Cholesterol: How low should you go? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-13-2003, 03:19 PM
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http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/condi....ap/index.html



Sadly this article doesn't even mention diet, but it does say that cholesterol levels should be kept as low as possible. Of course people would rather pump themselves full of drugs than adjust their lifestyle.
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#2 Old 11-13-2003, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Peebs View Post

Of course people would rather pump themselves full of drugs than adjust their lifestyle.

Why fix the problem when you can put more money into the pockets of the lovely pharmacuetical companies?



People are idiots.
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#3 Old 11-13-2003, 06:30 PM
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People also tend to be lazy
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#4 Old 11-13-2003, 06:38 PM
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Dude, my cholesterol is so low my doctor was impressed. It dropped around 40 or so in the first six months I was vegan.
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#5 Old 11-13-2003, 07:30 PM
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I had to have my blood tested a month ago and found out my total cholesterol is 90. The nurse said it was the lowest she'd ever seen.
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#6 Old 11-13-2003, 08:25 PM
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Wow, you guys are the lowest I've ever heard. I'm trying to combat my once 230 and have it down to around 180 by eating mostly veggies. My father in law started taking cholesterol medication after a measure of around 300 but was otherwise a picture of health. Within a year of daily cholesterol meds he started losing weight but his docs couldn't find anything wrong with him. After months of complaining of lower back pain and losing weight they finally diagnosed him with pancreatic and liver cancer, and he was dead in 6 mos. even with chemo. None of us have any doubt that it was the cholesterol meds that caused it but of course you'll NEVER get a doc to agree with that.



When my doc told me he'd like to start me on that stuff I told him to forget it, I'd rather have a coronary than waste away like he did. I'm doing my best to fight it with diet. So far it's been pretty successful.
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#7 Old 11-13-2003, 08:39 PM
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My girlfriend found out that she has high cholesterol recently (even though she's a vegetarian--gasp! Seriously though, I was surprised). Immediately, the doctor tried to prescribe drugs. She asked for other suggestions, and the doctor suggested some--improve the diet and exercise, but then said that wouldn't work and she should go on the drugs. My girlfriend said no and is trying a vegan diet for 6 months to see if it helps.
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#8 Old 11-13-2003, 09:02 PM
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VIO, you know I'm about convinced that heredity has more of an impact on cholesterol levels than anything else. It could be that your girlfriend has it in her genetic makeup somehow, though I do think that diet can significantly help in many cases. Please let me know how she progresses, this is a subject of real interest to me . . .
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#9 Old 11-13-2003, 09:41 PM
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My doctor told me it was more likely that genetics was responsible for low cholesterol, but that didn't explain the sudden drop from high 160s/low 170s to 118 in six months. That drop could only have come from my adopting a vegan diet.
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#10 Old 11-13-2003, 09:51 PM
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Heredity is a factor, but it can be overcome by not eating ANY cholesterol. Someone who drinks milk and eats eggs and cheese is still eating lots of cholesterol.



Vegans have an average cholesterol level of 128 mg/dl. In the world's largest study on heart disease, no one ever had a heart attack with cholesterol below 150 mg/dl.



Also, many plant foods, including soy, actually lower cholesterol and help clean the arteries.
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#11 Old 11-13-2003, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grantith View Post

Why fix the problem when you can put more money into the pockets of the lovely pharmacuetical companies?



People are idiots.



Good point. The study was funded by Pfizer, and *shock* they found that Lipitor was the best drug.
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#12 Old 11-13-2003, 10:01 PM
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I had vary high cholesterol 210. i Got off the meds and chage to a veggie

diet and now it 123. so diet dose work. If you work at it .
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#13 Old 11-14-2003, 09:15 AM
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ive been on medication for my high cholesterol since i was about 12 years old. Im now 27. I get tested at least 3 times a year. Ive been vegetarian for over 6 years (rarely ate eggs in that time, and not much cheese either). When my family found out about my cholesterol, we adopted a very low fat diet, which did lower my cholesterol dramatically. It was Extremely high when we first found out what it was, and for many years now its been around the 7 mark. (sorry, i dont have the american conversion rate). Sometimes i feel bad about taking the medication, and i think i should just stop. But mine is definately hereditary (my dad dropped dead at 40) - its called Familial Hypercholesterolemia.
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#14 Old 11-14-2003, 10:03 AM
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hi natalie .... (and other vegetarians with high cholesterol)

have you ever tried a six month period (?) of being on a vegan diet to see if that would affect your levels? i'm sure that would be one sure way to help lower your cholesterol and possibly decrease the amount of drugs or get you off the them completely.



