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Old 06-20-2007, 08:56 AM
 
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I've been trying some alternative methods to lower cholesterol without using drugs (statins). Has anyone else had success with these?

DIET: I eat no eggs. Red meat hardly ever (maybe once or twice a year). Chicken yes, but without the skin. Don't like/trust fish anymore, but maybe once a year I'll treat myself to something with real crabmeat. Use 1% milk (organic) on cereals or to drink a glass a couple of times a week. Lowfat yogurt occasionally. Never eat ice cream (I do miss it). Chocolate is my weakness but I've got it down to no more than a couple of ounces a week. Fruit daily. Salad daily (cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar dressing). Vegetables almost daily. Use 'Promise Heart Healthy' spread instead of butter. Won't eat anything that has trans fat in it. Won't eat anything that has more than 300 mg of sodium (I look for either No Sodium or less than 100 mg). Breakfast cereal is always organic + high fiber + low sugar. No caffeine, ever, and I don't drink or smoke.

OATMEAL: I eat a bowl of Quaker Steel Cut Oatmeal every day (no milk, just 1/2 tsp of brown sugar on top)

FISH OIL: I take 1 capsule of Carlsons Fish Oil every day, for the Omega 3s.

CHOLEST-OFF: Just started taking these but I see that it only blocks absorption of cholesterol from food. It doesn't do anything about the natural cholesterol that your body makes. So I take it before any meal that contains something with cholesterol (like breakfast where I have milk on my cereal). I don't take it if, say, I'm having a salad for lunch.

NUTS: Just read that almonds, walnuts and pecans can help lower cholesterol but can't find anything that says how they do this. Does anybody know? Does it come from the fiber or from chemicals found in these nuts?

Also does anyone know whether oatmeal's cholesterol-reducing effect occurs in the digestive tract (against food-source cholesterol), or in the blood (against blood cholesterol)? Same question for the nuts.

Anyone have success stories from non-drug cholesterol lowering? Mine is high (300 total; 200 bad, 100 good; age 57) but I just plain refuse to do the statins thing. Too scared of them, and I don't believe any of the pharm company/doctors hype about them being 'safe' for most people.

 
Old 06-20-2007, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,573,517 times
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It sounds like you're doing an awful lot of the right things. I wouldn't be able to keep track of everything like that.

I had a little bit high cholesterol a year ago. My doctor gave me a script for Crestor, which I didn't take. I decided I was going to lower it through diet.

No dairy products- cheeses, butter (skim milk ok); IF you must have these once in a while, get the low -fat stuff.

Red meat only occasionally. Salmon/fish two - three times/wk. Chicken - broiled, BBQ. Lots of GREEN salads (spinach) and GREEN vegetables.

NO pastas/starch.

If you lose weight and exercise (walk!), you will lower your cholesterol.

IF your problem is genetic, you will need to take the statins anyway, on top of the diet and exercise.

IF you have any other "risk" factors, and depending how high your reading is, you'll need statins.

I think it is probably VERY VERY difficult to maintain a strict regimen regarding diet, so depending how much you need to reduce your readings and considering any other risk factors, you might be able to reduce it without the meds. Also, it all depends on how quickly you have to do it.

What about your triglycerides? If that's high, the statins will help there too.

I had lost the weight and my HDL was under 200 but once you start feeling better, you tend to forget. I need to go for a fasting blood now to see where am at. If I need to take the statins, I will. I'm not too good at staying away from butter and chocolate.

BTW, the natural oil in nuts and AVOCADO, is good for you.

OH, and you can have the white part of the egg. You can even have the yellow part, once a week.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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3 grams of soluble fiber is the recommended amount, as far as lowering cholesterol in this regard, that would mean (to me) that it lowers it in the digestive tract. If you look on the box of oatmeal it should say how much/how may servings you need to actually lower it. The same with that Take Control***-you're supposed to have 2 tablespoons of it per day. Nuts are high in mono-unsaturated fats which are the fats that actually sort of scrub the bad cholesterol build-up off. My husband's wasn't really high, but his bad went from 143 to 110, and he does smoke. And drink. And eat red meat-these are things I cannot totally change, but the changes in diet that i made have worked to that extent. I also watch the amount of sodium-he has high blood pressure also [not a real genius, that man]. His doctor recommended an ounce of nuts per day-he suggested almonds, but at 7.99/pound, well...he gets peanuts. Also, we eat fat free yogurt[I pack in his lunch, plus ff pudding] another thing if you're watching your sodium intake is be careful with breads/dinner rolls. Some of those things are unbelievable high in sodium!!
***I read your post again-you might want to try that Take Control-it is made by Promise, that's what I thought you were talking about-this was recommended by a doctor-it has something called 'plant sterol esters' which helps to lower cholesterol. I don't blame you in the least for not wanting to take those drugs, and I really think you can lower it without them, it sounds like you're doing a whole lot of things that will help. If all else fails, you could always try eating Cheer-io's .
 
