T Nation

High Cholesterol

Hi Guys and gals,
Tampa Terry suggested i put this up on the board.I have been in touch with her over the last few weeks as i have been diagnosed with high cholesterol.I am absolutely gobsmacked as to why and maybe someone can shed some light on it for me.
I am 53yrs,trained for a long time and eat well.I will post a one day sample meal plan.I am 5’-8" tall and weigh 74.5Kgs @ 10-12% body fat.
sample daily meals.
Meal 1 oats
3xfried eggs in olive oil
3 x microwaved bacon slices
Meal 2
Tuna +mayo + slice sweet pepper
Meal 3
Protein shake + 1 tabspoon flax oil.
Go to gym
PWO shake +malto+dextrose
Meal 4
Tuna + brown Rice
Meal 5
Meat( chicken/steak/sausage etc)plus 2 types veggies.
Meal 6
cottage cheese + pineapple or just cheese.
I rotate my food and eat other things like p/nut butter etc.
I have a well-man check every year and this year they called me back because of the cholesterol.I have just had my second results and they are still 6.9 and they want me in to prescribe medication.Anyone have anything to offer on this? Do i have to start taking pills? Is there not a natural choice? I eat almonds as a matter of course and they are supposed to help and i have flaxseed oil.
I would appreciate anyones input into this. I cannot understand it. I have always eaten well or so i thought! I do not drink alchohol and i have never smoked.
Thanks ahead
Nobby

Hey, there, Nobby! (grin)

First off, 6.9 ain’t bad. You’re at average risk (4.4 - 7.1).

It’s important that you know that the majority of cholesterol is made by the liver and not a result of dietary choices. But there are some things you can do that will improve your numbers.

One, increasing Omega 3 intake will lower both HDL and LDL. Increase your flaxseed oil and fish oil intake. Farm raised salmon is not high in Omega 3s.

Second, increasing monounsaturated fat intake will lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) only, which will also improve the ratio. A good source of mono’s is olive oil and avocado.

From there, Red Rice Yeast extract is effective at lowering cholesterol, enough that some pharmaceutical companies did their best to prevent it being allowed into the country.

One last thing. Increasing your soluble fiber intake would help to lower your cholesterol. Oatmeal is good. (grin)

Once again, Nobby, it’s not your diet. It’s your liver and how it processes/makes cholesterol.

Good luck to you!!!

Unfortunately it can be a byproduct of your age. As we age our cholestrol levels increase. This is normal for all people. Your diet is not anything out of the ordinary.

There have been studies conducted that have shown that hormones lost as we age may be the underlying problem of the raise in our cholestrol level as we get older. There are a few that can cause this and one of them is the reduction of our T level. This may or may not be the case for you. Hormone therapy is one of the treatments that they are studying and they are showing great promise. Try supplementing with a tribulus product like Tribex and see if this makes a difference in your levels and get back to us.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Nobby,

  1. I’d like to know what your individual values are (Total Chol., HDL, LDL, and triglycerides).

  2. TT is correct, genetics play a huge role in determining cholesterol values rather then just what you eat.

  3. Having enough antioxidants in your system plays a huge role since it is the oxidized form of cholesterol that is damaging to blood vessel walls. So I would suggest:

–800 IU dry vitamin E/day
–500 mg Vitamin C twice a day (ascorbate form, not ascorbic acid as it is non acidic and easier on the body)
–A good multivitamin/multimineral e.g. twinlab brand daily one or daily two WITHOUT iron. This contains selenium which is important to help the body make its own antioxidants (glutathionine peroxidase).
–I would take an extra 800 micrograms of folic acid since this keeps down homocysteine, another heart disease baddie.

  1. Do not eat any trans fatty acids i.e. if the package says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated consider it poison (what kind of mayo are you using?).

  2. Red rice is nature’s version of the statin drugs and I’m still conflicted about this choice. There are advantages, but like the statin drugs it will deplete the body of coenzyme Q-10 so make sure to take at least 100 mg of coenzyme Q-10/day (the best form of coenzyme Q-10 are in gel caps with oil for improved absorption).

There are other choices to consider e.g. time release niacin (but you will need to have liver function studies monitored even with the time release version to be safe), but I would prefer this be monitored by someone who has experience with this.

I can be more helpful if you have/can post your individual values.

Scott

You got some quality info. so far and I will simply add a few things you might want to look at on your sample meals you posted.

