Coming Off Statins - Update - December... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support
8,286 members2,337 posts

Coming Off Statins - Update - December 22, 2017

I'm writing this in February about my last blood test a couple of months ago.

I'm always experimenting with my diet to assess its impact on my blood bio-markers.

Most recently, prior to my December blood test, I started having 4 squares daily of 70% cocoa dark chocolate (Lindt).

For the first time, I had an NMR Lipoprofile blood test - this is the most accurate and detailed analysis of blood lipids available.

Here are my results:

All values are in mmol/l unless otherwise noted:

Total Cholesterol: 5.92 (elevated from previous test)

non-HDL: 3.49 (elevated)

LDL-C: 3.05 (elevated)

HDL-C: 2.43 (elevated - but this is good cholesterol so the elevation is desired)

Triglycerides: 0.96 (elevated but still relatively low)

VLDL: 0.44 (elevated but still acceptable)

TC/HDL ratio: 2.44 (elevated but still in optimal range)

TG/HDL ratio: 0.40 (elevated but still in optimal range)

----------------------

So, should I be worried? If a doctor saw these values, and my GP did see them, he would say my LDL is way too high as is my TC and non-HDL. However, my ratios are all still very good and my HDL-C was its highest ever value - a level that is 'out of this world excellent'. I determined that the increased sugar in the dark chocolate was the culprit in elevating my cholesterol values and triglycerides, but also responsible for the increase in the good HDL.

Conclusion? We're not done - the NMR Lipoprofile provided some critical analysis of my LDL-C sub-fractions:

LDL-P (particle number, not cholesterol volume) = 858 nmol/l - this value indicates LOW cardiovascular risk and is in the optimal range of being below 1,000.

HDL-P (HDL Particle number, not volume) = 33 umol/l - this indicates LOW CVD risk and is in the optimal range of being above 30.

Small LDL-P (measures the number of small, highly atherogenic LDL particles) - 162 nmol/l = LOW CVD risk - it is in the desired range well below the cutoff of 527 nmol/l.

LDL - particle size - (smaller particles are more atherogenic than large particle) = 21.1 nm. = LOW CVD risk - this is in the desired range of being larger than the 20.5 cut off value. A large particle size is classified as 'PATTERN A' and is the desirable pattern, compared to Pattern B, which would be a small particle size.

LP-IR - Insulin sensitivity test - measures the body's level of sensitivity to insulin. If you are insulin resistant it means your body has to produce large amounts of insulin to reduce blood sugar. Those who are insulin resistant 'IR' are typically overweight, have high levels of blood glucose, and are often diabetic. Being Insulin Resistant 'IR', is bad and indicative of high CVD risk. Those who are insulin sensitive 'IS' require only a small amount of insulin to regulate their blood sugar. It is desirable to be 'IS'.

The optimal score is less than 45.

I scored <25, and am therefore 'IS' - insulin sensitive - which is optimal.

Finally, for the 'pièce de ré·sis·tance': Lp(a) considered the most atherogenic component of LDL cholesterol, currently believed by medical science to be genetically pre-determined and un-modifiable with either statins, diet or exercise. High doses of Niacin along with some prescription drugs have been found to lower this value by up to 25% MAXIMUM - therefore due to the inability to significantly reduce - medical science ignores this value and instead focuses on calculated LDL-C for treatment.

The optimal value is <300 mg/l.

My value in February of 2017 was 764 mg/l. Obviously very deflating and representative of elevated CVD risk - but risky only if other bio-markers are also high risk, which mine are not, so I am less concerned, but not happy.

With my brief introduction of vitamin C, lysine and proline (Linus Pauling Therapy), in early October 2017, my Lp(a) declined to 650 mg/l at my October 17th, 2017, blood test - a 15% reduction.

In my recent blood test on December 22nd, my value declined again to 510 mg/l, representing an additional reduction of 22%. In total, from my original test value of 764 mg/l, the current value is a whopping 33% lower! Significantly exceeding the reduction achieved in medical studies using very high doses of Niacin and prescription medicines.

So far, the Linus Pauling Therapy is proving effective. My only problem has been the difficulty of getting enough Lysine dosage daily. I'm only getting 3,000 mg instead of 5,000 mg.

Since this most recent blood test, I have started on Liposomal vitamin C which allows me to get a much higher dosage without any negative side-effects. However I need to focus on getting more Lysine daily (you have to take it in divided doses throughout the day and that is logistically not always easy).

My next blood test is scheduled for March at which time I will also have another angiodefender test, a measure my FMD% score to determine my endothelial function.

In conclusion:

Superficially, the elevated traditional cholesterol markers, likely caused by the sugar in the dark chocolate, would have spooked most doctors into pushing for statins (my GP was not spooked - I have yet to see my cardiologist and he hasn't seen the test results).

However, the NMR Lipoprofile detailed analysis of my LDL composition, clearly shows, that my LDL profile is of LOW CVD Risk. Furthermore, the most critical CVD risk metric, the genetically pre-determined Lp(a) continues to move in the right direction. Finally, I am 'IS' which further indicates LOW CVD risk.

