Anyone lower their cholesterol without meds?

dreamermind

Well-Known Member
I don’t have insurance but it’s been years since I had any blood work, so I went and got a cholesterol test done and it turns out mine is pretty high.
I already take high bp meds so I really don’t want another medication. I’ve been doing some research and with a little weight loss and diet change it seems you can lower it.

Has anyone done this? What are your experiences? I quit smoking about two months ago and used vaping to quit, but of course my Doctor told me to look up vaping cuz it raises your cholesterol, of course it does lol.
 

antitox

Well-Known Member
They say beta-sitosterol helps, but I don't know how much.

Beta-sitosterol is a plant substance similar to cholesterol. It might help reduce cholesterol levels by limiting the amount of cholesterol that is able to enter the body.
 

chaser

Just a twinkling from home!
My cholesterol was very high back in 2015 and my triglycerides were crazy high. I started eating oatmeal every day, eating garlic in a lot of my meals(do that anyway) and started running everyday. Lost 25 lbs and had complete physical and cholesterol had dropped but only 5 points. Doctor said my liver was producing it, not matter what I ate. He put me on 10mg generic Lipitor once a day and cholesterol is in normal range now, it was like $8.00 a month, now it is no cost because I am over 65 and on Medicare, and it the only med I am on. Not sure what it would cost without insurance but there are things like GoodRX that could possibly help with pricing, the pharmacy would know if you ask.
 

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
Weight loss and exercise. I use intermittent fasting which works for me and I walk. The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung explains the fasting protocol. As for exercise, do what you like, but do it consistently. There's a quote I remember but I forget the author,..."If exercise were a pill, it would be the most prescribed medication in the history of mankind."
 

Kem

Citizen
If you cut out all forms of processed food including any sweetener of any kind and almost all grain of any kind, increase cardio exercise and lose weight you will almost certainly reduce your cholesterol and your triglycerides. The long cook kind of rolled oats for breakfast are probably the only form of grain that may be helpful but put some unsweetened applesauce or butter on them rather than any sweetener.

This diet will almost certainly cause you to lose weight even though you must increase fat to make up for the carb loss. Use real butter, raw coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil for your fats but meat and dairy fat are fine also.

Now a word about cholesterol in general. It isn't really the horrible thing that far too many uninformed doctors make it out to be. It is in fact highly necessary for your brain. Also getting cholesterol too low puts people at greater risk for cancer. Triglycerides are a different story and should be brought within the accepted limits.

Also I would caution those who have been told to take Lipitor or other cholesterol lowering drugs, two of my personal friends have died as a direct cause of taking it. If you have been taking it for a while it may be ok for you but it does destroy muscle tissue including the heart and also destroys the liver.

This does not in any way constitute medical advice but is simply the result of my personal experience and opinion.
 

chaser

Just a twinkling from home!
I have been on generic Lipitor Atorvastatin 10 mg since 2015, will the small dosage I take cause damage?
 

Kem

Citizen
I have been on generic Lipitor Atorvastatin 10 mg since 2015, will the small dosage I take cause damage?
Probably not at this point. As far as I understand and this is only from reading what is out there, If it doesn't start to effect you in the first months you take it, it is less likely that you are going to have damage from it. Still if you can afford to purchase a decent brand of Coq10, I would definitely add that to what you are taking. It is protective (proven) from the damage caused by the Lipitor.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Most of my life both my good and bad cholesterol was overly low. A number of years ago my bad cholesterol just went over the limit that the doctor's set. I noticed that my good cholesterol was up to. I imagine the change had something to do with aging, but can't be sure. When I was told I was pre-diabetic I made the following dietary changes: I cut out candy completely and cut back on things like cake, pie, etc. That was easy for me because I don't a sweet tooth to begin with, but did eat plenty of candy because it was always around and very easy to eat. I also began eating a good bit of lower sugar fruits like berries, especially blueberries. I'd buy the big frozen bags, or I'd buy dried fruit, so it would have a long shelf life. I also increased consumption of nuts and seeds. After a year of the changes I no longer fall in the pre-diabetic range, and I noticed that my cholesterol had dropped significantly. I can't really say what caused the cholesterol change since I changed more than one thing... The doctor didn't take me off the cholesterol med that never seemed to do anything anyway... My weight was already in the good range, so weight loss had nothing to do with the changes. I've been a runner most of my life, then couldn't run for about 20 years, and have been able to resume running the last four years or so. My cardiovascular fitness never seemed to have an effect on my cholesterol levels. I think we're all different...
 

