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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

hightop raven,

According to the numbers you provided (HDL, LDL, Triglycerides), your total cholesterol should be 256, not 282. Your HDL is pretty good, and your triglycerides are excellent. It's just that your LDL is high, which is driving up your total number. Is a calculated LDL of 190 complete justification for you to be placed on a lifelong regimen of statin drugs? No, I don't think so, and I don't blame you for hesitating. A calculated LDL really doesn't tell you all that much anyway. LDL consists of both large particles (known as pattern A), and small dense particles (known as pattern B). Now, if your doctor would only take the time to measure your LDL, he would be able to tell whether you are primarily pattern A or pattern B. Pattern B (small dense LDL particles) is the most harmful, while pattern A is largely benign and not nearly as problematic. I can tell you that people with low triglycerides usually have higher amounts of pattern A LDL and lesser amounts of the more villainous pattern B. And judging from your excellent triglyceride level, it would be to your advantage to have this determination made.

Also keep in mind the fact that LDL itself only becomes a problem once it becomes oxidized. That is why it is always a good idea to take antioxidant supplements, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, selenium, etc. Niacin would also be a very good supplement for you to take. It is very effective at increasing HDL. At the same time, in addition to helping to lower total LDL, it promotes a favorable shift in LDL particle size towards that of pattern A, which is what you want. While statins are great at lowering LDL, unlike niacin, they do not increase overall particle size.

If your doctor is unyielding, and is either incapable or unwilling to work with you through alternatives other than statins, then I would find a doctor who will. You are still young. This is not an immediate crisis, and you are most certainly entitled to explore other options first. Your numbers are not so badly out of balance that they can't be improved through much less drastic means. And not only that. You still don't have sufficient information on your LDL.

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