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Mom's Cholesterol

Hey guys

My mom and i were just talking and she brought up her cholesterol. I think she said hers is 210?. Her doctors are saying it is too high and they are probably going to put her on some medicine she had previously taken and it ruined her. It made her feel horrible. She does NOT want to go on this medicine.

Also, she was bringing up red yeast rice? (think thats what its called). she said she gets a cheap one- like a CVS brand or something, and didnt know if she should invest in the more expensive one.

What are some things she can do to lower her cholesterol? I consider myself knowledgeable in things like weight loss and muscle gain, etc, but i know nothing about cholesterol. I dont know whats good or bad.

Thanks in advance. Any help is greatly appreciated

  1. Listen to her doctor

  2. Healthy Diet - adding one “magic pill” won’t fix anything

  3. Fish Oil

[quote]BigAlSwede wrote:
2. Healthy Diet - adding one “magic pill” won’t fix anything

  1. Fish Oil[/quote]

hmm…

Fish oil, niacin, but most importantly, good diet.

PS: 210 is fine, depending on how high her triglycerides are and what her ratio of HDL:LDL is.

For example, mine is 240 total but my HDL is nearly as high as my LDL and my nurse said it was outstanding, the best she’s seen in awhile.

There’s a ton of these threads already and they would be applicable to anyone’s mom or dad or aunt or sibling and even posters themselves.

[quote]msd0060 wrote:
Fish oil, niacin, but most importantly, good diet.

PS: 210 is fine, depending on how high her triglycerides are and what her ratio of HDL:LDL is.

For example, mine is 240 total but my HDL is nearly as high as my LDL and my nurse said it was outstanding, the best she’s seen in awhile.[/quote]

Do you do anything special to raise your HDL? I ask because mine has always been low every time I got tested. Even though my total is also low, I’m not happy with the ratio.

[quote]as wrote:
msd0060 wrote:
Fish oil, niacin, but most importantly, good diet.

PS: 210 is fine, depending on how high her triglycerides are and what her ratio of HDL:LDL is.

For example, mine is 240 total but my HDL is nearly as high as my LDL and my nurse said it was outstanding, the best she’s seen in awhile.

Do you do anything special to raise your HDL? I ask because mine has always been low every time I got tested. Even though my total is also low, I’m not happy with the ratio.[/quote]

I eat clean, whole, real foods 90% of the time. I workout regularly. Take a lot of fish oil, and then about 3g of non-flush free niacin a day.

Niacin has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol, as has eggs. Exercise is another component of HDL levels. The more, the higher.

I cannot tell you exactly how much the niacin has helped my levels, I’d be lying if I said I knew it was the key.

But I will tell you that if it’s the flushing that’s keeping you away from taking it, that you do acclimate to it. I take 1g 3 times a day now and barely flush at all. I used to flush like crazy at 250mg. I’ve ramped it up because I actually LIKE the flushing and burning, call me crazy.

[quote]BigAlSwede wrote:

  1. Listen to her doctor

  2. Healthy Diet - adding one “magic pill” won’t fix anything

  3. Fish Oil[/quote]

To elaborate on (2), some people have a very adverse effect to high intakes of saturated fat, as far as effects on blood lipid profile.

She may want to look at drastically cutting back saturated fat and seeing how she responds to that.

I mentioned this to someone else on here recently in a previous thread eating a diet really high in saturated fats, they cut back and saw a very positive change quite quickly. A lot of people can get away with it, but some just can’t for whatever reason. And older, less active folks are definitely less likely to respond well.

And just cleaning up the rest of the diet and cutting out the crap could help a lot. The fish oil recommendation is crucial. I would definitely listen to the MD obv.

Red Yeast Rice contains an fungus that generates lovastatin (Mevacor) also known as mevinolin, a naturally-occurring statin. However only the Went strain of the fungus does this.

Since some Red Yeast Rice contain Mevacor its is supposed to be regulated as a drug (of course the Red Yeast Rice from other strains shouldn’t be regulated).

It’s always a question of having to eat rice every evening (because of the pharmacokinetics of Mevacor) and also you never know the actual dose you’re ingesting from day to day.

Good Luck
AlexH

A total cholesterol number of 210 is practically meaningless in terms of whether she has a good or bad cholesterol profile.

What is important is her ratio of HDL to her triglycerides.

The closer the ratio is to 1, the better.

Also there is a lot of confusion about LDL…the so called “bad” cholesterol. There are at least two types of LDL…large fluffy LDL (which is good) and small, dense LDL, which is not good. (Doctors rarely test for this and assume a high LDL is automatically a problem).

Eating saturated fat and cholesterol is rarely the cause of a person having “bad cholesterol” (read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes for the science).

The primary cause of having a bad cholesterol profile is eating a high carbohydrate diet (especially wheat, and other grains, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other foods that comprise the standard american diet.)

The solution to improving your mothers situation is for her to eat a low carb, high fat diet.

This is what I do, and my cholesterol numbers have improved dramatically since I have begun this way of eating.

As they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

My HDL is 95. LDL is 85, triglycerides 35 and VLDL is 7.

