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Cholesterol (long winded - sorry)!

Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
edited 7:09PM in Off Topic
OK, from the doc:

LDL - bad cholesterol (transports fats to the plaques in the arteries)
HDL - good cholesterol (transports fats out of the plaques)
triglycerides - really bad to have too high!

IMHO (my accumulated knowledge over 30 years) - genetics play a far bigger part of the cholesterol issue than most will admit. Of course, most females have a higher HDL, as a rule than males. :(

Back in the dark ages, in Biochemistry class it was pointed out that in most people dietary cholesterol only contributed about 20% to the measured blood level. So eating NO cholesterol at all (almost impossible) will not substantially lower a very high cholesterol. All that nutritional marketing toward low fat foods in the 80's and 90's was market-driven and "I think" contributed a good deal toward the obesity we are now seeing - substituted sugars for fats to maintain taste.

Many people truly respond to increasing their fiber intake (not a bowl of cherrios - that's hogwash). Getting their fiber intake up to 30-35 grams per day (look out co-workers) :ohmy: . Your liver makes cholesterol daily and the dietary fiber binding it in the GI tract before it can be absorbed into the blood stream.

Adkins-type diets are interesting. Quite a paradox - many people's cholesterol will go down on this. Got me !

For triglycerides, adding a high grade (even pharmaceutical grade) fish oil supplement will clearly lower this level. Inverse relationship between fish oil intake and trig. level. Really can't eat enough cold-water fish. Cheap fish oil supplements can have hvy. metal and PCP-type contaminates that come from concentrating the oil from fish having low levels of these.

Homocysteine is involved in all this heart disease stuff, so it is important to get high levels of folic acid and other B vitamins - either through foods and/or supplements.

Enough. I'm NOT a medical expert in the science of fatty acids, but due to my own genetics and lab values, have taken an interest in this over the years.


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,598
    the atkins does work for reducing the cholestol, the health nuts must be scratching their heads on that one. ive got good cholesterol levels and when i went on atkins i dropped from 171 to low 160's :) heres the kicker though, on atkins i had to add fruits and veggies to my regular diet of just meat cheese and nuts. :laugh:
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Pretty good information, except I disagree when you said that the Cheerios information is hogwash. Whole grain oats - the main ingredient of Cheerios - will help lower your cholesterol.

    If you want to get rid of dietary cholesterol, stop eating animal products. You can't get cholesterol from plants, veggies, or fruits.

    If you really want to lower your LDL and raise your HDL, one of the best ways to do it is through a consistent exercise program.
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    The cheerios are whole grain and contribute to one's total fiber intake, but the hogwash is that a single serving a day will do little more than lower you cholesterol a few points - not NEARLY enough to lower ones risk of heart disease - a false sense of security, based on advertising hype. 5 grams here, 5 grams, there, some veggies with each meal and/or a good fiber supplement - now we're talking about serious fiber and potential benefit on cholesterol. Of course nobody want to be around you with all that fiber 'churning' in your system. :laugh: :laugh:

    For most people exercise will elevate the HDL level, but it depends on genetics. For example, my 2 brothers and I all have genetically low HDL (27-29 range). My youngest brother, while training for a marathon (one of those 40th birthday goal thingies) checked his and it was around 29! I have been able to get mine close to 40, but that is with low dose Lipitor, multiple supplements, hi fiber diet plus exercise.
  • KokemanKokeman Posts: 816
    My Dad had his first heart attack at 41. He has had 2 more and caught 1 a week before a complete clog since his first one. He is now 61.
    Needless to say I have had complete work ups and all kinds of test. My cholesterol was at about 225.
    After 8 months on a very strick low fat diet I lost almost 45 pounds and was at 175. I was exercising 4-5 times a week. I was miserable.(very sick of chicken and fish) After a blood test it was still at 210. My Doc put me on Sincor. I since put a good part of the weight back on, but my total is now in the 130's with Hdl at 41-43. Last year I had some chest pain. They have done every thing but crack my chest open and take a look inside. My Cardiologist said I have no plague and no signs of heart disease. With the exception of some more exercise, he says to keep doing what i am doing.
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    Sounds like you have done a good job getting your risk factors lowered.

