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Must lower my cholesterol!

Old 08-12-05, 08:33 AM
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dragracer
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Must lower my cholesterol!

Had a health fair here last week and I had my cholestol checked. Got the results in the mail at home last night and it was not good. I'm embarrased to even say how high it is. Let's just say, I need to lower it.

Before I resort to Lipitor, or some crap like that, I want to try to get it down as much as possible with diet and exercise. When I went into the hospital at the end of Jan. I weighed about 155. While I was off sick, my weight skyrocketed, and right now I'm at 174. I'm guessing this has a lot to do with the high numbers, but I don't know. The 20 extra pounds is ALL FAT.

Anyhow, have any of you guys been able to significantly reduce your bad cholesterol numbers just by diet and exercise?? Tell me what you did and maybe what I should do. What kind of stuff should I avoid eating altogether? I have not been able to ride much since my illness but as soon as it cools off a bit, I intend to start riding again...as much as my condition will allow.

Any ideas/advice would be greatly appreciated. Would especially like to hear from anyone that is trained in this sort of stuff....doctors, nurses, etc. Thank you.
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Old 08-12-05, 08:46 AM
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Remember that cholesterol is just a proxy indicator for fats. Cholesterol by itself is neither good or bad, it just tags along for the ride as fats are moved around in your body. All your cell walls are made from cholesterol as well as most hormones. It's the saturated fat that you have to worry about, so cut that out of your diet completely. That's been shown to have a direct correlation with your cholesterol readings, rather than any type of consumption of cholesterol itself.

Then eat more polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (fish & veggies).
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Old 08-12-05, 08:54 AM
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Just had mine done came in at 147. i don't eat RED MEAT!!.no beef, pork, ham and i eat with common sense. not much junk, nothing high in fat least the bad fats. it's not rocket science. to gain all the fat back you must be eating like ****, you are what you eat.
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Old 08-12-05, 10:23 AM
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Yep. I sure did. I went from 199 to 201... but the difference is that before, I had a REALLY high LDL (bad cholesterol) and a really low HDL (good cholesterol), but after significantly reducing my fat intake and increasing my exercise, I now have a REALLY high HDL and a really low LDL. Every time my doctor gives my physical and takes blood, she just checks to make sure my LDL stays low and my HDL stays high. I did have some insurance issues, though, when they tried to just read my total cholesterol without analyzing the results.

Just continue to eat foods low in fat and cholesterol, while exercising, and stay consistent. It'll happen with time, and don't get discouraged. It took me years to get to this point.

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Old 08-12-05, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pacesetter
......gain all the fat back you must be eating like ****.......
You think I don't know that? That statement really makes me feel good about my situation. Thanks, that helps a lot.
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Old 08-12-05, 12:02 PM
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Eat oatmeal and other high-fiber foods EVERY DAY! Get lots of fruits and veggies!
Try to get daily aerobic exercise with the emphasis on aerobic (long, slow, etc.).
Lower your intake of animal products and other saturated fats.
Eat another bowl of oatmeal. You'll be fine.
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Old 08-12-05, 12:03 PM
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I have a friend in town who's a fiendish cyclist - he's a little older but he does thousand mile tours and that sort of thing, and when not touring he puts on at least a couple of hundred miles a week. He's careful with his diet, but he still has high cholesterol and, without medication, it's completely out of control. For him, it's completely genetic.

I'm middle-aged and eat red meat and saturated fats and rich ice cream and all the nasty junk food you can think of. I have the cholesterol level of a 12 year old. I'm blessed with good genetics, other people are not.
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Old 08-12-05, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by richardmasoner
.......... other people are not.
That would be me.
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Old 08-12-05, 05:46 PM
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OK, time for some cholesterol skeptisism.

Elevated blood cholesterol levels are not harmful at all. One of the big side effects of elevated blood cholesterol is that you feel quite good. Cholesterol is an important part of your body's self repair mechanism and if your levels are elevated it's because they have a job to do. The last thing you need to do in such a situation is to tamper with mother nature / God's way and take dangerous drugs!

Here are some important references, http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndi...s_cholest.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/statin.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/hd.html

http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/index.html

I personally have elevated blood cholesterol according to current medical norms. It doesn't worry me bcause I'm detoxing heavy metals at the moment so high blood cholesterol is very desirable. I feel better now than 5 years ago when my blood cholesterol levels were considered normal.

Regards, Anthony

Last edited by AnthonyG; 08-13-05 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 08-12-05, 06:02 PM
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Dude, you're really starting to freak us out with your westonprice cult-isms. It's the only site I've ever noticed you refer to.... kinda makes it a little suspicious.
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Old 08-12-05, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gonesh9
Dude, you're really starting to freak us out with your westonprice cult-isms. It's the only site I've ever noticed you refer to.... kinda makes it a little suspicious.

