T Nation

high endogenous cholesterol

I have a question for you guys. A co-worker of mine has high cholesterol, I’m talking above 300! She says that it’s hereditary and has been controlling her diet fairly well. She doesn’t want to take any drugs i.e. statins but instead wants to lower her levels through nutrition and training. I’m scratching my head on this one. I’ve tried a few suggestions but she’s already doing them. What do you guys think?

BOBU: IF in fact she suffers from one of the Familial Hyperlipidemias (genetically determined, altered lipid metabolism), then diet will have little effect on her BASELINE cholesterol. Diet will certainly help, don’t get me wrong. But even with normal cholesterol, what we injest has little effect on the level of cholesterol. So…diet and exercise will not hurt, (and should be encouraged), but in lowering the cholesterol itself, there is little contribution from diet and exercise. (IF in fact it is genetic).

On a related note. The culprit in all this fat/heart/cardiovascular disease issue are hydrogenated, trans-fatty acids that permeate our food supply. These “miracles” (eg margerines, vegetable oils that are solid at room temperature (eg Crisco), and many of the fats that our “junk food” supply is cooked in) were created to give us fats with long shelf lives that were solid and easily speadible, and solid at closer-to-room-temperature. The problem is:1) as humans, we hadn’t evolved the enzyme systems to digest them properly and 2)Their inadequate digestion/rancidity and deposition on arterial walls are the culprit in this whole fat/cardiovascular issue.

Not to worry! If you have a diet high in Omega 3’s, mono and polyunsaturates; keep saturated fat to a mininmum; and avoid processed foods as much as possible, you should be fine (as well as your friend!).

What I want to know is whether Brock’s Antidote will be sold. Something like this could possibly help your co-worker.

High amounts of garlic may help.

thanks mufasa… i’ll get the info to her.

Really, total cholesterol doesn’t tell us very much. Much more important are the individual HDL, LDL, and VLDL levels. Generally speaking an LDL/HDL ratio of greater than 7:1 is what you must worry about, while a lower ratio is fine, despite total cholesterol levels. If her ratio is over 7:1, if her HDL is under 50 and/or her LDL is over 150, she has a hyperlipidemic problem and definitely needs some pharmaceutical intervention; statins, niacin, and or a bile acid sequestering agent like questran. So, tell her to check her individual HDL/LDL levels. If she doesn’t know them, a fasting lipid profile is definitely neccesary.