Moving forward - I changed to 85% cocoa dark chocolate, and reduced consumption from 4 squares per day to 2 squares per day.

We will see at my next test the impact of my modifications both dietary and supplementation-wise.

What can YOU conclude from all this - a detailed analysis of your LDL can mean the difference between a doctor pushing for statins or not. It can mean the difference between the anxiety of elevated cholesterol and the calm of knowing the elevated cholesterol doesn't imply higher risk. You should pay for your own NMR Lipoprofile to let you determine your real risk - not that determined by the standard lipid profile. Most doctors are not trained in understanding the NMR Lipoprofile and won't have a clue. You have to take personal responsibility to learn about your real risks.

If you're in the UK, you can find more information about the NMR Lipoprofile test here: invivoclinical.co.uk/invivo...

Stay tuned.

12 Replies
oldestnewest

"My only problem has been the difficulty of getting enough Lysine dosage daily. I'm only getting 3,000 mg instead of 5,000 mg" where is that figure from? were you diagnosed with CVD?

Reply

I had a triple bypass in March 2015. I phased out all medications between January 2016 and October 2016. The Pauling Therapy calls for:

5,000 - 6,000 mg each of vitamin C and Lysine, plus 2,000 mg of Proline daily, in divided doses.

Reply

My results were so much worse than that - and that's after a year of losing weight, taking aged garlic tablets, not drinking etc

LDL Particle2678>1000

LDL-C4.73HIGH ( <2.59)

HDL-C1.1>1.00mmol

Triglycerides2.2<1.69 mmol HIGH

Total6.75<5.17 mmol

HDL-P24.4LOW

Small LDL-P1255<117 nmol/L

Reply

If you're interested, you can follow my diet, exercise, and supplement regimen.

These are the things I eat every day (without exception) as a foundation, in addition to my regular meals:

1 teaspoon of Ceylon or True Cinnamon stirred into breakfast tea; full-fat goat milk added to tea;

Almond butter on my breakfast toast (whole grain - 1 slice - German style bread). I usually drizzle a quarter teaspoon of Greek honey on top.

1/3 to 1/2 cup of mixed nuts comprised of:

- 1 Brazil nut; 6 each of walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews; 1 table spoon of shelled pumpkin seeds, same quantity of shelled sunflower seeds;

1 organic apple, 1 organic orange, 1 tomato

1/3 cup of low sugar, all-bran cereal with just enough unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk to cover it. Topped with 4-6 oz of fresh organic blueberries (just before bedtime)

A large portion of any of these greens:

- arugula, spinach, broccoli, or kale. (usually make most of these in a salad, except broccoli which I steam and drizzle with olive oil, salt and lemon juice).

2 meals per week of fish - ideally salmon, trout or arctic char; 2 meals per week of lean grilled chicken breast; The rest of my meals are plant-based.

I use olive oil liberally, and have 2 oz of Greek (made with goat or sheep milk) feta, daily.

My wife makes some great meals based on quinoa, beans, chick peas, lentils and barley. She makes these ingredients into a soup or stuffed peppers, and also makes beans and spinach in tomato sauce (no sugar added).

I also have a half cup of plain 2% fat Greek yogurt, usually after my workout.

2 green teas, usually at lunch or mid-afternoon.

In a pinch, when she doesn't prepare a meal I'll make an egg-white omelette with Greek feta, Kalamata olives, red onions and green peppers, in a non-stick pan with half a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (Greek of course). With this I slice two tomatoes and add Greek feta, kalamata olives and drizzle with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and add oregano. I place the egg on a slice of the same bread noted above.

I also have 2 squares of 85% cocoa Lindt dark chocolate after dinner;

I'm never hungry.

Exercise

I target getting 15,000 steps daily. On slow days I'll get 12,000. Sometimes this requires me to walk at 11 pm in sub-zero temperature during the winter (I live in Canada). If you dress warmly and put on a good podcast or music it is easy to go walking for 45 minutes.

Every other day I go to the gym and do a 30 minute HIIT workout on the treadmill along with some weight lifting and push-ups. I also play hockey once a week throughout the year.

In the summer I add 2 days of golf per week. I always walk the course unless the temperature exceeds 32 degrees celcius.

In terms of supplements I take:

Vitamins:

- B3 (niacin), B6, B9 (folic acid), B12;

- Vitamin C - 4,000 mg liposomal - equivalent to 25,000 to 30,000 mg in pill or powder format;

livonlabs.com/

- Lysine and Proline (both amino acids)

Vitamin D and E

Turmeric

CoQ10

Omega 3 fish oil

1 - 81 mg baby aspirin although I plan to stop this and start using 'fruitflow' after my next blood test.

As noted, I do not take any prescription medication even though my cardiologist pushes for statins each time I see him. I refuse to take them again.

Yes, it's regimented, but the results speak for themselves.

I am 5' 10" tall, 155 lbs, 17.2% body fat (last measured August 2017).

