Dr. Gott: Cinnamon worth try to lower cholesterol

Dear Dr. Gott: Four years ago, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I have fibromyalgia, so the idea of taking a statin was not appealing. Then I read one of your columns about cinnamon lowering blood sugars and cholesterol levels, so I thought I would give it a try. I took 1,500 milligrams three times a day, and, after six weeks, my cholesterol had dropped 200 points and was back within the normal range. My triglycerides also dropped into normal range.

My doctor’s mind was blown. He couldn’t believe that I had such a drastic drop. He wanted to test me every three months, and now, four years later, I am still on the cinnamon, and my cholesterol and triglycerides remain within normal range.

Dear Reader: I am pleased to hear of your amazing results. It has been some time since I last wrote about cinnamon for cholesterol and, unfortunately, most of my readers found it did not work or caused side effects, primarily diarrhea. However, if it has continued to work for you, stick with it.

Most of my readers have found success using other alternative therapies. Niacin is a popular one but may affect the liver. Omega-3 oils, such as fish or flaxseed, may be beneficial. Not everyone will respond positively to every treatment, alternative or not, which makes recommendations difficult.

Dear Dr. Gott: I had a severe gas problem, which was both noisy and malodorous. I tried everything that was suggested to me – Beano, Gas-X, charcoal caps – but nothing helped. After moving to a new town, I went to a new physician, who suggested that I chew four Pepto-Bismol tablets each day. It worked! I no longer feel socially unacceptable. I hope you pass this on to your readers so that they may try it.

Dear Reader: This is a new use to me for Pepto-Bismol. This product is generally used for stomach upset and diarrhea, but it is safe and inexpensive; if it works for you, stick with it. You should also be aware that the product can cause harmless darkening of the tongue or stool that is often temporary.

I am passing on your letter in the hopes that it will help others with this common – but embarrassing – problem.

• Write to Dr. Gott c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., 4th fl., New York, NY 10016.

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