Reducing cholesterol?

Has anyone had any luck reducing your cholesterol number other than prescription drugs?My overall is 170 , but my bad is 111 and my Doc wants it less than 100.

Do the OTC dietary supplements help?

Red Yeast Rice…

– Last Updated: Jan-19-06 1:01 PM EST –

If you can be sure of the quality. I used if for a year or so at my Docs recommendation, but my LDL is a lot worse than yours, and OTC Red Yeast Rice just didn't cut it enough.

There is good evidence in support of …
Niacin. I have read most of the research literature and 1500 to 2000 mg of no-flush Niacin has been shown in several double blind studies to be effective. Lesser amounts and other kinds of Niacin are not effective and timed release Niacin has serious side effects.

As the ad says -

– Last Updated: Jan-19-06 1:14 PM EST –

There are two sources of cholesterol - dietary and hereditary. Changing your diet and the use of dietary supplements will only have a chance of being effective if "dietary" is the cause of your high bad cholesterol.

I had some moderate success lowering my cholesterol using diet, supplements & execise but ultimately decided that the limited gain wasn't worth the sacrefice. Now I use a low dose of a generic statin along with supplements & execise to manage the cholesterol (BTW I'm 57 and have a family history of high cholesterol and heart disease).

If you are serious about the diet & supplements I suggest a low fat modified (no fried foods, no red meat, no dairy, no fatty poultry, as much fish as you like) vegitarian regime (if you can stand it), limit your alcohol intake to no more than 2 7 oz. glasses of red wine a day, stop smoking if you smoke, take supplements (milk thistle) to improve your liver function (your liver metabolizes the cholesterol in your system), Omega 3 oils to increase your "good" cholesterol, and ditto on the Niacin.

I am not a doctor, but I work for 2 cardiology groups.

Low dose generic statins are very effective, the side effects are minimal, and like the previous poster said if you have a family history they are a good solution.

A “mediteranean diet” can be very effective, assuming you can afford to eat that way, I sure can’t.

Niacin has proven effective, but not as effective as statins. Diet and exercise can only do so much, your genetics will get yah in the end.

Talk to you Dr., if you don’t like what he says get a second opinion. I’d look for a doctor that works on lifestyl changes and not a “prescribe first” kind of physician.

Good Luck!


Pravastatin on my list for the…
…past year or so. No side effects I’m aware of, and my LDL is maintaining. (I’m not that careful about

diet, either). I shop for drugs via Canadian online companies, and found the cheapest generic came from the UK, in lots of 112 for some reason. When I find the address I’ll post it.

Minimal Side Effects
I think it would be more accurate to say the probability of side effects are low, but the impact/effect of some side effects are very serious. It also is worth considering that little message which at the end of ads for some statins which says essentially that they have not be shown to prevent heart disease or heart atacks. If a person has heart disease and/or has had a heart attack, then they have shown an ability to reduce the odds of death due to a heart attack in the furture. It is also important to actually evaluate a person’s risk of heart disease when considering the need for reaching a given LDL level. The media reports tend to be rather inaccurate. For example, the oft cited need to get LDL down to 100 actually only applies to those at greatest risk. Obviously each person needs to make an informed decision in conjuction with their physican.

Exercise raises the HDL
I have a HDL of over 90,and I excercise four times a week by playing squash for over an hour. I have good genetics but eat butter and cream sauces so I have to exercise to keep things in check. Don’t know I’ll do when I get too old to work out as I am only 56.

Thanks everyone. As usual , knowledgeabl
and well written replies.

The thought of no more french fries, Whoppers, and Cokes is not a pleasant one, esp. since I limit fries and a burger to one meal a week. We do eat a lot of red meat though.

My plan is to crank up the exercise and reduce the fat in my diet.I have to get checked in 3 months to see how I’ve done.

One thing people missed
Eat an apple a day–not kidding. I don’t remember what it is but there are ingredients in apples that lower your bad cholesterel count. There are other ingredients that are also healthy for your body: Vitamin C, Anti-oxidents, etc.

Abs Diet
Suggest you get yourself a copy of Zinczenko’s “Abs Diet” book.

Guy I work with uses it and reduced overall cholesterol from 260 to 185 and the LDL within limits. He suggested it to me when my doc wanted to start me on drugs due to LDL of 130. Doc says I won’t get to 100 with diet and exercise, but I’d like to try and see where it does go. I like this diet because Zinczenko focuses on what you eat not how much, so you don’t have to be hungry. I have not been totally successful in following the diet and its too soon to say whether it is working.

