Lowering LDL through diet alone?

24

Replies

  • kizanne2
    kizanne2 Posts: 122 Member
    edited April 2019
    My mother on died of heart disease and my grandfather on my father side died of heart disease at 55. So yes there is some family history there.

    Myself I wouldn't want the statin side effects that with the legs but I"m seeing more research that indicates possible dementia as long term effects of statins. I'd rather have the heartattack than lose my mind.

    Now my family didn't eat well so I may not have the kind of strength of bad genes you have.

    I have metabolic syndrome, I'm short and older so losing weight is hard for me. Counting calories often times doesn't really work for me. I'm hoping they finish the research into stomach biomes. Moderate daily exercise does normally make it where I can lose 0.25 pound per week with reduced calories. My feet are messed up right now making exercise difficult but I"m still working at it.

    You seem to be losing weight. That should really help if you keep that up and depending on how far you have to left to go.

    Have you tried daily consumption of komboucha? It was a study in ducks but they added koumboucha to their water up to 25% and reduced some of the cholesterol components by up to 50%. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267249196_The_effect_of_feeding_fermented_kombucha_tea_on_HLD_LDL_and_total_cholesterol_levels_in_the_duck_bloods

    Yes I'm much more worried about the VLDL and CRP that just overall numbers. I'm currently eating healthy fats like salmon, walnuts, avacado. But probably next summer I will do a 40-60 day Ornish diet. Have you read about Ornish. My mom's heart surgeon, one of the best doctors I've met agree Ornish is great for actually reversing blockages (which is what the research supports) but people have trouble sticking to it. His original study was only like 3 weeks. I don't think I could do it for long periods of time but reversed some blockage. But I'm thinking every year or so doing a month or so to help reverse any I have. Right now I don't think I have much but a prevention isn't a bad thing right?
  • newmein2013
    newmein2013 Posts: 674 Member
    I’ve read about the Ornish Duet. I’m not really following any specific diet. But if I were to describe my diet, i would say it’s similar to Athens Mediterranean Diet and the Ornish Diet, just not as strict.

    I hadn’t heard about statins causing dementia. Great, yet another reason to refuse it.

    I wonder if u can do short workouts with resistance bands or dumbbells? Or maybe water aerobics?
    kizanne2 wrote: »
    My mother on died of heart disease and my grandfather on my father side died of heart disease at 55. So yes there is some family history there.

    Myself I wouldn't want the statin side effects that with the legs but I"m seeing more research that indicates possible dementia as long term effects of statins. I'd rather have the heartattack than lose my mind.

    Now my family didn't eat well so I may not have the kind of strength of bad genes you have.

    I have metabolic syndrome, I'm short and older so losing weight is hard for me. Counting calories often times doesn't really work for me. I'm hoping they finish the research into stomach biomes. Moderate daily exercise does normally make it where I can lose 0.25 pound per week with reduced calories. My feet are messed up right now making exercise difficult but I"m still working at it.

    You seem to be losing weight. That should really help if you keep that up and depending on how far you have to left to go.

    Have you tried daily consumption of komboucha? It was a study in ducks but they added koumboucha to their water up to 25% and reduced some of the cholesterol components by up to 50%. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267249196_The_effect_of_feeding_fermented_kombucha_tea_on_HLD_LDL_and_total_cholesterol_levels_in_the_duck_bloods

    Yes I'm much more worried about the VLDL and CRP that just overall numbers. I'm currently eating healthy fats like salmon, walnuts, avacado. But probably next summer I will do a 40-60 day Ornish diet. Have you read about Ornish. My mom's heart surgeon, one of the best doctors I've met agree Ornish is great for actually reversing blockages (which is what the research supports) but people have trouble sticking to it. His original study was only like 3 weeks. I don't think I could do it for long periods of time but reversed some blockage. But I'm thinking every year or so doing a month or so to help reverse any I have. Right now I don't think I have much but a prevention isn't a bad thing right?

