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Old 10-06-06, 07:19 AM   #1
14R
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Cholesterol 232. Now what?

I'm 32 years old and for the first time, on my annual check up, my cholesterol level is above 200.

What should I do?
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Old 10-06-06, 07:27 AM   #2
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You can exercise more and eat 0% fat or go on statins. If you go the drug route be sure to monitor your muscles for aches/pains a common side affect. You may need to try multiple statins to find the one that works best for you. I went from 250 to 167 using statins and exercise. Diet didn't help me much because my problem was genetic based.
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Old 10-06-06, 08:28 AM   #3
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You can exercise more and eat 0% fat
If you eat 0% fat, you will die. Not a good idea.

What was the ratio of LDL to HDL? What did your doctor suggest? What were your triglycerides?


Always try diet first. Oatmeal at breakfast instead of eggs may be all that you need to drop the cholesterol.
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Old 10-06-06, 08:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 14R
I'm 32 years old and for the first time, on my annual check up, my cholesterol level is above 200.

What should I do?
Curious as to what your diet is like? Any processed foods or unhealthy habits?
What was your ldl/hdl ratio?
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Old 10-06-06, 08:57 AM   #5
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I tend to run over 200 with a more or less "normal" diet.

You can do several things to lose cholesterol.

My current cholesterol is about 170 with 110 LDL and 65 HDL. SO I went from 220 to 170 by getting stringent with my diet.

1) drop as much saturated fat from the diet as possible. Avoid eating margerine, butter, animal fats, trans fats etc. Olive oil and safflower oil are fine.
2) take omega 3 fat tablets
3) eat oatmeal
4) for meat I generally eat chicken and boneless skinless chicken breasts, fish or shell fish. I will eat a red meat about once or twice per week and that is a lean cut.
5) lots of fiber (I don't know if this helps or not) and lots of fruits and vegetables.
6) I generally eat meat only once per day and this is at dinner.
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Old 10-06-06, 09:04 AM   #6
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Thank you for all the replies. I left the paperwork at home, so I'll check the ldl/hdl ratio once I get back.

I went from an athletic (adventure racing) background into graduate school semi-sedentary lifestyle. From 2001 to 2005 I exercised at most twice a week. Just recently got back into biking, but still not doing a disciplined routine.

I believe the origin of the issue is diet: No unhealthy habits (no alcohol, smoke or drugs), but a lot of canned soup and fast food (mostly subway). There is also a genetic factor (my uncle managed to reach 470 at the age of 55 WITH DIET).

Oatmeal at breakfast (with my green tea) will be added as a routine.

The results just came out, so I still haven't heard from the doctor yet.

Once again, thank you for all the replies. This means a lot to me.
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Old 10-06-06, 09:30 AM   #7
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Don't want to hijack the thread but I have a quick question ... just had my cholesterol checked as well and had 50 LDL and 80 HDL ... but my "total" was listed as 190 ... is there a third kind of cholesterol that's not broken down, or was someones math a little off?
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Old 10-06-06, 10:35 AM   #8
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Don't want to hijack the thread but I have a quick question ... just had my cholesterol checked as well and had 50 LDL and 80 HDL ... but my "total" was listed as 190 ... is there a third kind of cholesterol that's not broken down, or was someones math a little off?
Total Cholesterol = LDL + HDL + VLDL. (VLDL = Triglycerides / 5).

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Old 10-06-06, 10:46 AM   #9
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Thanks
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Old 10-06-06, 12:02 PM   #10
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I think the more exercise you do, the better. But there's the diminishing returns too. Pro cyclists may do 10,000 miles a year. But you don't need to be near that to be in good shape. Some say exercise at least 3 times a week. I like 5 times a week. Depends on age, current physical condition. Diet and exercise will help you get that cholesterol down. Exercise will also benefit you in other ways.
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Old 10-06-06, 12:50 PM   #11
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you have a few choices:

1) Don't worry about it. There is actually no proof whatsoever that cholesterol has anything to do with CHD. Hard to believe given all the hysteria out there but there it is. absolutely true.

