T Nation

Cholesterol Levels: Too High

I just got my cholesterol levels checked and “they” say they are too high overall.

I remember reading something here about the fact that high cholesterol levels really aren’t necessarily an indicator of future health problems, however my fiancee is a cardiac nurse and is more inclined to think I should get on statins. Can anyone give me some solid information or references to help support my argument that I don’t want to go on cholesterol lowering meds?

My basic info, if it helps:

Total cho = 238
triglycerides = 88
HDL = 55
LDL = 165
VLDL = 18
T Cho/HDL ratio = 4.3

I’m 39 yrs old and pretty healthy. Compared to the average person I have a healthy diet and workout about 3 times/week (the rest of the time I’m pretty much stuck behind a desk. The majority of my life up until about 6 years ago was very active). My father had quadruple by-pass surgery at age 69, though my mother’s checkups always come back extremely healthy (low cho, low BP etc).

Thanks in advance for any information, references or even general thoughts anyone may be able to contribute.

the MexiKen

hiya,

i read something about cholesterol in the paper today.

the article can be found here:

In short time for some changes That HDL is low and LDL crazy high in comparison hows your diet, activity etc

Phill

Might look at Cy Willsons “Level with me doc how long have I go article”

What is your height/weight? Do you take fish oil? How consistently? Do you eat many fruits/veggies? How often? Do you take in alot of saturated fat? Do you eat many nuts?

People aren’t going to just say ‘don’t take statins if you won’t want to’. And even if they did, I hope that you’d listen to your doctor over someone over these forums. At best, people here can advise you about bodybuilding in general - not specific to you. It’s a big stretch to think they can give you specific medical advice.

Having said that, answer the above questions and I’ll give, for what it’s worth, my opinion (which will most likely be take the statins).

-Cloth

PS I’m a med student, if that means anything. I stress student, which means I know close to nothing.

Also, I hope you don’t smoke. You don’t, right? Cause your LDL to HDL ratio is not good, and smoking will do nothing to help this.

-Cloth

Can you give us some specifics about your diet? Run us through a typical day.

Try taking some red yeast rice. This is the natural version of what statin meds are based on but, without the side effects. December 06 my levels were as follows:
Total Cholesterol 219
LDL 158
HDL 43
Triglycerides 91

After 3 months of taking red yest rice, my numbers dropped big time.
Total 148
LDL 98
HDL 37
Triglycerides 65

Thank you all for your input so far. I do realize the individuality of all this, and I will consult and listen to my doctor, it’s just that I know I have access to a pretty good sized population of well educated people here, so I thought I would like to get some of these opinions too. Here’s a bit more about me.

I’m 6’0", about 210 lbs and I’ve never smoked. I certainly have fat I would like to lose (FWIW, my Tanita says I’m 18-20%), but I’m by no means obese (though of course the ‘extra’ is in my waiste/belly area, which I realize isn’t good either).

My diet: I typically start the day with 5 eggs, 5 pieces of bacon,… just kidding :o) Seriously, I have oatmeal (old fashioned, not quick oats) with mixed berries and a scoop of Metabolic Drive added.

I’ll also have 2 cups of coffee with a splash of 1% milk in it (and recently started adding fiber to this, too). I take Rez-V first thing when I wake up (as well as Zyrtec for allergies). With my oats I take 4 Flame Out and one buproprion 150mg [welbutrin]).

Mid morning I have a small amount of beef jerky and an apple as a snack. Lunch is where I may have a problem, since I go out to eat. Still, I do my best to make decent choices such as grilled chicken, gorgonzola salad; mushroom/swiss burger with steamed broccoli instead of fries; turkey, bacon, avocado, cream-cheese and sprouts sandwich on wheat bread; chicken coconut curry on brown rice.

After work I often go grab a beer with a co-worker (Dos-X amber), though I’m doing that less frequently these days.

Dinner - often we have grilled chicken, salad and brown rice, though we do prepare a fair amount of red meat too (my finacee’s family owns a steak house!) Other dinners we prepare include salmon, wheat spaghetti and meatballs, occaisonally pizza (also trying to minimize the frequncy of this).

We’ll usually have at least a salad with tomatos, or grilled veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms etc). We also often share a bottle of wine between the two of us (not always finishing it, but not unusual if we do, either).

Right now my exercise is 2 - 3 times/week of lifting (trying to stick to bigger, compund movements), but I would still consider myself a beginner lifter after so many years away from the gym (I was a competetive soccer player until about age 33, 6 years ago). I realize from reading Cy’s article “Bad Blood” that I should incorporate more cardio for my condition, so I’ll start trying to do that, too.

I’m thinking of starting HRE to help with the fat loss; any thoughts there? Oh, I do take ZMA at night, too.

That’s about as much additional info as I can think to add at the moment, but am happy to give more if it helps.

Thanks again for your ‘opinions’, and I promise not to hold anyone here accountable. ;o) I’ll still meet with and follow my doctor’s advice.

MexiKen

Red Yeast Rice is Mevacor, last time I checked.

It has all the same side effects as Mevacor, because its a statins has largely the same side effects as all other statins.

Its not because something is natural that its side effect free. The only difference is you don’t know about purity and dose.

AlexH.

