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Cholesterol Support
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Blood pressure

Hi . I’ve got my cholesterol down to 4.1 from a previous 7.1 . By diet exercise and one small benecol drink . However.. my blood pressure ( which I take 5 mg ramipril for) is higher than I’d like. It’s normally over 140 / 90 . Mostly around 155/ 85 or 158 / 90 sometimes lower too though . What should I do ? Cut alcohol n salt? Or for my own protection before a stroke etc up my dose to 7.5 mg or 10 mg . I’m a 53 yr old male weighting 14 and a half stone

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I found losing weight lowered my BP. I lost approx 3 stones now 12 1/2 stones and Bp down 20mmhg. You’re best incorporating lower salt and less alcohol in any dietary routine you follow.

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Thanks stu

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You need to discuss this with your GP who is qualified to answer your question!

Your GP can do risk analysis and offer you life style change to improve your overall health.

You can go for private health check (Google can give you names and contact details), the companies offer a bundle, ultra sound check of neck is also carried out. When you take an offer package it is value for money. I did this five years ago, gave the report to my GP, all he said was we can file this! but for me the report gave me guidance for life style change.

Reducing the weight and waist size may help as well, but enjoy life.

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Thanks sandy I will do that

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Firstly may I say I am not a doctor, and can only speak from my own experiences.

I was on 5mg of Ramipril per day, taken at night, I found in the afternoon I was often sleepy. I asked my doctor for 2.5mm tablets and took one in the morning and one at night. I did have trouble swallowing the capsules as they often got caught in my throat and I ended up vomiting them up as initially I was given 2.5mg capsules. This helped for a while, I have improved my diet toward a LCHF diet, am no longer mildly obese just 1-2 kg over ideal weight, and i have got my triglycerides below 1 I also take 1200 mg of garlic and 2000 mg of black garlic in tablet form each morning I also took 1000mg of vitamin C again in the morning [since increased to 4000mg].

I understand that the Ramipril trials were done with two equal doses of 2.5mg but as a cost saving exercise in the UK this was changed to 5mg at night as a cost saving exercise and as the sleepiness side effect occurs at night it is seldom an issue the drug companies made tablets more expensive than capsules [cynically I believe so that you can't break a 5mg tablet in half and have to buy two doses at twice the cost their argument is that you cannot guarantee the exact dose if you break tablets in half, tell people who have to take warfarin that!]

I found that I was getting dizzy when I bent down, my doctor suspected my blood pressure was too low so I took my blood pressure morning and evening and utilising 1.25mg tablets instead of the 2.5mg tablets of Ramipril I gradually reduced my Ramipril dose with supervision from my GP and I am now on 1.25mg in the morning only, my blood pressure is now 120/80 at most, on my next visit to my GP I may discuss reducing the ramipril dose or cutting it out altogether. I find that deep breathing helps as well, I find that this helps when your blood pressure is being taken, as it reduces stress which can be caused by the cuff being put on your arm.

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Hi kas. You decreased your blood pressure by losing weight and diet then mainly? Was it really high before ? What does the l c h f diet involve ? Thanks bill

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LCHF basically reduce beige carb intake stop eating processed food and prepare your meals from scratch search for Low carb or keto recipes on the net. We do not count calories and we loose weight and don't feel hungry.

The other thing I have done is to drink lemon and ginger tea which means I do not have caffeine loaded drinks. I think the garlic and Vitamin C helps a lot, I have read that black garlic has been shown to either halt or reverse CVD, but this was only in a small trial of 50 or so people. It does not taste bad so I take it every day, I read about vitamin C and the suggestion is to take as much as your body can take to avoid diarrhoea.

An interesting short film to watch is the magic pill you should be able to find it on youtube.

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Thanks

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I got garlic oil capsules 2000 mg . I’ll see if they help with blood pressure maybe

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I buy mine from healthspan.co.uk

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How tall are you? I'm guessing from your blood pressure readings that you are carrying more weight than desired.

If you are above your optimal weight then of course you should reduce alcohol consumption. Having 3-4 small glasses of red wine per week is fine, but anything more than that is inappropriate until you achieve your optimal weight.

Salt is only an issue if you are consuming processed foods which are overloaded with salt. If you are eating foods cooked at home, you can salt to a reasonable level.

If your objective is weight loss, focus on eating high quality fresh foods and while you should be careful about salt intake, don't obsess over it. Your weight loss will have more impact on your blood pressure than salt will.

Benocol is processed food; it contains fructose, and sucralose (no calories but triggers an insulin response in your body) and has no fiber, you should consider stopping it immediately. The active ingredient in Benocol that helps with your cholesterol is 'plant stanols'.

Plant stanols exist in all plant-food and can be found in supplements that contain 'beta-sitosterol'. You do not need Benocol, it is NOT a miracle drink. Eat lots of green vegetables instead. Vitamin C also helps lower cholesterol - 3 x 1,000 mg doses per day - 1 tab with each meal. Vitamin D3, 2,000 IUs per day is also important.

