High Overall Cholesterol but Low Ratio - is this good or bad?

High Overall Cholesterol but Low Ratio - is this good or bad?

I have just joined and I would be grateful for any help with the following. I am from the UK and I am confused about my cholesterol. My overall cholesterol is 9 which I know is high but my Ratio is 3.9 which is good. My HDL is 2.29 which is extremely high and I thought this would be good but I am told it is over double what it should be. I ran a 10 K last year and will be doing it again this year. I feel extremely well and fit and I also have a good diet. Should I be worried? I am 61 years of age with normal BP and I am a good weight for my height.

65 Replies

  • You look great in the picture!

    I get totally confused about ratios, but I'm sure somebody on here will know. Your HDL seems fantastically good (mine is over 2 also) so I can't understand why you've been told it's double what it should be, I have read rumblings that high HDL may not be as good as it's cracked up to be but I haven't any evidence to hand. Have you been told about your LDL levels?

    Have you been advised to start on any medication? Sorry to ask so many questions!

    You will get advice and support on this forum, but I suspect that it will be conflicting and there will be no black and white answers for you. Challenging, but ultimately rewarding, a bit like a 10K.

  • Thank you Aliwally. I am frequently told I should be on Statins but I don't tolerate them very well - muscle pain and digestive problems. My GP only gives me an overall cholesterol figure and an hdl figure. I believe the Ratio is total cholesterol divided by hdl and as far as I am aware a Ratio under 4.5 is supposed to be very good. Although mine is 3.9 my GP isn't impressed.

  • I think it is well known now on this forum that I am a statin sceptic. Your figures are not unlike mine. I have a C level of 6.8, with an HDL level of 2.3. At each test my HDL level has been above 2. (The optimum level is supposed to be 1.) How the powers that be came to that decision has never really been explained to a layman's satisfaction.

    I am of the opinion (and this is MY opinion, not medical or scientific) that as you age, (and I am the same age as you) your body comes under more stresses. Particularly, as you are super fit and put your body through severe physical stress through your running. (I am a walker myself!) Your C levels rise to repair any muscle or ligament damage that you may have sustained during training or racing. As you age, your body takes longer to heal and therefore your levels will remain higher. C is a healer not an enemy and to keep your C happy you should support it with diet and exercise. You seem to be doing both! I wonder, if you should stop training and running and get less fit, your levels come down.!!!!!!!

    I would be very interested to know if they have ever done C levels on the Olympic athletes to test for C levels,( HDL,LDL and Triclyceride levels,) before, during and after the events. Just to see what happens. to the figures. These people are young, fit and supposedly at the top of their game.

  • Thank you Patch 14. Your comments are extremely interesting. You talk a lot of sense in my book. I think our own defense mechanism is more competent than we give it credit for. Also, you have convinced me to scale down my training - my latest research suggests that with exercise it is not intensity that raises hdl but frequency. It would seem that if you walked for a longer period of time than I spent running. Your exercise, with regard to cholesterol, would be more benificial than mine. I wouldn't sustain so much muscle or ligament damage that needed repairing and yes, with the addition of diet, I think there is a strong possibility that my cholesterol levels would fall. I am being tested again in August. I will let you know the results. Many thanks for your comments.

  • Hello,

    Are you writting a book on Cholesterol? I would be interested in finding out on yuor programme. Diet and exercise to lower cholseterol. The last two years i tried and failed to lower cholesterol, Good luck. With BG, HbA1c test, over 90 days, the gym activities do help, the heart rate goes up during exercise. I would like to konw what exercise lowers cholesterol. Are you planning to go on medication to lower your cholesterol?

  • Very good comments!

