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British Heart Foundation

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High cholesterol

Fifimyangel profile image

Anyone else have a high cholesterol level despite having a relatively healthy life mines 7. Nurse wants me on statins asap

17 Replies

I had mine checked last December at 9.3. This was almost 4 months into a low carb lifestyle (see my profile) and I was losing weight quite rapidly. I've read that it is not unusual to see elevated cholesterol during weight loss as the energy stored in your fat cells transfers to the bloodstream.

They wanted me on statins which I tried for a short time before stopping and then were keen to get me on injections, which I refused. I did plenty of research and decided that a high LDL level as reported by a standard lipids panel is not a reliable marker of health. That said, there are benefits to reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL, neither of which is helped by taking statins or other lipid lowering treatments. At that time my HDL had gone from 1.0 to 1.5 (good), and my triglycerides had gone from 1.5 to 1.2 (good but I'd like them lower).

Statins do extend some lives, but it is probably not through lowering LDL, it is because they have some anti inflammatory properties, but the absolute effect is very small.

Scoti profile image
Scoti in reply to Supafil

Hi, Just read your post and it so interesting. I have only joined this BHF today as I have just been told that I have very high good and bad cholesterol. I have exercised continuously most of my life. Eat a healthy diet. Never smoked drink moderately. So it was a bit of a shock!

My weight has been the same for years, but because of lockdown, I put on several kilos, not a happy bunny. So a friend recommended the high fat diet which I stuck to for 6 weeks and lost 4 kilos easily. Actually enjoyed.

So I have been wondering if that could have caused my sudden high cholesterol. The doctor has told me to try statins for a month and then get tested again. I am not at all keen on taking statins, after reading about some of the side affects. Great to hear other people have similar thoughts.

Hope all keeps being positive for you .

Supafil profile image
Supafil in reply to Scoti

Do a search for Dave Feldman and Lean Mass Hyper Responders. He has done a lot of research into this stuff and it has helped me understand that high LDL levels isn't something to get too worked up about. There's other sources too, but I like his engineering-type approach.

pcspetpro profile image
pcspetpro in reply to Supafil

I have come to the same conclusion, it's an individual decision. Is the benefit worth the side effects?

Some people have high cholesterol because of their genes. If this is your case, you may have stopped it getting any higher. It may well not be your lifestyle. Beyond that I am not qualified to comment. A year ago, I was told mine was high. I refused statins, and next test it was lower.We are all different, and what is good for one is not necessarily good for others.

pcspetpro profile image
pcspetpro in reply to RufusScamp

If you think high cholesterol is a problem, get a CT Calcium Test.

Just like you I eat well, I exercise well, I am not overweight and my cholesterol was 9.0 so I was put onto 40mg Rosuvastatin by the cardio nurse and they have brought it down to 6.0.

Mind you there are a very large number of the medical profession who don't believe that medium to high cholesterol levels are as bad as many think they are, with those being trained in the "any kind of high cholesterol is bad camp"!

I was fortunate enough to once have a brilliant GP when living in Wales who told me about his experiences when he left med. school when he went with a training group to a very remote part of Africa where they came across a tribe who all had what everyone of the training group had been trained to believe were suicidedly high cholesterol levels despite them all eating the perfect diet and none of them had any kind of furring up of their arteries! This story has always made me think

The evidence points to the cholesterol hypothesis being wrong. It is possible that if one already has endothelium damage, high LDL-C may increase progression. More studies need to be done on LDL particle size and oxidized LDL as major contributing factors.

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Buzzy-Beans

Did your GP say how they were able to determine none of the tribe had any kind of furring up of their arteries?

Buzzy-Beans profile image
Buzzy-Beans in reply to Lezzers

No, however the entire team of Oxford medics were apparently amazed at their findings, one medical comment I do recall was him describing the entire tribe as being "as fit as a butchers dog"!

Lezzers profile image
Lezzers in reply to Buzzy-Beans

That's a shame , I would have been interested to know how they were able determine this. Do you know how many people were in the tribe?

I have hyper cholesterolemia…no amount of “clean living” will reduce my cholesterol. Lived a very healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, good diet (i.e. limited intake of processed foods), and moderate alcohol consumption (never smoked). My cholesterol was still 6.9.

Problem is, very rarely are patients told their cholesterol breakdowns. It’s more complicated than “your cholesterol is high”.

Had I not had my cardiac event, I’d have been very reluctant to take statins. I was started on 80mg of atarvostatin - that affected me liver, quite drastically, so it was discontinued.

Currently on 10mg of Enzetimibe and 5mg Rosuvastatin (three times per week). Cholesterol levels are currently a fairly even split at 4.6.

Maybe looking into natural ways of reducing cholesterol before resorting to medication. Try consulting a nutritionist for advice, your body would be more accustomed to this than medication

Yes exactly the same 7.3 ....didnt take the stains but reduced all sugar in diet, esp tea & started to take the red yeast rice tablet ...within 3 months i was down to 5.2

Lifestyle isn't always the cause of high cholesterol, it can still be high even on a good diet and it can be a hereditary family problem. Don't hesitate- take the statins. Don't believe the bad press about them. If one doesn't suit you there are plenty of others.

pcspetpro profile image
pcspetpro in reply to Qualipop

When one understands Relative Risk vs Absolute Risk, it becomes clear that the benefits of Statins are not what is advertised by the pharmaceutical companies.

For more than 30 years I ate a Mediterranean diet, exercised daily, drank moderately and I've never smoked. I'm an ideal weight. My statin was about 7 and because of my lifestyle my G.P. following government guidelines said I didn't need statins and of course I didn't want them. Three years ago I had a heart attack so I now urge anyone with raised cholesterol to take statins. It's really not worth taking the risk.

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