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Lowering Cholesterol

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by swilkins, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    I just found out that my cholesterol is 240 (LDL ~ 165) and they wanted to put me on Zocor. I hear that there are side effects including muscle degenration when using statins.

    I generally exercise 5 days a week for 1.5 hours, so I'm sure I get enough cardio and strength training.

    I have been eating a few eggs every morning for some time now for the protein with with bacon or potatoes. A few shakes and a simple dinner. Sometimes cereal.

    I am going to switch to oatmeal for breakfast, some fruit during the day with nuts and try to eat more veggies for dinner and avoid the drugs for a few months to see how it goes. It was high 10 years ago and they put me on Crestor. I believe it worked, but would prefer to do this the right way.

    I live alone and am quite busy so I am open to any simple daily regiments that have wroked for others.

    I am 44, 6'1" and weigh around 215 and lean. No one else in the family appears to have this so I'm hoping a diet change will get me on the right track.

    There was a thread that came out 4 years ago, but would like some more recent comments.
    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=142201&highlight=cholesterol
     
  2. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    Eat less meat and a lot more vegetables really help. I went from 250 to 170 in about two years, no medication. I still eat meat every meal, just alot less. I went from 210 to 190 as well.
     
  3. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    I take four 1000mg Omega-3 fish oil softgels every day. Nature's Bounty (odorless).

    My doctor will vouch it definitely worked for me.

    FWIW, I take all four at one time right before I go to bed and it doesn't bother my stomach or sleep at all.
     
  4. Sajan

    Sajan Member

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    1. don't eat more than 2 whole eggs a week.
    2. take fish oil.
    3. check your Vitamin D level. more than likely to you need to take Vit d supplements ..say about 2000-4000iu.
     
  5. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Oatmeal was huge for me when I was diagnosed about a decade ago. I HATE the consistency, but it did wonders for my cholesterol and weight. I need to get back to that now that it's been mentioned.
     
  6. Lynus302

    Lynus302 Contributing Member

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    I have high cholesterol and I can't tolerate statins due to the side effects of muscle aches and jacking up my liver enzymes.

    Hopefully, changing you diet will do the trick. Mine is all genetic. So, I take:

    - *Fish Oil....make sure you're getting at least 700+mg of Omega-3s. In other words, don't just look at the front label that proclaims "1,200mg of fish oil" or whatever dose it says. Look specifically on the back at to find out how many milligrams of Omega-3s you're getting. I take 1200mg of fish oil that contains 900mg of Omega 3s. Make sense? For the record, recent studies have said fish oil has no effect on cholesterol, but it's still thought to be good for your heart overall.

    - *Niacin 2000mg....don't take the "flush-free"....it's not the same thing as Nicotinic Acid.

    - *Aspirin....I take 325mg morning and night, not as a blood pressure thing, but for the anti-coagulant effect.

    *Check with your doc about ALL of these, specifically aspirin and niacin. You want to make sure your liver enzymes aren't jacked up re: Niacin and you want to make sure your platelet count is within normal limits re: the aspirin so you don't bleed out.
     
  7. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    I can't swallow those fish oil pills. :(
     
  8. bobrek

    bobrek Person, woman, man, camera, TV
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    Have you tried the '"Silver Palate - Think and Rough" oatmeal? I like regular Quaker Oats, but Silver Palate is really good (at least to me). It's a bit more expensive and you should use the stove top directions when cooking.

    To the OP - My wife takes Lipitor for her high cholesterol and doesn't suffer any apparent side effects. That being said, if you can lower it without medication, that is the goal.

    Although, the 'statin' drugs have been highly recommended, especially as one gets older, and the side effects have supposedly been blown out of proportion.
     
  9. Mr. Brightside

    Mr. Brightside Contributing Member

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    What is your HDL and TG levels at?

    In a lot of ways an low HDL level is more worrisome than a high LDL.

    Niacin will help you raise HDL, whereas statins and fibrates will help you lower LDL. Fibrates are used in those who can't take statins, but also there are issues of muscle problems with it when combined with statins.

    Foods that help with lowering LDL are basically those that help bind cholesterol like whole grain, and soluble fiber like psyllium. Fish oils and omega 3 are also good.

    To increase HDL is trickier but can be reached via niacin, avocado, and nuts. Light alcohol intake (1-2 beers per day) also helps raise HDL.

    Also quit smoking if you currently smoke. Smoking accelerates heart disease in most people.
     
  10. Lady_Di

    Lady_Di Contributing Member

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    Whole grains (whole wheat ONLY), lean protein, and more veggies.

    Lay off refined sugar and sodas. Water will be your best friend.

    As for eggs, substitute it with egg whites. Ex. if you make 5 eggs, then only add 1 whole egg and egg whites for the rest of eggs.

    There are plenty of protein sources besides the eggs. Beans, dairy and etc.

    Also, eat good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, avocado and etc.

    Modifying your diet will help to lower cholesterol. Did they tell you what your HDL (Good) Cholesterol was?
     
  11. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    My HDL was around 70, which seems low. They said my triglycerides were normal. I don't smoke and drink.
     