Old 06-20-2007, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Default Red yeast rice capsules

My husband was unable to take statins-too many side effects. His cardiologist recommended he take red yeast rice capsules. He hasn't been doing it long enough to see if it will be successful but his cardiologist said they do indeed work..
 
Old 06-20-2007, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Lots of sun and palm trees with occasional hurricane :)
8,292 posts, read 14,573,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykay View Post
My husband was unable to take statins-too many side effects. His cardiologist recommended he take red yeast rice capsules. He hasn't been doing it long enough to see if it will be successful but his cardiologist said they do indeed work..

What were the side effects?
 
Old 06-20-2007, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,668 posts, read 19,914,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpcats View Post
What were the side effects?
Muscle problems. He tried various statins and every one of them made him feel "achy" and sore. He tried several times on several different ones.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 03:34 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 12,839,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdrgal View Post
........... Mine is high (300 total; 200 bad, 100 good; age 57) but I just plain refuse to do the statins thing. Too scared of them, and I don't believe any of the pharm company/doctors hype about them being 'safe' for most people.
Normal weight? Active? Male? Female? Abdominal circu****ence? What's your LDL? Needs to be <70. If your "good" (HDL) cholesterol is 100, I am impressed! What is your risk ratio? - where the total cholesterol is compared to the HDL. <2.5 is good. Triglycerides? <100 great. Blood sugar? Any family history of diabetes, heart diesase or other cardiovascular issues? Have a healthcare provider and see regularly? Unless your numbers are completely off the wall dangerous, statins aren't always the first thing HCPs suggest; working with your HCP will help you get your health in order. Good luck to you!
 
Old 06-21-2007, 05:44 PM
 
Location: orlando, fl
453 posts, read 1,922,532 times
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you could always try a PPAR agonist like fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, or bezalip. they are also helpful for weight management; in fact, sesamin, a PPAR agonist that is available OTC, is primarily marketed as a weight loss supplement that can also help your cholesterol levels.


eating fish and nuts (especially walnuts) can give you some omega-3s which can help slightly. eating plenty of fiber (from oatmeal, almonds, whole grain bread) can be very helpful. i have heard of plenty of people using red yeast rice, though i do not know if it is effective; luckily it's not very expensive, so it's worth a short.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 05:00 PM
 
110 posts, read 707,885 times
Reputation: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm_mary73 View Post
Normal weight? Active? Male? Female? Abdominal circu****ence? What's your LDL? Needs to be <70. If your "good" (HDL) cholesterol is 100, I am impressed! What is your risk ratio? - where the total cholesterol is compared to the HDL. <2.5 is good. Triglycerides? <100 great. Blood sugar? Any family history of diabetes, heart diesase or other cardiovascular issues? Have a healthcare provider and see regularly? Unless your numbers are completely off the wall dangerous, statins aren't always the first thing HCPs suggest; working with your HCP will help you get your health in order. Good luck to you!
Weight 118 lbs
Not sure how to define "active". I'm not sedentary but I don't go to a gym or have an exercise regimen either.
Tummy measurement? Um 35" (used to be flat, before I had a child...ah the good old days, 20 yrs ago...)

Cholesterol was measured by two separate tests done at once (same sample, slightly different results):

Standard Lipid Panel:
Total cholesterol 280
LDL 177
HDL 88
Triglycerides 73
Chol/HDL ratio 3.2

VAP Cholesterol Test:
Total cholesterol 292
LDL 199; of that #, VLDL is 20
HDL 74
Trigycerides 70
This test doesn't give a ratio
The test breaks down the LDL and HDL into subclasses also. LP(a) was 11.

Blood sugar, that would be in the Metabolic Panel section, right? "Glucose, Fasting" was 79.

Family history of diabetes, no. Heart disease, yes. Mom died of a heart attack (sudden) at 76, dad likewise at 77. But dad was overweight, smoked cigars and pipes, and had a heart-killing diet -- eggs every day, dairy, cheese, meat almost every day, etc. Mom was tiny and never smoked but had the same kind of diet (typical for people born around 1918 or so!).
 
Old 06-22-2007, 05:10 PM
 
110 posts, read 707,885 times
Reputation: 131
Default Cholest-Off

fuzzymystic, the Cholest-Off I mentioned is an OTC supplement. Two pills have 900 mg of plant sterols/stanols which is much more than I'd get by using the various soft spreads like Total Control, Benecol, etc. because I don't use the spreads very often. I'll put some Promise spread on my steamed vegetables or corn on the cob but that's about it. I gave up eating regular bread, all pasta, potatoes and rice about a year ago because that's what will make me gain weight if I eat them regularly (the starches and carbs). If I have a sandwich type thing it'll be a wrap in a tortilla.
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