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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dot, Dec 9, 2004.
Has anyone ever used niacin or something similiar and actually lowered their cholesterol levels?
My doctor had me try to lower my cholesterol with 2000 mg of niacin, but it had very little affect. So did lots of exercise, dieting, Mevacor, and and ????
What finally lowered my cholesterol substantially was getting away from stress.
After taking a deferred retirement from the Postal Service my cholesterol dropped from around 300 to well below 200 without doing anything. And during the time it lowered I was pretty well eating whatever I wanted such as dozens and dozen of eggs.
The Mevacor did knock off about 35 points during a two year period, but not worth continuing it. It did have some side affects such as vivid dreams. Some just wonderful, others near nightmarish. I remember the dreams much more readily than previously too.
I'm a firm believer now that stress is the culprit for one's body to produce too much cholesterol to be healthy.
Stress and not handling it right is the real problem with High Cholesterol.
Fat is not the problem, neither is the carbs.
I weigh 315 and my Cholesterol is about 135.
I am about 6' 1'' My Blood pressure is normal.
No blockage in my arteries. Puklse is normal.
People worry to much ! ! !
I have discovered that when my body is in balance, that my cholesterol goes down.
For example, I am a diabetic. Before I was diagnosed, my cholesterol was high and my triglycerides was through the roof.
When my diabetes was brought under control, my triglycerides dropped to normal and my cholesterol dropped considerably. I still take some meds for it, but without the meds my cholesterol is ALMOST normal.
As a bonus, my B/P dropped to normal.
I take 750 mg of niaspan, a prescription form of niacin that is supposed to be easier on the liver, at least 3 or 4 times a week (I skip it if I have had more than 1 beer, or shot of alcohol. NOTE: NIACIN AND NIASPAN CAN HARM THE LIVER. They are taken in unusually high doses, and you should have blood tests monitored by a doctor after 3, then 6, and 12 months to make sure the cure does not do more harm than good.
I take my 71 mg buffered aspirin (2 of them) 30 minutes before hand, to keep the hot skin flushing that I experience from the niaspan down. The aspirin is also a good blood thinner, which will help reduce the risk of stroke. The Niaspan raises my good (HDL) Cholesterol, which cleans the arteries of the formations that clog them. I don't know if it is supposed to drop the LDL numbers or not, but it raises my HDL from 36 (40 is the desired minimum) to 46 to 50. They say that "so much" HDL will compensate for "so much" LDL. Sorry I don't know the ratio, but it might be 1 for 4 (40 for 160).
Why don't you do some research on "Red Yeast Rice". It's the natural supplement that the pharmaceuticals based all the 'statin cholesterol-lowering drugs on. You still need monitoring by an MD (Well, you should, but most people don't). I bet there is a lot of info out there.
I have used niacin it works, but you need the right form use niacinamide, not nicotinic acid.
FWIW, there never has been a study that proved a link between heart disease and cholesterol. There are factors such as high levels of homocystene that do correlate to heart disease. If you have the other factors plus low cholesterol, you can still end up with heart disease.
After I started taking 400 to 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid and about 300mg of DHA daily, not doing anything else different, my cholesterol dropped over 100 pts in the 6 months between blood tests. Not sure why, but it worked for me.
I highly recommend DR Dean Ornish's Reversing Heart Disease book. Tons of information on cholesterol and its role in heart disease and all the studies they did. His program is still one of the few around that does not only reduce cholesterol through diet and supplements, but reverses heart damage. You should be able to find it at your local library and in paperback at just about every book store.
My doctor tried me on niacin tablets years back and it did not help me at all, in fact the side effects on me were after 20 minutes I would get red as a beet, it would start from my head all the way down to my toes and I would get itchey all over , I mean ALL over and it would last for about 15 minutes. it didn't help me.
How about ground up flax seed, Have a friend that grows them in Minn.
My cholesterol level was almost 500 before I got my thyroid under control.
The Thyroid/Cholesterol Overlap
An estimated 98 million American adults have high cholesterol or total blood cholesterol values of 200 mg/dL or higher.
More than 13 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, yet nearly half remain undiagnosed.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is the most common secondary cause of high cholesterol after diet, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
Ninety percent of patients with overt hypothyroidism have increased cholesterol and/or triglycerides.
Average blood cholesterol levels of patients with underactive thyroid are often 30 to 50 percent higher than desirable (normal range is considered under 200 mg/dL).
People with unrecognized subclinical hypothyroidism generally have elevated cholesterol levels as well.
