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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index


Hypothetically speaking, it would appear possible that, by simply plugging a higher triglyceride value into the equation, that you would be able to arrive at a lower LDL. This is assuming, however, that your other numbers remain constant; for example, your HDL and total cholesterol. In the real world, however, things don't usually work out quite that way. Besides, assuming that your total cholesterol and HDL remained constant, in order for your LDL to drop 20 points (from 175 to 155), it would require a 100 point increase in your triglycerides (from 250 to 350). Approximately 20% of your total triglyceride value is comprised of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), which is even more harmful than your LDL. So, such a trade-off would not be to your advantage.

The most telling effects you should experience from a low-carb diet should be an increase in your HDL, and a significant drop in triglycerides. How much of an overall impact it will have on your total cholesterol and LDL is hard to say, but many people witness an improvement in that respect as well.

I have personally found supplements to be highly beneficial for increasing HDL. Also keep in mind the fact that LDL in and of itself may not necessarily present as much of a threat as you may think, or have been told. In fact, a substance known as lipoprotein(a), which resembles LDL, may present a risk which is ten times greater than an elevated LDL. Ironically, this is seldom measured and included in most lab reports. Maybe it's because there still aren't any drugs which are capable of lowering it. But supplemental high doses of vitamin C can bring it back into the safe range, along with niacin. In addition, niacin has the ability to promote a more favorable shift towards larger LDL particle size, rendering it less harmful. Also, high doses of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E, can minimize oxidative damage to the LDL molecule.

Since everyone is different, it's impossible to predict to what extent the supplements will influence your numbers. Low doses are generally not very effective, so most people would need to take higher doses. For example, in order to really derive any substantial benefits from vitamin C, you should probably be taking at least 2,000mg/day in divided doses. Vitamin E should be taken in its natural form, at a minimum of 400 units per day, and preferably closer to 800 units. I can't say how many fish oil capsules would be most beneficial for you, but I wouldn't be afraid to take much more than just one or two. In regards to niacin, you really should not exceed 1000mg/day unless you are doing so under a doctor's care.

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