Look for my response to follow these*******

sample daily meals.
Meal 1 oats
3xfried eggs in olive oil
3 x microwaved bacon slices

******* Olive oil is good, but frying with it can be bad. You really need to be carefull here to not let it reach the smoke point. Converting to BAD FAT. Trans Fats. You would be better off adding the olive oil after you cook them.

****** Also I would personally rethink the bacon and swap it for a better source of protein.

Meal 2
Tuna +mayo + slice sweet pepper

******* Mayo can also be a bad thing. Is this natural mayo or store bought cheap stuff loaded with Vege. oils.

Meal 3
Protein shake + 1 tabspoon flax oil.
Go to gym
PWO shake +malto+dextrose
Meal 4
Tuna + brown Rice
Meal 5
Meat( chicken/steak/sausage etc)plus 2 types veggies.
Meal 6
cottage cheese + pineapple or just cheese.

Other than those two it really dose look great. Like others stated you need to also remember that your body will actually produce cholestoral if you are not getting it from your diet. So this may just be your bodies natural level.

Hope this helps,

Phill

what is your total cholesterol? the number, that is. 300? higher? lower? i could send you some REAL info about cholesterol, but in the meantime, please don’t stress about it. high cholesterol is a “disease” fabricated by the drug companies to make money. unless you have another medical condition that’s causing it (it’s like the firemen at a fire, they’re doing a job not causing a problem, send them away and your house will burn down). low thyroid, other hormone issues, diabetes, etc. your doc wants to treat a symptom. if you really have high cholesterol then you should get at the heart of the problem and not just take a drug that will NOT reduce your chance of having a heart attack and WILL increase your chance of cancer.

i’ll PM you some info, because if i post it here i’ll get flamed. it’s not worth it.

except, you don’t have private messages turned on. so, you can turn them on or else i’m not sure how to get you the info. or, i could try to post here…if you’re open to politically ‘incorrect’ information.

Seminole, PM it to me. I have the same situation, total C around 270, doc wants me to take statins but I refuse.

Seminole chick

“because if i post it here i’ll get flamed. it’s not worth it.”

I can really relate, and I often PM people for the same reason. OK now I’m curious. Please post your suggestions, as I’d like to know what they are (and if you know/remember, where you found the info).

Thanks.

Scott

tme with a total cholesterol of 270, it MIGHT make sense for you to take statins. Post your HDL, LDL and triglyceride values.

Nobby,
If you want to know the details behind your doctor’s diagnosis and recommended treatment plan, it is most likely based on: “Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III, or ATP III)”.

(http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp_iii.htm)

I’m guessing you have a high HDL, that’s the main factor used for diagnosis and treatment. All of the recommended treatment plans begin with lifestyle change (i.e. low fat diet plus aerobic exercise), then meds if unsuccessful. Fish oil studies are identified as “promising”.

I am 43 and have a high HDL problem even though diet was never really high fat. I am however a former smoker, but am convinced mine is genetic due to family history. Low fat diet did nothing for lowering HDL. My own plan was to continue the low fat diet, but add fish oil, flax oil and aerobic conditioning. After several months and ongoing exercise research (Where i discovered t-mag) I decided to add strength training. To make a long story short, I lowered my LDL 20 points and raised the HDL 10 points. Although my LDL is still high and considered a risk factor, a high HDL (>59) actually reduces the risk of heart disease.

Didn’t mean to bore you with the personal history but I wanted to show the promise of successful treatment without meds. I’ve got nothing against the statins and their LDL reducing properties, however, they don’t change anything. Your cholesterol profile returns to where it was as soon as you stop taking them. I’d much rather save my money and look good nekid.

(WOW, I really blew that response) I should have writen LDL.

High LDL is the primary risk factor for heart disease. Low HDL is also a risk factor. High HDL is a risk reducer.