If you are concerned about a stroke or heart attack the most important thing to do is to eat foods high in folic acid in order to reduce your fibrinogen and homocysteine levels. Strokes and heart attacks occur due to blood clots - the tendency for your blood to clot is determined by levels of folic acid in your blood stream and will show up in the two measures I noted above - fibrinogen and homocysteine. Get yourself a blood test and measure those two things.

Foods high in folic acid:

healthline.com/nutrition/fo...

Folic acid is vitamin B9 - so you can also get yourself a supplement as well.

I used to take ramipril after my open heart surgery, but I changed my diet, lost weight and my blood pressure normalized. I no longer take any medications.

To lose weight you should stick to a low-carb diet, and avoid ALL processed foods. Minimally processed foods like extra-virgin olive oil, or unsweetened, unsalted, organic nut butters in a jar are fine.

If you eat out, then go to a nice restaurant and have a small piece of animal protein such as wild-caught salmon or lean, free-range, chicken, and fill the rest of your plate with green vegetables. Avoid potatoes, rice and pasta. Avoid soft drinks, including diet drinks and fruit juices. Avoid beer...sorry.

Watch out for store bought salad dressings or those used at restaurants, they usually contain sugar, including balsamic vinaigrette. Instead, use only extra virgin olive oil with some lemon juice for your salad dressing. Ketchup, bottled pasta sauces, and barbeque sauces also contain sugar, so stay away from them.

When losing weight, it is especially important to do resistance training (using weights). This will preserve your muscle mass and burn fat faster. If you cannot go to a gym, then do push ups and leg squats at home - 4 days per week. If you can go to a gym, then 3 good tough workouts per week should be sufficient.

Good luck and let us know your height.

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Hi SOS . Great advice once again thank you. My cholesterol is fine at the moment. My height is 5ft 9 “ .id like to lose 1 stone for now . I have re started at the gym 3 days as well as dog walks. I’ll stop benecol but take a supplement instead. My blood pressure is higher than I’d like. Are garlic oil capsules ( 2000 mg) any good? Green vegetables are a weak point as is beer lol but I will try harder as I did give up for a month in January👍 thanks

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Billyboy...change is always difficult. What forced my hand was the side-effects of the statin after my surgery. The pain was unbearable.

I treat food as medicine - to reduce blood pressure you need to consume vasodilators (foods that cause your blood vessels to relax and expand and lower blood pressure).

Read this: humann.com/nutrition/9-powe...

When I eat these greens, I see them as a replacement for a pharmaceutical drug. My goal after my surgery was to get off of all drugs.

When the statin sent my pain through the roof I became a vegetarian although I still had some dairy (goat and sheep) and fish.

When you fill up your plate with vegetables and use only 3 oz of animal protein whether that be fish or lean chicken, you will drop weight very easily.

If hungry between meals, eat apples, oranges, blueberries, nuts and seeds. Fill up with salads - they take up volume in your stomach but are calorie sparse. Make sure you use only extra virgin olive oil with lemon juice as your dressing (add salt, pepper and if you desire a little oregano, garlic, or onion to your dressing to enhance flavour).

Garlic is good but you can't overdo it as you will drive away your friends and family.

I use garlic in my cooking but I don't take garlic pills. There are no short cuts - you must lose your excess body weight.

Do not set a target for your weight - eat right and you'll be surprised where your body weight gets to before stabilizing.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of resistance training during your body's movement to its natural weight. Don't lose muscle mass, it is very difficult to regain it when you're over 50.

Your diet should be a permanent new way of eating, not a temporary solution.

Focus on the Mediterranean Diet and get a cookbook if you wish. My main staple foods are legumes in a tomato sauce, as well as fish and lots and lots of greens. I came up with my own recipe for the legumes.

My diet is regimented and I make sure I eat nuts, seeds and 3 fruits every day - apples, oranges and blueberries or blackberries.

I am now eating an avocado every day even though I really don't like the texture. That said, after about a week, I'm starting to get use to it and am beginning to enjoy it. That's what happened with fish as well which I previously never enjoyed.

Its amazing how our mind keeps us from changing - but if you manage to achieve change - you'll be astonished at how many other flavours you will find enjoyable.

I'll tell you what I don't miss from when I was over-weight and eating the wrong foods:

- the sleep apnea

- phlegm in my throat when waking up

- fatigue, aches and pains

- debilitating back pain

- getting viruses all the time

- clothes that never fit right

- the embarrassment at the beach

- the inability to compete in sports

- the indigestion

- the gastritis

- the constipation

I am one inch taller than you and am 155 lbs now. I started my adventure when I was 195 lbs. I never intended to get to 155, I thought my ideal weight was 172, but when you eat the right foods and exercise daily, your body will gravitate to its natural weight. I don't know your bone structure so your's might be higher.

I encourage you to avoid thinking about a target weight and instead focus on eating the right foods every day and exercising.

You don't need beer, it is simply a habit. If you want to have a pint once a week, go ahead, but understand that sugar and simple carbs are addictive, and at the beginning, you need to give up all carbs and sugar for 2-3 weeks to break the addiction.

