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Cholesterol Support
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Cholesterol

I'm new to this but I really can't make a decision. I am 70 and female had a routine blood test came back and Dr said had very good HDL at 2 but overall had a High Cholesterol of 6.5. Said need statin but will leave it up to me ?? So need advice please

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Only you can make that choice so I'd suggest to read about it as much as you can and only than you can make informed decision. In the mean time if not already, you could consider: stop smoking, take some form of exercise, remove trans fat and reduce sat fats from your diet, eat more fresh vegetables etc. Sometimes that is enough to bring cholesterol to normal levels again. Good luck.

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Thank you fingers crossed

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A strict wholefood plantbased with no oil (wfpbno) diet will bring down your cholesterol without needing statins. If done strictly you will see results within 4-6 weeks as myself and others have (mine fell from over 5 to 3). It may seem a radical sacrifice in which case a statin is your choice because getting cholesterol down to below 4 is your goal to prevent/halt coronary disease and some types of dementia.

Dr Michael Gregor at nutritionfacts.org has lots of advice and encouragement. His book How Not To Die also is good.

Good luck with your decision and keep us posted.

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Thank you fingers crossed

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This video explains why cholesterol is so important to keep under control (it's not just for your heart) The 2nd video suggests a way to lower it without statins:

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Your results are very similar to mine last year. I am 66, a very healthy weight , walk an hour most days , eat lots of veg but also fish, chicken , eggs, full fat dairy and only very occasionally bread or sugar product.

A year ago my old doctor prescribed me a statin. I took this dutifully for 6 months and yes it brought my level down.

However Ive since stopped taking them as unhappy with some of the reported side effects of statins especially regarding dementia. I also read that slightly raised cholesterol is actually a good thing for women over 60.

I am due my 12month MOT in Dec with a new GP . I'm expecting a raised cholesterol, but am hoping my new doc will be more in tune with more recent research.

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Thank you

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Hi there, I was routinely put on statins after a scare landed me in at the heart department in hospital. My cholesterol was close to 7. However after a full 3D heartscan sometime after it was revealed that my arteries were 100% clear and the specialist told me to stop them and discharged me completely from his care due to a very healthy heart. Read my full story if interested. However it shows due to big pharma lowering the cholesterol level at which statins are needed millions of people are put on them unnecessary or earlier than was needed previously. Only you can make the decision if to go ahead with them but if you live a healthy lifestyle and get plenty of exercise I might be tempted to give them a miss as they can give you nasty side effects.

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Thank you hope you are well now

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Unfortunately doctors just follow NICE guidelines and often will not deviate. We need to influence NICE to change them otherwise nothing will change.

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Total cholesterol is of little clinical use especially when HDL is so high.

If you look up my posts you will see that I had bypass surgery in 2015 and then weaned myself off of all the medications that were prescribed, including statins. My motivation to do so was the side-effects from the statin itself.

Your best approach is to make permanent dietary and lifestyle changes - this will normalize your body's functions and eliminate the need for medications.

Keep in mind that statin research was done primarily on men and so statins for primary prevention for women is of questionable efficacy.

Half of all heart attacks and strokes occur to people with normal cholesterol levels. Blood clots are a major risk factor and to know your risk in this area you can do a blood test to check your levels of fibrinogen and homocysteine.

To get better advice from this forum you should provide the complete details of your blood-work, in addition to your height and your weight.

The standard lipid panel taken by doctors includes:

LDL-C

HDL-C

Triglycerides

non-HDL

Total cholesterol

From these values, triglycerides and non-HDL have the most clinical validity.

However, the best blood test to take is one that measures LDL-P (Particle number) or its proxy Apo B.

Measuring your HBa1c (3 month blood sugar levels) as well as ALT (liver enzyme), ferritin, CRP, and urea or uric acid will also be clinically important.

Apo B is an easier test to get than the LDL-P which requires an NMR Lipoprofile test, but if you can do that test it provides excellent clinical data.

Good luck.

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Thank you I went to get a print out today hope someone can explain them to me please?

Serum cholesterol level 6.8.

Serum triglyceride levels 0.7.

Serum HDL level 2.00.

Calculated LDL level 4.48.

Serum cholesterol/HDL ratio 3.40.

Serum non high density lipoprotein cholesterol level 4.80.I

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Your triglycerides at 0.7 mmol/l if accurate are well below optimal levels which is very good. This value shows that you don't have much fat from sugars in your blood stream. Atherogenic lipoproteins are usually lower with low triglycerides levels.

Your HDL is extremely high which is also good.

Your TC/HDL ratio of 3.4 is below the 3.5 cut-off which is also good.

The non-HDL is above optimal levels - this is the only troubling indicator.

Go get an Apo B and Apo A1 blood test measure, or ideally a measure of LDL-P (particle number) to get a more definitive picture to determine your real risk.

These values don't warrant panic, so get the additional information in order to make an educated decision.

You should also get fibrinogen, homocysteine and CRP - these will contribute to knowing whether you have risk of blood clotting too easily.

In the meantime, stay away from sugar, simple carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, white pasta and pizza, and white potatoes) including fruit juices.