  12. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Thanks for the post. I love oatmeal and will put it back in my breakfast rotation because of your reminder.
     
  13. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    :grin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAE7uOO_4v4&t=0m16s

    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dAE7uOO_4v4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&start=15"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dAE7uOO_4v4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&start=16" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    :( Sorry, man. Only thing that came to my mind... also, there's a Fito Olivares song named "El Colesterol" about losing the cholesterol, but I don't think you'd understand it.
     
  14. droxford

    droxford Member

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    I think there's new debate as to whether eggs are good or bad for your cholesterol... an interesting study is described below (but then, see who funded the study).

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/7301/title/Reevaluating_Eggs_Cholesterol_Risks

    Reevaluating Eggs' Cholesterol Risks
    By Janet Raloff

    Adults are continually bombarded with messages about how eating foods rich in cholesterol can elevate an individual's risks of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. Many such warnings have focused on eggs because their yolks are a major dietary source of cholesterol.

    However, eggs may be getting a bum rap, suggest the findings of a study of middle-aged and elderly volunteers. Researchers from the University of Connecticut reported the work in early April at the Experimental Biology 2006 meeting in San Francisco.

    Cholesterol moves through blood within capsulelike structures known as lipoproteins. Yes, ingestion of several eggs a day does tend to increase blood concentrations of cholesterol, particularly the amount circulating in low-density lipoproteins (LDLs)—the so-called bad cholesterol. However, the new study showed, eating eggs can also increase the amount of cholesterol in high-density lipoproteins (HDLs)—the good cholesterol.

    Moreover, the new study showed that when people ate three or more eggs per day their bodies made bigger LDL- and HDL-lipoprotein particles than when they ate no eggs. That's important because other recent studies have suggested that larger LDLs are less likely than small ones to enter artery walls and contribute their cholesterol load to artery-clogging plaque. Similarly, larger HDLs are more robust than smaller ones at hauling cholesterol out of the bloodstream and, ultimately, out of the body, notes the lead researcher for the new study, Christine M. Greene.

    In fact, she notes, her team's accumulating data indicate that most people's bodies handle the cholesterol from eggs in a way that is least likely to harm the heart.

    Cholesterol warnings have especially scared elderly people away from eggs, says Greene. And that's a shame, she adds, because eggs are an affordable and easy-to-eat source of high-quality protein for this population. The new findings, Greene says, contribute to a growing body of data suggesting that eggs shouldn't be construed "as a dietary evil."

    Cholesterol: It's not all bad

    Cholesterol, a soft, waxy substance, isn't found only in the blood but also in all cell membranes and the material that sheathes nerves. It also plays an integral role in the production of steroid hormones, such as estrogen, and of bile acids that take part in fat digestion in the gut.

    In most cases, the body can synthesize all the cholesterol it needs. Any dietary contribution of cholesterol is unwelcome, says the American Heart Association, since an excess in the blood will foster the development of the fatty plaques that can eventually clog arteries and provoke a heart attack.

    "In order to keep your LDL and your risk for heart disease low," the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) argues, "you should start on [a] heart-healthy diet" that includes fewer than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per day from all sources. Because the yolk of a single large egg contains slightly more than 200 mg of cholesterol, the institute's Web site recommends that a heart-healthy diet should strive to limit intake to "no more than 4 yolks per week [including] the egg yolks in baked goods and processed foods." Egg whites are cholesterol-free, so NHLBI recommends substituting the whites from two eggs for a single whole egg in breakfast items and baked foods.

    The American Heart Association acknowledges that it's possible "to fit an egg a day into a healthy diet," but only by limiting dietary cholesterol from other sources, including baked goods. Moreover, the group cautions, for people with existing "coronary heart disease, diabetes, high-LDL cholesterol or other cardiovascular disease, your daily cholesterol limit is less than 200 mg."

    Greene says that such recommendations make sense, because excess LDLs are bad, but she points out that guidelines to date have considered all LDLs the same, while research is revealing differences. Indeed, a number of studies have shown that especially small, dense LDLs confer the greatest risk (SN: 9/21/96, p. 182). Several recent studies have shown that people with diabetes or heart disease tend to package relatively more of their cholesterol in these tiny LDLs than do healthier people. Last year, a group of Korean researchers argued that the differential effects of small and large LDL lipoprotein particles are already established well enough that LDL size "could be used as a marker for coronary heart disease risk."

    Egged on

    Not all people respond similarly to cholesterol. Studies by Greene's group and others have shown that 30 to 40 percent of any given population is made up of "hyperresponders." In these people, blood-cholesterol concentrations spike disproportionately in response to dietary cholesterol. Her team decided to investigate whether such people put an egg's cholesterol into different-sized lipoproteins than most other people do.

    So, the team recruited 29 postmenopausal women and 13 elderly men to take part in a dietary trial. None was taking cholesterol-lowering medicine at the time of the study, Greene notes, which means that for a population of middle-aged-to-elderly people, the group was relatively heart healthy.

