T Nation

cholesterol level

Is their anything over the counter that will help lower cholesterol levels?

Yeah–salads, fruits, fish, lean chicken and beef, fresh veggies.
Oh yeah, and leaving donuts, cookies, ice cream, etc. right there–behind the counter.

Last time I was at the grocery store, they were still selling oatmeal (and all other products containing fiber, for that matter) over the counter.

Fiber certainly helps, oatmeal is your friend. Also, avoid hydrogenated and trans fatty acids.

That may sound like a joke answer, but it’s true. I’ve been there and done that. By adding more fiber to my diet, reducing or eliminating high glycemic sugars, and drinking more water I significantly lowered my low density cholesterol count. That’s probably why that one study some years ago promoted oat bran to reduce cholesterol. Iwasn’t really the oat bran, I don’t think, just the extra fiber.

Check out the Bad Blood article by Cy Wilson in the previous issues (around 150 or so) or do a search using the word cholesterol.

soy protein lowers bad cholesterol but it also commences gynecomastia. listen to GM’s advice and exercise, even just for aerobics…

I recently had my blood work redone after my test three months ago came back with a HDL of 15 and a total of only 150. There is specific research that states the total to HDL ratio is more important than total alone. After three months of 1000mg of Niacin once a day. My total cholesterol went up to 183, but my HDL went all the way up to 63! That’s an improvement of 10:1 to less than 3:1. They say to shoot for a 4:1 ratio.

I firmly believe that Niacin is that good.

Red rice yeast is probably the best supplement for reducing cholesterol levels but it is being taken off the market because the drug companies are whining because it contains statins (drugs that are used for lowering cholesterol. You may still be able to find some at some health food stores or online but stock up. You may also try chromium, CLA, fructo-oligosaccharides, octacosanol, pantethine, pectin, phytostanols, phytosterols (beta-sitosterol), policosanol, psyllium, and yeast beta-D-glucan. These substances have been shown to lower cholesterol in studies. Also, many of the ingredients in Biotest’s “M” have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. Hope this helps.

As another poster mentioned, Niacin is useful in lowering cholesterol, particularly triglycerides and LDL. Tpypical dose range is about 1-2g 3x per day. 500mg 3x day is a good starting point. Some people experience “flushing” when taking niacin. one aspirin 30-1hr before taking your Niacin can help reduce flushing. Ultimately, dietary changes are very helpful in lower cholesterol also. Best thing to is to consult your doctor and ask them about using OTC Niacin for your hypercholesterolemia.

from what i understand and read, blood cholesterol levels arent highly correlated with any diseases. blood triglycerides are more important.

If you read some of the science, you’ll find that a great many studies don’t support the ‘cholesterol causes heart disease’ claim. However, I don’t believe we should ignore our cholesterol levels, as it could be a sign that something is wrong. High cholesterol levels are merely a symptom, and if you only treat the symptom, you do nothing to correct the underlying problem. With that being said, the best solution is not to find some medicine or something over the counter, but to instead implement some of the dietary changes suggested in some of the other posts.

Time release niacin at 1000 or 1500 mg. a day. Diet has limited effect, maybe a 10% or little more change in total cholesterol. You can raise HDL by eating lots of fish and taking flax oil. 1/2 a day of oat bran also helps but I tried that and just about any way to eat it, including muffins (made them myself so they weren’t the million calorie ones) made me feel like a Macy’s Parade balloon. Fiber is good but oat bran, and the fiber in peas and beans are the best at reducing cholesterol. Niacin beats all of the above though.

On the contrary, there are quite a bit of studies that have proven the correlation between elevated cholesterol levels and CAD (coronary artery disease). While total cholesterol is important, one lipoprotein, LDL (low density lipoprotein) ie “bad” cholesterol should be looked at. Elevated LDL is linked directly to atherosclerosis. NCEP has instituted desirable levels according to your risk factors. Diet modification is the #1 treatment. Triglycerides are also important to look at, but remember, if your blood sample was not taken after a fast (minimum 8hrs since last meal), then the result is worthless. Elevated triglycerides are also correlated with CAD (still somewhat controversial); however, are more commonly seen in Diabetic patients and in Syndrome X (insulin resistance).
Chad T.

I am currently in my cardiology section of pharmacy school, and we are covering antihyperlipidemics right now as a matter of fact. Niacin ( NOT niacinAMIDE) is the most effective LDL and VLDL lowering agent around, plus it is the ONLY antihyperlipidemic that raises HDL levels to any significant degree. So, why isn’t everyone on it? The side effects are very irritating. Flushing and itching are pretty bad in some, but the side effects will diminish or completely go away after only a few days. Taking an asprin (325mg) 30 minutes to 1 hour before the niacin decreases these side effects tremendously. Niacin needs to be taken at the gram per day level to be efficacious for hypercholesterolemia, which is about 20 50 mg tabs a day. It may be much wiser to go to the doctor and get a script for niaspan, which comes in 500-1000 mg tabs and is controlled release for less side effects. Whatever you do, you must get liver function tests done periodically, as nearly all antihyperlipidemics can have a negative hepatic effect.

Timed release niacin is avaiable in any health food store. The niacin is in a pharmacuetical wax matrix so it releases slowly. There is no flush associated with it even if you took all 1500 mg. at once. Since it’s time release the effect is better too…about double the effectiveness per mg. as non time release.

acvtually creatine has been shown to lower LDL’s in a fews studies that i read a while back

Good point about checking LFT’s. Thats why it is good to consult your physician. I disagree with the statement that Niacin is the most effective at lowering LDL; however, it is superior at raising HDL. The HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (“statins”), are the best at reducing LDL levels. Just some food for thought…CHad