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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


Arizona, Hubble,

I respectfully disagree in part that cholesterol levels can be too low, and that part is only that the protective HDL can be too low. Examination of the predictive curves for heart disease are not J-shaped for the < 55 age group. Now, if you are talking overall mortality, including strokes, yes, there is a slight increase; however, the Japanese society has one of the lowest total cholesterol levels in the world, and to no surprise, the highest average life expectancy.

I wish that I had your lipid levels Arizona, because I might not have had a heart attack at age 35. My total at that time, right around the day of the MI was 133 mg/dL. Yes, the TG were near 150 and controlled by Tricor, and yes the HDL was 25 mg/dL. Certainly, there was years of abuse, sedentary lifestyle, nicotine that led to my demise. After the change to diet, my total C did drop down to 94 mg/dL (with almost 1:1 HDL: LDL). As time went on, my total C is now in the 130-150 mg/dL, but mainly because all this exercise :bouncing: has resulted in my HDL climbing to ~60 mg/dL.

At my worst, without meds, my HDL was near 25 mg/dL and my TG evaluated at 638 mg/dL with LDL not measured for that test (total est. 290 mg/dL). The best I can do without meds, keeping weight at normal BMI and running 5-10K a day is TG in the 30 mg/dL range, HDL in the low 60s, and LDL in the 80s. If I add Niacin to the mix (1500 mg), then I can bring the LDL down to the 60s and HDL to 70 mg/dL.

I read where you mentioned that at your worst, your HDL was 68 mg/dL. That is still in the top 5% among all individuals, and you did this with tobacco and not watching what you do. I think you said your highest HDL was in the 100s? Again, you are truly blessed, probably to the top 1-2%. From where you are, most of our cholesterol will look too low :D

Anyway Arizona, I do follow read your posts, watching for clues or tips that I can learn from you and apply to my life to improve my cholesterol (realizing full well that my dysfunctional system is probably mostly to blame).

Hubble, I agree with you in part, also, that if you have CHD, no cholesterol level can be too low. Going by stats in just about all of the heart disease studies, one can't do much better than that.

Where I disagree is when people become concerned about the total C getting too low. For many societies, the genetics may just have evolved to require that for best health the cholesterol has to be that low (e.g. Japanese) and that even totals in the 150 mg/dL may be at the higher end of their levels and indicative of increased heart disease risk. (What I am finding out from checking with current family members/relatives is that my ancestry is similar, where CHD occurs in those with seemingly normal total C's but is absent when the cholesterol levels are in the 100-130 mg/dL range). I feel the worry over too low total is similar to the concern we hear all the time about eating too much fish and as a result having too great of a mercury intake.... To name someone that has died of mercury poisoning from eating an overabundance of fish? I can't think of one, but I certainly can name a few people in my immediate family that have died of heart disease.

Hubble, I also noticed when you posted your latest result that your TG was 434 mg/dL--sounds like you are cursed the same way I am (or was) :eek: Although, your HDL is higher than mine ran when my TG were scorchingly high, but then again, your LDL are too...anyway...

I can tell you that when I was at 638 mg/dL, I did not drink any alcohol, and now, when I am in the 30s-50 mg/dL TG range, I do drink a few glasses of wine each night (or a little beer, Armagnac, etc.), including the night before my blood draws. The only time I avoid alcohol is when I am training up for a race, and even then, I just stop drinking for a week or two before the race. You had mentioned that you wanted to lose 20 lbs and increase exercise, and I found that those two factors, far above any dietary change, alcohol ingestion, or pill taking that I tried had a much, much, much (and I stress much) greater impact on getting improved lipids (and removing all type 2 diabetic/IGT symtptoms).

Good Luck on your test on the 24th--hopefully the weight loss and exercise has your lipid panels improved. My next go around is mid-July and I hoping to see HDL>LDL since I requested to add 1000 mg niacin back to my pill cocktail.





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