  • newmein2013
    newmein2013 Posts: 674 Member
    Yes, now this is exactly what I’m talking about! The documentary doesn’t state that much about genetics but if heart disease can be reversed through a plant based diet, why are doctors pushing the meds so badly?!
    nowine4me wrote: »
    @GoodLardy
    Yes, it does sound similar. My doctors explain it as the genetics are too strong for the nutrition (or even weight loss) to bring it down to within normal range. I guess they feel I’m hitting my head against a brick wall. My cardiologist begged me years ago to at least go on the maintenance dose. I just couldn’t handle the muscle pain. I have a very difficult time understanding how in today’s world of high tech medicine & natural holistic healing, there isn’t a way to do this. Thanks for your response.

    I think this is a load of crap. Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger. For grins, please watch the movie Forks Over Knives and see a functional medicine professional.

  • newmein2013
    newmein2013 Posts: 674 Member
    True. That’s why my dr gave me 1 year to see how far I can get doing this through nutrition & exercise. Although his training says you need the meds to fight the genetic component, I’m sure he’s secretly hoping this works.

    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Yes, now this is exactly what I’m talking about! The documentary doesn’t state that much about genetics but if heart disease can be reversed through a plant based diet, why are doctors pushing the meds so badly?!
    nowine4me wrote: »
    @GoodLardy
    Yes, it does sound similar. My doctors explain it as the genetics are too strong for the nutrition (or even weight loss) to bring it down to within normal range. I guess they feel I’m hitting my head against a brick wall. My cardiologist begged me years ago to at least go on the maintenance dose. I just couldn’t handle the muscle pain. I have a very difficult time understanding how in today’s world of high tech medicine & natural holistic healing, there isn’t a way to do this. Thanks for your response.

    I think this is a load of crap. Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger. For grins, please watch the movie Forks Over Knives and see a functional medicine professional.

    Because doctors' long experience suggests that most people won't stick with dietary changes long enough for those to be effective.

    When, after refusing statins, I lost enough weight to correct my bad cholesterol/triglycerides/blood pressure, the staff at my doctors' office were very, very surprised. Stunned, even. Almost no one ever actually does it. (Lots of people here on MFP do. Not very many in everyday life.)

  • fishgutzy
    fishgutzy Posts: 2,807 Member
    Lowered my LDL, Raised the HDL:LDL ratio and lowered my triglycerides from over 300 down to 45 with no medications.
    Cut way down on carbs. Increased fatty meat and whole eggs intake.
    Doctor thought I was telling her what I cut down when I said "whole eggs, sausage, bacon, pork, steak ..."
  • newmein2013
    newmein2013 Posts: 674 Member
    Nice. Congrats! That happened to me years ago when I was on the Atkins diet. Do you have a family history of heart disease?
  • stephtra49
    stephtra49 Posts: 166 Member
    As a nurse and one with elevated cholesterol and triglycerides I get it. I have started to eat oatmeal every morning, started taking fish oil supplements and cutting back/out the fatty greasy foods. I also take a low dose statin. I’ve started back to walking at least 3 times a week. I will repeat my labs in July. Good luck to you!
  • amywagner1965
    amywagner1965 Posts: 1 Member
    I lost 50 pounds using Optavia plan. LDL actually didn’t go down. Dr stating must be genetic issue. Wants me to increase exercise then retest cholesterol in 6 months but if not lower then discuss meds. A friend told me to try the supplement Red Yeast Rice. It comes in pure form in capsule or powder to sprinkle on food. Im going to give it a try. Anyone here have any experience with that supplement?
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,082 Member
    edited February 8
    I lost 50 pounds using Optavia plan. LDL actually didn’t go down. Dr stating must be genetic issue. Wants me to increase exercise then retest cholesterol in 6 months but if not lower then discuss meds. A friend told me to try the supplement Red Yeast Rice. It comes in pure form in capsule or powder to sprinkle on food. Im going to give it a try. Anyone here have any experience with that supplement?

    Red Yeast Rice contains monacolin K which is a statin. Generally it is considered safe, but can also have some of the same side effects of a prescription statin. Also, as it is a supplement, it is unregulated, and there is no way to guarantee the quality or quantity of monacolin K in the supplement you choose.

    My mother has used it in the past and swears by it, however, at the same time she started dieting and exercising and lost weight...so it's really impossible to say if her blood work improved because of the Red Yeast Rice or because of improved diet, exercise, and weight loss...I'd personally lean towards the latter having a bigger impact. For myself, my diet and regular exercise make a huge difference in my blood work. I considered RYR at one point, but decided against it. I did take a supplement called Cholestoff for a bit, which is a supplement containing plant stanols and sterols, but no active statin ingredient.

