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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I agree with everything the previous poster just mentioned.

Cut out the daily ice cream, sweets and any junk food you may be eating. Reduce or eliminate wheat, high carb foods, and fruits that don't contain fiber (white grapes, fruit juices, etc).

Ask your doctor for a VAP test, homocysteine, vitamin D levels, and c-reactive protein. A regular cholesterol test is close to useless.

You can ask your doctor about taking Lovaza (or OTC fish oil) instead of a fibrate. And fish oil isn't gross... if it is, you are buying the wrong brand (or a rancid bottle). Good fish oil basically has little to no taste, or contains lemon flavoring.

High dose niacin or prescription Niaspan may be a better option than a statin or a fibrate, as it will help raise HDL much better than any other drug. But only take niacin under a doctor's care.

I suggest anyone on a fibrate research the mortality rates on those drugs -- you may not like what you see.
Yeah, go with oat bran for breakfast instead of yogurt + toast. Or try oat bran muffins (homemade), in moderation, but don't load them with sugar or bad things like that.

If you do eat yogurt, always go with plain, like the poster below just recommended.

I'd recommend dropping the toast, bananas, granola bars, corn, rice and potatoes. If you do go with rice, make sure it's brown rice. Mashed potatoes is pretty much a useless food, little nutritional value and lots of carbs.

Overall, your diet isn't that bad though. You may want to consider more leafy vegetables (garden salad, spinach). Wheat bread in moderation like you are doing is probably okay, but even better if you go with a low carb wheat bread -- Arnold's makes a decent one.

I'm not sure if you really need Trilipix on top of a statin plus fish oil. You may wish to ask your doctor about trying statin + fish oil along with diet/exercise changes, and see how it goes first. Fish oil at 2-3 grams/daily usually works quite well for trigs, better than most other medications.

HDL is tricky to raise sometimes. One little known fact is, as a person loses weight, their HDL can sometimes decrease. But after a while, once a person's weight levels out, HDL will rise again. Normalizing vitamin D levels into the 45-50 range can often raise HDL too.

A small piece of dark chocolate daily (one square) might help HDL a little.. Niaspan would help too. And don't forget to take CoQ10 with that statin.
Ok, so the cardiologist is preaching patience when it comes to the cholesterol numbers. Mentioned that if the Trilipix/Simvastatin combo along with exercise and weight loss haven't budged my numbers enough in 3-6 months, that we'll start looking at alternatives, such as Niaspan (probably Simcor to combine the Simvastatin I'm on with Niaspan).

I still get to go in for an echocardiogram and a treadmill test in 10 days, so here's hoping nothing negative shows up there!

I'll post back in a few months with any updates to my numbers or change in regimen.
Hi Starling,

The KYOLIC is very good to take. KYOLIC (garlic extract) has a blood thinning effect and helps a little with the cholesterol numbers. The Added Omega-3 in the Kyolic is also a big plus. If you have prescription Insurance I would definitely ask your doctor to prescribe LOVAZA. The price of LOVAZA is approx. 125.00 for only 100 (1000 mg soft-gels). The EPA/DHA is the highest currently available. One to Two pills a day is more than enough to lower your trigs. As far as the HDL is concerned the weight loss and diet will help some.
Red Wine and Walnuts are excellent to further raise HDL levels. The best way to make a big dent in your HDL numbers is to add NIACIN (at least 500 mg) a day. This will help to balance all your cholesterol numbers and improve other blood markers. Simvastatin and Niacin taken together have a dramatic effect in cleaning plaque from your arteries. The immediate release niacin is the safest to take. Keep away from Sustained or Extended release. These are the most toxic to the liver. The main side effect of NIACIN is a hot face and upper body flush. This means NIACIN is working to release impurities and improve blood circulation. It can feel a little scary but it's harmless. With Niacin you start very low than work your way up. For ex. I started Niacin at 50 mg a day. I purchased a small CVS Niacin bottle (100mg tab)and broke the tablet in half. I did this for a few days then I took 100mg for 3 more days than 150 for 2 days etc.. With these small amounts my HDL increased by almost 10 points. I take a prescription Niacin called NIACOR. It is immediate release and not too expensive. The other prescription form is NIASPAN (an Extended Release formula) which is very expensive. Another excellent OMEGA -3 fish oil is sold by CARLSON. This is the Cadillac of the fish oils.
If you have prescription coverage LOVAZA may be much cheaper.

The vitamin E in the KYOLIC is too low. You can benefit by taking an additional 400 iu of Vitamin E (Natural only) a day. For an extra cholesterol one-two punch add 1000 - 2000 mg a day of Vitamin C. These antioxidants scavenge free radicals and target oxidized LDL and Trig. particles.

Starling - The above information is only my opinion (of course). I do not mean to be pushing meds, supplements or wine etc. The information I provided helped improve my cholesterol and also helped my blood pressure...

P.S. I hope this information is helpful.......
No clue why HDL keeps dropping. Doctor says I may have to try Niaspan as his normal course of meds isn't helping the HDL number at all, despite weight loss and daily exercise. First things first, though...have to get that ol' gallbladder removed in a couple days. My GP says he wonders if that will help the chronically high triglycerides, too (not why it's coming out...I have gall stones and chronic symptoms of GB crappiness).

We'll see how the numbers look a month or two after my surgery, I guess.
Not that anyone's tracking this thread but me at this point, but here's an update.

Since my last post in July 2009, I had my gallbladder removed and my doctor has also switched me from Simvastatin and Trillipix to Simcor 1000/20 (20mg Simvastatin and 1g Niaspan). After approximately a year on the Simcor and nearly 2 years now of daily exercise, I've dropped more than 100lbs from my original weight of 314 (at 212.5 as of last Sunday) and am running 3-4 miles 5 or 6 days per week. I eat a diet that's pretty balanced with few processed foods and lots of fruits (oranges, clementines, apples, berries) and veggies (raw carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, etc) with some fish, lots of chicken and red meat once per week. Oh, and my starchy indulgence is a sweet potato (yam) 2-3 times per week with fat free cottage cheese and chipotle pepper. =)

Here's my numbers...there's still some work to do on the HDL, but I'm still hoping that once my weight loss stops (25 more pounds!), it's going to be at least into the 40's (fingers crossed):

TC = 126 (126 in 2009)
LDL = 74 (50)
HDL = 31 (19)
Tri = 107 (298)

As you can see, my total cholesterol has remained constant now, LDL has trended up but is well below 100, HDL is up quite a bit but still below 40 (ugh!), and the Trigs have dropped dramatically!

Hoping the last 25lbs will make a little more difference, but may also add back the fish oil to supplement the small amount of fish I actually eat.

Anyway...progress! And I LOVE running again after 15 years away from it! =)

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