2) Go low fat. This will lower your LDL a little bit, but will also raise your tryglicerides a LOT and will lower your HDL a LOT. Not good news. More bad news - because your tryglicerides will be high, you can also be sure that your LDL is mostly the dangerous small dense kind.

3) Take statins. Really bad idea. Lots of side effects, and no really good reason to risk it.

4) Restrict carbohydrates, eat all the quality animal protein and fat you want (included harmless saturated fats). Your LDL number will stay about the same, though the make up of your LDL will change to the large fluffy desireable kind instead of the small dense dangerous kind. Your tryglicerides will drop dramatically (good) and your HDL will rise dramatically (also good).


How can I tell you this, when it flies in the face of what "everyone knows" and is in fact in direct opposition to what the American Heart Assoc. and other official entities will tell you?

Let me tell you my story.

I just turned 50 and I have been low carbing for 4 years. Before that I had a terrible diet.
I had my own lipid profile done recently. It was almost 300, hahaa. 283 actually. My LDL was 201., HDL was 67, tryg. were 76. I also had asked for a LDL subtype test, which of course revealed my high LDL was mostly the large safe kind. Nonetheless, the doc. tried to insist I go on meds, which of course I refused. Just to humor her and to satisfy my own curiosity and to shut up my numerous nutritional critics, I let her talk me into getting a CT Angiogram done. This is a test that measures the calcium in your arteries, revealing the presence of plaque.

The not so amazing result? Zero calcium. ie. zero plaque.
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Old 10-06-06, 12:50 PM   #12
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Triglycerides:137
LDL: 160
HDL: 45
CHOL/HDLC ratio: 5.2

So, will I survive?
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Old 10-06-06, 01:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 14R
Triglycerides:137
LDL: 160
HDL: 45
CHOL/HDLC ratio: 5.2

So, will I survive?

LDL 160 is a little high. Most Dr's now recommend 130 or lower for this Cholesterol type. You gan generally lower this type of Cholesterol by consuming foods containing high levels of soluble fiber. This type of fiber will bind with the bile produced by your body from cholesterol and allow the bound bile to pass on through. Without the soluble fiber, the body will reabsorb the majority of bile and recycle it.
The passing of this bile forces the liver to extract more cholesterol from the blood to create more bile.
Good sources of soluble fiber are oatmeal, apples (pectin), plums, and dried beans.

You HDL is in the normal range, but at the lower end of normal. Dr's are usually concerned if the HDL is less than 45 in males. In fact a low HDL can be a signal of metabolic syndrome (also known as insulin resistance). You can generally raise your HDL numbers via exercise. Omega 3 consumption may also help but I know of no studies supporting this position.

Triglycerides generally are best kept under 150. Yours are in the "normal" range. If they were higher, I would sugest reducing your consumption of simple carbohydrates. Triglycerides are made by the liver when too many sugars flood the bloodstream at one time. They are a storage mechanism for excess calories. Alcohol consumption can also raise ones Trigs.


Take what I wrote with a grain of salt, and talk it over with your Dr. before making any drastic changes.
FWIW, I am a pre-med student. My Cholesterol profile looks like the following (taken in early Sept.):

LDL 74
HDL 74
Trigs 62
for a total Chol. of 160
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Old 10-06-06, 02:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mrfreddy
you have a few choices:

1) Don't worry about it. There is actually no proof whatsoever that cholesterol has anything to do with CHD. Hard to believe given all the hysteria out there but there it is. absolutely true.

2) Go low fat. This will lower your LDL a little bit, but will also raise your tryglicerides a LOT and will lower your HDL a LOT. Not good news. More bad news - because your tryglicerides will be high, you can also be sure that your LDL is mostly the dangerous small dense kind.

3) Take statins. Really bad idea. Lots of side effects, and no really good reason to risk it.

4) Restrict carbohydrates, eat all the quality animal protein and fat you want (included harmless saturated fats). Your LDL number will stay about the same, though the make up of your LDL will change to the large fluffy desireable kind instead of the small dense dangerous kind. Your tryglicerides will drop dramatically (good) and your HDL will rise dramatically (also good).


