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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Your numbers are high, but not so high that many people couldn't get them down with just lifestyle changes. It is hard to say if any one individual can do so, though, and it certainly depends upon your starting point. Are you close to your ideal weight? Do you get regular exercise? And what about that all-important diet? If you are already eating a low-saturated fat, low-trans-fat diet, eating lots of leafy greens and other vegetables and fruits and avoiding refined sugars and other refined foods, the chances of making major changes in your blood lipid profile are not great. But if your diet leaves much to be desired, you have a much better chance of improving the picture without medication.

My numbers were about comparable to yours. I got them down quite a bit with diet alone. (Good-bye ice cream and soda pop, hello oatmeal and salmon.) Unfortunately, I'm just not willing to exercise regularly enough, or I might have been able to avoid medication. I finally opted to take an OTC niacin, though, rather than go the statin route. I built up gradually to 750 mg. Endur-acin (a sustained release niacin), which got my TC down to 190 and LDL to 101. (The usual therapeutic dose is 1000-2000 mg. niacin.) A reminder, though, for anyone reading this and considering niacin. It is just as important to have regular liver enzyme tests on niacin as it is on a statin.

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