Finally got LDL down below 70 mg/DL ( ... - Cholesterol Support

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Finally got LDL down below 70 mg/DL ( 1.8 mmol/L)


I was first found to have fairly severe atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in September 2016 by a voluntary Calcium Score (CT) test . I was asymptomatic for heart disease (no symptoms ) and was very healthy, not overweight , non-smoking, normal BP, no family history,etc. I had a ultrasound stress test whiloe on a treadmill and managed to run it up to my maximum heartrate without any indication of artery blockage. BUT I had a LONG history of very high levels of cholesterol and was found then to have a total cholesterol level of 8.7mmol/l and also a very high LDL level of 6.6 mmol/L. I started to take 5 mg daily of Rosuvastin (Crestor) which reduced these levels significantly but my Cardiologist wanted them down further as he said that I had a very high risk of heart attack within 5 years. He wanted my total chol below 4mmol/L and LDL below 1.8 mmol/L ( 70 mg/dL) . I slowly increased the dosage of the Crestor to 10 mg, later started to take 10mg of EXETIMIBE and two months ago finally went up again to 20 mg of Crestor. It seems that I have been able to tolerate these levels well ( although I have now decided to start taking Equinol to see if i can improve energy levels and maybe muscle strength) and I am now below the levels that the Cardiologist wants to see. NOW - to start to get serious with my next marathon training plan :)

17 Replies

Our NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme explains that cholesterol is important to health. It's the VLDL that is harmful. They liken this to cars on the motorway, whereas large fluffy LDL are like trucks. The more cars there are, the more collisions resulting in damage.

What causes higher levels of VLDL? Insulin resistance, with higher carbohydrate levels than our body can cope with.

They also inform people that the latest science proves that natural saturated fat is at least neutral in association with heart disease, and may even be protective. That's because when it increases cholesterol, it increases not only LDL but also the HDL. Provided we don't have too many carbs, the LDL tends to be the large, fluffy 'trucks', and as importantly the triglyceride to HDL ratio tends to improve.

All the best Bazza1234!

Bazza1234 in reply to Concerned

I don't have a problem with insulin resistance - and have good blood sugar level. Have never had a problem with sugar - just cholesterol.

Concerned in reply to Bazza1234

The primary purpose of insulin is to prevent blood glucose going awry, so make no bones (pre) diabetes is the end game, when the wheels have come off.

Dr. Kraft measured the insulin levels of his patients from the 1970s to the 1990s, and found over three-quarters had abnormal responses. He concluded that chronic heart disease is underpinned by diabetes in situ - insulin resistance.

It's very rare for post prandial insulin levels to be measured, so we are dependent on proxy measures Symptoms include fatty liver, increased waist size, raised triglycerides/VLDL and reduced HDL.

Good luck Bazza1234!

Well done Bazza1234. You seem to have found something that works for you. Good luck with the marathons.

Great Result Bazza1234.

Perseverence and determination won through.

Wondering if you have had testing for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) as your initial total cholesterol was so high?

Your cardiologist is following the Joint British Societies (JBS3) preventive cardiology guidelines because many lines of evidence from peer reviewed journals show that heart attack rates go up as LDL cholesterol goes up beyond 1.8 (70 in US units). At and below LDL of 1.8 you are halting further progress of this deadly disease.

I'm assuming in addition to the meds and exercise, that you have put nutrient-rich foods into your diet and taken out dietary sources of cholesterol.

Bazza1234 in reply to Springray

No - I haven't had genetic testing for FH - I'm not sure what that would achieve insofar as to know what to do after a result is found or not found. The facts that I had calcification of my arteries and diet/exercise had not prevented this was enough info for me to take the drugs.

Springray in reply to Bazza1234

Genetic testing would give you a diagnosis and ensure stringent monitoring as well as be able to also offer your relatives testing and early knowledge for their own problem if needed. Contact the BHF genetics helpline if unsure whether to go for it.

In my case, when I added a wholefood plantbased diet to my statin, I halved my cholesterol and brought the LDL down to <1.8.

Hi Bazza Have you ever had a LDL fractions Bloodtest? This shows the 7 sizes of LDL plus VLDL,IDL and HDL.Just interested as I have had this test in Aus and also have a 99.9th Percentile CAC score.All my tests are reasonably good except LP(a) which I found out through my own blood testing.It was 3 times the danger level.