My diet…at least 8 whole eggs a day, beef, chicken, fish, low carb veggies like spinach etc. Olive oil, Fish oil, cream, butter, etc.

I also take about 7,500 units of vit D3 every day.

Do not let your mom go on drugs to lower cholesterol.

If she eats right her body will do what it is supposed to do naturally.

A total cholesterol of 210 is fucking high as shit, and if her doctors told her that she needs to lower it, then that opinion is far more relevant than your anecdotal anti-carb pro-saturated fat recommendations that could be potentially harmful.

This is the real world, not anecdotal, zero carb fantasy land, and a REAL person you are giving advice to. The reality of the situation is that the doctor TOLD HER cholesterol is too high and that she has a HEALTH RISK because of it. Get with the picture. They said it’s too high, I’ll take their word.

Guess what, a young, active person who lifts is going to respond a lot differently to various dieting protocols than a 40+ year old woman under who knows what stresses. And since odds are she ain’t going to want to experiment with a ketogenic diet, the combination of high saturated fat and lots of high GI carbs has an even WORSE effect on blood lipid profile.

Which goes back to the general recommendation: lower the saturated fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out more of the processed crap and see how that works after consulting with a doctor, then reevaluate. Something that’s actually PRACTICAL, based in reality, and most importantly of all- actually likely and even easy for his mom to implement!

Here’s a great article/discussion I read recently that delved into some of the issues that I think most anyone here will find very informative, useful, and applicable to themselves:

[quote]E99_Curt wrote:
BigAlSwede wrote:
2. Healthy Diet - adding one “magic pill” won’t fix anything

  1. Fish Oil

hmm…

[/quote]

Ok, while I can see that seeming a bit hypocritical, I consider fish oil and other sources of omega 3’s as an extension of a healthy diet…number two. I don’t really think of fish oil as a supplement, just a part of my diet.

i do believe that 200-210 is borderline high
anything 215 and higher is considered bad and need to get it lower than 200. and i think most docs want it 180 or lower. fishoil
and exercise should be enough to get it done.
though it may take 6 weeks or longer.i do not
speak for docs, and do ask your doc what is apropo.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
A total cholesterol of 210 is fucking high as shit, and if her doctors told her that she needs to lower it, then that opinion is far more relevant than your anecdotal anti-carb pro-saturated fat recommendations that could be potentially harmful.

This is the real world, not anecdotal, zero carb fantasy land, and a REAL person you are giving advice to. The reality of the situation is that the doctor TOLD HER cholesterol is too high and that she has a HEALTH RISK because of it. Get with the picture. They said it’s too high, I’ll take their word.

Guess what, a young, active person who lifts is going to respond a lot differently to various dieting protocols than a 40+ year old woman under who knows what stresses. And since odds are she ain’t going to want to experiment with a ketogenic diet, the combination of high saturated fat and lots of high GI carbs has an even WORSE effect on blood lipid profile.

Which goes back to the general recommendation: lower the saturated fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out more of the processed crap and see how that works after consulting with a doctor, then reevaluate. Something that’s actually PRACTICAL, based in reality, and most importantly of all- actually likely and even easy for his mom to implement!

Here’s a great article/discussion I read recently that delved into some of the issues that I think most anyone here will find very informative, useful, and applicable to themselves:

[/quote]

You have a lot of faith in Doctors…unfortunately too often they don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Read the book I recommended…then lets talk.

If you were to read the article and discussion I linked you would know that, but unlike you I don’t expect someone to spend 15 minutes reading an article to be worth talking to. I have 0 interest in going through the 600 page misrepresentation of facts and cherry picked studies that creates make believe physiology to fund an egotistical jackass with no formal background at all in training, physiology or nutrition, that is the book you recommended, and think said book is one of the larger disservices towards those who wish to improve their health in recent years. Complete garbage.

[quote]bholiday wrote:
actionjeff wrote:
A total cholesterol of 210 is fucking high as shit, and if her doctors told her that she needs to lower it, then that opinion is far more relevant than your anecdotal anti-carb pro-saturated fat recommendations that could be potentially harmful.

This is the real world, not anecdotal, zero carb fantasy land, and a REAL person you are giving advice to. The reality of the situation is that the doctor TOLD HER cholesterol is too high and that she has a HEALTH RISK because of it. Get with the picture. They said it’s too high, I’ll take their word.

Guess what, a young, active person who lifts is going to respond a lot differently to various dieting protocols than a 40+ year old woman under who knows what stresses. And since odds are she ain’t going to want to experiment with a ketogenic diet, the combination of high saturated fat and lots of high GI carbs has an even WORSE effect on blood lipid profile.

Which goes back to the general recommendation: lower the saturated fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out more of the processed crap and see how that works after consulting with a doctor, then reevaluate. Something that’s actually PRACTICAL, based in reality, and most importantly of all- actually likely and even easy for his mom to implement!

Here’s a great article/discussion I read recently that delved into some of the issues that I think most anyone here will find very informative, useful, and applicable to themselves:

You have a lot of faith in Doctors…unfortunately too often they don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Read the book I recommended…then lets talk.[/quote]

According to bholiday, if your mother’s doctor says her cholesterol is high and she is at health risk, you should just assume he’s full of shit and you know better than him.