  • Hello Bala. No I am not writing a book and no I am not planning to take medication. I feel inclined to agree with Patch14 and if it won't come down this time I feel feel happy to let it find its own level. Actually, I have a £100 wager with my GP (loser to donate to charity) that I can get my cholesterol down from 9 to 5 in three months. He just looked quite smug and is convinced that I won't be able to do this - I feel I have to give it my best shot. I'm taking plant sterols and omega 3 with a strict diet (which includes a teaspoon of cider vinigar mixed with a little manuka honey which I top up with a glass of water with lunch). I will do a little running and I will walk for 45 minutes after my main meal for 6 days a week. I am even trying the power of suggestion - it can't hurt. There is one thing for sure - a £100 wager certainly helps to keep me focussed on the task and I guess it makes the challenge a bit more interesting. I hope I have not disappointed you.

  • Hello,

    See below information on cholesterol from the web:

    Divide the total cholesterol level by the HDL to get the Total/HDL ratio. This value should be below 5.0, and a value that is less than 3.5 is considered ideal.

    Divide the LDL level by the HDL level to get the LDL/HDL ratio. This value should be below 3.5, and ideally should be below 2.5.

    The following levels are generally regarded as desirable:

    •Total cholesterol (TC) - 5.0 mmol/L or less. However, about 2 in 3 adults in the UK have a TC level of 5.0 mmol/L or above.

    •Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol after an overnight fast: 3.0 mmol/L or less.

    •High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: 1.2 mmol/L or more.

    •TC/HDL ratio: 4.5 or less. That is, your total cholesterol divided by your HDL cholesterol. This reflects the fact that for any given TC level, the more HDL, the better.

    As a rule, the higher the LDL cholesterol level, the greater the risk to health.

    However, your level of cholesterol has to be viewed as part of your overall cardiovascular health risk. The cardiovascular health risk from any given level of cholesterol can vary, depending on the level of your HDL cholesterol and on other health risk factors that you may have.

    Hope this helps with cholesterol numbers.

  • Thank you Bala for this valuable information. This is the first time I have ever contributed to a blog. You have all been so helpful and kind. It is much appreciated.

  • Hi Lisbeth, love the idea of your wager with your GP! Please let us know how you get on. My Dad did this years ago, so I know it's possible, & I would like to try it too.

    I am just starting to learn about statins, so your post is very interesting. I have been on them a week, following an Mi & stent fitting. Thank fully I have tolerated them well so far. As, like you, I get digestive problems from most tablets.

    A friend of mine, who is very into diet & nutrition, has this theory that the drug companies consistently lower the necessary chol levels, so that more of us need the tablets. I'm not sure about this, but it does seem that drug companies 'hold all the cards' when it comes to our health.

    Very best wishes. X

  • Hello Roobarb, thank you for your comments - I find them very interesting. Good luck with the Statins. If there is one thing I have learnt along the way it is the fact that we are all different and what is good for one person isn't necessarily good for another and vice versa. I would, however, stick to a good diet and get plenty of exercise even though you are on Statins. Taking Statins doesn't let you off the hook with these 2 important factors. My very best wishes to you too! X

  • It will be really interesting to see if you win the wager!

    Some people on this forum have been able to achieve great results on the Portfolio Diet. If you don't manage it, maybe your cholesterol levels are just genetically determined and that is another whole story.

  • Thank you Aliwally. I won't go down without a fight and after looking at your Portfolio Diet I think, for the first time, that there is a chance I could win this wager. I am so grateful for your comments.

  • Good luck Lisbeth. I have found that a low carbohydrate diet has kept my cholesterol levels at a level below 6, which my gp is happy with. Cholesterol levels go up naturally after the menopause, so I hope you can make 5.

  • Thank you Penel. I have now had time to study this site which is very interesting. I always thought I was on a good diet but to be honest I think I have been kidding myself to a certain extent. I am now of the opinion that a low carb diet combined with the Portfolio diet is the way to go - including reducing stress factors - I will be doing much more walking as opposed to running. I am also interested in Vitamin D and Magnesium supplements. There is such a wealth of information here. It's wonderful ! I feel so lucky to have found you all.

  • Vitamin D supplements are probably a good idea in the UK. Watch out for too much magnesium, it can give you a certain 'looseness'!

  • Thank you for the warning, Penel. I shall build up the Magnesium slowly to find my tolerance level.