i'd suggest checking out the PCRM for more valuable info.



link one

link two



good luck



just for the record, last time i checked, my level was at a 3.0 (i don't know the US conversion either, sorry)
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#15 Old 11-14-2003, 12:37 PM
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hiya



yeah ive been vegan for about 5 months now, so i will be interested to see what my levels are next time i get tested. (bearing in mind that im still taking the medication).
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#16 Old 11-14-2003, 12:58 PM
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Natalie, let us know if there's a significant change!
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#17 Old 11-14-2003, 01:00 PM
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natalie, that's great!



yes, do let us know how your levels are!
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#18 Old 11-14-2003, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Bankruptor View Post

VIO, you know I'm about convinced that heredity has more of an impact on cholesterol levels than anything else. It could be that your girlfriend has it in her genetic makeup somehow, though I do think that diet can significantly help in many cases. Please let me know how she progresses, this is a subject of real interest to me . . .



Will do. I think she'll be a pretty good test case, because she is only changing one major factor in her equation. She's not exercising anymore than before, so that's a constant. And she's eating the same kinds of foods as before (including the usual high fat snack foods and deserts). She's simply eliminating the dairy and eggs.
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#19 Old 07-12-2004, 07:19 AM
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This is to Peeps, or anyone, on 11-13-03 they posted " no one had a heart attack with cholesterol below 150 mg/dl "? no sure where they got that at, my husband had one last Sept 03 with total cholesterol level 127 mg/dl . he also had 4 by pass they said he has has many heart attacks. so i am on the web searching as to why his is so low and what to do to bring it up, yes we are on the cocktail of heart meds, but trying to get him off. Not trying to be mean or anything just wanted to let you know it does happen, and from what i have been reading they are more than likely to have one than someone with high cholesterol. They also have more chances of dying of cancer and other things. depression, many things. what i have found so far, it could be the function of the gall bladder. going to ask our (GP) and our heart doctor about that as well. well thank you if any one has any advice or knows what else to do please let me know thank you

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#20 Old 07-12-2004, 07:36 AM
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First of all, I do also believe cholesterol problems to be partly the result of heredity. It runs in my family and I've had 'high' cholesterol since i first tested as a teen, even though I was a normal size/weight. A vegetarian diet has helped me achieve my lowest cholesterol levels ever (below 145).



As to Judy...isn't bypass surgery generally linked to clogged arteries? Plague? And isn't plaque/artery blockage due to high cholesterol? Someone correct me if I'm misinformed. Two of my Aunts have had to have bypass surgery and both are on cholesterol lowering medication...they have a genetic cholesterol problem...in both cases the bypass surgery was needed because of clogged arteries.



Just wondering Judy what the bypass surgery was for.
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#21 Old 07-12-2004, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
and from what i have been reading they are more than likely to have one than someone with high cholesterol.



What have you been reading?



How long had your husband's cholesterol been that low? decades of artery clogging would take time to reverse. Very high blood pressure and smoking can also increase the rate at which the plaque sticks to the arteriol walls. Does he have a history of clotting problems?



What kind of hear disease does your husband have? Also, what is the break down in your husband's numbers? ldl, hdl, lipids? That all makes a difference as well. Increasing HDL is good, but if total cholesterol is indeed that low, then I doubt (in my layperson opinion) that raising HDL's would have a significant impact.



I am not sure what you are reading. I am all in favor of taking charge of your health and knowing as much as you can about your health. Doctors don't always know everything. But please explore the claims made by some of these sources you are reading. You can read abstracts from just about any medical journal article here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed You can search by keywords, etc.



Also, another excellent guide that should be a part of anyone's research is: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/medlineplus.html



There are a lot of alternative health gurus out there, and some are more credible than others. If you don't trust your doctor's opinion, get another opinion. Consider a trip out to Cleveland where the #1 heart center is.

http://www.clevelandclinic.org/heartcenter/



I wish you both the best of luck.





