin medication Lipitor. It is one of the most common statin medications. Learn more about Lipitor.

Crestor (Rosuvastatin)

Rosuvastatin is the generic name for Crestor. Ezallor is another brand name for Rosuvastatin, but Crestor is more common. Learn more about Crestor.

Pravachol (Pravastatin)

Pravastatin is the generic name for Pravachol. Learn more about Pravachol.

Zocor (Simvastatin)

Simvastatin is the generic name for Zocor. Learn more about Zocor.

Livalo (Pitavastatin)

Pitavastatin is the generic name for Livalo. Learn more about Livalo.

Lescol (Fluvastatin)

Fluvastatin is the generic name for Lescol. The common brand names for fluvastatin are Lescol and Lescol XL. Lescol is the standard version of the medication, and Lescol XL is an extended-release tablet. Learn more about Lescol.

Mevacor (Lovastatin)

Lovastatin is the generic name for the brand Mevacor. Learn more about Mevacor.

Additional Ways To Support Heart Health

Cholesterol management guidelines instruct doctors to recommend dietary and lifestyle changes before immediately prescribing statin medications for most people. With that being said, statins may be prescribed right away for those who have existing heart conditions or extremely high cholesterol. Regardless of whether you’re prescribed statins or not, there are additional ways to help support a healthy heart. Let’s take a look at some of them

Diet

One of the best ways to improve cholesterol levels is with a heart-healthy diet that delivers plenty of whole food fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and plant sterols (natural plant components that block cholesterol absorption in the intestinal tract). Following a plant-forward eating plan, including high levels of fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes and other heart-healthy foods can help support efforts to attain adequate amounts of these important nutrients.

If that sounds overwhelming, you can ensure you are getting the right cholesterol-lowering nutrients in the right amounts by using Step One Foods. These were developed by a cardiologist to help her patients reduce their reliance on medications to control their cholesterol levels. Not only are Step One Foods ready to eat and easy to incorporate into your diet, but they are made entirely from natural, whole-food ingredients and are clinically proven to help lower cholesterol by a clinical trial performed at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Manitoba. In that study, 80% of participants saw cholesterol improvements in 30 days. Best of all, Step One Foods tastes great, and there is a wide variety of options to choose from. You can try bars, pancake mixes, oatmeal, smoothies, granola and more!

Exercise

Your doctor will also likely recommend exercising to help manage cholesterol issues. Exercising regularly can help raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (Bad Cholesterol) levels. Remember, your exercise routine will vary based on your individual health needs and fitness level. Make sure to talk to your doctor about what exercise routine is right for you.

Lifestyle

When you’re trying to lower cholesterol, your biggest lifestyle changes will usually be adjusting your diet and exercise routine. But there are some other changes you can make that will help.

Excessive alcohol intake can raise cholesterol levels and contribute to weight gain, which also increases the risk for high cholesterol and cholesterol-related conditions. Try to limit alcohol consumption or cut it out altogether.

Similarly, smoking can damage your blood vessels and lower HDL levels. You can help improve your cholesterol profile by quitting smoking.

Not Sure Where to Start? Just Take Step One!

Shop Clinically-Proven Foods To Help Rapidly Lower Your Cholesterol

If you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate natural, heart-healthy foods into your diet, Step One Foods is here to help. Each snack is packed with whole food fiber, plant sterols, Omega-3 fatty acid, and antioxidants. These ingredients are known as the building blocks of heart health, and our food-based solutions have been clinically proven to help lower cholesterol levels.

As mentioned above, our snacks have been evaluated in a randomized controlled clinical trial at Mayo Clinic and the University of Manitoba. On average, subjects in the trial saw LDL cholesterol lowered by 9% in just 30 days, with many participants seeing 20, 30 or even close to 40% LDL reductions. All they did - and all you have to do - is incorporate a serving of Step One Foods twice per day.

Get More Out of Your Treatment with Step One Foods

Even if you’re on statin medications, following a heart-healthy diet can be easier when you have clinically proven options like Step One Foods. Especially since eating better can help reduce the doses of statin medications needed to control your readings.  Given that statin side effects are dose-related, this can have a big impact on your health.  Step One Foods has plenty of delicious, ready-to-eat options to choose from, and you’re sure to find your favorite in no time! Take step one to better health and place an order for your snacks today.

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