Mex,

I’m gonna level with you. It sounds like your diet is shitty and you are trying to pretty hard kid yourself (and us) about it.

Clean it up, replace half of the meat with non-meat protein sources and take 4 or 5 servings of psyllium husk a day.

That should do it.

The fiber is absolutely invaluable to lowering cholesterol. As an aside, it makes your shits really nice too.

As one gets older, testosterone and DHEA decline and cholesterol increases.

Many on TRT find that their cholesterol drops by 25-30% within two months.

Blood work wound indicate if your T is low, but at your age, most guys will be normal and will not qualify for TRT.

You can focus on dietary changes and supplements that improve general health [such as fish oils].

Anything that would help your T levels or improve your T:E ratios might be helpful in several ways.

If your body fat percentage is 18% or 20%, I would definitely try to lose some weight.

Check the dramatic change of Dan Johns cholesterol levels during the V-diet:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1295181

And you probably would not have described him as obese at the start of the diet.

Id suggest NOT having your Flameout with your oats as well. Oats are loaded with soluble fiber that can and do trap fatty acids and other stuff as they travel through you. Could be VERY likely a good amount of that Flameout is just getting sucked up and crapped out by those wonderful oats. If having fish oils then go with a cheap version IMO or none and save Flameout for a different meal

Phill

If you want some “alternative” views on cholesterol, you might want to read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Cholesterol-Con-Anthony-Colpo/dp/1430309334

Here’s an article on LDL by the same author:

http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showpost.php?s=e5ddc424017e2d1d09ac2af8a029a4d7&p=199912&postcount=2889

And here’s an article he was invited to publish for JPAND (Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons):

The guy is not a wacko, as some would have you believe. {i]Everything[/i] he says he backs up with scores of studies. And he’s not alone, either. Visit THINCS (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics) and read what a large number of doctors think about cholesterol:

http://www.thincs.org

I would do a lot of reading from both sides of the fence before going back to the doctor and accepting/refusing the statins. Whatever you chose, make sure you have all the facts.

Good luck.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to give me your thoughts; all good ones. I will definitely take them all to heart (sorry, lame pun).

Seriously though, I didn’t know about the oats and fish oil at the same time could minimize the effectiveness of the Flameout. Change #1 - take Flameout with other meals.

I read elsewhere about increasing fiber as well (flax meal was mentioned). Does it make a difference how/when I take that? I’m not familiar with psyllium husk, but I’ll look into that. Would that be a better choice than the flax meal? Change #2 - add more fiber (and expect changes to my #2; though I haven’t had a problem with that…)

Alcohol… OK, OK, I’ll cut down considerably. BUT, I’m going to Napa in about a week, so it may have to wait. Change #3 - reduce alcohol intake.

Training - incorporate cardio several times per week to help weight loss. Change #4

Meat - trade in some red meat meals for some salmon. This actually will be a bit easier as my fiancee just started taking a liking to grilled salmon. I just need to find the non-farmed fish. Change #5 - more fish, less beef.

5 changes. None seem too difficult. I can make them.

Again, thanks to all of you, and if there are more thoughts or suggestions, keep 'em coming. This site is awesome!

MexiKen

The main advantage to psyllium husk is that it is pure fiber. Flax is good but it contains more calories so you wouldn’t want to overdo it. But by all means take both.

The idea is to just find a cheap source of pure fiber, for me it’s psyllium because that what the grocer carries.

I take it with meals and before bed. It helps you to feel full when you are losing weight.

If I start taking my Flameout with my later meals to avoid the problem of the oats negating a lot of the benefit, would the psyllium husk cause the same problem? (as it was suggested to take psyllium with meals)

TIA

Hey,

You seem pretty genuine in helping yourself. Alot of people come on here looking for reaffirmation rather than actual advice.

(1) : Eat smaller portions. You say you’re overweight : correct this. Don’t think in terms of bodybuilding - stop worrying about your protein intake and worry about how overweight you are.

(2) : SUBSTITUTE nuts into your diet for other less useful calories.

I recently had a lecture about using nutrition to combat cardiovascular risk factors. If you want, PM me your email and I can send it to you.

-Cloth

[quote]Miserere wrote:
If you want some “alternative” views on cholesterol, you might want to read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Cholesterol-Con-Anthony-Colpo/dp/1430309334

Here’s an article on LDL by the same author:

http://forums.allaboutjazz.com/showpost.php?s=e5ddc424017e2d1d09ac2af8a029a4d7&p=199912&postcount=2889

And here’s an article he was invited to publish for JPAND (Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons):

The guy is not a wacko, as some would have you believe. {i]Everything[/i] he says he backs up with scores of studies. And he’s not alone, either. Visit THINCS (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics) and read what a large number of doctors think about cholesterol:

http://www.thincs.org

I would do a lot of reading from both sides of the fence before going back to the doctor and accepting/refusing the statins. Whatever you chose, make sure you have all the facts.

Good luck.[/quote]

If you’re anything like me, then you take every piece of medical advice to be false unless you can independently verify it.

And as far as cholesterol is concerned, I am totally unconvinced that there is any correlation with heart disease.

I really recommend you check out the links above and do some research, lest you become another slave to the medical-industrial complex! And if your doctor starts pushing statins, tell him where to stick it, and get the hell out of there.