  • A friend of mine went to her doctor with an inflamed bunion but saw a locum instead who insisted on giving her a checkup! She's 75 and in reasonable health although overweight but her bp was found to be high and her cholesterol total was 6. The bossy doctor wants her on medication for the cholesterol. She has a stay of execution until August but is wishing she'd never gone near the surgery.

  • I think that a level of 6 isn't bad at 75! I'd be more worried about high bp and weight.

  • that was rather my feeling too but as I am turning into a total sceptic on all medications I wondered if that was right. It seems to me too many doctors surgeries are making money out of all these [often unnecessary] tests and then frighten the life out of you with the results almost blackmailing you into taking the meds [profit for the drug companies?] When you really need a doctor you can't get hold of one. And don't cut your jugular at a weekend !!

  • My apologies Gardengnome42 - I somehow missed your comments until now - thank you for sharing them with me. I am in agreement with you.

    And I will take particular care of my 'jugular' at weekends. xx

  • If there was a 'like' button on this site I would have pressed it :). I much enjoy reading all the comments made by others - and all the different opinions too. It has made me very much more aware of issues. I hadn't realised until I read your post that it was possible to have too high a HDL number. i think mine is borderline, total C 5.9, but ratio of 2.7 which is good. LDL is 3.3 [too high] and HDL 2.2 [good I think]. Some doctors would like us all on statins just to tick their boxes !!

  • I know exactly where you're coming from on this. It actually takes a lot of confidence to go against a GP's decision on drugs. I'm not being ageist, but I think it is particularly difficult for some older people who believe that the doctor is always right.

    At the end of the day, nobody is forcing pills down our throats (thank goodness) but the decision not to take them actually takes courage. Cholesterol levels tend to rise with age and there are studies to prove that it might make you live longer.

  • I am struggling to maintain the punishing exercise routine and strict diet I have set myself in my quest to lower my cholesterol. I can't take the plant sterols which cause Statin like problems with my stomach and keeps me awake at nights. I am working full time and I feel absolutely exhausted. So, I think it is time to start being kinder to myself.

    This doesn't mean I am giving in. My father always used to say 'Where there's a will there's a way'. He would also say that if I thought about something hard enough and for long enough I could do anything. Besides, I like a challenge but I think I need to make a few modifications.

    I will keep to a good diet but with the addition of the odd small portion of reward food. As I am working full time (we have a small but very busy B & B in the Highlands of Scotland) I will walk no more than 6 miles a week at a brisk pace and run no more than 4 miles a week - I will incorporate this on alternate days to give my muscles chance to recover. I will also swim when I have time.

    I am taking magnesium citrate daily which I believe to be a natural statin at least 4 hours after taking 75mcg thyroxine. I had part of the gland removed when I was 19 because I was diagnosed as being overactive. In later years (approx. 12 years ago) I became underactive and needed to take Levothyroxine. I am also taking L-Carnitine daily. I will take apple cider vinegar and manuka honey topped up with water twice a week. I will also take a glass of hot water with a teaspoon of cayenne pepper once a week. I am also due to donate blood mid July - not only does this benefit other people but I believe it may help reduce cholesterol. I have lost a little weight but I can't afford to lose too much. Oh, and I eat a clove of raw garlic about 3 times a week. And yes, I spend a little time every evening trying to lower my cholesterol using the power of suggestion - it's painless and doesn't upset my stomach or make my breath smell.

    I feel I am in a win/win situation. Should I lose my wager with my GP I have learnt to eat more healthier, exercise more sensibly, I am more disciplined and my £100 will go to a good cause. I guess I win whatever the outcome. Actually, I'm kidding myself. Losing isn't an option I really want to win this wager ! Time is short - I will be tested on 13 August.

  • Yes, please be kinder to yourself! I feel exhausted just reading about your routine. I am a wimp and take my garlic in capsule form.

    Having a reward is definitely a good idea... but try not to make it sugar.

    Good luck with the wager. It would be interesting to know your doctor's cholesterol level!