RobinB

Well-Known Member
Probably not at this point. As far as I understand and this is only from reading what is out there, If it doesn't start to effect you in the first months you take it, it is less likely that you are going to have damage from it. Still if you can afford to purchase a decent brand of Coq10, I would definitely add that to what you are taking. It is protective (proven) from the damage caused by the Lipitor.
Agree with Kem on statins and cholesterol-- am trying to get my own mom off statins-- she is already pre-diabetic!

Also, if you do keto or low carb your levels may go up short term, but I see many people posting after time the levels become normal. And you know what? You need cholesterol -- see these articles.

and here.
 

ozaprah

Well-Known Member
LDL cholesterol for years has been called the 'bad cholesterol' and HDL the 'good cholesterol'. It is neither bad or good. LDL is just a normal carrier vehicle of cholesterol and other fat soluble molecules like vitamins (Vit A, D, E etc) and triglycerides. Just as many people with low levels of LDL have heart attacks as compared to people with high LDL. Cholesterol itself is no longer a dietary substance of concern according to the American Heart Association, and hopefully that might also move to saturated fat at some point if the medical community catches up.

What actually matters is the type of LDL you have. Oxidised, damaged small dense LDL is stuff to avoid. What causes this damage? Excess sugars, or glycation, and oxidative stress. It's the same process that damages arteries, nerves and kidneys in diabetics. Sometimes you can luck out with unfortunate genetics such as in familial hypercholesterolaemia. LDL usually delivers it payload to the tissues and is then taken up again by the liver. However damaged LDL is not recognised by the liver, and can then circulate over and over, as well as find it's way inside blood vessels (endothelial lining - atherosclerosis).

LDL as a measure is actually a poor correlator with heart disease, yet it is what most doctors focus on, because they are taught that it is 'bad', and there is a treatment to get it down (statins etc). A much better correlation is the Triglyceride and HDL levels, in particular the Triglyceride:HDL ratio, and insulin resistance score (HOMA-IR)

If you are worried about what you Doctor said about your cholesterol, ask for a LDLp (available in USA, harder here in Australia) to determine if you have the small dense type LDL. If it's not available, ApoB can be an alternative to test. Also get a Triglyceride:HDL ratio, fasting glucose and fasting insulin.
The good news is if you have a lot of small dense LDL (what we call 'pattern B') and high triglyceride / low HDL then the fix is easy. Move to a LCHF (Low carb healthy / high fat) pattern of eating.

If the cholesterol is high and your doctor suggest going onto treatment, please consider a coronary CT calcium score first. This test actually looks for existing disease. If you come back with a low score, you do not need a statin! If your calculated 10 yr event risk (MESA score) is >15% then a statin might be warranted. (risk is calculated using the CT Ca score and traditional risk factor - which interestingly doesn't include LDL!)

Also, low LDL levels in the elderly are associated with increased mortality and morbidity. We need to seriously consider why so many of our elderly are on statins, while suffering from memory impairment and fat soluble vitamin deficiencies such as Vit D deficiency.

As for statin use... They are of clear benefit in secondary prevention of established heart disease (possibly even through non-cholesterol related mechanisms). Their role in primary prevention (just treating cholesterol, no established heart disease) is tenuous at best. Consider this. If you delve into the depths of statin studies, you will find that if a person with ischaemic heart disease takes a statin for 4-5 years then their lifespan on average will be increased by 5.2 days. If you don't have heart disease, it is a whopping 3.5 days. In primary prevention we would need to treat 100 people for 10 years to prevent one heart attack. And they call that a blockbluster drug.

And to the OP, one of the secrets to lowering blood pressure (apart from quitting smoking... well done) is a low carbohydrate diet. Lowing carbohydrate lowers insulin, which in turn makes the kidney release sodium and water. It's almost like magic.

If your Doc's look at you funny when you ask for LDLp, MESA scores, HOMA-IR scores, fasting insulin etc, then maybe educate them on the issue! If they refuse to even consider learning something important... find a new Doc!

(Disclaimer: This coming from a family physician who has had to relearn everything he knows about cholesterol and fats in the last year, and has came to the humbling point of realizing I had been so wrong for so long!)
 

dreamermind

Well-Known Member
LDL cholesterol for years has been called the 'bad cholesterol' and HDL the 'good cholesterol'. It is neither bad or good. LDL is just a normal carrier vehicle of cholesterol and other fat soluble molecules like vitamins (Vit A, D, E etc) and triglycerides. Just as many people with low levels of LDL have heart attacks as compared to people with high LDL. Cholesterol itself is no longer a dietary substance of concern according to the American Heart Association, and hopefully that might also move to saturated fat at some point if the medical community catches up.

