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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Reducing the numbers you have to levels the doctors deem optimal these days would be extremely difficult with lifestyle changes alone, unless you presently have a really bad diet and are overweight, too, and are willing to make drastic changes. But on rare occasions, I've seen it done. The problem with starting a cholesterol-lowering medication without trying lifestyle changes alone first is that you will never know how much you could have changed it without the drug. If you make lifestyle changes while on the drug, the doctor will attribute most of the improvement to the drug - and in the majority of cases, he'll be right.

So if you get your LDL down to 90, unless you have also made major lifestyle changes, your LDL will likely go right back up to where it was previously after you drop the drug. If you did make major lifestyle changes, it will likely go back up to somewhere between the "before" and "after" figures.

A daily multi-vitamin will not make your LDL go down. Fish oil capsules (or eating fish two or three times a week) will probably reduce your risk of heart attack, whether or not this makes the numbers come down. Niacin (vitamin B3) in high doses can make LDL and trigs go down and HDL go up, but it carries the risk of hepatoxicity, so you would need your liver enzymes checked regularly on it, just as you would on a statin. I've chosen to go the niacin route myself, taking Enduracin, an OTC sustained release niacin.

If you are eating a typical American diet, making dietary changes alone could bring your numbers down a lot, but maybe not enough. JMHO.

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