    I had crazy high cholesterol years ago when I first started out with all of this good livin' stuff. It is also a hereditary issue for me and an uphill battle, but I was able to lower my LDL to optimal levels with diet, exercise, and losing weight. It is a pretty temperamental balance for me as if I get too far off plan diet and exercise wise, it starts going up again...but for the most part I've been able to keep it under control for almost a decade and certainly never even close to getting back to the levels I was at before. It is likely medication will be in my future at some point, but I'm putting that off as long as I can.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,787 Member
    I lost 50 pounds using Optavia plan. LDL actually didn’t go down. Dr stating must be genetic issue. Wants me to increase exercise then retest cholesterol in 6 months but if not lower then discuss meds. A friend told me to try the supplement Red Yeast Rice. It comes in pure form in capsule or powder to sprinkle on food. Im going to give it a try. Anyone here have any experience with that supplement?

    I looked into this when I had high LDL. A key Red Yeast Rice active ingredient is the same chemical that's in some prescription-drug statins. In a supplement - at least in the US - the dosage of the active ingredient is variable, unreliable, not certified, etc. There may be little/no active ingredient or crazy much, and it could vary from batch to batch even from the same company.

    This ingredient (prescription or in the supplement) can cause side effects. It can interact in negative ways with foods or other drugs (OTC or prescription). Again speaking about the US, the prescription drug will come with information about side effects, contraindications, drug/food interactions, etc. The supplement will come in a colorful package, probably with some bold claims (that are carefully worded to avoid legal liability) such as "supports heart health".

    If you've considering this, I'd encourage you to seek out information from authoritative sources (major cardiac medical centers, NIH, etc.).

    I decided not to take it.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,830 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I lost 50 pounds using Optavia plan. LDL actually didn’t go down. Dr stating must be genetic issue. Wants me to increase exercise then retest cholesterol in 6 months but if not lower then discuss meds. A friend told me to try the supplement Red Yeast Rice. It comes in pure form in capsule or powder to sprinkle on food. Im going to give it a try. Anyone here have any experience with that supplement?

    I looked into this when I had high LDL. A key Red Yeast Rice active ingredient is the same chemical that's in some prescription-drug statins. In a supplement - at least in the US - the dosage of the active ingredient is variable, unreliable, not certified, etc. There may be little/no active ingredient or crazy much, and it could vary from batch to batch even from the same company.

    This ingredient (prescription or in the supplement) can cause side effects. It can interact in negative ways with foods or other drugs (OTC or prescription). Again speaking about the US, the prescription drug will come with information about side effects, contraindications, drug/food interactions, etc. The supplement will come in a colorful package, probably with some bold claims (that are carefully worded to avoid legal liability) such as "supports heart health".

    If you've considering this, I'd encourage you to seek out information from authoritative sources (major cardiac medical centers, NIH, etc.).

    I decided not to take it.

    @AnnPT77: Oh boy.

    My 84 yo Mom's overall cholesterol was quite high due to her very high good cholesterol. Her bad cholesterol was fine. Her doctor wanted her to take a statin, which made no sense to me. (I wasn't living with her yet then; these days I go with her to some doctor's appointment, especially when I have questions.)

    She didn't want to take a statin due to the side effects. I remember looking up rice yeast rice at the time and cautioning her against it, but...

    She's been having problems with a leg and has had several different diagnosis - patella dysfunction disorder, arthritis flare, something else. She's been in PT for that.

    She's also having problems with an arm from when she tried to move an air conditioner herself instead of asking one of us to do it. That was weeks ago.

    Can you suggest a link or two about RYR for her to read?

    Thanks!
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,787 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I lost 50 pounds using Optavia plan. LDL actually didn’t go down. Dr stating must be genetic issue. Wants me to increase exercise then retest cholesterol in 6 months but if not lower then discuss meds. A friend told me to try the supplement Red Yeast Rice. It comes in pure form in capsule or powder to sprinkle on food. Im going to give it a try. Anyone here have any experience with that supplement?

    I looked into this when I had high LDL. A key Red Yeast Rice active ingredient is the same chemical that's in some prescription-drug statins. In a supplement - at least in the US - the dosage of the active ingredient is variable, unreliable, not certified, etc. There may be little/no active ingredient or crazy much, and it could vary from batch to batch even from the same company.