Bazza1234 in reply to Dash65

No - haven't had this test. But what is the purpose of the test - what can be done about whatever it may find to be wrong??? AS far as I can see , the Calcium Score test has almost "no purpose" - except that it acts as a big wakeup call to people like me who have high cholesterol but don't do much about it. We,, really, in my case, insofar as diet and exercise goes, I had done a lot about it - but it was not enough. I realised that I simply had to go onto the drugs. So far I have got a good result from the drugs with no apparent side effects.

Dash65 in reply to Bazza1234

The purpose as far as I know is to show which particles make up the majority of your LDL.The consensus being the smaller ones are the most dangerous.Unlike yourself I have never had very high cholesterol but do have very high Calcium Score.By cutting grains,sugar and low carbing I have reduced my small Ldl to near 0.I was just interested to see if you had a test showing a majority of small LDL particles.

I have followed the protocol for cardiovascular and pretty much have perfect blood results for everything(Omega 3,6-All Cholesterols,CRP etc) except LP(a) which I have reduced about 30%.

Will any of this have any effect on my health? I have absolutely no idea.

sandybrown in reply to Dash65

Where di you have your blood test done for all these "blood results for everything(Omega 3,6-All Cholesterols,CRP etc) except LP(a) "

Again what is the test for small LDL particles? Thanks.

Dash65 in reply to sandybrown

Hi I'm in Aus and if you pay for the bloodtests you can get almost anything.The LDL test is Liposcreen LDL-Subfractions Blood SST.It's a Nutripath test and examples of their reports can be seen on their website.The theory is you can have high LDL cholesterol but if it's the large sizes it's not really a problem.

Bazza1234 in reply to Dash65

Thanks for that info - I am in Oz too but still am unsure if this info would be of any use to me . At the end of the day, I have high level of calcification/hardening of my arteries which can't be reduced. I have managed to get my Total cholesterol and LDL down to the recommended levels that my cardiologist wants to see using statins with no apparent side effects. They don't really know what causes this - too high cholesterol, inflammation caused by too much simple carbohydrates, overweight, genetics??? - all kinds of theories but no real proof for any of them.

and there is no proof that high cholesterol is actually an issue, research in Japan has shown that as you get older the higher your cholesterol the longer you live. FH is a disease where people die young due to high cholesterol levels. It is worth listening to Ken Sikaris on you tube he is an A/Prof in Aus and he explains the numbers and is able to demonstrate that it is particle size that is the issue.

The HOMA-IR test is apparently a good measure of Insulin Resistance which can help you adjust your diet to optimise your bodies insulin resistance.

The Magic Pill is an interesting film that shows the danger of "beige carbohydrate"

Thank you. I did Google on a number of items and got information as far as 1993

"Reactions involving glycation and oxidation of proteins and lipids ", very interesting reading.

I am reading 'Eat Rich Live Long' at the moment it makes good sense.

sos007Ambassador in reply to Bazza1234

Here in North America the LDL subfraction test is called the NMR Lipoprofile. I have taken it twice. Medical research says when LDL-C (cholesterol volume) and LDL-P (particle number) are discordant (they don't agree), the LDL-P number is of greater importance for risk stratification. Therefore a person can have high LDL-C and low LDL-P and therefore not need to take statins to reduce LDL-C to 1.8 mmol/l.

I did not have any initial side-effects the statins following my triple bypass in 2015 but they began to affect me about 8-9 months in. I began with 10 mg of Crestor and ended up at 30 mg. Once I began to feel the side-effects is when I made my major dietary and lifestyle modification for the express purpose of coming off statins.

I have replied to you in another post that your cholesterol numbers may have something to do with your high level of exercise. Although exercise is good for our health, it DOES increase arterial sheer stress which causes an inflammatory response by the body to deal with it. This increases cholesterol production by the liver. High doses of vitamin C will trigger more collagen production (to deal with the tissue healing) instead and require the liver to synthesize less cholesterol.

My LDL-C is 2.43 mmol/l but my HDL-C is 2.53 mmol/l and my LDL-P is in the low risk range, therefore there's no need to get my LDL-C any lower, in spite of the protestations of my cardiologist.

My symptoms from the statin were fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and worst of all damage to my rotator cuff.

I hope you never get these but rest assured if you do, there is hope after statins.

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