Thyroid disorders affect 20 percent of women over age 60.
Coronary heart disease is the cause of death in more than 50 percent of women over age 70.
Why Does Untreated Thyroid Disease Lead to Elevated Cholesterol Levels?
The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. If the thyroid gland produces too little hormone, metabolism can slow, having a direct impact on the body's ability to clear cholesterol from the bloodstream. As a result, the risk of cholesterol being deposited in the arteries, and especially around the heart, is increased, thereby increasing the risk for heart disease.
The TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test is the most accurate and sensitive indicator of thyroid function.
Treatment for thyroid disease is tailored to the type and severity of the disorder.
Hypothyroidism: Treatment with levothyroxine sodium, a synthetic thyroid hormone tablet, corrects this by replacing the missing thyroid hormone in the body.
Hyperthyroidism: Excess thyroid hormone production can be treated by ablative radioactive iodine treatment, anti-thyroid medication or surgical removal. The patient often later develops hypothyroidism.
Once hypothyroidism is treated with a thyroid hormone replacement, and the TSH level is restored to normal, the majority of patients show an estimated 20 to 30 percent reduction in cholesterol levels.
Right you are Nan about the thyroid. That was one of the first things my doctor checked when he learned of my elevated cholesterol level.
He also kept track of my liver too as someone else mentioned that it can be damaged.
As far a reaction to niacin he had me build up slowly, i.e. 250 mg 3X daily, then worked upward until I had a reaction. Yes it certainly does cause flushing and intense itching. After reaching my limit I settled in around 2000 mg per day. After a few months though treatment showed very little affect so was stopped.
I've also used some flax seed, mainly in making whole grain bread. Also oats, and a number of other things.
I've also taken aspirin for nearly 20 years to help prevent stroke and perhaps give other benefits.
Before you try medicine or even alternative medicines, how about a different kind of diet. What kind of diets have you tried? My mom and I both have high cholesterol and have tried all the "low fat" diets out there. None of the medications have helped either or in combination. She started the "South Beach" diet a few months ago and it has had a pretty dramatic effect on her cholesterol. Her good ones are up, bad ones are down and her total cholesterol is at about 200 for the first time ever. She's hoping that continued time on the diet may bring it even lower. I must say I've always found anything related to dieting boring reading but the "South Beach" book was fascinating reading. The basic premise is to remove processed foods, esp processed carbs. I've started replacing white rice with brown, Ritz crackers with the ones that look like shredded wheats, whole fruit for juices, more veggies, etc. Simple exchanges like that have resulted in a 5 lb weight drop in about a week and I really didn't need to lose much weight. I'll be happy when I drop 5 more but that will be plenty. The book goes into all the details as to why and how it works but apparently it also has a huge impact on heart health as well as weight. I'm not really following the diet fully since I really don't need to lose weight, just making healthier changes for my heart but hoping that it will help my cholesterol too which runs around 300. No problems with being hungry either. It sure is a lot simpler and less potentially dangerous than some of the options I've read on here!
Cholesterol is a natural substance that we get from food and that the liver manufactures. It's an important component in building cells. For some people there's no diet that will significantly affect their liver's production of cholesterol.
It's hard not to focus on cholesterol with all the pharmaceutical ads and the constant exposure to articles in the media. The fact is low cholesterol levels do not guarantee you won't develop heart disease. While that may seem to be an extreme statement, it wasn't too long ago that doctors swore up and down factors other than bacteria caused stomach ulcers. Even when shown proof, the medical establishment went for years before they finally acknowledged that fact.
Fiber- insoluble fiber- such as oat or wheat bran or psyllium (Metamucil) trap cholesterol in your gut and you excrete it. The problem is you will have to get used to passing 3-4 "good" bms daily.
Omega 3 oils increase "good" HDL and lower "bad " LDL to some extent. It's on an individual basis whether it's enough to keep you off meds.
Most statins aren't covered by insurance and they are expensive. they are high profit items for drug companies. I tried to get my dr to switch me to Mevacor, which is available as a generic for about $33 month in FL. He has me on Crestor- the first month was $99. After 3 phone calls and a handwritten fax, he increased my precription from 5 mg Crestor to 20 mg Crestor and told me to cut the pill in quarters. It can't say that tho, on the directions, or the pharmacist will precut them and chage you full pill price on each fractional pill. His directions were just "Take as ordered". I've now got a 120 day supply for $99- which is a lot easier on the wallet.