  • Thank you for your comments Penel. I believe a little dark chocolate occasionally isn't too bad as it is full of antioxidants. Yes, it would be interesting to know my doc's cholesterol level. He appears to be a bit stiff when moving (probably stuffed with Statins). The more I delve into the world of cholesterol the more I am convinced we need it even at high levels but more importantly some people need more than others, however, I would like to lower mine just to prove that it can be done without taking Statins. It is my opinion that the best way to good health is to maintain a good BMI, maintain good levels of HDL by GOOD DIET and APPROPRIATE EXERCISE. The hardest thing about exercise is getting out of the front door - once outside it is actually very enjoyable. I for one, after this wager, will not be worrying about cholesterol levels. I am of the opinion that your brain believes what you tell it - if you are convinced your cholesterol level will kill you - it probably will.

    Dying is a natural process - nobody escapes it. It seems to me that if we are too afraid of dying this in turn makes us afraid to live. I wonder how many people have their lives blighted because of their cholesterol levels. The powers that be cannot agree on whether my cholesterol figures are good or bad which tells me not enough is known about cholesterol to go dictating what a person's levels should or should not be.

    Sorry to waffle on. But I do think, as a nation, we are becoming obsessed with our health when we should be enjoying ourselves.

  • Yes, I agree with you on all of this, including the dark chocolate.

  • Hello lisbeth, I am in total agreement with you. There is a "the more you know the more you want to know" with our health until it becomes almost an obsession. There are people who are so obsessed with diet, exercise and lifestyle they are making themselves ill!!! There is now strong evidence that the older you are the higher your C should be. This means that it is helping to keep your body going, as it has more work to do with the older body creaking and groaning (at least mine does!) I love walking as I have never been a gym person or a jogger! (At school I was the last one to be picked for the team!) I am happy to walk steadily for an hour or so around our fields and up the local hills and enjoy it without effort or gasping for breath - my body strength is now, I believe better than it was when I was 40 (and I am now 60 as from yesterday!) and have good energy levels (I need them to look after my grandchildren on a daily basis) I am just happy to be as fit as I am and am feeling well.

  • 16 August 2013.

    Hello Patch14 A BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR YESTERDAY ! I am going to slow down a bit - take time to smell the roses (or to be more accurate the heather). I shall be doing a lot more walking with my ipod - I'm learning French. As we both agree worrying about health is counterproductive. Come to think of it so are the French tutorials - it seems to go in one ear and come straight out the other. But hey, as I said in a previous post 'I am not a quitter'.

    I hope you enjoy your grandchildren for many many years to come. All the best. x

  • Merci Lisbeth et bon chance avec votre Francaises!!!!!!! Et bon chance avec tout!!!!

  • Okay, right... it hasn't been good for me for the last few days. I am constantly hungry and constantly thinking about food with a constant craving for coconut. I have not been as disciplined as I am leading you to believe. My 'reward' food hasn't just been the odd bit of dark chocolate. Over the last few days I have had 3 small ice creams, 3 pieces of cake and a packet of crisps. I feel disgusted with myself afterwards and so I have been running more than I intended (up hill). I'm not sure if this is to rid myself of this forbidden food or because I am punishing myself for not being mentally stronger.

    I have looked at many diets and have ended up implementing a bit from all of them. It doesn't feel natural for me to eat like this and I fear I am losing the will to live.

    Both my parents had triple heart bypass surgery late in life. At the time I bought a book on heart disease. It was many years ago and the only thing I remember about the book is the following short paragraph: A male patient asked this question, 'If I give up women, alcohol and cigarettes (many people smoked at that time) will I live longer?' To which the Consultant replied, 'I can't guarantee you will live longer but life will certainly seem a lot longer.' I guess the big question is do I want to live a shorter happier life or a longer miserable existence, Now, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I have not used salt at home for years, I drink mainly water, green tea and camomile without sugar and most of the time my diet is healthy and varied but I do like the odd bit of comfort food to keep me happy.

