T Nation

Lowering Cholesterol

So my younger brother just had bloodwork done and his cholesterol tests came back about 40 or 50 points above what they should be. He asked me for some tips, but honestly, I’ve never been overly concerned as my tests have been fine in the past.

The only thing that sprang to mind was to increase his omega-3 intake and drink red wine.

Any other thoughts on how to lower it?

He also asked if he ought to avoid cholesterol-high foods, which I wasn’t exactly sure on.

Side note: I was irritated to find out that they didn’t tell him what his separate LDL and HDL counts were, so this is a bit of a rough estimate, but cholesterol reducing suggestions would help.

does he even exercise???

Can also try cheerios.

Yes he does.

And http://whattoeatbook.com/2007/09/15/lower-your-cholesterol-with-cheerios-oh-please/

Tell him to eat oatmeal. It’s proven to lower cholesterol. He probably needs to change his whole diet. What’s his diet like?

This is a pretty big can of worms around here as many posters here, including myself, have somewhat of a different view regarding cholesterols role (or lack thereof) in directly affecting heart disease.

However, I think its pretty solid that having a high HDL along with low triglycerides and as low as possible VLDL are good ways to put yourself in a cardioprotective state.

Also, the big picture should be about keeping inflammation to a minimum, which should go a long way in the prevention of the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries.

Its frustrating not knowing what his specific values are. However, some general recommendations that are healthy all the way around can be made.

  1. Increase fiber intake, especially broccolli and green vegetables.
  2. Keep refined carbohydrates to a minimum.
  3. Obtain 3-12g of EPA/DHA from fish oil, mainly for lowering triglycerides, as Fish Oil can raise both HDL and LDL.
  4. Use coconut oil as a saturated fat for cooking (lowers LDL, raises HDL)
  5. Continue exercising.
  6. Don’t be overfat.
  7. Try to ingest somewhat of a balanced fat intake among your different types of fat.
  8. He may want to shift his eating style to more of moderate fat/lower carb/moderate protein type diet, a la Anabolic Diet or really just any diet which focuses on green vegetables, fat and protein.
  9. If lowering LDL is that much of a concern (though having a high HDL and a very low VLDL are more important) then looking into phytosterols may be beneficial.
  10. Avoid trans fats like the plague, as these will lower HDL and raise lDL.
  11. Drink green tea.

I’ve pretty much eaten low-carb, tons of green vegetables and kept my protein and fat high and my blood levels consistenly improve. Granted, your mileage may vary because of genetics, but here is my most recent bloodwork.

Marker Range Measured

CHOL ***** 184
TG 0-150mg/dL 49
HDLD 40-60mg/dL 87.9
AMY 25-125U/L 70
FE 40-160μg/dL 149
CRPH 0.00-7.47mg/L <0.20
LIP 22-51U/L 31
LDL < 130mg/dL 86.3

I know had some bloodwork from a couple years ago :

CHOL 152 mg/dL <200 optimal
TG 85mg/dL <150
HDLD 77.0 mg/dL >60 optimal

So, I’ve been able to reduce my triglycerides further (thereby reducing my VLDL as well since its a percentage of triglycerides), increase my HDL even further, even though total cholesterol is now higher. However, after looking at the specific numbers, in this case higher cholesterol = better cholesterol.

So it would be nice to know what his specific breakdown is. But, we don’t. Adding in some sound dietary habits, however, should give some peace of mind.

Hope this helps.

[quote]Fiction wrote:
Yes he does.

And http://whattoeatbook.com/2007/09/15/lower-your-cholesterol-with-cheerios-oh-please/

[/quote]

lol. nice find. I was kidding though…

The info given by the other poster is what he should follow. Hard to know how he can lower his cholesterol though without knowing what his diet is like. Exercise and smart dietary choices are always a good place to start.

Well said. And to the OP, tell your brother to get a new doctor.

[quote]NewDamage wrote:
This is a pretty big can of worms around here as many posters here, including myself, have somewhat of a different view regarding cholesterols role (or lack thereof) in directly affecting heart disease.

However, I think its pretty solid that having a high HDL along with low triglycerides and as low as possible VLDL are good ways to put yourself in a cardioprotective state.

Also, the big picture should be about keeping inflammation to a minimum, which should go a long way in the prevention of the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries.

Its frustrating not knowing what his specific values are. However, some general recommendations that are healthy all the way around can be made.

  1. Increase fiber intake, especially broccolli and green vegetables.
  2. Keep refined carbohydrates to a minimum.
  3. Obtain 3-12g of EPA/DHA from fish oil, mainly for lowering triglycerides, as Fish Oil can raise both HDL and LDL.
  4. Use coconut oil as a saturated fat for cooking (lowers LDL, raises HDL)
  5. Continue exercising.
  6. Don’t be overfat.
  7. Try to ingest somewhat of a balanced fat intake among your different types of fat.
  8. He may want to shift his eating style to more of moderate fat/lower carb/moderate protein type diet, a la Anabolic Diet or really just any diet which focuses on green vegetables, fat and protein.
  9. If lowering LDL is that much of a concern (though having a high HDL and a very low VLDL are more important) then looking into phytosterols may be beneficial.
  10. Avoid trans fats like the plague, as these will lower HDL and raise lDL.
  11. Drink green tea.

I’ve pretty much eaten low-carb, tons of green vegetables and kept my protein and fat high and my blood levels consistenly improve. Granted, your mileage may vary because of genetics, but here is my most recent bloodwork.