    This ingredient (prescription or in the supplement) can cause side effects. It can interact in negative ways with foods or other drugs (OTC or prescription). Again speaking about the US, the prescription drug will come with information about side effects, contraindications, drug/food interactions, etc. The supplement will come in a colorful package, probably with some bold claims (that are carefully worded to avoid legal liability) such as "supports heart health".

    If you've considering this, I'd encourage you to seek out information from authoritative sources (major cardiac medical centers, NIH, etc.).

    I decided not to take it.

    @AnnPT77: Oh boy.

    My 84 yo Mom's overall cholesterol was quite high due to her very high good cholesterol. Her bad cholesterol was fine. Her doctor wanted her to take a statin, which made no sense to me. (I wasn't living with her yet then; these days I go with her to some doctor's appointment, especially when I have questions.)

    She didn't want to take a statin due to the side effects. I remember looking up rice yeast rice at the time and cautioning her against it, but...

    She's been having problems with a leg and has had several different diagnosis - patella dysfunction disorder, arthritis flare, something else. She's been in PT for that.

    She's also having problems with an arm from when she tried to move an air conditioner herself instead of asking one of us to do it. That was weeks ago.

    Can you suggest a link or two about RYR for her to read?

    Thanks!

    How about:

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-red-yeast-rice/art-20363074
    https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/red-yeast-rice

    If you're looking for ones that are "no! no! no!", these are not that. These are more like "caution!". This kind of info was enough for me to say "why would I take that?". (I didn't want to take a statin, either; and ended up not needing it post-weight-loss.)

    This may be an interesting take (it's a letter about a study that supports RYR use, so maybe it's not useful to you either, but it has some interesting reasons about why statins might be preferable to RYR:

    https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)60649-6/fulltext

    FWIW, I've read some articles that express concern about high HDL levels, i.e., suggest that there may be a "too high". My understanding of this is a little vague, but it seems that there are some co-existing factors that may make higher HDL more concerning. I've done some reading about this, because my HDL is high (85.4 on a reference scale of 40-60 being normal range, at recent test), so my total cholesterol is high (203, ref. range 0-200), even though LDL is reasonable (100.8, ref. range 0-131). I don't have a good cite to give you about this, because everything I've read has been kind of hand-wave-y. It feels like a newer finding that isn't fully sorted yet, but I'm not a medical professional. My doctor isn't concerned, but I'm not sure he's right. 😆

    It does seem, from some of those articles, that a statin may be suggested in the cases where high HDL is perceived as concerning. Murky territory, to me, though.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,830 Member
    Thanks @AnnPT77!
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,861 Member
    Some foods known to decrease LDL are healthy fats like walnuts and foods with soluble fiber like oatmeal and apple with the skin on. Studies have been done on people who eat nuts daily, and they tend to have higher HDL and lower LDL than others. Just be careful because nuts are calorie dense. Try to eliminate animal fats from your diet as well.
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,861 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I lost 50 pounds using Optavia plan. LDL actually didn’t go down. Dr stating must be genetic issue. Wants me to increase exercise then retest cholesterol in 6 months but if not lower then discuss meds. A friend told me to try the supplement Red Yeast Rice. It comes in pure form in capsule or powder to sprinkle on food. Im going to give it a try. Anyone here have any experience with that supplement?

    I looked into this when I had high LDL. A key Red Yeast Rice active ingredient is the same chemical that's in some prescription-drug statins. In a supplement - at least in the US - the dosage of the active ingredient is variable, unreliable, not certified, etc. There may be little/no active ingredient or crazy much, and it could vary from batch to batch even from the same company.

    This ingredient (prescription or in the supplement) can cause side effects. It can interact in negative ways with foods or other drugs (OTC or prescription). Again speaking about the US, the prescription drug will come with information about side effects, contraindications, drug/food interactions, etc. The supplement will come in a colorful package, probably with some bold claims (that are carefully worded to avoid legal liability) such as "supports heart health".

    If you've considering this, I'd encourage you to seek out information from authoritative sources (major cardiac medical centers, NIH, etc.).

    I decided not to take it.

    @AnnPT77: Oh boy.