    I feel irritable and miserable. Even small tasks have become difficult because the only thing my brain wants to think about is sticky toffee pudding with a liberal sprinkling of coconut. This is strange - I wouldn't normally eat this pudding because it is far too sweet.

    Well, tomorrow is another day and I really will try harder.

    Before I sign off I would like to apologise to Dr. RW. for my comment about the Statins (in the unlikely event he might read it). It wasn't my intention to be disrespectful. I may not agree with some of the things he says but I do respect him and I was out of order to say what I did so I am sorry. I have been told it is difficult for doctors to form their own opinion as they have pre set procedures they must follow with regard to all our problems. It can't be easy if this is the case.

  • Low Cholesterol causes Suicide, Fatal accidents and depression? Is this true? Has anyone else heard murmurings' of this nature?

    I have just been informed that there was an article in the Lancet Magazine some years ago (I think this is a magazine for the medical profession) about Statins and low cholesterol causing mood disturbances. When cholesterol is forced down to unnatural levels this can lead to depression, suicide and fatal accidents ! Can anyone verify this?

    I for one would be extremely annoyed (and I'm already irritable) if I thought my doctor was dishing out prescriptions to anyone with a pulse if he, himself, wasn't 'stuffed with Statins'.

    I leave you with my thought for the day:-

    Toffee Banoffee and a side plate of coconut.

  • Hi Lisbeth,

    I don't know about low cholesterol causing depression but statins certainly can. Week 3 on Atorvastatin, I turned into a blubbering Zombie with flashes of Attila the Hun. My poor husband could do nothing right!

    I am now recovering from the experience (without statins) and am dosing myself with a daily slice of coffee cake until I feel strong enough to diet.

  • Thank you Forence5 for your comments. The effect of Statins on mood is worrying. There is indeed research to support this which can in turn lead to depression, fatal accidents and suicide. I don't know if it is only Statin reduced cholesterol or cholesterol driven down to unnatural levels by any means. As mentioned in an earlier post I do think that what is natural for one person isn't necessarily natural for another.

    Could it be my cholesterol levels are plummeting and that is why I am a tad tetchy (to say the least) and feeling at a low ebb? I won't know the answer to that until I have my blood test in early August. I suppose a possible cause could be 'comfort food' deprivation. I also stubbed my big toe on a bed leg the other day which hasn't helped. In addition to all this I can't help worrying about the 'fatal accident' bit and find myself growing ever fearful for my 'jugular' at weekends.

    The latest edition to my diet is cinnamon - half a teaspoon daily in coffee (or in my case Cayenne Chilli Pepper tea or Green tea). I believe it significantly lowers cholesterol.

    I do wonder sometimes how I got myself into enduring so much misery. However, I am not a quitter. I will see it through until 13 August. Then will I be glad to get back to normal? You can bet your backside I will be.

  • Hi Lisbeth

    I'm sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time. There has been some research done into low cholesterol levels and depression, and it looks like this could happen to some people. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/237...

    It sounds as though you may have cut your food intake too much or perhaps changed it too drastically too quickly (?). If you have cut down on carbohydrates you may need to increase your fat intake to give your body enough fuel. It's not a question of equivalent calories as the two different food groups are metabolised in different ways.

  • This article refers to metabolic syndrome, which includes high cholesterol ( high LDL).


  • Should have said "increase protein or fat"".

  • Thank you Penel. Your information is much appreciated and I love your Huffington Post.

    I don't seem to feel agitated or irritable now - more subdued I suppose. I have lost half a stone in weight and to be honest I don't even feel hungry. My parents were both overweight and not keen on exercise. This tends to make me over compensate with diet and exercise as I try to avoid their heart problems which incidentally does appear to be working.

    I sleep well at night because I have exhausted myself during the day. When I lay down at night my stomach feels as though it has been scooped out - it feels tight and stretched with a slight sickly feeling. My hip bones seem much larger and protrude at either side.

    I know something is wrong. I guess you could say I have lost my sparkle. You are right - I am trying to do too much too soon and I think you are right with the protein and fat. I am going to increase them. I didn't think I would ever say this but I actually crave fat.