Yeah I could go looking for another site but the beauty of the Weston A Price site is that it's all there in one spot. The major significance of Dr Price's work is that it's a CONTROL study. The control study that the current mainstream science forgot to do therefore rendering much of it's information statistical giberish.

Here's some references from Dr Mercola, http://www.google.com/custom?cof=AH%...rol&sa2=Search

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

and how about this one too, http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/

Regards, Anthony
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Old 08-13-05, 10:06 AM
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I question a lot of the studies referenced above due to the fact that none were double blinded placebo controlled trials which would control for factors other than the measured variable for the outcome of the study.

An association does not mean cause and effect.

The person is right about low cholesterol being an associative risk factor for early death. (but it has not been proven as cause and effect.) However, they failed to subtype the cholesterol fractions since we know low HDL and LDL subtypes can have inverse effect on mortality. In addition, they did not control for things like smoking (which lowers total cholesterol by lowering HDL drastically), body weight (very low body weight confers higher mortality..look at anorexics) , nutritional status etc.


He does bring up a good point about familial hypercholesterolemia where up to 40% of them have normal lifespans while others seem to have greater cardiovascular risks. My interest is in genetics and there are studies that are getting close to figuring out the genetic phenotype that makes one person's high cholesterol dangerous but not the other with similar cholesterol numbers.

http://www.athero.org/newsletters/2004february/comments/pauciullo.pdf#search='familial%20hypercholesterolemia%20and%20mortality'


I think the point presented by AnthonyG is well taken in that heart disease is multifactorial and we cannot just blame one factor (ie: cholesterol) as a single cause. Most physicians know that only fifty percent of all heart disease can be explained by high cholesterol but the data on the other fifty percent is compelling enough to treat. Inflammmation does play a role, which is why asprin has a protective effect independant of cholesterol levels. We know high ****cystine levels or low folic acid is a cardiac risk factor.(thus a nutritional deficiency can play a role in heart disesease.) Infection is still being looked at and the list goes on.


However, I don't think it is good science to say cholesterol has no effect on cardiovascular health. In some it definately does but in others it may not make much of a difference. It is medicine's job to continue to look further and see why some are more affected by high cholesterol than others. This same paradigm of thinking is true with cigarette smoke. Only 10% of all smokers ever get lung cancer. (Apparently only 10 % of all smokers are genetically susceptible to its carcinogenic properties. However, 90% of all lung cancers are attributed to smoking so we all know that avoiding smoking is a good idea if you want to diminish your chances of getting lung cancer!) By the way,we are getting close to isolating the lung cancer gene for those who are interested!
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Old 08-13-05, 10:20 AM
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I have no idea why so many people are adverse to taking Statins. The science is overwhelming that this class of drugs has major benefits to certain populations and risk factors.

A small percentage of people taking them develop serious side effects and need to switch medications or stop statins all together. These side effects can be prevented by getting regular blood tests for liver enzymes.

Diet and exercise work for some people others (my family doctor for one) cannot lower their LDL (the bad cholesterol) no matter what lifestyle changes they make.

I am not advocating statins, just amazed at the bashing they receive.
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Old 08-13-05, 11:28 AM
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David,

I would not dispair just yet.

I had a total cholesterol of 220 (I forget the ratio) but my physician wanted to put me on statins and I wanted to go on a more rigorous diet (my current diet wasn't bad) and lost some weight.

Well, I pretty much eliminated saturated fats and trans fats from my diet and most of my protein comes from boneless skinless chicken breasts. But after awhile on that, my cholesterol went down to 180 but the LDL was 110 and the HDL 70. So I was in pretty good shape.

However, some people can not get by without statins. If it was a choice between statins and getting pried open for a triple bypass, which would do?

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Old 08-13-05, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Remember that cholesterol is just a proxy indicator for fats. Cholesterol by itself is neither good or bad, it just tags along for the ride as fats are moved around in your body. All your cell walls are made from cholesterol as well as most hormones. It's the saturated fat that you have to worry about, so cut that out of your diet completely. That's been shown to have a direct correlation with your cholesterol readings, rather than any type of consumption of cholesterol itself.

Then eat more polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids (fish & veggies).
actually if you cut saturated fat atleast the natural sat fats out of your diet it tends to cause your body to make more Cholesterol not reduce the amount you have.
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Old 08-13-05, 04:13 PM
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I question a lot of the studies referenced above due to the fact that none were double blinded placebo controlled trials which would control for factors other than the measured variable for the outcome of the study.

An association does not mean cause and effect.
Well that's one of the major points of the cholesterol skeptics. Cholesterol has been demonized without the evidence from double blind, placebo controled studies to provide any evidence. Same with saturated fats. No evidence at all to demonize them.