Peebs: As far as eating cholesterol, hasn't it been well established that it is eating saturated and trans fats and not cholesterol that impacts blood levels?

for example: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats.html



On genetics- there are some people with naturally low or naturally high cholesterol levels, but that does not mean everyone's levels are genetically influenced so strongly, and it surely does not mean that we are slaves to our genes. (like with so many other things)
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#22 Old 07-12-2004, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
and from what i have been reading they are more than likely to have one than someone with high cholesterol. They also have more chances of dying of cancer and other things. depression, many things.



Who are "they?" People with low cholesterol?



Any sources?

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#23 Old 07-12-2004, 11:42 AM
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Um, yeah, this is ridiculous. Lower cholesterol has been tied in countless studies to increased vascular health. That's not to say everyone with a cholesterol under 150 is heart attack-proof, but the majority of people will be. Obviously other factors come in to play, like stress, smoking, heredity, etc.
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#24 Old 07-12-2004, 01:53 PM
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Bethanie,

Yes cholesterol does seem to run in the family, we have no idea why his levels are so low. total cholesterol 127 , triglycerides 153 , HDL 19 , LDL 88 . that was from Jan. 03. Yes he had clogged arteries he had 6 blockages and only could reapir 4 of them with 2 small veins missing. Yes high cholesterol runs on my side of the family. So i am trying to find out why he hurts and has problems, and to keep him from having another heart attack. I am not really sure about all of this Bethanie, it was a shock to us when it happened. He was not overweight maybe 10 pounds, good blood pressure, no smoke, no drinking, no family history. They almost let him go home that night, but the blood work showed he had a heart attack. tried to do the angio a few days later and his heart stopped 3 x. so open heart surgery . He just turned 50 in april. Thank you for posting appreciate it.

JudyinMo
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#25 Old 07-12-2004, 02:07 PM
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Thalia and the others that posted. I want to thank you all for your posts. and Thalia thank you, i have looked at these sites before. and have them bookmarked to keep. thank you all for your help. I would like to get a second opinion for him, but not sure our insurance would pay for any of it. cannot afford anymore out of the pocket money for medical bills. So am trying to find what i can ( not sure really what i am looking for ) except how to get his hdl up and the total up some more. want him around for along time. Our heart doctor told us to enjoy our next 8 years we won't have the golden years ( yes i know they are not God. they are humans and is based on his experience or research not really sure ) so just trying to find anything to keep him around without being on statins. thank you all again.,

JudyinMo
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#26 Old 07-12-2004, 02:09 PM
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with HDL of 19 that is not good. Your HDL should be above 60. This is the one that helps keep plaque from sticking to the walls of the arteries. The Triglycerides are still a bit high at 153 as they should be below 150. Maybe the doctor needs to look at why the HDL is so low.
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#27 Old 07-12-2004, 02:21 PM
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After being diagnosed with diabetes and a cholesterol of 268 and receiving, what I considered to be bogus info from my GP, I checked out PCRM and ordered their book on eating for people with diabetes.

It is a vegan diet with as few processed foods as possible, Within 6 weeks my cholesterol had dropped to 195, my triglycerides and LDL had dropped and my HDL had gone up. I also have lost 48 pounds since the diagnoses in January, and all without any effort other than as natural a vegan diet as possible!



On my last visit to the doctor, even though I was thrilled with the improvement in the cholesterol, the doctor wrote me a script for Lipitor, which i never filled. She said my cholesterol may come down more and it may not, so instead of waiting to see, by all means give me pills!!! That really ticks me off. I have a friend that had horrible side effects from Lipitor so I am not in a rush to do that. Heaven forbid a natural approach should work as good or better than a pill!!!
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#28 Old 07-12-2004, 02:41 PM
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Just a gentle reminder, about 50% of people with high cholesterol won't be able to control it through lifestyle changes alone. I've been hit with a double whammy--a family history of extremely high cholesterol, and a condition that contributes to high cholesterol.



While I will say a vegan diet has made a difference (as opposed to lacto-vegetarian), even being vegan, eating virtually no transfatty acids, and exercising 7 days a week, I'm still only down to somewhat higher than normal, as opposed to through the roof.
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#29 Old 07-12-2004, 02:43 PM
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Also, for anyone struggling with high cholesterol, my endocrinologist recommended trying garlic supplements (even if you cook with enough garlic to scare away a vampire, like I do.) It's too soon to tell if they're helping, but they are much safer than drugs, so I figure it can't hurt to try.
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