British Heart Foundation
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High cholesterol levels

Good afternoon from sunny Scotland

As many of you know this time last year I was in hospital with endocarditis and an AVR. At the time my cholesterol was check found to be slightly higher but my cardiologist was happy that I did not need statins or to change my diet as he know that my diet was pretty good.

One year on and I have made a great recovery, I exercise more than I ever did, generally eat a healthy diet and am not over weight , drink very very moderately (thanks warfarin) and don't smoke. I have had some annual routine blood tests and my cholesterol is very high now. I have to have further blood test s and see my GP who I suspect will put me on statins.

My question is do things like bennecol help reduce cholesterol levels. I always ate lots of fruit and veg but am going to decrease meat and cake. Any advice gratefully accepted. Mary

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The Heart Nurse at our local hospital said she reduced her cholesterol from 7.2 to 5 by having porridge for breakfast and using the benecol- type spreads.

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Eat oats every breakfast , now taking benecol. Thank you for your reply.

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Great action.

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Yes it will but you have to eat a lot of it! You can control your cholesterol with diet alone but it takes time and discipline - there is no shortage of info available on the web to help you do that. Statins work a lot quicker but as with any medication there are some issues. You might want to ask why, if you are on the healthy diet you say you are, has your cholesterol gone up .

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My diet is pretty good but as ever improvements can be made which I am already working hard on . I am booked for further blood tests and will see the GP very soon to see if there Is a specific reason for the jump in cholesterol or its just one of those things..

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Some medications can also raise cholesterol, steroids I believe is one of them.

My cholesterol was at 7.4 and I tried every statin and just couldn’t tolerate them. For the last 8 weeks I inject evolocumab once every two weeks and it has already lowered my cholesterol to 3.1....result!

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Thank you for that information and great news that the injections are working.

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I think Cholesterol can be controlled thru lifestyle.Morever Statin side effects are too scary.I belive Cholesterol is Not that big villain .Make Friends with Cholesterol.

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Mary the side effects of statins are to be considered and I do suggest you read Dr Malcom Kendricks book and blog , “the Great Cholesterol con.” High (whatever that is ) cholesterol isn’t a huge problem, it’s the inflammation response . fish oil supplements might be beneficial.

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I will have a look at his work for sure

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True.In fact Cholesterol is friend to body I stopped Statins even though had heart attack.My LAD is fully blocked and calcified .No Stent .I am doing Superb at 64 .

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I use heart healthy spreads and always wanted to especially as I love loads of butter on my spuds but want to eat healthy so use loads of flora knowing it’s Heart healthy I don’t need to limit how much I use. I’ve never had a issue with fruit and veggies and love snacking on both but have a thing for junk food so just eating fruit and Vega may not be enough. The nhs aren’t good and advising healthy eating until u are relle fat. I’ve looked elsewhere for heart health diet info and found the Daniel plan useful but the website can be confusing as lots of info.

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Thank you , will have a look at it. I am good on fruit and veg too

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Hi Mary, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, my doctor gave me an opportunity to try and reduce it myself so i started introducing so called cholesterol lowering drinks / yogurts and spreads with plant steroils to be honest they did help lower my cholesterol but not to an acceptable level within the time frame my doctor gave me. But in my experience they do work all the best Stuart x

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That's really helpful. I have started taking benecol drinks and spread and reviewing my food in take. We will see if it helps and what my GP recommendations are. She is excellent and probably saved my life last year so I trust her. Thank you.

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Hi Mary Janet I have found this research article which is the result of a clinical trial into the effectiveness of plant stanols. Published in ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

And Heart Uk the cholesterol charity is supportive of taking them. heartuk.org.uk/partners/our...

I hope they help your decision. As an aside I follow a strict Vegan diet and that has helped lower my cholesterol although not enough to do without statins as I have familial hypercholestraemia. But it has helped. I also eat raw oats at least once if not more times per day. They taste better than they sound!! You are probably sitting with your head in your hands thinking what is she doing to such an iconic dish as porridge!! Blame Cauldwell Esselstyn the American cardiologist who recommends it!! Hope the links help. Take care. Zena

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Great Walk in Sun and experience benefit .

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Like Zena, I also strictly follow Dr Caldwell Esselstyn's diet. Do look him up online. It halved my cholesterol from 5.6 to 2.6 within 4 weeks. No other dietary changes or exercise had even come close. He says to be heart attack proof your total chol needs to be below 3.8. The upper limit UK guidelines are set high because so many people have high cholesterol anyway.

See also nutritionfacts.org and the How Not To Die book by Michael Gregor.

All the best with your diet changes.

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Thanks Zena, thank you for your helpful reply. I actually eat fruit and raw oats daily for breakfast ! I will certainly look at the suggested link and see what it suggests. There is quite a lot to get my head around . Need any dietary changes to work around a busy family life.

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My Actionable suggestions .1 Walk in Sun with 40 % body exposed 2 Meditate and visualize that Cholesterol is coming down 3 Add Flaxseed , Cows Ghee or Milk , Fruits , Almonds , Walnuts in Daily food 4 Go Total Veg 5 Reduce Sugars and salt drastically 6 Try Yoga 7 Sleep well 8 Reduce dinner by 30 % 9 Drink Tap or warm water early morning , 1 hour after food .No cold water at all 9 Ayurvedic Massage will help big way .

Take 6 days Indian Ayurvedic treatment in India I can help

I had severe heart attack , kidney failure in July 2011 .Now fine and Stopped Statins In 2014 .LDL is Ok.

Prayers help .My Prayers for you.

Pl join Mission SAVE MILLION HEARTS

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Great .

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Familiar cholesterol ,

Mum had first heart op cardiac bypass when she was about 54 1984 she been on statin for over 35 years , her second heart op aortic heart valve replaced , they did an angiogram all pipes brilliant after 39 years or more , she good with her diet and didn’t drink light exercise she now reach the grand age of 88

Which makes her the longest survivor of her sibling most died at 60

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