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Is there a best cholesterol medication?

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Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Old 09-07-12, 01:19 PM
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Is there a best cholesterol medication?

So after a recent blood test (after they broke hundreds of needles before I gave them one I happen to have from Krypton) it turns out my Cholesterol is like 280 or something... which is bad. So I've got to go on some medication but some have side effects, some more effective than others, etc.. Just wondering what has worked for everyone else.

I know it can vary from individual to individual but I enjoy nothing more than putting my private life out there and following medical advice from strangers.

I'm not sure why it's so high. I've cut down my Jack-In-The-Box taco intake from 8 a day down to 6.. what more can I do?
Old 09-07-12, 01:26 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

The best medication is a change of diet. I haven't been able to find any studies that convince me that taking medication to lower your cholesterol reduces your risk of heart disease.

Yes, it reduces your cholesterol, but there's no compelling evidence that this helps any, when you do it with medication.

I reduced my blood cholesterol by switching from margarine to butter (yes, that's in the right order) and eliminating all "lite" foods. If I eat fat, it's the real thing. My body seems much happier with that.
Old 09-07-12, 01:52 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
The best medication is a change of diet. I haven't been able to find any studies that convince me that taking medication to lower your cholesterol reduces your risk of heart disease.

Yes, it reduces your cholesterol, but there's no compelling evidence that this helps any, when you do it with medication.

I reduced my blood cholesterol by switching from margarine to butter (yes, that's in the right order) and eliminating all "lite" foods. If I eat fat, it's the real thing. My body seems much happier with that.
Hmmm.. Well he didn't really say much about my diet. He focused more on exercise and taking the medication to lower the cholesterol. He said even with eating only the best stuff it would lower my cholesterol only 15% and I'd still be way above where I need to be. So that's why I need the meds. Trust me I'm not wild about taking medication

Thanks for the tip and we do use butter and I don't eat any light stuff. But I'm trying to cut down on salt.. maybe that'll help a bit.
Old 09-07-12, 01:56 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Sometimes diet doesn't do it. Any of the statins are the best. If you have side effects, it will happen in the first week, and be headache, leg cramps, etc. Most do fine, but it is the best. I had the side effects, so I am on the much less effective, and bigger pain in the butt, Colestopal (or some such name). So instead of a tiny pill I just take in the morning, I take two 1 gram pills, three times a day.

If you don't have the side effects, the statins are a fucking miracle drug.
Old 09-07-12, 02:22 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

I would still try exercise and change of diet first. It may be more effective than your doctor thinks.

I suspect that doctors are pessimistic about results that depend on the patient doing anything more complicated than taking a pill, because most people won't stick with it. They sort of give it a try, then lose interest.

If you look up cholesterol lowering diets, you'll find a lot of outdated crap about cutting out egg yolks, bacon and cheese. It turns out that switching to substitutes doesn't help. It's better to simply aim for less fat and more fiber, overall. Change to other foods if you think you're getting too much fat in your breakfast.

The most recent information I have shows that most of the "fad" foods, such as oat bran and soy, don't really have a significant effect. They add fiber, but are no more effective than any other fiber foods. Eat what you like the taste of, it will be easier to keep it up.

Stay away from substitutes. If you want cream cheese, have the real thing, not the "fat free" version. Just don't have so much. Substitutes are gross perversions of real foods made for people who want to change their diet without changing their diet.

You may find you do better with all natural foods, and will probably want to stay away from HFCS. There's a lot of individual variation in how your body will react to different things. For example, the standard advice says to cut back on cheese, but I eat plenty of it, but my cholesterol has not gone back up. (real cheese, of course, not that "cheese food" stuff)

And, get more exercise. *sigh* That can't be helped.

Of course, that's just advice from a weirdo on the internet, you may want to do some research yourself.
Old 09-07-12, 02:29 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Once you go on a statin like Lipitor, you go on it for life. Just keep that in mind. It's the #1 drug in the world for a reason. So hope that you don't experience any side effects when you start. Anecdotally, my mom's been on Lipitor for years and years with no side effects.