How can I tell you this, when it flies in the face of what "everyone knows" and is in fact in direct opposition to what the American Heart Assoc. and other official entities will tell you?

Let me tell you my story.

I just turned 50 and I have been low carbing for 4 years. Before that I had a terrible diet.
I had my own lipid profile done recently. It was almost 300, hahaa. 283 actually. My LDL was 201., HDL was 67, tryg. were 76. I also had asked for a LDL subtype test, which of course revealed my high LDL was mostly the large safe kind. Nonetheless, the doc. tried to insist I go on meds, which of course I refused. Just to humor her and to satisfy my own curiosity and to shut up my numerous nutritional critics, I let her talk me into getting a CT Angiogram done. This is a test that measures the calcium in your arteries, revealing the presence of plaque.

The not so amazing result? Zero calcium. ie. zero plaque.
There are a few dodgy aspects to this post. For example, you can reduce your saturated fats without impacting your HDL. There are many ways to take in “good” fats to build your HDL through diet.

Not sure what you mean about proof, but numerous studies over the past few years have shown a high correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease.

My best advice to anyone is not to take medical advice from an internet forum. You can use the web as a research tool (from medical resources). However, speak to a real healthcare professional.
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Old 10-06-06, 02:53 PM   #15
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1) Don't worry about it. There is actually no proof whatsoever that cholesterol has anything to do with CHD. Hard to believe given all the hysteria out there but there it is. absolutely true.
Get real. There is no "proof" that cholesterol causes heart disease in the same way there is no "proof" that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer.

It really bothers me how many self-professed health experts we have here who are willing to potentially jeopardize a person's life by disseminating their own unresearched opinions as hard fact.
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Old 10-06-06, 03:44 PM   #16
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Get real. There is no "proof" that cholesterol causes heart disease in the same way there is no "proof" that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer.

It really bothers me how many self-professed health experts we have here who are willing to potentially jeopardize a person's life by disseminating their own unresearched opinions as hard fact.
Your botheredness is understandable, considering how we all have been led to believe that of course cholesterol is bad, and of course sat. fat is bad. However, when you look into the origins of these theories, and to the actual state of the science supporting them, you might be in for a shock.

Anway, I know you wont believe me, so go ahead and try to find one, just one, well controlled double blind study that conclusively proves a direct causative link between high cholesterol and CHD.

(Hint: no such thing exists).
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Old 10-06-06, 03:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sfontain
Get real. There is no "proof" that cholesterol causes heart disease in the same way there is no "proof" that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer.

It really bothers me how many self-professed health experts we have here who are willing to potentially jeopardize a person's life by disseminating their own unresearched opinions as hard fact.
Although I do not wholeheartedly agree with what was said by Freddy, there are always 2 sides to every story. Each person is an individual and will react to different things differently.

IMO people who come here to talk about health interests are coming here to get opinions, not proven health facts. It may be that a good way for someone to learn about what is best for them is to see what has worked for other people in the past. Seeing what has worked for other people may give them opposing areas to look at, as well as direction, when, and if they decide to study the available research out there.

At one time I thought there was only one right way to eat; avoiding saturated fats and the like, but in coming here and hearing others' views I have found that it is not so clear cut when it comes to fat and cholesterol. I have read research where fat and cholesterol appeared to have caused many health problems, and at the same time I have read research that has shown that eating a diet high in saturated fats after an MI is much more beneficial than not eating them.

It seems in my brief study of research and statistics that research shows what ones hypothesis can only be disproved by research, and rarely, if ever proven, especially when dealing with individuals.

Of course there is always more to learn and I doubt I will ever be right beyond a doubt.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mrfreddy
Your botheredness is understandable, considering how we all have been led to believe that of course cholesterol is bad, and of course sat. fat is bad. However, when you look into the origins of these theories, and to the actual state of the science supporting them, you might be in for a shock.

Anway, I know you wont believe me, so go ahead and try to find one, just one, well controlled double blind study that conclusively proves a direct causative link between high cholesterol and CHD.

(Hint: no such thing exists).
And the same logic can be applied for a "causative" link between cigarette smoke and cancer - please...