Good luck and let me know in a private message if you ever need more motivation.

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Cheers SOS . Great idea about treating veg as a medicine. I’ll cut back on alcohol as I did give up for a month in January . I’m enjoying training with weights and cardio . I do eat good fruits tho

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I might take a foil acid supplement too . Just checked bp. It’s 142 / 85 too . Also I don’t eat much processed food thanks👍

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Regarding BP. The best time to take your blood pressure is before bedtime after you have been lying or sitting down for 10 minutes. Take 3 measures and average them out.

Taking your blood pressure during the day will usually result in a higher value as you are more active and cortisol is coursing through your body.

Keep up the good work.

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Hi Have a read of the link.

dailymail.co.uk/news/articl...

Also read up about cayenne pepper and HBP along with turmeric for HBP the 3 of them make for good buddies for reducing HBP, I have a mix with all 3 in its very good and very healthy, just follow my screen name and mix your find it.

NOWHARD

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I take the lowest dose of blood pressure medication but also take a cup of hibiscus tea daily made from organic hibiscus tea leaves brewed at least 5 minutes. It's a very pleasant juice drink taken hot or cold. It has been clinically proven to reduce Blood Pressure but must be taken daily for benefits. However a word of caution as too much could leave you with very low blood pressure. 1 cup daily works for me.

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Really . Def worth a try. I take 5 mg which is low maybe? Where do you buy it from ? Health food shop or Holland and Barrett etc? Thanks jessie

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I suppose the hibiscus tea bags in supermarkets aren’t as good?

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I bought a 1kg bag of organic Hibiscus fine cut tea by Hatton Hill from Amazon which lasts for ages. For when I'm lazy and don't feel like brewing it going on holiday I use a good quality Hibiscus Tea bag from The Health Shop. I think it's the Clipper brand which H&B may sell too. I'm out if it at the moment. Different medications for High B Pressure have different strengths. Mine is at 2.5 but no matter what 5 is low.

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Cheers Jessie

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Ok I ordered a 100 g bag to try them might look in h and b too . You just boil few leaves for 2 minutes ok I’ll try it thanks again

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Hi Jessie I got my Hilton hibiscus fine cut tea today. I’ll boil a small lot for 10 mins yeah? One cup a day? How long did it take to notice a difference? A week or two? Thanks bill

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I couldn't tell you exactly. All I know is that I have a 24 hour monitor on to test my blood pressure yearly and I managed not to have my medication increased as my blood pressure remained stable. My daughter, a pharmacist, told me that was unusual. I probably was taking it a few months at that stage and initially I took it trice daily till I read somewhere to consistently take a cup daily. I'll take a look and see if I can find the research I read on it. Beetroot juice is also supposed to be good at lowering it but I'm not keen on it but I saw a recipe in a magazine to make a smoothie with a few chopped up raw beetroot and apples. There was a 3rd ingredient but I can't remember it but I'm sure ice or something else could be used as a substitute. I might try it. I'd better mention that normally I do a fair bit of exercise, mainly walking, some hill walking, dancing, aqua aerobics and pilates and a little weight bearing exercise which I really think helps

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That’s good Jessie . I like beetroot . This tea is fruity so I’ll have a cup a day . Also upping my exercise dog walks n gym too thanks

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Do you have to brew it or can you just add to boiled water and leave for 5 or 6 mins I wonder .

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Cooking any tea life, starting with cold water and boiling for few minutes is the better way of preparing the drink.

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I’ve read that you need to brew them for at least 5 minutes to get the full benefits. I hope it helps, just remember to take it consistently.

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I think 7.1 to 4.1 without medication is a massive achievement in itself. I also doubt that Benecol helped, but it won’t do any harm. I’m curious how you went about getting the figures down and the time it took. If you’re exercising a lot and not drinking a lot, your BP should be at healthy levels.

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It was my cholesterol yes from 7 to 4 . I agree it’s great. No crisps . Less alcohol ( mainly weekends in moderation) less fried food and more exercise. Took over 3 to 5 months

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That’s amazing, well done. My total cholesterol is ok, but I was advised to get my LDL down from 3.2 to 2.6. I had a look at benecol and no research or any reading showed me it worked. In the butter spread and milk forms, you also have to consume a load every day. However, I’m putting a downer on your great work so if it works for you, great stuff 😀 cheers

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Do you feel any better now the number is 4? just enjoy life.

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Hi sandy . No not really lol but mentally yes it’s a great feeling .

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I’ll try not to get back in bad habits but I really do enjoy life 👍

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Only one small bottle a day but I’m stopping them now. What do you think of a herbal shop selling cholesterol lower tablets . I’m thinking to start them

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Take niacin the flushing kind got mine down from 8.9 to 5.2

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Ok rocheen . I never heard about that . Thanks I’ll look into that today

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Do you take antihistamine for niacian flush?

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No take it after food. I take 1g three times a day. They come in 500mg. You get use to the flush and after a while it’s not as bad

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