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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

mach8 - When I couldn't get my cholesterol down enough with diet alone, I finally decided to add Enduracin (a sustained-release OTC niacin), but I wanted to take only the very [B]minimum [/B] amount necessary. My thinking was that the lower the dose, the smaller the risk of dangerous side effects. So for the first three months I only took 250 mg. (plus some other supplements I'll discuss later.) That took my TC from 247 to around 220. My doctor wanted it lower, so I increased the niacin to 500 mg, which brought my TC to 202. My doc still wasn't happy, so I increased it to 750 mg, which brought it to 190. I just wanted to point out that for [B]some people[/B], a cholesterol level like yours can be brought under control with considerably less niacin than 2 grams a day.

Along with the TC level changes, my original LDL of 158 went down to 101 on the 750 mg dose, my HDL increased from 62 to 72, my TC/HDL ratio decreased from 4.0 to 2.6, and my triglycerides decreased from 133 to 87.

What else did I do to achieve these results in addition to taking niacin? I made dietary changes, reducing my potatoes, pasta, white rice, white bread consumption to near zero. I substituted legumes (most frequently a bean salad or bean, pea or lentil soup) and homemade oat bran biscuits and muffins for my starchy foods. I decreased my meat consumption, and substituted tuna, shrimp, or salmon at least a couple of days a week. I hadn't been eating much beef previously, so this is not a change, but I was eating very little beef, mostly chicken or turkey for my meats. I reduced my consumption of fatty cheeses to near zero. (That was really a tough one for this cheese-lover!) At this time, I was eating close to ZERO egg yolks, though I did eat a fair number of egg whites.

Now for the supplements I took. I have no idea how much these contributed to my changed lipid profile, but these are things which potentially could have contributed and therefore reduced the amount of niacin required to do the job. I took three one-gram fish oil capsules daily (as recommended by my doctor), I took two 300 mg EP Pantethine tablets daily, and I took a 400 mg EP Phytosterols tablet before each meal in which I had shrimp, cheese, or a fair amount of other dietary cholesterol. Again, my thinking was that, though these supplements might cost more than just increasing the dose of niacin, the risk of dangerous side effects was lower, and they might, in fact, help to lower cholesterol.

Maybe you can find some ideas in what I did to help you.

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