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Effective Vitamin Substituents for TRICOR and Pravastatin in the Control of High Cholesterol

By: Jose Angel Valdez, Jr.

Abstract
In finding control for cholesterol, there have been medications along the way that have proven to be effective but some what of a draw back due to side effects. These side effects are the basis for this study being done in trying to find an effective substituent for prescription medication for cholesterol. Though analyses have been done in trying to find more effective drugs for a different drug, this study takes a different approach in that a more natural method is used to treat high cholesterol patients. Persons were chosen on the basis of whether or not they were taking TRICOR and/or Pravastatin; then the dosage of the drug was replaced with the vitamin substituents upon evaluation of the patient. We expected for the vitamins to be just as effective, if not more effective, than that of the prescription drug without the side effects.

Materials & Methods


Selection of Patients This study was carried out through 3 general practices in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Practice records were examined, with the intention of finding up to 40 men and 40 women who had commenced some type of cholesterol treatment between 2006 and 2012 in each practice. Exclusions were: patients aged <18 years; patients known to have typical heart disease or other atherosclerotic disease at the time anti-cholesterol therapy was commenced. The inclusion criteria for the study were that the following information was recorded: age when anti-cholesterol medication was initiated, gender, systolic and diastolic blood pressure on date treatment was started, smoking status (nonsmoker/smoker), values of serum cholesterol and HDL cholesterol concentration on first occasion measured and whether diabetes was present. The inclusion criteria were not met by 254 patients whose notes were examined. Each of the three practices yielded 30 men and provided the full supplement of 30 women. There were thus 180 patients (90 women and 90 men) included in the study after examining 434 sets of notes. Whether the patients were receiving statin as well as any other types of medication in the year of 2012 was recorded. The study was performed according to the criteria of the University of Texas Pan American Research Ethics Committees for student research projects. Patients names or other information by which they could be identified were not recorded. No exclusion was made on ethnic grounds. Furthermore, this study was conducted after acceptance and approval through the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Administration of Substituents This study was designed as a direct daily vitamin dose of 2 Vitamin B12 gummies(500mcg), 2 Vitamin C gummies (250mg), and 2-4 Fish Oil gummies (222mg). This design came after the screening tests, dosage for an average adult. A research nurse counted gummies being administered at every 4 weeks visit to monitor compliance until the end of treatment. All patients were advised to continue with their usual diet, physical activity and medications. Basic assessments and blood sampling were done at baseline and 10 and 20 weeks after the patients commenced taking the study medications.

Introduction
The prescription drugs TRICOR (Fenofibrate) and Pravastatin are what are commonly known as cholesterollowering drugs, which work to lower triglycerides and total cholesterol by increasing the natural enzyme that helps break down fats in the blood. [3] The research being worked on comes from several works on how specified vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and Fish Oil can help lower LDL and triglyceride levels [2, 8]. Questions arise on, Why would anyone want to do this if TRICOR or Pravastatin are very effective at doing this already?; but here is something that some people do not know. These medications have been associated with increased risk of liver, gallbladder, kidney problems and tightness of chest. Less serious side effects can also include upset stomach, nausea, constipation, confusion or memory problems, etc. [1] Taking vitamins on the other hand does not have such an effect on the body seeing as to how they are more natural for our bodies to consume, while on the other hand TRICOR and the statins targets this specifically. Though ApoA and ApoB (apolipoproteins) are of great importance in understanding cholesterol, we are not particularly interested in them directly as we are in finding out if it is possible to use vitamins in place of prescription drugs such as TRICOR or Pravastatin. In this study we will be looking at how the said vitamins will work together alongside regular exercise [7] to help prevent high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients [5], which ultimately will lead to a healthier alternative to TRICOR and Pravastatin.

Results
According to the overall design, study and analysis of this research in comparison to the amount of time patients had been taking TRICOR and Pravastatin against the results in which the state of the patient was in upon commencing this study, there were significant differences observed in diastolic blood pressure, LDL Cholesterol, triglyceride levels and general state of health was significantly improved. There were significant decreases in total cholesterol and LDL- cholesterol concentrations in all groups of both male and female. Significant decreases in cholesterol levels were found in these groups at the 10 weeks and these were sustained and improved to 20 weeks. This in comparison to the statistics given to our research by the clinics of the TRICOR and Pravastatin was an incremental finding. In gathering data and obtaining results, comparative analysis was used. Therefore, having these guidelines we took each individual and measured the state in which they were in with use of TRICOR and or Pravastatin and the state of overall health in which they were in after the vitamin gummy substitution study ended. Of note, when compared to TRICOR and Pravastatin therapy, Vitamin Gummy therapy significantly reduced total, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B levels and increased apolipoprotein AI levels.

References
1."TriCor (fenofibrate) Tablets." RxAbbVie. Fournier Laboratories Ireland Limited, Feb. 2013. Web. 03 Nov. 2013. http://www.rxabbvie.com/pdf/tricorpi.pdf. 2. S. Samuel, et al. Estimating health and economic benefits from using prescription omega-3 fatty acids in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia. American Journal of Cardiology, 108 (2011), pp. 691-697. 3.Rackel, R.E. (2011) Chapter 6: Hyperlipidemia. In: Rackel (ed) Textbook of Family Medicine, 8th. Philadelphia, PA, 7399. (Other References Upon Request)

Acknowledgments
The research would not have been possible without the support of many people. The author wishes to thank his Supervisor, Dr. J. Banu who was beyond helpful and whom offered her invaluable assistance and support. Gratitude also, to members whom assisted with this research; and as well to the practices who participated in the study.