There are have been many studies that have shown a high correlation between cholesterol levels and incidence of heart disease. Here is one of such study:

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content...ct/256/20/2835

Last edited by blue_nose; 10-06-06 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 10-06-06, 05:09 PM   #19
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I'm also in the camp that say's a cholesterol level of 232 is perfectly normal and healthy so don't sweat it.

Here's some articles,

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/80/3/550

Weston A Price Foundation, http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/index.html

http://www.azeri.org/Azeri/az_latin/...y_english.html

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/

http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm

Now a quick story about statistical correlation. Say your house is on fire. The fireman turn up to the blaze and maybe they save your house and maybe they don't but anyway they turned up to do their best. The police turn up to see what happened later, they see firemen EVERYWHERE, put 2 and 2 together and say hey, "the firemen burned down the house".

Seems ludicrious doesn't it but that's the state of evidence against cholesterol and why statistical correlation is such a nonsense argument that needs to be used more carefuly by only those who know what they are doing. Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant and its an important part of your bodies self repair mechanism. A total cholesterol level of 232 is perfectly healthy and desirable.

Now this is not to say that you wouldn't benefit from more fresh food in your diet and less canned/takeaway food but don't sweat a reading like that.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 10-06-06, 06:09 PM   #20
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Now a quick story about statistical correlation. Say your house is on fire. The fireman turn up to the blaze and maybe they save your house and maybe they don't but anyway they turned up to do their best. The police turn up to see what happened later, they see firemen EVERYWHERE, put 2 and 2 together and say hey, "the firemen burned down the house".

Seems ludicrious doesn't it but that's the state of evidence against cholesterol and why statistical correlation is such a nonsense argument that needs to be used more carefuly by only those who know what they are doing. Cholesterol is a powerful antioxidant and its an important part of your bodies self repair mechanism. A total cholesterol level of 232 is perfectly healthy and desirable.
Just because you don't have a clear cause-and-effect pathway defined, it doesn't mean there isn't a correlation. The fireman example is a simple attempt at finding cause-and-effect mechanism, however, you have to test that hypothesis of "the firemen burned down the house", using the scientific method of gathering data and testing your hypothesis. You have to be more sophisticated with statistical analysis of the evidence. For example, you have to examine a large number of cases and separate them into two classes:

1. burning-houses where there is an abundance of fireman...

2. burning-houses where there is a low number or no fireman at all..

Then analyze the final outcomes of these fires. What is the statistical chances of having a complete pile of ashes vs. a merely damaged home and how does that correlate with the presence and numbers of fireman? This will clearly exonerate the fireman as the "cause" of the fires. And even if you do not witness their actions, the final results, the "effects" of their presence shows them to be of benefit.

That's the same kind of statistical analysis done with cholesterol and fats, even though the exact mechanism has yet to be discovered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfontain
Get real. There is no "proof" that cholesterol causes heart disease in the same way there is no "proof" that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer.

It really bothers me how many self-professed health experts we have here who are willing to potentially jeopardize a person's life by disseminating their own unresearched opinions as hard fact.
Exactly, you have to look not at just qualitative ideas, you have to connect those ideas to quantifiable numbers. While no one knows the exact mechanism behind smoking & cancer and fats/cholesterol & CHD, the vast volume of research does show:

1. total cholesterol level is irrelevant as predictor of CHD, however

2. there IS a correlation between LDL/HDL balance and CHD, high-levels of LDL are indeed connected to CHD

3. statins are worthless, while they may reduce total cholesterol levels, they do nothing to change the LDL/HDL balance


Part of the problem here is that people are too simplistic when they hear and talk about "cholesterol", even doctors. First, we're talking about THREE completely different things:

1. Cholesterol is a very small lipid and pre-cursor to steroids and is used to make a large portion of the hormones in your body. It's also a primary component of every cell-wall in your body. It's created in large amounts in your liver and is transported throughout your body by HDL/LDLs. Actual ingested amounts of cholesterol has minimal impacts on your total cholesterol readings or HDL/LDL ratios.