    As a child I always hated Pork Dripping or any other Dripping for that matter. If my sister was angry with me she would call me 'Lizzie Dripping' to annoy me which made me hate it even more. At present, if I was faced with a soup dish of the stuff I think I could happily eat it.

  • I would recommend egg and bacon cooked in lard.

  • Hi Penel, your recommendation made me smile. I'll give it a go. xx

  • You seem to have the classic symptoms of depression. I don't mean the sort that should send you to the GP but the depression that comes from obsessing about yourself. Try to calm down and think hard about what you are trying to achieve with your life. You work, you exercise, and you seem to overdo the diet regime which is leading you to obsess about it. Life is for living. I know you are worried about your health because of the examples of your parents but we have moved on since then. We know at a lot more about the food we eat, the way we cook it and the amount we should have. We know that too much carbohydrate is bad for us (my mother was always eating bread with every meal and had a fatal heart attack - she thought she was doing herself some good by "filling up" on wholemeal bread and not eating the meat and potatoes!) we know that too much sugar is bad for us and alcohol and tobacco is to be restricted or avoided. But food is not the enemy, STRESS is!

    I think you should seriously consider looking in your local paper and go to yoga classes or pilates. They will teach you to listen to your body, calm your inner person and help you to maintain your flexibility and fitness. Keep up the walking and cut down on the running. Craving food or some types of food is thought to be a symptom of a food intolerance so try to do without them for a while and see if you can live without them. I craved milk and all milk products and then found I was intolerant to them and feel so much better now I do without them. All the very best to you.

  • The lard is optional! I realise most people don't eat it any more, but it is lower in saturated fat than butter and is a source of vitamin D. I like to use it occasionally.

    Perhaps some olive oil on a salad, with a steak?

    I'm glad to hear you are avoiding the heart problems and It certainly sounds as though you are losing your visceral fat. Be careful about making sure you do eat!

    If you have time to read, the book mentioned in the Huff Post is a really good explanation of how food affects the body.

  • Hello Penel, I have increased protein and fat. I am certainly happier. Our local shop was giving away a free tub of cream with strawberries (it's difficult to say 'no' to something when it's free). Anyway, I didn't mean to but I did - I drank the whole tub of double cream down in one go. Afterwards, I actually licked out the carton then I got some scissors to cut open the carton to get to the places my tongue couldn't reach. I don't usually behave like that but the cream was so much nicer than the lard.

  • Ha ha. Glad you went for the cream and not the lard! Your body was certainly trying to tell you something. One of my treats is cream in my mug of filter coffee (rationed to one a day).

    And glad to hear you are feeling happier. Hope you can make it through to your next appointment on a more even keel. Good luck!

  • If my body tries to tell me something - I shall listen ti it from now on. So, I am taking a week off from Tuesday to Tuesday. Not from the B & B but from my 10 mile walk/run programme. I have also been swimming 500M once a week - I will give that a miss this week and I shall relax my diet but not too much.

    I feel a little lazy and I think a midway break will do me good (a bit like a power nap). It will give me time to do a few jobs that I haven't had time to do such as cutting my toenails. I also need time to plan my last 5 weeks and decide when to stop exercising. I think these weeks will be a critical part of my preparation. I'm over half way, the home stretch, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    I decided to make my cholesterol test appointment for the 12th August and not the 13th. I'm not really superstitious but thought I would err on the side of caution.

    Overall, I'm feeling great. Confident too. Get your chequebook ready Dr. M. And if you don't like the smell of garlic make sure you have your window open when I arrive.

  • Get some vitamin D while you can. Hope you win your bet!

  • Should we take more responsibility for our own health?

    I could sit here smugly and say yes. But, I have just ended a gruelling, intensified diet and exercise routine. A wager with my GP. Loser to donate a hundred pounds to a charity of the winner's choosing. The 'bet' was that I could get my cholesterol down from 9 to an overall figure of 5 within 3 months without taking Statins. Well, I lost ! A bitter pill to swallow. Sweetened only by 2 chocolate éclairs, 2 custard slices, an Indian takeaway, a bar of chocolate buttered both sides, 2 litres of full fat milk. coconut, more coconut and a pickled gherkin.