Full disclosure: I worked in R&D at Pfizer but had nothing to do with Lipitor.
Old 09-07-12, 02:30 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

So OP, what were your individual numbers like?

My total is 185 but my LDL was a little high and my HDL was a little low. My new younger doctor was trying to get me to start Lovastatin. Sorry, no, not at age 37 with a total cholesterol under 200. Besides the side effects Dave mentioned I've read numerous stories about memory problems associated with it as well. That I don't need. They say statins would be prescribed even more often than they already are if not for the common side effects. Also read a large percentage of people who start statins go off them within 6 months for various reasons. Just make sure you do some research.

I'm going to the diet and exercise route with the emphasis on exercise. I'm leery of taking any drugs at this point especially ones that come off as "miracle drugs". My father died in his late 50's from liver complications due to taking a "miracle" diabetes drug for 18 months. It was eerily similar to the plot of The Fugitive remake the way things went down.
Old 09-07-12, 02:30 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

We have been conditioned to panic at cholesterol over 200, when you really want to look at your HDL and LDL. HDL should be high and LDL low. That's more important.

The best natural cures for cholesterol are Niacin, vitamin B3, and Guggol, an Indian herb. I've used both and seen dramatic reductions.
Old 09-07-12, 02:36 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Good point Traxan. I believe the ratio of HDL/LDL is also important. But that 200 number helps sell the drug.
Old 09-07-12, 02:42 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
So OP, what were your individual numbers like?
That, sir, is a HIPAA violation!

But what the heck.

Cholesterol 282 (should be <200 )
Triglyceride 173 (should be <150 )
HDL 40 (should be >/=40 )
LDL 207 (should be <100 )
Cholesterol/High Density Lipoprotein 7.1 (should be <5.0 )

So my LDL is lookin' pretty bad. My guess is it's so out of whack that's why he wants to get me on the medication. So I think I'm a better candidate for the medication than you are.
Old 09-07-12, 02:42 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

I'm not a doctor, but my opinion would be to spend 6 months seriously changing eating habits and getting 30-45 minutes of exercise most days of the week and see what happens with another test. I'll bet the numbers move just fine that way.

I mean that is high LDL, but if you were serious about eating a lot of JITB or things like that, it's not surprising. If you get on a healthy diet that limits cholesterol intake and start exercising more, I doubt it won't make a difference.
Old 09-07-12, 02:44 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by Traxan View Post
We have been conditioned to panic at cholesterol over 200, when you really want to look at your HDL and LDL. HDL should be high and LDL low. That's more important.

The best natural cures for cholesterol are Niacin, vitamin B3, and Guggol, an Indian herb. I've used both and seen dramatic reductions.
Yes, Niacin is quite helpful. Get the kind with inositol added to it (or a timed release version, if that works better for you) so you don't get hot flashes.

I don't know about B3 or Guggol, but I have seen the Niacin work.
Old 09-07-12, 02:45 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
I'm not a doctor, but my opinion would be to spend 6 months seriously changing eating habits and getting 30-45 minutes of exercise most days of the week and see what happens with another test. I'll bet the numbers move just fine that way.
Well I sort of did that. I got bad readings a couple of years ago and changed my diet a bit.. cut out a lot of fast foods, exercised a bit more (not enough).. tried to be a bit better to myself. Those numbers are actually worse than last time (except for the HDL .. that got better).
Old 09-07-12, 02:48 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
The best medication is a change of diet. I haven't been able to find any studies that convince me that taking medication to lower your cholesterol reduces your risk of heart disease.

Yes, it reduces your cholesterol, but there's no compelling evidence that this helps any, when you do it with medication.

I reduced my blood cholesterol by switching from margarine to butter (yes, that's in the right order) and eliminating all "lite" foods. If I eat fat, it's the real thing. My body seems much happier with that.
Butter so much better for you than margarine. More people should know this.
Old 09-07-12, 02:49 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Whoa! That is a seriously high LDL. What is your diet like? Like, what are typical meals?
Old 09-07-12, 03:08 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
Whoa! That is a seriously high LDL. What is your diet like? Like, what are typical meals?
I don't really have a typical. I really mix it up. Some mornings I'll just have a bowl of cereal like Raisin Bran, other mornings I'll have some eggs, or some oatmeal, or some fruit.. heck I never know. Lunch is whatever they are selling in the cafeteria but they pride themselves on "healthy" meals down there (today I have soup and a roll) for dinner usually chicken, fish, or steak. I love steak but I've been trying to not have it so much. Mix a hamburger or something in there every now and then but I get the small ones not some super double decker thing.