    You can't do anything about your genetics, except hope you did not inherit whatever genes contributed to your father's proclivity toward plaque formation!

    Make sure you are taking at least an 81 mg aspirin daily - you probably already are.

    Next time you get a checkup, have them check your "CRP" (C-Reactive Protein), which is a good indicator of chronic inflammation - also thought by many to contribute to the development of the initiation of plaque formation. The aspirin and the statin both help lower CRP.

    Keep healthy !
  • KokemanKokeman Posts: 816
    I take a 81mg every day. I will ask about the CRP. I am not sure if they tested for it. They could have it checked it,seems they have done every thing. EKG, echos, stress test, 24 hour monitor, calcium build up, and more that I have forgotten names of.
    Doc thinks I got my Moms heart.
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    Sounds pretty thorough - good thing you did it BEFORE ObamaCare takes effect. They would consider that too many tests!

    You could be SO lucky if you got the cardiac genetics from her. :woohoo: :woohoo:
  • KokemanKokeman Posts: 816
    Hopefully his free imomercial yesterday doesn't work.
  • FSUScotsmanFSUScotsman Posts: 754
    You are so right about genetics. I take Crestor. In the early 80's was when my cholestorol problem first showed up and the numbers were super high, in the 400 range. First thing we did was get me on a diet and I lost a LOT of weight. I was miserable. I was eating almost no meat, no sugar (no big deal for me anyway) and very little alcohol. I had to maintain my weight by diet. To make a long story short, we did the blood work again and my level was still above 340 or so. We tried all the drugs but when Lipitor came out my level dropped to about 110!!! The VA has me on Crestor now and it's about 140. I think Lipitor is better, but I'm not going to argue 30 points. I also throw in Niaspan, a timed release Niacin. Ask anyone that's taken this and they will know what women go through with hot flashes!!!!
  • KokemanKokeman Posts: 816
    The sincor I am on has 500mg of Niacin in it. I take 2 a day. I freaked the first week I was on it. But now I get flashes only about once every month or two. It does its job though.
  • Eggerman1Eggerman1 Posts: 154
    Yeah, I am 29 and my dad has had 3 stents put in over the years and my brother, 37 just had a stent put in as he had 95% blockage in the "widow maker" artery. The thing is, that over the past 7 months or so my brother had been working out a ton, lost like 50 lbs and looked great and the bam, he is in the hospital one morning with 95% blockage. I think genetics has a lot to do with it.

    All of the info you guys are sharing is extremely helpful to hear from patiences vs. docs that are prescribed to sell a certain type of drug.
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095

    Just goes to show that genetics can override the benefits of exercise!

    Your brother, with a 95% blockage of the left main coronary artery need to get aggressive in his therapy, as I'm sure the cardiologist has told him. He is living on 'borrowed time" ! He needs to do whatever it takes to get his HDL (good) above 40, his LDL (bad) less that 100 and his triglycerides less than 100.

    Also keep his CRP as low as possible and make sure he gets lots of folate (Folic acid) and other B vitamins, either in food or supplements.

    With that family history, you should start now having your lipids checked and begin preventive efforts.

    I wish him and you the best of luck!
  • Eggerman1Eggerman1 Posts: 154
    Thanks, yeah it was a shock to the system all around. I have scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist and will begin to combat the disease.

    Just have to egg fish, chicken and veggies and stay away from steaks and chops!

  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    We limited steaks to once every 4-5 weeks.

    But the good thing is - they taste REALLY GREAT when you wait that long ! :woohoo: :woohoo:
  • Eggerman1Eggerman1 Posts: 154
    yeah, mom and sis are in town, it is steak night on my egg tonight, ate a light lunch just for this occasion. Plus get to teach the Trex method you them, they are weber owners, amateur hour!

    Thanks again for all the helpful information!
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