    My Fasting Lipid Results:

    Cholesterol 6.9

    Triglycerides 1.3

    H D L 2.06

    Calculated LDL 4.3

    Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio 3.3

    Congratulation Dr M. You have put me firmly in my place.

    The Doctor is not recommending Statins this time. He suggests my longstanding hypercholesterolemia is due partly to my genes. Although I have not reduced it by much it was my intention to prove that I could reduce it quickly without taking Statins.

    The question is - could I keep up this hellishly arduous routine? And the answer to that is

    a resounding no, not even if someone stood over me with a high voltage cattle prod.

    To all the people who have stated they have tried everything to reduce their cholesterol before taking Statins, I salute you. If you have tried everything then you are a better person than I am.

    It is not hard to understand why most people would rather pop a pill instead of doing it the hard way. Let's face it, a healthy lifestyle isn't rocket science it's just common sense with input.

    I suppose I have learnt, through all this, that for the majority of us a blame culture, doctor bashing and whinging would be non existent if we took more responsibility for our own health. For most of us a pill is an easy option. It hadn't occurred to me before but maybe the people that should really be held to account for Statin nations aren't the GPs or drug companies but perhaps it is us.

  • Hi Lisbeth, Did you see the BBC2 Horizon programme "Monitor Me" a few days ago? From what was being said we may all soon be able to take greater responsibility for our own health throughout our lives by constantly monitoring our food, exercise, blood and body responses using health apps on our phones. This would encourage instant changes in behaviour and ensure early diagnosis of illness. Very interesting, but it would only benefit those with an interest in maintaining peak health. Those who wish to continue to indulge in processed food, excessive alcohol and smoking would be unlikely to use the apps.

  • Thank you for your comments Florence5. I didn't see the Horizon programme but I heard about the health apps. They are not for me. I think it is very easy to become obsessed with one's health. I am happy to get on with my life. I would like to replace the considerable weight loss I suffered during my quest. Then I intend to maintain a healthy lifestyle (within reason). I am now more than happy to allow my cholesterol to find its own level. It is my belief that cholesterol is all about quality and not quantity. Best wishes x

  • "A bar of chocolate buttered on both sides".... Wow! And LOL.

    Sorry you didn't win your bet Lisbeth. Well done on reducing your cholesterol levels, even if it wasn't very much. There's going to be a limit to what you can do if the problem is genetic. Glad to hear you are not carrying on with your punishing regime!

    Also glad to hear your GP is not recommending statins. Cholesterol levels are only one part of our health profile.

    Good luck with the healthy eating and moderate exercise!

  • Hello Penel. Cholesterol of 6.9 gives me a Health Profile (taking everything into account) of 10. I understand this is very good. Interestingly, it was also 10 when my cholesterol level was 9. Apparently there is nothing I can do to reduce this Profile figure because both my parents had heart disease. This figure of a 10% chance of stroke or heart attack within the next 10 years arises because of a question mark over a genetic possibility. Unless I'm missing something this would seem to suggest that bacon and egg cooked in lard could be on the menu more often.

    This experience has been full of surprises - the biggest was how easily I placed my trust in a bunch of strangers on the internet. What I am trying to say is ... thank you ! You really helped me through this and I am grateful to you. xx

  • Hi,

    Very well done.

    How does your results below compare with HNS levels?

    My Fasting Lipid Results:

    Cholesterol 6.9

    Triglycerides 1.3

    H D L 2.06

    Calculated LDL 4.3

    Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio 3.3

    I gave into statin after trying to lower my cholesterol levels for nearly a year!!, BS or BG is now on my list to reduce, HbA1C is OK!.

    All the best in you keeping the cholesterol numbers.

  • Hi Lisbeth,

    Just read your posts with interest and much amusement!