According to everyone else, someone who went through medical school that you are paying to advise you on your health might be worth listening to when it’s your life on the line.

I guess TomRocco is just going to have to decide which of these viewpoints makes more sense.

[quote]actionjeff wrote:

If you were to read the article and discussion I linked you would know that, but unlike you I don’t expect someone to spend 15 minutes reading an article to be worth talking to. I have 0 interest in going through the 600 page misrepresentation of facts and cherry picked studies that creates make believe physiology to fund an egotistical jackass with no formal background at all in training, physiology or nutrition, that is the book you recommended, and think said book is one of the larger disservices towards those who wish to improve their health in recent years. Complete garbage.

bholiday wrote:
actionjeff wrote:
A total cholesterol of 210 is fucking high as shit, and if her doctors told her that she needs to lower it, then that opinion is far more relevant than your anecdotal anti-carb pro-saturated fat recommendations that could be potentially harmful.

This is the real world, not anecdotal, zero carb fantasy land, and a REAL person you are giving advice to. The reality of the situation is that the doctor TOLD HER cholesterol is too high and that she has a HEALTH RISK because of it. Get with the picture. They said it’s too high, I’ll take their word.

Guess what, a young, active person who lifts is going to respond a lot differently to various dieting protocols than a 40+ year old woman under who knows what stresses. And since odds are she ain’t going to want to experiment with a ketogenic diet, the combination of high saturated fat and lots of high GI carbs has an even WORSE effect on blood lipid profile.

Which goes back to the general recommendation: lower the saturated fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, cut out more of the processed crap and see how that works after consulting with a doctor, then reevaluate. Something that’s actually PRACTICAL, based in reality, and most importantly of all- actually likely and even easy for his mom to implement!

Here’s a great article/discussion I read recently that delved into some of the issues that I think most anyone here will find very informative, useful, and applicable to themselves:

You have a lot of faith in Doctors…unfortunately too often they don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Read the book I recommended…then lets talk.

According to bholiday, if your mother’s doctor says her cholesterol is high and she is at health risk, you should just assume he’s full of shit and you know better than him.

According to everyone else, someone who went through medical school that you are paying to advise you on your health might be worth listening to when it’s your life on the line.

I guess TomRocco is just going to have to decide which of these viewpoints makes more sense.
[/quote]

If she has a doctor who knows what he is doing…he will understand that the total cholesterol of 211 is meaningless as far as a risk factor for Cardio Vascular Disease.

He will be more concerned with the ratio of triglycerides to HDL. He will also want to check if the LDL are the large “fluffy” ones, or the small dense ones.

He will also know that the fastest way to decease triglycerides and to increase HDL is to significantly decrease carbs and increase fats in the diet.

I am familiar with the leangains article.

Here is an interesting article I just read by a Doctor involved in the area of improving cardio vascular health.

www.proteinpower.com/drmike/

210 is not “fucking high” though it is an incomplete picture. I would recommend trying everything possible with diet and exercise changes first.

I have been on prescription niacin, statins and zetia, all with bad side effects and little noticable difference in my ratios.

I happen to have actually had “fucking high” cholesterol at 22 years old, thanks dad. I have gotten in way down (its still way over 210) and am not taking any drugs for it.

And here is the main reason: If you go that route, it becomes a lifelong commitment. If you stop taking it your cholesterol will go right back up. I’m not going to subject myself to the negative effects of statins for the next 60 years. They can be better than the alternative for some people, but inform yourself and discus it thoroughly with your doctor.

My mother’s doctor wanted her to take cholesterol medicine but told her she could try diet, exercise and supplements first and come back in two months to have her lipids rechecked. She cut out all refined carb sources. She started taking the following.

Fish oil pills - two at three meals a day
Benefiber/Fibersure in her morning coffee
Milled flaxseed in her morning oatmeal and later on a salad
Red yeast rice - two at two meals a day
CholestOff - two at two meals a day
Cinnamon twice a day (not sure of the dosage)
Tablespoon of olive oil on her salad once a day

And she starting taking daily walks.

When she went back after two months to have her lipids rechecked she had lost 12 pounds and her total cholesterol had dropped 51 points. Her HDL was up, her LDL was down and her triglycerides were down. Her doctor said he thought she must have started the medicine instead of trying with diet and exercise. He was very pleased.

Those are the only changes she made. She got medicine like results without taking any prescription medication.

I know doctors have a lot of knowledge and they went to a lot of school. However all too often it seems they want to throw a pill at everything and I do not believe that is always the answer. Her doctor was open to her trying something other than what he had in mind and because of that she got the same results without having to commit to lifelong statins.

Christopher

same general recommendations that apply to 99% of the population

  • less carbs
  • less sugar
  • more protein
  • more fats
  • lots of fish oil
  • more fiber
  • more veggies, some fruit is alright
  • lots of water/hydration
  • 8 hours of sleep
  • regular sleep
  • stop stressing about everything constantly, simply put tell your brain to shut up more and stop thinking