The book explains how some dietary supplements and combinations affect cholesterol, so you should find it interesting even if you opt not to try to follow the Abs Diet.

An interesting aside is that the standard for LDL used to be 130, and now has been lowered to 100. I didn’t have a problem before, now I do. Always synical about such changes, I just wonder how much of that change is due to drug companies and non-objective medicine. Think about the incremental revenue that change caused in drug company sales. If you are a drug company, you’d be quick to fund research you think will benefit you, like “isn’t LDL of 130 dangerous?”

Do You Hunt?
If you do wild game is a great source of low cholesterol red meat. I love red meat and have switched to buffalo or stuff I kill to make sure I don’t end up with problems. My family has a bad history of HPB and High Cholerstrol. I also quit fries entirely, but I still sneak in a Whopper or a Big Mac once or twice a month.

Good Luck!


Ask your doc, and heed the program.

I listened to my doctor and reduced the red meat, low fat, watch this and that. Result was a 30 lb weight gain, blood presure rise and high colesterol. I finaly said this isnt working and reduced (not eliminate) carbs and went back to normal food. Result was a 30 lb weight loss, blood pressure back to normal and colesterol in the 180 range. We use brown rice, whole wheat pasta, multigrain bread with bran and flax seed (my wife makes it), leave skin on potatoes, olive oil etc. No margerine. Stay away from sodium nitrate. Meat is usually 4-6 oz and we use butter. Atkins was pretty close but I dont think carbs should be eliminated. Also dropped most sugar but did not go to artificial sweetners. Made do without. Breakfast 5 days a week is oatmeal made with milk with raisins and ground flax seed, high pulp orange juice and my one and only cup of coffee.

good reasons why the above post is good
check they will agree that fish oil and flax seed, increasing both soluable and non soluble fiber, decreasing all but the most healthy fats to very low levels, excercise, meditation, and NOT eating too much protein, which dumps out of your body many good choleserol substances, will have a good result.

I had the same difficulty as the poster at head of this series and have avoided medicaions. Also, for me, losing 20 lbs. (I am 6’3" and now weigh 174 lbs. was crucial. For genetics, it appears that each of us has a “tipping point” a place weight wise above which we are prone to have difficulties. I simply had been consuming too many fats, too much protein, and too large a portions. This is what all the classic heart studies show, that all legs of the table must be present and work together or the risk does not move downward.

flax seed
heard a lot about it. Friend of mine is taking about 1 or 2 tablespoons a day of it and it seems to be helping. Remember to grind it up though. Our digestive tract can’t break down the covering on the seed so we can get at the good stuff inside. just sprinkle it on something you are eating and pretend it tastes good. It doesn’t taste bad, just not much to it.

second the flax and…

– Last Updated: Jan-19-06 9:46 PM EST –

Exercise, cardio primarily concentrating an hour of cardio 5-6 days per week.

Flax seeds are great, but make sure you buy organic seeds and buy yourself a small coffee grinder just dedicated for grinding flax seeds. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon over your oatmeal, salad, or mix in a shake. Try and consume several tablespoons per day.

Also, contrary to many beliefs and past rumors...coconut oil is very effective in raising HDL. Organic coconut oil derived from the milk of the coconut....try Garden of Life. They produce some really good oil. I also put this in my oatmeal and I've not only read reports from others who have used it....I tested it myself, eating probably 1-3 tablespoons per day. After several months, my HDL was in the high 90's. Total cholesterol was only 138. My doctor told me they rarely see HDL that high.


While studying all the possibilities
dont forget oatmeal and almonds.

also since you are up on the HMCo Reductase inhibitors, look into Zetia as yet another pharmacological approach.

No vitamin C in apples

What worked for me
1) Oatmeal with walnuts (sweetened with maple syrup) every morning

2) One hour of intense cardio (running or equivalent) 5-6 days a week.

3)extremely low fat diet, with most carbs coming from high fiber sources (i.e. no white flour).

4) going totally cold turkey on french fries.

Everybody’s different, and got themselves in trouble with a slightly different set of vices. But this plan dramatically dropped my bad cholesterol and raised my good cholesterol. Also ended up losing a lot of weight.