What actually matters is the type of LDL you have. Oxidised, damaged small dense LDL is stuff to avoid. What causes this damage? Excess sugars, or glycation, and oxidative stress. It's the same process that damages arteries, nerves and kidneys in diabetics. Sometimes you can luck out with unfortunate genetics such as in familial hypercholesterolaemia. LDL usually delivers it payload to the tissues and is then taken up again by the liver. However damaged LDL is not recognised by the liver, and can then circulate over and over, as well as find it's way inside blood vessels (endothelial lining - atherosclerosis).

LDL as a measure is actually a poor correlator with heart disease, yet it is what most doctors focus on, because they are taught that it is 'bad', and there is a treatment to get it down (statins etc). A much better correlation is the Triglyceride and HDL levels, in particular the Triglyceride:HDL ratio, and insulin resistance score (HOMA-IR)

If you are worried about what you Doctor said about your cholesterol, ask for a LDLp (available in USA, harder here in Australia) to determine if you have the small dense type LDL. If it's not available, ApoB can be an alternative to test. Also get a Triglyceride:HDL ratio, fasting glucose and fasting insulin.
The good news is if you have a lot of small dense LDL (what we call 'pattern B') and high triglyceride / low HDL then the fix is easy. Move to a LCHF (Low carb healthy / high fat) pattern of eating.

If the cholesterol is high and your doctor suggest going onto treatment, please consider a coronary CT calcium score first. This test actually looks for existing disease. If you come back with a low score, you do not need a statin! If your calculated 10 yr event risk (MESA score) is >15% then a statin might be warranted. (risk is calculated using the CT Ca score and traditional risk factor - which interestingly doesn't include LDL!)

Also, low LDL levels in the elderly are associated with increased mortality and morbidity. We need to seriously consider why so many of our elderly are on statins, while suffering from memory impairment and fat soluble vitamin deficiencies such as Vit D deficiency.

As for statin use... They are of clear benefit in secondary prevention of established heart disease (possibly even through non-cholesterol related mechanisms). Their role in primary prevention (just treating cholesterol, no established heart disease) is tenuous at best. Consider this. If you delve into the depths of statin studies, you will find that if a person with ischaemic heart disease takes a statin for 4-5 years then their lifespan on average will be increased by 5.2 days. If you don't have heart disease, it is a whopping 3.5 days. In primary prevention we would need to treat 100 people for 10 years to prevent one heart attack. And they call that a blockbluster drug.

And to the OP, one of the secrets to lowering blood pressure (apart from quitting smoking... well done) is a low carbohydrate diet. Lowing carbohydrate lowers insulin, which in turn makes the kidney release sodium and water. It's almost like magic.

If your Doc's look at you funny when you ask for LDLp, MESA scores, HOMA-IR scores, fasting insulin etc, then maybe educate them on the issue! If they refuse to even consider learning something important... find a new Doc!

(Disclaimer: This coming from a family physician who has had to relearn everything he knows about cholesterol and fats in the last year, and has came to the humbling point of realizing I had been so wrong for so long!)
Thank you. My doctor didn’t even call me to tell me the results. I had to call the receptionist and ask for them. She then told me he made a prescription for cholesterol meds and where should she send them too. No discussion of options or what kind of meds were the right ones. This is how it goes here in the USA when you don’t have insurance.
 

ozaprah

Well-Known Member
Thank you. My doctor didn’t even call me to tell me the results. I had to call the receptionist and ask for them. She then told me he made a prescription for cholesterol meds and where should she send them too. No discussion of options or what kind of meds were the right ones. This is how it goes here in the USA when you don’t have insurance.
What?? That's just insane. :confused2
 

DMac

Well-Known Member
I've been a runner most of my life, then couldn't run for about 20 years, and have been able to resume running the last four years or so. My cardiovascular fitness never seemed to have an effect on my cholesterol levels. I think we're all different...
Do you consider biking. Much better on the knees. I know for my 50 year old knees anyway. I enjoy riding alone without music. Helps me think.
 

LisaJoe1986

Well-Known Member
Agree with Kem on statins and cholesterol-- am trying to get my own mom off statins-- she is already pre-diabetic!

Also, if you do keto or low carb your levels may go up short term, but I see many people posting after time the levels become normal. And you know what? You need cholesterol -- see these articles.

and here.
I have a nurse friend who sees patients at home. She told me never to take statins.
 
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