    But seriously, you have done very well to reduce your TC from 9 to 6.9 with exercise and diet. I only managed 8.9 to 7.5 with the Portfolio diet. Am not on statins because of bad side effects and discovering that although most of my family have very high cholesterol (10 and over), we have no early history of heart disease, so I am a "cholesterol skeptic" to say the least.

    Well done though!

  • Hello Deepblue. To be honest I feel a bit embarrassed about losing by such a large margin. Your comments are very kind and much appreciated. They are also reassuring. Thank you. x

  • Hello Bala it's a pleasure to hear from you. As always I find your comments extremely interesting. I'm sorry I am not good with medical abbreviations. As time goes by I find myself thinking more and more, with regard to my health, that ignorance is bliss. Again, I hope I have not disappointed you. Best wishes. x

  • Hello Lizbeth, I hank you for your comments. Have been keeping my blood test results in a XL file for the last two years. There is no disappointment. Google help to understand the medical terms. Your health is very important, you need to look after yourself. We need cholesterol for our body to function, at the same time the numbers has to be with in limits. All the very best, Bala

  • Hi, What happened here ,no text!

  • Sorry Bala. I got myself into a bit of a pickle yesterday. I kept being interrupted by our guests while replying to you. I thought my reply to you had not registered so I did it again. Then I realised It had registered twice so I deleted the duplicate. I was also listening to a French tutorial in one ear via my ipod. Clearly, multi-tasking isn't for me.

  • The Health Unlocked people did a good job when they provided a way of setting up sites like this. Swapping information and supporting one another can be a great help, good to know it worked for you.

    I feel that assessing "health risk" is not an exact science, there are just too many complex variables and probably a large amount of chance/luck. Take responsibility for your health, yes but ... enjoy the eggs and bacon Lisbeth!

  • My last post.

    The Doctor donated my cheque to Brainwave. It isn't a charity I am familiar with. It focuses on Cerebral Palsey, Autism and Developmental Delay in Children. It sort of makes me feel warm inside to have made a small contribution.

    You have been a truly great 'bunch of strangers'.

    I echo Penel's words re this website. And yes Penel - I will enjoy the eggs and bacon.

    3 Cheers for the people who gave us Health Unlocked... !


  • Hello fellow traveller. I too am in my 60s, C = 6.8, HDL 2.3 Ratio 3.4 - BMI 24 eat a balanced diet and enjoy good health and exercise daily. I have found that as you age (sorry, nasty word!) your C gets higher to compensate for those niggles and aches and pains you get from daily usage. The joints and muscles are feeling their age and the C helps to keep them healthy. As you are a runner your body is under more pressure than mine, and it needs that higher C to keep it in tip top condition. Perhaps easing up on the running and doing more say, yoga or pilates may ease the stresses on the joints and muscles and keep your body up to snuff! L)

  • No, you shouldn't be worried, you will probably outlive us all. Your ratio of HDL to LDL (very good in your case) and HDL to trigylcerides are much more accurate predictors of heart disease than total cholesterol.

  • You useless slut. You could have spent that 100 quid on coke, smack & booze & had a great time and you paid up? Wtf? Why not take it if you win so now you have £200 to piss up the wall & F off to another doctor without paying if you lose?

  • Very interesting reading all the comments. I wanted to pass on some information that I hope may help some people on here. I didn't want to take statins, though these were recommended by my doctor. Instead I decided to do my own research and try alternatives, one option at a time, to see if any made a difference. I'm very happy that having been taking plant sterol tablets, 800mg three time a day with meals, my total cholesterol has gone from 9.3 to 7.4, HDL from 1.34 to 1.43, LDL from 7.5 to 5.6 and triglycerides from 1 to 0.9. I am delighted. I know my results are still not good but they are a vast improvement on the earlier results. I've not changed my diet at all while taking the sterols, so as to be sure it was just the tablets making any difference. It was :-) Next I'll be trying oat bran muffins. I understand oat bran can be very helpful in bringing down cholesterol.

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