Marker Range Measured

CHOL ***** 184
TG 0-150mg/dL 49
HDLD 40-60mg/dL 87.9
AMY 25-125U/L 70
FE 40-160μg/dL 149
CRPH 0.00-7.47mg/L <0.20
LIP 22-51U/L 31
LDL < 130mg/dL 86.3

I know had some bloodwork from a couple years ago :

CHOL 152 mg/dL <200 optimal
TG 85mg/dL <150
HDLD 77.0 mg/dL >60 optimal

So, I’ve been able to reduce my triglycerides further (thereby reducing my VLDL as well since its a percentage of triglycerides), increase my HDL even further, even though total cholesterol is now higher. However, after looking at the specific numbers, in this case higher cholesterol = better cholesterol.

So it would be nice to know what his specific breakdown is. But, we don’t. Adding in some sound dietary habits, however, should give some peace of mind.

Hope this helps.
[/quote]

Why does he want to lower Cholesterol? A lot of the cholesterol scare is a myth. Also, was it total cholesterol or HDL or LDL?

[quote]entheogens wrote:
Why does he want to lower Cholesterol? A lot of the cholesterol scare is a myth. Also, was it total cholesterol or HDL or LDL?[/quote]

Ok, what the fuck? Do people even read anymore? Entheogens, you post around here a lot, so I’m kind of surprised you did this. But in the ORIGINAL POST, the OP specified that HDL and LDL levels were NOT given.

Reading, people! Come on!

[quote]NewDamage wrote:
This is a pretty big can of worms around here as many posters here, including myself, have somewhat of a different view regarding cholesterols role (or lack thereof) in directly affecting heart disease.

However, I think its pretty solid that having a high HDL along with low triglycerides and as low as possible VLDL are good ways to put yourself in a cardioprotective state.

Also, the big picture should be about keeping inflammation to a minimum, which should go a long way in the prevention of the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries.

Its frustrating not knowing what his specific values are. However, some general recommendations that are healthy all the way around can be made.

  1. Increase fiber intake, especially broccolli and green vegetables.
  2. Keep refined carbohydrates to a minimum.
  3. Obtain 3-12g of EPA/DHA from fish oil, mainly for lowering triglycerides, as Fish Oil can raise both HDL and LDL.
  4. Use coconut oil as a saturated fat for cooking (lowers LDL, raises HDL)
  5. Continue exercising.
  6. Don’t be overfat.
  7. Try to ingest somewhat of a balanced fat intake among your different types of fat.
  8. He may want to shift his eating style to more of moderate fat/lower carb/moderate protein type diet, a la Anabolic Diet or really just any diet which focuses on green vegetables, fat and protein.
  9. If lowering LDL is that much of a concern (though having a high HDL and a very low VLDL are more important) then looking into phytosterols may be beneficial.
  10. Avoid trans fats like the plague, as these will lower HDL and raise lDL.
  11. Drink green tea.

I’ve pretty much eaten low-carb, tons of green vegetables and kept my protein and fat high and my blood levels consistenly improve. Granted, your mileage may vary because of genetics, but here is my most recent bloodwork.

Marker Range Measured

CHOL ***** 184
TG 0-150mg/dL 49
HDLD 40-60mg/dL 87.9
AMY 25-125U/L 70
FE 40-160μg/dL 149
CRPH 0.00-7.47mg/L <0.20
LIP 22-51U/L 31
LDL < 130mg/dL 86.3

I know had some bloodwork from a couple years ago :

CHOL 152 mg/dL <200 optimal
TG 85mg/dL <150
HDLD 77.0 mg/dL >60 optimal

So, I’ve been able to reduce my triglycerides further (thereby reducing my VLDL as well since its a percentage of triglycerides), increase my HDL even further, even though total cholesterol is now higher. However, after looking at the specific numbers, in this case higher cholesterol = better cholesterol.

So it would be nice to know what his specific breakdown is. But, we don’t. Adding in some sound dietary habits, however, should give some peace of mind.

Hope this helps.
[/quote]

Damn good post, NewDamage.

My mother was diagnosed with “high cholesterol” by her old doc about the time I was reading Udo Erasmus’s ‘Fats that Heal Fats That Kill’ book and the suggestion Udo made was essentially to get more fiber and poly/mono fats.

I immediately got my mom to start taking fiber supplements along with a better selection of fats, including fish and flax oil and her serum cholesterol and triglycerides plummeted within a few months to better levels. Her new doc couldn’t believe it.

Unfortunately, my mom went right back to eating the old way as soon as her fiber ran out and I don’t think she’s bought more fish oil since the big bottle I gave her.

Oh well.

[quote]NewDamage wrote:
entheogens wrote:
Why does he want to lower Cholesterol? A lot of the cholesterol scare is a myth. Also, was it total cholesterol or HDL or LDL?

Ok, what the fuck? Do people even read anymore? Entheogens, you post around here a lot, so I’m kind of surprised you did this. But in the ORIGINAL POST, the OP specified that HDL and LDL levels were NOT given.

Reading, people! Come on![/quote]

Sorry. You are right.

Ok, I have been advising people to read Gary Taube’s book, “Good Calories Bad Calories” which is a very historical and broad study on questions of nutrition, the low fat diet, cholesterol among other things. Of course that is a huge book. However, here is a website that gives lots of good information about the Cholesterol Myth:

You might also like to read this:

westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/benefits_cholest.html