O.K.Guys,
Thank you for the responces so quickly.I will try to reply to most of your questions.
1st seminole chick.I thought my PM,s were turned on as i have been corresponding with TT over this!If its not then i am not sure how to get it on in the new format.
Pga200x Thanks for your insight. I guess it is my age but i don’t want to die just yet. Two years ago after my well man check i was told my Test was low.My doc wanted to prescribe Viagra but i declined.I did try Tribex for a while, and some other natural remedies.
Nothing to shout about and i seem to have sorted myself out.
ScottL
I have another appointment at the doc’s on Monday so i will get the info for you then.At the moment i only got a phone call about my second results and was then asked to go in with a view to medication.
I already take Vit E at breakfast.
Regarding the eggs and bacon and the tuna and mayo. These were food suggestions from Swolecat when i purchased a fat burning prog from him several years ago. I just carried on including them in my diet as i liked them. The frying in olive oil is duly noted and i will revert to scrambled and ditch the bacon.
Phil
The mayo is Hellmans light.
The fat content per 100g is :-
Fat 29.8g
of which saturates 3.3g
of which polyunsaturates 4.6g
of which Omega 3 0.9g

Tampa Terry
Thanks again for your input.
I will get back to you guys with more info on Monday evening. My doc’s appointment is at 5-30pm.I’m in the Uk so i don’t know when you will get this.
Thanks
Nobby

!vic,

  1. While a high HDL is good, there was a recent abstract that it will not protect you from a bad LDL value.

  2. If you are still eating a “low fat” diet please read some of the articles on this site e.g. the fat roundtable, etc. Fats e.g. olive oil, nuts, in addition to salmon, etc are all very good for you. Saturated fats are not the evil that the medical establishment makes them out to be (assuming you have ehough good fats and vitamin E) and are helpful in reasonable quantities.

Bad carbohydrates are (somewhat? mostly?) ignored by the medical establishment as a risk factor for heart disease. STRICTLY FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF HEALTH (bulking is a different issue) you need to stick to low glycemic carbohydrates e.g. fruits, vegetables. oatmeal, etc. I just discovered a great brand of lentil pasta which has a low glycemic index and with good sauce works fine tastewise. Large amounts of simple carbohydrates can elevate your triglycerides (another risk factor), and are far worse for you then many fats.

  1. While I dislike drugs (and I’m a physician) for some people e.g. my friend with the 300+ cholesterol and 300+ triglycerides they are appropriate. They do deplete coenzyme Q-10, but that can be taken as a supplement. They have the advantage of reducing inflammation. Inflammation has been linked as a possible underlying cause in heart disease, cancer, alzheimers…

  2. “High LDL is the primary risk factor for heart disease”. Triglycerides play a role also. Having a high homocysteine causes far more damage to artery walls then a high LDL. And again, it is oxiddized LDL that causes problems, thus the need for antioxidants. CRP (C reactive protein) a marker of inflammation is also an important factor, and one only recently realized.

Bottom line: read T-nation, the people here will keep you a lot healthier then your doc.

Ok, since i’ve gotten sooo many PM’s (ok, just two, but that’s more than i thought) i figured i would just go and post this. many of you may recognize some of the URL’s and if you’ve already formed your opinions of those web sites, please keep them to yourself and let others make their own descisions. we certainly can start a cholesterol debate, but i’m pretty busy as of late, and won’t have much time to commit to such discussion.

what causes heart disease?
http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/hd.html

This doctor wrote an excellent book about this issue. i haven’t finished reading it, i gave it to my dad. when i get it back, i’ll read the rest.

here’s an article about fats and what is healthy and what is not.
http://www.westonaprice.org/know_your_fats/skinny.html

and this doctor, who is a bit extreme on some topics actually has a bit less radical view on cholesterol:
http://www.mercola
do a search on his site and you’ll find a TON of stuff. something to note as well as keep in mind, he does make money from his web site, weston a price foundation doesn’t.

Hi, Everyone.
Just like to update you on my high levels of cholesterol.I had my bloodtest done last week and the results have come back very favoably.Down from 6.3 to 4( 3.9 being normal). I haven’t got the full breakdown yet,these numbers were all i could get over the phone.
I would like to thank ScottL for his advice and also TT and everyone else who took the time to respond to my post. It was most appreciated,you guys are the best.
Nobby.

Great news, Nobby!!! I’m happy for you…and especially happy that you dealt with things nutritionally, versus taking cholesterol lowering medication.

Nobby,

Glad to hear things are headed in the right direction.

What exactly did you do?

Hi, my name is the Framingham Heart Study. Please read me.

Yes, everything is a conspiracy and the vast peer reviewed literature is all false.

Go ahead. Take the word of somebody on the internet who quotes Mercola and Weston Price instead of peer reviewed and published literature.

Seminolechick, you’d get flamed because you spread the same nonsensical BS that you always have. Go eat some bacon grease with NeilG.