I have no idea why so many people are adverse to taking Statins. The science is overwhelming that this class of drugs has major benefits to certain populations and risk factors.
While statins Do lower cholesterol the evidence so far is that lower cholesterol levels have shown to have harmful effects not benificial. This is what the Frampton (EDIT: It's the Framingham study not Frampton) study realy showed. The only real benifit from statins is an antioxidant effect but you can get far better antioxidant results from just eating fresh vegetables without the harmfull effects of statins. ie, blocking CO-Q10. Reference, http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/statin.html

Regards, Anthony

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Old 08-13-05, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG
Well that's one of the major points of the cholesterol skeptics. Cholesterol has been demonized without the evidence from double blind, placebo controled studies to provide any evidence. Same with saturated fats. No evidence at all to demonize them.

If we want to be real sticklers, there have been no double blinded placebo controlled trials that prove cigarette smoke causes cancer but I'm not about to take up smoking.

There are tons of double blinded controlled trials but they have mostly been done with statins (unfortunately). (West of Scotland Study with Pravachol and 4S trials with zocor are the most famous and well done, their methodology was ). Thus, double blinded placebo controlled studies showing lowering cholesterol reduces mortality or cardiac events have been done, although it did use pharmacological intervention. The most famous study that showed lowering cholesterol with lifestyle and diet prevented heart disease cardiac events was the Ornish study . Some people hate his dogmatic views but he showed the medical community with a good prospective controlled trial that lifestyle could also effect heart disease (in his study LDL was lowered) without the use of drugs. Hard to ignore the dramatic decrease in cardiac events in these well designed studies. (And not all that is out there were) . It is the combination of the epidiomological evidence combined with secondary and primary prevention controlled trials that make the data for lowering cholesterol so compelling. In fact, in medical legal world, it would be negligent medicine to not consider and advise about cholesterol. (In fact there are tons of successful lawsuits levied against doctors for not starting cholesterol medicines unfortunately.)

Fortunately, there are more trials involving alternate agents such as niacin, folic acid, omega three fatty acids etc. coming down the pipeline that shows other agents have beneficial effect as Anthony G has pointed out. The upshot is, those who are pro high cholesterol should not ignore the compelling data that is out there in much the same way those who are anti high cholesterol should not ignore the data that so many other variables are at play.
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Old 08-13-05, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cbhungry
If we want to be real sticklers, there have been no double blinded placebo controlled trials that prove cigarette smoke causes cancer but I'm not about to take up smoking.

There are tons of double blinded controlled trials but they have mostly been done with statins (unfortunately). (West of Scotland Study with Pravachol and 4S trials with zocor are the most famous and well done). Thus, double blinded placebo controlled studies showing lowering cholesterol reduces mortality or cardiac events have been done. It is the combination of the epidiomological evidence combined with secondary and primary prevention controlled trials that make the data for lowering cholesterol so compelling. In fact, in medical legal world, it would be negligent medicine to not consider and advise about cholesterol. (In fact there are tons of successful lawsuits levied against doctors for not starting cholesterol medicines unfortunately.)

Fortunately, there are more trials involving alternate agents such as niacin, folic acid, omega three fatty acids etc. coming down the pipeline that shows other agents have beneficial effect as Anthony G has pointed out. The upshot is, those who are pro high cholesterol should not ignore the compelling data that is out there in much the same way those who are anti high cholesterol should not ignore the data that so many other variables are at play.
Well you still need cause and effect. Two of Uffe Ravnskov's and other cholesterol skeptics points are that the only real benifit provied by statins is an antioxidant effect which can better be provided in other more natural way's and that the Framingham study has been completely misused. It showed that reduced cholesterol was harmful not benificial. Here's a reference, http://www.cholesterol-and-health.co...rol-Myths.html

Regards, Anthony
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Old 08-13-05, 06:42 PM
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In my late teens/early 20s (can't quite remember now), I was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia (my father had it, my brother has it, and so do I). Initial test showed my level at 275mg/dL. I never used to eat too unhealthily, had fast food perhaps once or twice a month, and led quite an active lifestyle. I was prescribed Zocor, later changing to Lipitor.
It's over 10 years later now (I'm 30 years old), I'm still taking Lipitor 10mg, and at last test, my LDL/HDL ratios were excellent, with a total value of around 190mg/dL. I eat more-or-less what I want, however only have red meat about once or twice a month, still only eat fast food about once a month, and eat a good complement of salads and vegetables. I don't eat a lot of chocolates or sweets, but won't hold back when I feel like it (and can quite easily finish a 100g slab of fine Swiss chocolate in a sitting ).

Foods to restrict where possible (as per my GP):
egg yolks - limit to 2 per week
coconut
foods containing palm kernel oil
trans-fatty acids
saturated fats

We also use only skim milk, skin the chicken before cooking (he says after eating half a fast-food chicken with skin and a large plate of home-made oven chips for lunch today ), and prefer grilling to frying, or fry without oil in a non-stick pan.