Increase your consumption of cold water fish like salmon, arctic char or trout (no more than 3 meals per week) and load up on vegetables especially green leafy vegetables like arugula, kale, broccoli, and spinach, as well as increasing your consumption of legumes (beans, chick peas, lentils, green peas).

Make sure you also avoid processed foods - cook your own meals, or if you eat out go to a quality restaurant and avoid fast food outlets. Virtually all processed foods have sugar in them, including salad dressings, ketchup, mayonnaise etc.

Avoid fried foods at all costs - that includes potato chips (crisps? in British slang). Crackers have bad oils in them so avoid them as well.

If you want to have animal protein eat small portions of lean chicken no more than once per day. I go all vegetarian 4 days per week, the other days are either fish or chicken, mostly fish.

Finally - if you're not already doing so, walk at least 30 minutes and optimally an hour per day. You can break it up into 3 walks of 20 minutes each to get up to an hour if that works better for your schedule.

Good luck.

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Thank you for the information I am better informed with that knowledge. I live in UK and I asked Dr for those other tests and the reply was "we don't do that " unless you are admitted to hospital with CHD

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If you have the financial means you may want to get them done privately.

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See my post below and stop worrying.

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Instead of all these proxy measures, you could have a CAC-score scan to see the actual state of your heart.

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CAC cannot provide the risk of blood clots or determine the atherogenic nature of a diet.

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If you do not have any other health problem, ask your doctor for a risk analysis. Life style change is the best option. Watch out for hidden and free sugar in all food and drinks that goes into your mouth. After 70 satin may not help because of what has happened so far. Going for calcium may help in identifying any problems.

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as most on here I had a single by pass at 68 and put on statin - did not like the way it made me feel and have stopped taking it and my cholesterol went up to 227 - hdl 81, but I feel good. As most on here I also started reading every study on cholesterol. I really believe my issue was a time in my life of a lot of press and dealt with it by eating junk and everything high in sugar. Of course the doc does not want to hear anything about this or possible diet changes - just take more satins. I have of course got my diet back in line - of course I cheated yesterday at my daughters house. I usually eat wild salmon every 3 days and veg and beans the other and I juice every afternoon. I will say that most the studies I have read - that were not funded my a pharmaceutical company - said older people with higher cholesterol live longer and older females - statins did nothing for them. Of course I am no doctor and will just say research and see what you find before making a decision

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I have published this before but it may just help you to make a decision and understand the mechanism of cholesterol. The truth is that no doctor, no matter how expert he is, knows what your level ought to be.

Cholesterol is in every cell of the body and so much is needed for proper body function that it would be impossible to eat enough of it in your diet to satisfy your daily cholesterol needs. To meet this gap the liver manufactures four or five times as much cholesterol as you ingest. The liver adjusts the level in relation to the amount of cholesterol that you eat, so if you ingest high levels of cholesterol then the liver produces less to compensate.

Cholesterol is needed in the body for:

Brain synapses. The vital connections between nerve cells in the brain, and elsewhere, are made almost entirely of cholesterol. It is essential for proper neurological function and plays a key role in the formation of memory and the uptake of hormones in the brain, including serotonin, the body’s ‘feel-good’ chemical.

Vitamin D. A very important vitamin, not only needed to create healthy bones, but now known to be protective against a number of cancers. Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol by the action of sunlight on the skin.

Cell membranes. All cells in the body need cholesterol in their cell membranes. Without it they would disintegrate, as cholesterol provides structural integrity.

Sex hormones. Cholesterol is a building block for most sex hormones.

Bile. Cholesterol is a key component of bile salts, which are released from the gall bladder to help with food digestion, especially fats.

Repair. Cholesterol is the body’s repair substance: scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol.

Extract from ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ by Dr.Malcolm Kendrick.

Cholesterol is one of the most important substances in the body. We cannot live without it, let alone function well. The pernicious diet-heart hypothesis has vilified this essential substance. Unfortunately, this hypothesis has served many commercial and political interests far too well, so they ensure its long survival. However, the life of the diet-heart hypothesis is coming to an end as we become aware that cholesterol has been mistakenly blamed for the crime just because it was found at the scene.

Extract from the Weston Price Foundation.

So you can see that a low level of cholesterol is not ideal for good health, no matter what your GP may tell you. Remember we are all customers now, not patients. Treatment, whether you need it or not, generates profit and there is no profit in good health.

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Photo block, I so enjoyed and loved your input. I now have lots of positive thoughts and my anxiety is much much less.

Thank you

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A/Prof Ken Sikaris has some very informative lectures on Youtube I think one is called explaining the numbers. His basic advice is to look at the ratios rather than the TC.

Also research in Japan suggests that lowering cholesterol in the over 60s may have a negative outcome.

The ONS in the UK publishes statistical data, among the data is the morbidity due to all causes and CVD, also there is the data for number of statin prescriptions. If we accept that statins lower cholesterol then we would expect the gradient of the line to change for the better as more statins are prescribed. There is no perceptible change in gradient, people are however living longer and the gradient is improving, most likely due to the decrease in smoking.

With the introduction of low fat food, the food industry has tried to make them taste good, they have done this by adding sugar and other "beige carbs" which are readily changed to sugar by the body. The important thing is to know what you eat, by avoiding processed or ready prepared food.

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