    My 84 yo Mom's overall cholesterol was quite high due to her very high good cholesterol. Her bad cholesterol was fine. Her doctor wanted her to take a statin, which made no sense to me. (I wasn't living with her yet then; these days I go with her to some doctor's appointment, especially when I have questions.)

    She didn't want to take a statin due to the side effects. I remember looking up rice yeast rice at the time and cautioning her against it, but...

    She's been having problems with a leg and has had several different diagnosis - patella dysfunction disorder, arthritis flare, something else. She's been in PT for that.

    She's also having problems with an arm from when she tried to move an air conditioner herself instead of asking one of us to do it. That was weeks ago.

    Can you suggest a link or two about RYR for her to read?

    Thanks!

    I hope you don’t mind me chiming in. I work with a few cardiologists regularly and have asked them about this. They have told me that high HDL in women is excellent. If that’s the reason her total cholesterol is high, then she does not need medication as long as her LDL is within a good range.
  • NYPhotographer2021
    NYPhotographer2021 Posts: 502 Member
    I've bookmarked this thread because I too, have been told my LDL levels are too high and my doctor wanted to put me on a statin. He prescribed it but I refuse to take it. Too many side effects. I agree with someone up thread who would rather suffer a heart attack than get dementia.

    I've cut down on eating whole eggs and trying to keep my daily cholesterol levels under 300. I'm getting pretty good at it, but I really miss my eggs. Egg whites just don't give me the same satisfaction. So I read with great interest that someone up thread states they eat whole eggs. Please tell me I can eat whole eggs again!
  • nooshi713
    nooshi713 Posts: 4,861 Member
    Dietary cholesterol does not increase your cholesterol. Saturated fat does.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,082 Member
    edited February 9
    I've bookmarked this thread because I too, have been told my LDL levels are too high and my doctor wanted to put me on a statin. He prescribed it but I refuse to take it. Too many side effects. I agree with someone up thread who would rather suffer a heart attack than get dementia.

    I've cut down on eating whole eggs and trying to keep my daily cholesterol levels under 300. I'm getting pretty good at it, but I really miss my eggs. Egg whites just don't give me the same satisfaction. So I read with great interest that someone up thread states they eat whole eggs. Please tell me I can eat whole eggs again!

    I eat whole eggs pretty much every single day. Numerous studies have shown the dietary cholesterol has little to no impact on blood serum cholesterol levels as your liver production either increases or decreases production of cholesterol with increased or decreased consumption of dietary cholesterol. Your liver produces cholesterol...so basically if you eat more dietary cholesterol, your liver produces less...if you eat less dietary cholesterol, you liver produces more as cholesterol is necessary for good health...but like anything, a balancing act. If anything, eating eggs has shown to increase HDL cholesterol which is a good thing.

    The primary driver of high cholesterol is being overweight and living an inactive, more or less sedentary lifestyle. High consumption of saturated animal fats may also contribute, though you can find studies that go either way...in general I keep my saturated fats at or below the RDA maximum. Genetics is also a major contributing factor to high cholesterol.

    For myself, just maintaining a healthy weight isn't enough to overcome my genetics...in my case regular cardiovascular exercise is huge in maintaining healthy cholesterol numbers. Anytime I get lazy, my numbers start to creep up...not usually dangerously high or to a point that my Dr. wants to put me on medication...but definitely a bit high (LDL around 140-145 or so). Get back into the groove and my LDL drops back down into the 90s. I've also noticed over the years that having at least a few days per week of more strenuous cardiovascular exercise seems to also make a difference. I had a period awhile back when I wasn't really doing much besides walking 2-3 miles most days and only occasionally getting out on my bike and holding a steady, healthy weight...despite moving most days, my LDL still started to rise...added some more moderate to strenuous work on the bike and it went back down.

    Unfortunately, my Dr. decided he no longer wanted to do general practice and moved full time to cardiology (he was splitting time)...so I need to find a new one. He was great because he generally made sure I got into see him 2-3 times per year to get things checked out...sometimes 4. Insurance companies don't like that much, but he was always able to somehow write it up as a necessary precaution given my family history and my own. My dad passed away at the age of 61 due to a "widow maker" heart attack in the middle of nowhere...got air lifted out of the desert, but died in flight. His side of the family has a history of such things.