High cholesterol...yet again! - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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High cholesterol...yet again!

Wightbaby profile image

My cholesterol has stuck stubbornly around 5...despite me trying everything to get it lower! Diet/exercise etc etc.

My latest attempt is, since June I have

1) had my morning porridge made with water only. 2) cut out pm smoothie coz of sugar content 3) just have a cuppa or skinny soup for lunch, with a chunk of Bread spread with Benecol.

I volunteer at a charity warehouse 2 days a week, so have quite an active lifestyle (not a couch potato). I have now lost nearly half a stone in weight, so I am barely 8 and a half stone. At 5' 7" that is not good.....I am always hungry and a diet of deprivation and abstinence is making me miserable

My total chol today was 5.48 (HDL 1.49/LDL 3.5) I really don't want to take statins because of the side effects, but.........!

I am 66, have AF which has been permanent for 4 years. I realise there are a lot of folk a lot worse off than me!

43 Replies

Sorry but have you tried a statin? If not how do you know you will get side effects. Millions get none at at all but those that do advertise it on social media to the extent that in one trial reported in BMJ more on a placebo reported side effects than those on statins, such is the power of auto-suggestion! You can start on a low dose like 20mg Atorvastatin (max. is 80mg).

Don't make yourself ill. Someone near me ended up in hospital with malnutrition despite being obese so extreme was their diet!

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to MichaelJH

Yes, I have to try now I think......it is the warnings on the precaution sheet of Insomnia, memory loss, muscle pain etc......that scared me off!!!

Hi there. 4 months ago you were considering taking a statin and chose to try to lower it via diet. I see you were worried about your thyroid medication etc.

Given you have tried really hard perhaps a chat to your GP and then try the statin and see what happens

I have to say watching the cholesterol numbers coming down is quite the motivator for taking them.

Make sure you also get regular blood tests incl all liver function tests incl Gamma GT to make sure the statin isn’t affecting you badly.

Take care. And please eat!

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to Speakeazi

Thank you for that thoughtful response...much appreciated.

Data shows taking a statin reduces incidents of heart attacks. Its a fact.

Talk to your Doctor.

A combination of a Carrot a plumb and an apple everyday works over 3 months. You will get a reduction in the ratio of around 1. The yoghurt drinks from tesco also help.

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to arty_sax

I manage a banana, a pear and an apple every day...plus one of those little drinks.....(and a good meal every evening, of course......salmon or chicken with 4 veg and potatoes or pasta)

Sadly, the only fruits I really don't like are plums and carrots...although I eat a lot of the latter...cooked!

Scoos profile image
Scoos in reply to arty_sax

arty_sax I'm trying to lower my cholesterol - on Rosuvastatin which has helped. Does this work with any 3 items of fruit or is it important that's its the above?

arty_sax profile image
arty_sax in reply to Scoos

Its the combination that works. One never knows if it is actually due to the carrot apple and plumb... But its worth a shot!!

in reply to arty_sax

Hi Arty

Just read your note to Whitebaby, you mentioned by eating a carrot and plumb plus an apple daily has reduced to cholestrol by 1 . I'm presuming the rest of your daily foods consist of fish avocado's etc?

Do you eat many eggs?

arty_sax profile image
arty_sax in reply to

2 eggs once a week... As a treat with avacado soda bread and smoked salmon after my saturday morning 10k walk. I tried a cube of red leicester cheese with half a dozen walnuts every day... My blood pressure went down by 10 to 115!! How weird is that?

in reply to arty_sax


Cheers! I've so far cycled 10k with another hour to go! 🙂

I eat half an avocado about 4 times a week with smoked salmon too!

I do drink Actimel daily along with low fat yoghurts!

I do eat grilled or curried chicken, chillies plus lots of garlic.

On the naughty side since damaging my knees a couple of months ago and missing cycling for almost 6 weeks I've got into a bad habit of having a packet of cheese and onion crisps. I do eat one slice of multigrain toast most days.

My blood pressure is usually between 102 to 115 and I'm not diabetic! Sometimes iscdrops to 99 or shoots to 120 attending the hospital

I too eat walnuts or almonds about 4 times a week.

I've managed to drop another 1.5 lbs this week


elliebath profile image
elliebath in reply to arty_sax

If you research recent evidence from the past couple of years, Eggs are no longer considered bad for our cholesterol or risk of heart disease . My cardiologist backed this up and said have one every day if you like them. It is true that eggs themselves contain cholestrol but it is now known that the human body does not absorb it . Eggs are a good protein , good for you along with healthy fats eg oily fish, avocado , nuts , good olive oil, full fat dairy in moderation, lots of colourful veg, but LOW on meat , white carbs , sugar, alcohol .