I don't eat vegetables. They grow out of the ground and come from the devil.
Old 09-07-12, 03:33 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
I don't really have a typical. I really mix it up. Some mornings I'll just have a bowl of cereal like Raisin Bran, other mornings I'll have some eggs, or some oatmeal, or some fruit.. heck I never know. Lunch is whatever they are selling in the cafeteria but they pride themselves on "healthy" meals down there (today I have soup and a roll) for dinner usually chicken, fish, or steak. I love steak but I've been trying to not have it so much. Mix a hamburger or something in there every now and then but I get the small ones not some super double decker thing.

I don't eat vegetables. They grow out of the ground and come from the devil.
That's not that terrible. I was hoping you were going to say you eat a half a loaf of bread a day plus ice cream or something. Sugar/carbs do raise LDL.
Old 09-07-12, 03:34 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
My total is 185 but my LDL was a little high and my HDL was a little low. My new younger doctor was trying to get me to start Lovastatin. Sorry, no, not at age 37 with a total cholesterol under 200.
My doctor put me on them at age 40. Too young in my mind, but he said that you do it young so that you don't have the problems later. I said, "So, instead of a bypass at age 60 when I can come through it just fine, I'll need one when I'm 80 and you'll say I'm too old to survive one?"

He didn't have a really good answer to that.
Old 09-07-12, 03:48 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Well I'm about to turn 38 so I guess I'll see where I'm at in a couple years.
Old 09-07-12, 04:14 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

I remember a few years back, the medical media was freaking out about kids with high cholesterol! Too many hot dogs! Make school lunches healthier! Freak! Freak! Freak!

It turned out they had no idea what was a normal cholesterol level for children, but were simply interpolating. They were wrong.

Until recently, people under 40 didn't get their cholesterol checked regularly. So, I wonder how accurate the figures on comparing cholesterol levels at 40 to heart disease at 60?

There's a study going on right now, (won't be finished for another eight years) trying to find out if there are some people who simply run high, and whether or not forcing the levels down with medication helps. This is based on the growing suspicion that, while there is a correlation between high cholesterol levels and heart disease, it isn't causal.

Not that the drug companies want to hear that!
Old 09-07-12, 04:40 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Oatmeal with Coconut Oil(a couple of tablespoons in your Oatmeal) every morning. It will drop and your "good" Cholesterol will be good too. Coconut Oil is no longer the bad guy of oils now that they've really put some studying into it.. We just use regular Quaker Oats and some Coconut oil.

http://rikishore.com/2011/07/lowerin...for-breakfast/
Old 09-07-12, 05:20 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Been on Zocor(generic ) for almost 6 yrs. Been keeping it at about 160.
Old 09-07-12, 05:45 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Well it turns out I'm going to be prescribed atorvastatin (aka lipitor) .. I guess we'll see what happens.

If I start posting anything crazy or unreasonable in the future please let me know right away


Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
Oatmeal with Coconut Oil(a couple of tablespoons in your Oatmeal) every morning. It will drop and your "good" Cholesterol will be good too. Coconut Oil is no longer the bad guy of oils now that they've really put some studying into it.. We just use regular Quaker Oats and some Coconut oil.

http://rikishore.com/2011/07/lowerin...for-breakfast/
That sounds good - even without cholesterol issues Thanks
Old 09-07-12, 06:37 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

a statin (lipitor, crestor, simvastatin, etc) is best to reduce LDL.
Old 09-07-12, 07:18 PM
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Re: Is there a best cholesterol medication?

Statins reduced my cholesterol, but I still had high triglycerides. I use 1 gram of fish oil and 500mg of niacin to reduce triglycerides.

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