Oh - and exercise WILL make a difference, be it large or small (as per genetics, as was mentioned).
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Old 08-13-05, 06:46 PM
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I think here in america the prboems are caused by processed foods and or fast foods. low amounts of fresh high quality foods.
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Old 08-13-05, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Guru
In my late teens/early 20s (can't quite remember now), I was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia (my father had it, my brother has it, and so do I). Initial test showed my level at 275mg/dL. I never used to eat too unhealthily, had fast food perhaps once or twice a month, and led quite an active lifestyle. I was prescribed Zocor, later changing to Lipitor.
It's over 10 years later now (I'm 30 years old), I'm still taking Lipitor 10mg, and at last test, my LDL/HDL ratios were excellent, with a total value of around 190mg/dL. I eat more-or-less what I want, however only have red meat about once or twice a month, still only eat fast food about once a month, and eat a good complement of salads and vegetables. I don't eat a lot of chocolates or sweets, but won't hold back when I feel like it (and can quite easily finish a 100g slab of fine Swiss chocolate in a sitting ).

Foods to restrict where possible (as per my GP):
egg yolks - limit to 2 per week
coconut
foods containing palm kernel oil
trans-fatty acids
saturated fats

We also use only skim milk, skin the chicken before cooking (he says after eating half a fast-food chicken with skin and a large plate of home-made oven chips for lunch today ), and prefer grilling to frying, or fry without oil in a non-stick pan.

Oh - and exercise WILL make a difference, be it large or small (as per genetics, as was mentioned).
It's up to you but I would realy reccomend you look at my references on cholesterol. 275mg/dL isn't realy that high and the all cause death rate is higher for those with 190mg/dL than those with 275mg/dL.

I haven't found a conversion yet from the American scale to the Australian scale but I suspect mine is higher than yours was and I'm not worried at all. And by the way if you want to avoid heart disease then milk powder is on the no-no list right up there with hydrogenated fat. Seriously, oxidised cholesterol in milk powder is bad news.

EDIT: OK I went looking and found a conversion from mmol/L to mg/dL. For cholesterol you multiply mmol/L x 39 to get mg/dL. That puts my last non fasting cholesterol at about 290 mg/dL. Note that this was non fasting so it's not realy accurate but honestly I'm not in the least worried.

Regards, Anthony

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Old 08-13-05, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG
It's up to you but I would realy reccomend you look at my references on cholesterol. 275mg/dL isn't realy that high and the all cause death rate is higher for those with 190mg/dL than those with 275mg/dL.

I haven't found a conversion yet from the American scale to the Australian scale but I suspect mine is higher than yours was and I'm not worried at all. And by the way if you want to avoid heart disease then milk powder is on the no-no list right up there with hydrogenated fat. Seriously, oxidised cholesterol in milk powder is bad news.
We also use the mmol/L scale - I converted my values for the benefit of reference for the rest of the posters.
My original value was 7.2, and came down to approx 5.
My brother's was 9.6, and also dropped to around the 6-level after using Lipitor for a while.

G
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Old 08-13-05, 07:34 PM
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Analyze what you ate from 155 to 174. Don't eat that junk. You aren't stupid, you know what you shouldn't eat. Skip McD, BK, Wendy's etc. Don't eat anything that you pop the top and microwave, with very few exceptions. Look at the INGREDIENTS of the foods you buy. If it has PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED anything in it, it's junk. HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP isn't so good either. Make your food from fresh ingredients. There is a movement afoot in the world called the "slow food" movement. Check it out: http://www.slowfood.com/

Oh yeah, ride your bike to work, or at least 50-100 miles a week over at least 4 days, and watch the pounds fly off. At 39, I'm down to 142 lbs, which is roughly my weight when i was in college. I was up to 162. Dropped 15 in 4 months, 5 more sometime in in the next 8 (never weighed myself). No fata$$ for sure, but how many people drop 20 at 40? I attribute it to 2 things: food and my bike. Simple. Effective. Fun. Tasty.
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Old 08-13-05, 09:03 PM
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Fish oil tablets work too.
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Old 08-14-05, 01:09 AM
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"actually if you cut saturated fat atleast the natural sat fats out of your diet it tends to cause your body to make more Cholesterol not reduce the amount you have."

I'm saying the same thing that Antony & Koffee is asserting. Total cholesterol levels is not an indicator of anything as richard pointed out. It's the balance between HDLs and LDLs that's more indicative of circulatory problems. Diets high in HDLs stand a much higher risk of heart-disease than LDLs, regardless of total cholesterol level. Those with a higher balance of LDLs are much safer and that can come through eating more fish, fish-oils, omega-3 fatty acids. Look at the diets of the population that has the largest numbers of people over 100, they're also the highest number per capita as well.
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