Have a look at the other Health Unlocked forums Healthy Eating and LCHF (low carb high fat) .

It would be better to make your porridge with oat milk rather than water only. Oat milk has been shown to lower cholesterol in several studies:


Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to Edward_H

Thanks will try it....

arty_sax profile image
arty_sax in reply to Edward_H

Watch out with oat milk etc... Just flavoured water with a load of sugar!!

Edward_H profile image
Edward_H in reply to arty_sax

Absolute nonsense. Alpro oat milk has 3.3 grams of sugar compared to Tesco semi-skimmed cow's milk which contains 9.6 grams of sugar.

Please buy and read 'Eat Rich Live Long' by Ivor Cummins and Jeff Gerber. Lots of good solid and researched advice, there is still much to learn and this book is comprehensive and easy to understand.

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to

I will put it on my Xmas list.....

in reply to Wightbaby

If it helps I'm 65 65kg/5'8 and fit and healthy, just cycled 3000miles Canada to Mexico camping all the way, active all my life. My total cholesteral has always been high, peaking at 9 a couple of years ago, I now eat a ketogenic/lchf diet and take 500mg [solgar] niacin/B3 once a day, hdl 1.9/ ldl 3.8/ trigs 0.7 which means very good ratios! I will not take statins. Family history, weight, smoking and exercise are the important risks factors. And stress!! I am happy to answer any questions you might have about MY understanding of all this.

in reply to

Wow and totally well done Hookooekoo! I'm so jealous as I bet you had the most amazing time! How long did it take you to cycle the 3000 miles?

You mentioned your cholesterol peaked at 9, mine was 8.2 last month which is the highest ever.

I've lost 3 stone in weight with a further 10 lbs to go which 1'm struggling to loose! I do go to the gym and cycle between 20 to 30 kilometers almost daily.

Did you manage to reduce your cholestrol after your lovely trip ?

in reply to

Hi ShropshireLass2019, have a look at my reply to Wightbaby below. I took 3months for my trip mostly though backcountry wilderness, looking forward to next trip, cholestol back ok after to much american high sugar food!

elliebath profile image
elliebath in reply to

If you haven't seen it, do pop into Health Unlocked Weightloss forum. Lots of advice and support on there that might help you with those last few pounds ( and equally your loss so far 3st will inspire others) . There are also forums for Healthy Eating and LCHF.

in reply to elliebath

Cheers Elliebath! Will definately drop into the weightloss site !

Yesterday I felt so amazing, I brought myself new clothes to wear for Christmas Day! Normally I buy lots of nice stuff for hubby to wear and not for myself as I'm usually to busy. This year I've gone totally mad since loosing the weight, I've brought myself some smart black leather looking jeans size 12 with a very pretty black lace top , leopard skin boot type sandels and matching belt from Next ! Hubby's well impressed !

So whatever comes from having to improve my health because of possible liver/ high cholesterol issues has so far been worth it! Still 12 lbs to go which is tough at this time of the year!

Have a wonderful Christmas and hope your Santa wish comes true! 🌲☃️🎅❤️

elliebath profile image
elliebath in reply to

Ok see you there! And thats a great sounding outfit youll feel a million dollars. It feels wonderful buying new stuff in a size or two smaller. I've maintained my weightloss for four years now, but still can't quite believe it sometimes. . Happy Christmas 😀

in reply to elliebath

Hi Elliebath

I've just searched Unlocked Weighloss and Health Unlocked Weightloss and nothings coming up other than NHS weight loss!

Help required !

elliebath profile image
elliebath in reply to

Ah yes , it is part of the NHS Weightloss site . I think this link should take you directly to the Welcome Newbies page .


in reply to elliebath

Just joined😘😘😘

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to

Interesting about your cholesterol and how you manage it, but I also have a heart condition (Atrial Fibrillation)...not sure if I mentioned that......so there is that to also consider.

in reply to Wightbaby

Unfortunatley life is not without its problems but i do think that although we all want a healthy, worry-free life its not always possible and whilst its good we do our best to alliviate health issues its also a case that to much general and mis-information is spread around that causes to much worry, live your life in the understanding we will all die one day so make the most of every day in happiness. I researched though '23andme' my DNA which gave an insight into my body makeup which made me realise that we are so individual that the best understanding of our own needs come from ourselves not advice from others. Ivor Cummins, Jason Fung, Dr Malcom Kendick are good names to google and learn from there.

