Thyroid UK


Hi I'm hypothyroid and due to this have high cholesterol much of which is LDL bad cholesterol. The doctor sent me to an Endocrinologist who because I couldn't tolerate the statins I'd been put on suggested using 5mg a week and trying to raise it, but even that small dose was knocking me for six I could hardly function. Looking round for something else to reduce the LDL I stumbled on an article in a paper about the benefits if Earl Grey tea which has bergamot in it. Reading the comments a few were saying bergamot capsules were as effective as statins. Does anyone have any experience of using bergamot capsules to lower cholesterol?

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The link between high cholesterol and heart disease has been debunked - never was any real evidence -and a newer study says that low cholesterol and LDL makes the elderly more likely to die. I'd reduce all sugars, trans fats and never cook with vegetable fats (which oxidize quickly) and see what happens.

If you like Earl Grey or green tea, drink it. Under medication for hypo can cause your cholesterol to rise. Don't forget, you need cholesterol to make hormones, so if it's too low, you die. Perhaps you need more thyroid meds.

Statins are quite dangerous, so if you do decide to take them, take coQ10 and B12 as well., as statins cause muscle wasting - including the heart muscle.


Grief well if it's right what you're saying - low cholesterol and LDL is good I can't understand why my doctor and endo say it's serious and I've got to reduce it. Thanks will have to look into it.


Because that is what they are taught at Medical School and once practising they are incentivised to prescribe. Trips to Paris and a lovely blotter with matching pen set on their desks :-) Sorry to sound like a Grumpy Grandma - good to read beyond the hype.... x


Yes I've been googling reckon you're right I tell you what it's disgusting if doctors backed up by endo's are lying like this just for freebies.


Dr Malcolm Kendrick has a website and wrote the book the Cholesterol Con - worth having a look.... :-) Docs also paid for prescribing AD's....or so I am told.


If hypothyroid the best way to reduce cholesterol (a clinical symptom of hypo) is adequate and optimum medication of thyroid gland hormones (levo or other alternatives). This is an excerpt:-

Hypothyroidism is often accompanied by diastolic hypertension that, in conjunction with the dyslipidemia, may promote atherosclerosis.

However, thyroxine therapy, in a thyrotropin (TSH)-suppressive dose, usually leads to a considerable improvement of the lipid profile. The changes in lipoproteins are correlated with changes in free thyroxine (FT(4)) levels.

and another excerpt

The aim of this study was to assess the changes in serum lipid profiles after replacement therapy with thyroxine in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and to see whether there is an improvement in dyslipidemia based cardiovascular risk. 30 non-smoker pre-menopausal women with newly diagnosed (SCH) (TSH between 4 and 10) were involved in the study and 26 euthyroid healthy subjects were used as the control group. All patients were tested for TSH, FT3, FT4, total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride,(TG) HDL cholesterol (HDL) and LDL cholesterol (HDL-C). These tests were taken before thyroxine was given and again 6 months after thyroxine was given. The patients with SCH had significantly higher levels of TC and LDL-C. After six months the TC, LDL-C levels and the TC/HDL-C ratio were reduced significantly. In conclusion, even mild elevations of TSH are associated with changes in lipid profile significant enough to raise the cardiovascular risk ratio, and these changes are corrected once the patients have been rendered euthyroid.

My cholesterol reduced when on levo.


Thank you for the link to the PubMed abstract. My internist spent most of the time allotted for my recent physical exam haranguing me about the new (US) guidelines for prescribing statins and how I really ought to be taking one. Although I've been on the same dose of levo for years, my recent blood tests showed my TSH to be elevated (5.4, range 0.4-4.5). Maybe this article will persuade the doc to raise my levo dose to get my cholesterol down. (I refuse to take a statin under any circumstances.)


One of our top Endocrinologists says:-

The appropriate dose of levothyroxine is that which restores euthyroidism and serum TSH to the lower part of the reference range – 0.2-0.5mU/l.

In this case, free thyroxine is likely to be in the upper part of its reference range or even slightly elevated – 18-22pmol/l. Most patients will feel well in that circumstance.

But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l.

This ‘exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism’ is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l).


He also goes on to say that a reduction of 25mcg of levo and 10mcg T3 can also be tried. You need more medication to make you feel better.

As regards the statins, it's my belief that in the USA medical practitioners get paid to use certain products so is that why he is pushing statins?. There has been bad press about them now as serious side effects are showing.


Thanks Shaw's I'm going to see my doctor about introducing some T3 along with thyroxine as I'm always fatigued. I tried to sort it out myself by doubling my dose of thyroxine and my blood tests last month went bonkers.

TSH Lo 0.03miu/L.

Serum free triiodothyronine level. 5.2pmol/L (in range first time they've done that but I asked having learnt a lot on here.

Serum free T4 level HI 24.4 pmol/L

I'm not really sure what they all mean but my Endo said I've to go back to using my usual dose of 100mc thyroxine.

But I'm still going to ask my doctor about some T3. Do you think that's a good idea with these results?

As for statins I'm not taking any more awful side effects.


Forgot to mention the comment on blood test sheet said: optimum TSH for patients on thyroxine is within reference range.


Unfortunately, re between the "optimum range" is really what keeps us from being well. I am led to believe that someone who has no thyroid gland dysfunction, the usual TSH is below 1. P.S. always quote the ranges in brackets to make it easier to comment.

The links within the link below may not work as it is archived but this is how we should be treated:-

I discuss suppression of the TSH in many parts of the book. However, to gain a thorough understanding of how the endocrinology specialty has misled the medical profession about TSH-suppressive doses of thyroid hormone, I refer you to Chapter 4.4, pages 859-898. The chapter’s title is "Adverse Effects of Excessive and Inadequate Thyroid Hormone." You’ll find that in that chapter—as in every chapter of the book—I use scientific evidence and logical discourse to show the truth of the matter. This approach, of course, differs distinctly from the endocrinology specialty’s scientifically-groundless, commercially-driven ex cathedra pronouncements about TSH suppression.

Our treatment team uses the TSH level only initially to help clarify a patient’s thyroid status. But during treatment, we completely ignore the level. The reason is that the TSH level is totally irrelevant to normalizing the patient’s whole body metabolism and relieving his or her suffering. The only clinical value of the TSH level is to see the effect of a particular dose of thyroid hormone on the pituitary gland’s "thyrotroph" (TSH-secreting)

Interesting topics at top of page.


Thanks Shaw's will read it.


High Homocysteine can be a better indicator of impending heart/stroke problems. Not a main stream medicine concept I have to say. Homocysteine was found in blocked arteries along with cholesterol - but as there was no money to be made out of pills for lowering Homocysteine ( Vit B's and Folic Acid ) they plumped for the cholesterol...and the rest is history. My Homocysteine had climbed up to 12 - since being on T3 it has reduced to 8 ( ideal number is 6 ) and the cholesterol is fine.

Enjoy your Early Grey tea.... :-)

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Hi Marz, The voice of common sense on statins! I have known about Homocysteine for a long time and always relied on B Complex to help in this case, so good to hear about it from someone else. Did not know about the Folic Acid though, but know that I am good in this, and that my B12 is good also. Janet.

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It's the LDL vs HDL you have to worry about. HDL has a protective effect. If your cholesterol is sky-high but has the right proportions of HDL to LDL you have a low risk of heart disease. Do you blood test results give you the breakdown?


Serum cholesterol hi 5.7 mol/L it was 8 last time so I've got it down a bit exercise I think and 1 5mg statin a week.

Serum HDL level 1.33 mol/L

Total cholesterol:HDL ratio hi 4.3


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