My endothlial function has improved with each angiodefender test - (brachial artery responsiveness test).

I have red meat, maybe once per month. I have a dessert 2-3 time per year.

If in a social setting and sweets are offered or something high in fat like ribs, meatballs, or lamb chops, I'll have a bite of my wife's just to taste it. That usually satisfies me.

Good luck and message me privately if you have any other questions.

.

1 like
Reply

Great Posts sos, I love this kind of analytical detail and I would say looking at your results that you have little to worry about unless of course you are a stressed person but before anyone suggests you are I would like to say that this kind of self monitoring is empowering and not stressful. I too have a similar battery of results. My Lp(a) was at 31 (different units to you ?) which was above the cut off point but taking modest Vit C brought it down to 18 which is below the cut off which if memory serves me right is something like 25. One piece of data you have not mentioned but I would guess you have tucked away is your Homocysteine levels. Here again mine was high at 21 but Vit B12 and Folate saw it tumble to around 9.

Keep us informed about those Lp(a) levels I would be interested to see if they keep falling, perhaps they come down gradually.

I think everyone should take a leaf out of your book and take control

Reply

Thanks Markl60, I'm hoping people can benefit from my experience. Your Lp(a) unit of measure is probably mg/dl vs my mg/l. Therefore your cutoff should be 30, which means you're in good shape. My last homocysteine measure was in October 2017 and it was 7.3 umol/l which is a good level. Mine was only slightly elevated prior to that and I too took Folate, B6 and B12 to bring it down - it is primarily the folate that helps.

Furthermore, you're absolutely right about this monitoring being empowering - I don't have to accept doctors' recommendations at face value. When I first began reducing the statins in January 2016 I was very nervous, but after learning about all of these additional tests and reading literally over 100 studies, I began to realize that even the medical community doesn't know everything and that most studies are in fact flawed in some fashion.

I'm in the investment business and have many GPs as clients and they admit that I have learned more than them about this subject and that they are stuck recommending what they had been trained to do from 30 years ago.

One thing that is certain - pharmaceutical companies pay those with influence like government and academia to support their products. Virtually all research is funded by Big Pharma as they funnel their money through the university's foundation and so they university can say their research had no conflict of interest because it was funded by their own foundation.

Metaphorically, when you are born in jail, you are taught to trust your guards - and we are all far too trusting of government and academia.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you so much for your post and all the information in it. I've just started looking to see if there are ways to reduce Lp(a) so was really interested to read what you've written! And thanks too for the link for where to get the NMR test. I look forward to seeing your next report! :D

Reply

Only too glad to help. Best of luck.

Reply

You really have given me a boost :) I've been focussing on getting my thyroid hormones optimal, which has actually brought my total cholesterol down from 9.4 to 7.2 in three months, but was floored by my Lp(a) results, and also the Lp-PLA2 plac test results. I've saved all the info you've given into a word doc and will have a good read through tomorrow when I'm a bit more with it! Thanks again, and it's really great to hear about your success with this :)

Reply

Thank you very much for your kind words - it's very rewarding to be able to help other people like yourself. If you haven't done so yet, read this to learn how to reduce Lp(a):

practicingmedicinewithoutal...

Reply

That is some post sos007 ! (For some reason I thought you were vegan) I have three questions:

1. I note you include pecan nuts. As they're high in Omega 6 mightn't that be bad for IR score and thus endothlial?

2. You say your angiiodefender test shows your endothlial function has improved. Is that complementary to, better than a PLAC test?

3. How much time do you suggest one should allow between testing to see if there are any positive effects? 2-4 weeks or less/more?

Thank you

Reply

1. I'm IS (insulin sensitive - confirmed through NMR Lipoprofile blood test) so my consumption of pecans is not negatively affecting my insulin response and my endothelium function has continually improved. Here's a quote from a discussion on the Omega 6 content of nuts:

"Even if the Omega-6 fat in nuts is bad, the positives of the nut seem to weigh more heavily. Whole nut intake seems to reduce markers of systemic inflammation, and inflammation is linked with a wide range of ailments and afflictions (obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease, excess cortisol, etc.). The study’s (PDF) authors hesitate to isolate and praise a single component of the nut, referring to them as “complex food matrices containing diverse nutrients and other chemical constituents.” I think that’s an accurate appraisal of the humble, irreducible nut." You can read the complete discussion below:

Source: marksdailyapple.com/nuts-om...

2. Complementary - the Angiodefender test is the least invasive and relatively most inexpensive way to assess the health of your endothelium. Other methods such as calcium score CT scans expose you to unnecessary radiation, and angiograms involve catheter insertion via your femoral artery up to your coronary arteries which involve a host of risks.

3. When I was titrating down my medications, the doctor gave me a blood test every 6 weeks. I think part of the rationale is to save money for the health care system as a 4 week period is likely sufficient to show the impact of a change in diet or behaviour. In the last year I've reduced my blood test frequency to quarterly since I've already achieved most of my objectives.

Reply

You may also like...