There is nothing wrong with your Cholesterol levels your Total to HDL ratio is a tad over the limit but hardly worth worrying about. However here are a few tips that will lower your LDL if you are really hell bent on doing that

Stop coffee switch to green tea

You may be a hyper responder to sat fat so lower it eg see milk advice previous

Reduce all simple carb's eg bread, try whole food plant based for a month and then retest

Try eating 3 Brazil nuts at the beginning of the week and one each subsequent day (yes I know but I can provide the study that found that it lower LDL)

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to Markl60

A lot of what you said, is worth a try and I have heard about the brazil nut thing... so am not laughing at the idea!

I think you are right and I may be a" hyper responder to sat fat"

Green tea??? No, not when you take Warfarin, I think and to be honest just the smell of it makes me heave!! I don't drink coffee only decaff tea or Earl Grey tea.

Please can you send the link or website address of that study

Markl60 profile image
Markl60 in reply to Wightbaby

Watch the video, the study will be cited within the page linked.

You do realise that a side effect of Warfarrin is calcification of the arteries ?


Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to Markl60

Before it was prescribed I got a blood clot (went down my arm....luckily!!) during an AF episode......so......pays yer money and takes yer choice??.!!

Have you had your thyroid checked?

When my TSH is high - thyroid under active - so is my cholesterol - then my TSH was low (I was very hyper with antibodies) my cholesterol was its lowest ever. Like you I can’t get mine lower - I’m sure I could if my doc treated my thyroid but there’s no chance of that because I’m within the lab range- very annoying and like you I don’t want to take statins. Tried them once and it was a disaster.

I think its OK...I take 50mg Levithyroxine per day

Marz profile image
Marz in reply to Wightbaby

50mcg is a starter dose. Ask for copies of your last thyroid test results. Low T3 - the Active Thyroid hormone is linked to heart issues and raised cholesterol ... rarely tested in the NHS which begs the question - why ?

sandybrown profile image
sandybrown in reply to Wightbaby


Please check the medication for unit of measurements!

"Levothyroxine comes in 25 microgram, 50 microgram and 100 microgram tablets. The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol μ followed by the letter g (μg). A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram (mg)."

This information is from NHS site."

There is a study that shows if you are over the age of 63 and have high Cholesterol that you have a 30% chance of living longer. I understand that statins have not shown any increase in longevity of females. This is from searching on the internet, I am pretty sure the study is sighted by Dr David Diamond. I would also look at some of A/Prof. Ken Sikaris lectures on Youtube he explains that it is not TC that is the issue anyway.

My cholesterol started off at 6.2 and (over 2 years) I managed, through diet alone, to get it to 5.1 which my GP is happy with. My ‘good’ level (HDL) increased slightly due to my increased intake of avocados, nuts, oily fish - but I did, and do, also reduce my intake of saturated fats (less cheese, cream, chocolate etc). Like you I lost weight - but am a healthy weight for my height; and I feel good! So all I can suggest is trying to increase the ‘good’ foods, if you can? Please eat well, as someone else has said!

(My GP was not worried when my 6-month reading, and then even 11-month, was only down to 5.5; I have no other contributing factors i.e don’t smoke).

Good luck and do discuss properly with your GP - I know how disheartening it can be, changing how you eat and trying so hard (the Benecol drinks/yoghurts didn’t help at all by the way, and I didn’t like the taste. I was almost pleased that they made no difference, because they are so expensive!)

My GP was not keen to put me on statins when there was even just a little evidence that my change of diet was working!

Thanks for your reply.....I think its my AF that is the reason for my GP being keen on me taking statins. I have eaten a good "cut down on sat fats" type diet for well over 5 years now!!

I tried three different types of statins. Side affects off all. As with any drug I don't read the side affects info before hand that way if I get side affects I know they're genuine. My husband started on them and is ok. I think there is a soluble one but believe it is expensive.


I resisted statins , cholesterol rose to 7.5 despite changes to diet and 250 mins exercise per week minimum. With no family history and good blood pressure, one GP said statins would not make a significant difference, the other said it would. I chose to ignore the advice to take statins.

One year later, this week, I started to get angina chest pains. I now have no choice but to take statins and other unpleasant medicines in addition for the rest of my life, which is going to be some what limited by chest pain on exertion.

If I could go back a year I would take those stains a year earlier and maybe not be waiting for a stent next Monday.

All the best with your decision.

Wightbaby profile image
Wightbaby in reply to sasswa

Thanks for your reply. I "gave in" and am on a very lose dose of Lipitor.

Think it might be causing insomnia though : (

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