2. HDL are much larger lipids with a protein attached. The protein allows it to be soluble in blood and to transport cholesterol around the body. Cholesterol merely takes a ride on HDL and goes back to the liver. HDLs are liquid and oily at room-temperature.

3. LDL are even larger lipids with proteins attached. These bring cholesterol out of the liver and moves it around the body. At room temperatures, LDLs are solid fats, like lard.

The exact debate should centre around HOW the cholesterol, HDLs and LDLs interact and contribute to CHD. That mechanism is STILL unknown. However, we do have a vast database of studies to reference. The strongest significant correlation is that eating saturated/trans/hydrogenated fats contributes the most to raising total cholesterol and increases LDL ratio to HDL and a strong connection to CHD. What appears to work counter to that is cutting out saturated fats, simple carbs and eating oils with omega-3 fatty acids, like olive & fish oils.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-06-06 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 10-06-06, 06:59 PM   #21
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Just because you don't have a clear cause-and-effect pathway defined, it doesn't mean there isn't a correlation. The fireman example is a simple attempt at finding cause-and-effect mechanism, however, you have to test that hypothesis of "the firemen burned down the house", using the scientific method of gathering data and testing your hypothesis. You have to be more sophisticated with statistical analysis of the evidence. For example, you have to examine a large number of cases and separate them into two classes:

1. burning-houses where there is an abundance of fireman...

2. burning-houses where there is a low number or no fireman at all..

Then analyze the final outcomes of these fires. What is the statistical chances of having a complete pile of ashes vs. a merely damaged home and how does that correlate with the presence and numbers of fireman? This will clearly exonerate the fireman as the "cause" of the fires. And even if you do not witness their actions, the final results, the "effects" of their presence shows them to be of benefit.

That's the same kind of statistical analysis done with cholesterol and fats, even though the exact mechanism has yet to be discovered.

Well you have faith that a more sophisticated analysis of the evidence HAS taken place while I don't. The problem is that a fundamental failure of science has taken place, ie they tried to fix a problem that didn't exist in the first place but everyone is in too far now to admit that it was the wrong road to follow in the first place and rather than taking a balanced look at the evidence they are still trying as hard as possible to prove an incorrect theory and that's the problem.

Its a total act of faith and those who eventualy break with this faith are labeled traitors and heretics.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 10-06-06, 09:31 PM   #22
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Thank you for all the replies. I left the paperwork at home, so I'll check the ldl/hdl ratio once I get back.

I went from an athletic (adventure racing) background into graduate school semi-sedentary lifestyle. From 2001 to 2005 I exercised at most twice a week. Just recently got back into biking, but still not doing a disciplined routine.

I believe the origin of the issue is diet: No unhealthy habits (no alcohol, smoke or drugs), but a lot of canned soup and fast food (mostly subway). There is also a genetic factor (my uncle managed to reach 470 at the age of 55 WITH DIET).

Oatmeal at breakfast (with my green tea) will be added as a routine.

The results just came out, so I still haven't heard from the doctor yet.

Once again, thank you for all the replies. This means a lot to me.
It's most likely your diet. My advice:

1) Get rid of the refined carbohydrates.

The soup has a lot of carbs, as does the sandwich (depending on the bread). Subway has a wrap that is whole grain and has lots of fiber. Switch to whole grains - whole white, brown rice, etc.

Also, get rid of the sugar, except for fruit.

2) Reduce the saturated fat.

3) Vegetable oils are okay, nuts are okay, etc.

Or, just go buy "south beach diet", and go from there.
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Old 10-07-06, 06:40 AM   #23
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My wife and I just got tested and both of our LDL levels are too high. Our doctor gave us a list of good and bad foods. You might want to recontact the doc and see if he/she can provide you with some more nutritional guidance.
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Old 10-07-06, 07:33 AM   #24
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You might want to visit the www.lipitor.com site and click on the 'Living Healthy' tab. It will provide some food ideas for you.
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Old 10-07-06, 08:16 AM   #25
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Read The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. It may help you see the "heretical" side. It has made a difference for me. Control you blood sugar, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and save your liver from the statins.
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