    For 30 days, each volunteer received a liquid-egg product or a fat-and-cholesterol-free, protein-rich egg substitute in portions comparable to three large eggs per day. The real-egg ration delivered some 640 mg of cholesterol; the egg substitute contained no cholesterol. None of the participants knew which food he or she was getting until the end of the study. The researchers also supplied recipes for items such as drinks and vegetable frittatas that volunteers could turn to if they got bored with scrambled eggs—the easiest dish to prepare from the products.

    Using liquid eggs instead of eggs in their shells made it possible for the researchers to present products that looked and handled identically, Greene explains. Being homogenized and pasteurized, these products could also be used without cooking—for instance as a protein boost to a fruit shake. At least as important, using a commercially prepared product ensured that each daily egg dose contained precisely the average cholesterol content of three large eggs. That's not a trivial issue, since eggs vary in their actual cholesterol content according to their size and the laying chicken's diet (see Cholesterol Medicine for Eggs?).

    After a month on the first diet, all volunteers took a 3-week breather and then resumed participation. For the second phase, each person received the alternative to the product he or she had initially received: real eggs or the cholesterol-free egg substitute. At the beginning and end of each phase of the trial, Greene's group took blood samples from each participant to measure lipoproteins and more.

    Throughout both phases of the trial, the amount of both HDL and LDL lipoproteins remained unchanged. However, the 15 hyperresponders among the volunteers had much higher amounts of cholesterol circulating with their lipoprotein particles while they were eating real eggs. Greene told Science News Online that "all of the increase went into large [lipoprotein] particles."

    In contrast, among normal responders, only small increases in blood cholesterol occurred during the egg diet, and the size of LDL- and HDL-cholesterol particles covered the full range of lipoprotein sizes.

    Not only did the two groups handle the eggs' cholesterol differently, Greene notes, but the hyperresponders handled the excess that showed up in their blood "in the most anti-atherogenic way"—by depositing it in the largest lipoproteins. The take-home message, Greene concludes, is that an LDL-cholesterol reading that ignores lipoprotein size may exaggerate the heart risks posed by eggs' cholesterol.

    Greene's team also looked at blood concentrations of two beneficial blood components derived from food: lutein and zeaxanthin. Diets rich in these yellow-orange pigments, which are responsible for much of an egg yolk's color, appear to diminish an individual's risk of macular degeneration. That disease is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65. Moreover, lutein appears to inhibit processes that jumpstart the development of atherosclerosis.

    During the egg phase of the new study, blood concentrations of both the pigments, which are types of carotenoids, increased. In the egg-substitute phase, concentrations of another yellow carotenoid—beta-carotene—increased in the participants' blood, Greene notes. This pigment had been used to mimic the yolks' color.

    How much the lutein and zeaxanthin increased during egg supplementation varied between individuals, Greene says, but generally reflected the proportionate increase in the size of a volunteer's LDL and HDL lipoproteins. That makes sense, she adds, because these carotenoids tend to be carried on the surface of lipoproteins in blood: As the particles got bigger, so did their surface area that was available to carotenoids.

    Indeed, a group of Greene's University of Connecticut colleagues, headed by Richard M. Clark, reported data in the March Journal of Nutrition indicating a similar relationship between carotenoids and people's response to cholesterol. "The bottom line," Clark says, is that this might be "a good-news/bad-news type of story." Although few people would wish for the genes that render them hyper-responders to dietary cholesterol, that trait "may decrease your risk for blindness from macular degeneration" by increasing lutein's circulation in blood.

    Altogether, the findings should please the American Egg Board, which funded Greene's study. However, until studies independent of industry financing confirm the new data, the jury is still out on how many eggs most people can safely eat.

    The new study's findings do dovetail with large studies by other groups having no industrial financing. For instance, in 1999, Frank B. Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health and his colleagues reported no increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke in men or women who ate more than one egg per day. The analysis compared diet and cardiovascular risk among nearly 38,000 participants of two long-running epidemiologic studies.

    A Michigan State University analysis, reported a year later, analyzed the diets and blood-cholesterol data for more than 27,000 people—a representative cross-section of the U.S. population. It found that cholesterol was lower in people who ate more than four eggs per week than among people who eschewed eggs. However, the researchers cautioned, "this study should not be used as a basis for recommending higher egg consumption for regulation of serum cholesterol."
     
  15. Prince

    Prince Member

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    i had the same problem before. now i'm perfectly normal. the secret is, garlic a day, that is fresh garlic. drink it with juice so you don't have to deal with the taste.
     
  16. Kate81

    Kate81 Member

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    I eat 20+ organic eggs a week.

    Am I going to die.
     
  17. sammy

    sammy Contributing Member

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    I would at least go with a 2:1 egg white to yolk ratio.
     
  18. Kate81

    Kate81 Member

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    I don't know what to believe, there is articles saying they're good and bad. Some saying eat as much as you want, or limit the yolk.. WTF.
     
  19. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    Going to cut eggs and replace with protein shake and oatmeal, Niacin, and Omega 3 odorless fish oil for beginners and get retested next month.

    Might even add some apples.
     
  20. finalsbound

    finalsbound Contributing Member

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    great advice.

    yeah, i wouldn't trust an egg study done by the egg board.
     

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