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Is lowering cholesterol a good thing? (1 Viewer)

Statcruncher

Footballguy
Evidence links cholesterol-reducing interventions with increased risk of dying from accidents, suicide and violence by Dr. John Briffa. Here's a snippet:

Studies have linked low levels of cholesterol with worse outcomes in certain, specific aspects of health. There has been, for instance, previous evidence linking cholesterol-reducing interventions with deaths due to accidents, suicide and violence (e.g. murder).

Recently, I came across a British Medical Journal study dating from 1990 that made for interesting reading [1]. This study aggregated the results of 6 cholesterol-lowering trials in people without a prior history of cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attack or stroke).

The individual interventions were either a drug or dietary change. Each trial was well-conducted, and had a comparison group which was not exposed to the intervention. Overall, the intervention groups in whom cholesterol levels were reduced were:

  • At no reduced risk of death overall
  • At no reduced risk of death due to heart disease
  • At a significantly increased risk (43 per cent) of death due to cancer
  • At a significantly increased risk (76 per cent) of death due to accidents, suicide and violence
The increased risk of death due to cancer seemed to be due to the findings of one specific trial, in which individuals were treated with the fibrate drug clofibrate. If this trial was removed from the analysis, the risk of death from cancer was not significantly raised.

However, the increased risk of death from accidents, suicide and violence was a consistent finding, and it held true even when the researchers split their analysis into studies of diet-alone or drug therapy-alone interventions. In other words, dietary intervention to lower cholesterol increased the risk accidents, suicide and violence, and so did medication.
Statins generated roughly $26 billion dollars in sales last year.

 
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jamny

Footballguy
Interesting that you brought this up. 3 months ago my new doctor suggested I try getting off of Lipitor. About 10 years ago my cholesterol was 340. Through diet and exercise, I got it to 270 but my doctor at the time put me on 10mg of Lipitor. He wanted me to go on immediately but I wanted to try and bring it down myself. Lipitor got me down to 190-200 range.

My new doctor isn't a big proponent of statin drugs unless they are needed. Not just because cholesterol numbers are high. I'm not overweight, don't smoke, eat really healthy and get moderate exercise. I went yesterday and without Lipitor for the last 3 months my number is now 251. We both agreed to give it another 6 months. Using his calculations, my current level increases the chance of a cardiac event over the next 10 years from 3% to 5%. He said if it was 25%, yeah he'd put me on it, or 15% he'd seriously suggest it. But at this point it isn't worth it in his opinion. And mine. He thinks there's too much reliance on strict cholesterol numbers and it's just a huge business because of money and how easy it is with drugs. He praises stain drugs for people with real heart issues but not just because of high cholesterol numbers.

 

Chaka

Footballguy
Interesting that you brought this up. 3 months ago my new doctor suggested I try getting off of Lipitor. About 10 years ago my cholesterol was 340. Through diet and exercise, I got it to 270 but my doctor at the time put me on 10mg of Lipitor. He wanted me to go on immediately but I wanted to try and bring it down myself. Lipitor got me down to 190-200 range.

My new doctor isn't a big proponent of statin drugs unless they are needed. Not just because cholesterol numbers are high. I'm not overweight, don't smoke, eat really healthy and get moderate exercise. I went yesterday and without Lipitor for the last 3 months my number is now 251. We both agreed to give it another 6 months. Using his calculations, my current level increases the chance of a cardiac event over the next 10 years from 3% to 5%. He said if it was 25%, yeah he'd put me on it, or 15% he'd seriously suggest it. But at this point it isn't worth it in his opinion. And mine. He thinks there's too much reliance on strict cholesterol numbers and it's just a huge business because of money and how easy it is with drugs. He praises stain drugs for people with real heart issues but not just because of high cholesterol numbers.
What was your HDL #?

 

Man of Zen

Footballguy
They have no idea.

Eat vegetables. Drink water. Don't eat and drink stuff you know for sure is junk. Exercise.

Try to answer questions much beyond that and you're going to find an endless succession of well meaning studies and researchers coming down on both sides of every fence you can dream up.

 

CletiusMaximus

Footballguy
They have no idea.

Eat vegetables. Drink water. Don't eat and drink stuff you know for sure is junk. Exercise.

Try to answer questions much beyond that and you're going to find an endless succession of well meaning studies and researchers coming down on both sides of every fence you can dream up.
True, but I think you'll find a significantly higher number of studies will support the side that generates $20+ bil in annual sales.

 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
They have no idea.

Eat vegetables. Drink water. Don't eat and drink stuff you know for sure is junk. Exercise.

Try to answer questions much beyond that and you're going to find an endless succession of well meaning studies and researchers coming down on both sides of every fence you can dream up.
True, but I think you'll find a significantly higher number of studies will support the side that generates $20+ bil in annual sales.
"Follow the money" is one saying that often answers the question at hand.

 

culdeus

Have good
HDL can rise with alcohol use, even excessive amounts. I would be interested in mortality correlation among the countries that drink alot per capita. That would be most useful imo.

 

jamny

Footballguy
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.

 

culdeus

Have good
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.

 

jamny

Footballguy
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.
yikes. Are Smart Balance or Take Control any better?

 

culdeus

Have good
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.
yikes. Are Smart Balance or Take Control any better?
I wouldn't advise people use anything of the sort. There are too many good fats out there that are not mutants grown in a lab.

Lard

Coconut oil

grass fed butter

olive oil

are all profoundly better for you than those.

Quit eating grains, especially wheat, eat more vegetables and clean protein, get healthier.

 

jamny

Footballguy
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.
yikes. Are Smart Balance or Take Control any better?
I wouldn't advise people use anything of the sort. There are too many good fats out there that are not mutants grown in a lab.

Lard

Coconut oil

grass fed butter

olive oil

are all profoundly better for you than those.

Quit eating grains, especially wheat, eat more vegetables and clean protein, get healthier.
Really? Isn't raising fiber intake a good option? Whole wheat is no good?

 

culdeus

Have good
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.
yikes. Are Smart Balance or Take Control any better?
I wouldn't advise people use anything of the sort. There are too many good fats out there that are not mutants grown in a lab.

Lard

Coconut oil

grass fed butter

olive oil

are all profoundly better for you than those.

Quit eating grains, especially wheat, eat more vegetables and clean protein, get healthier.
Really? Isn't raising fiber intake a good option? Whole wheat is no good?
Absolutely not. The fallacy was that raising fiber consumption was best accomplished by grains was the single greatest health disaster in this country, one that we will never really recover from. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but was a classic case of data trying to fit a narrative that certain powerful people wanted to see.

Raise fiber intake from vegetables, lots of them at every meal. Grains should never be the star of the meal. Don't fear good fats. Keep protein sources clean. Moderate drinking. Go on walks. Lift heavy things. All your markers will improve.

 

Arsenal of Doom

Footballguy
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.
yikes. Are Smart Balance or Take Control any better?
I wouldn't advise people use anything of the sort. There are too many good fats out there that are not mutants grown in a lab.

Lard

Coconut oil

grass fed butter

olive oil

are all profoundly better for you than those.

Quit eating grains, especially wheat, eat more vegetables and clean protein, get healthier.
Really? Isn't raising fiber intake a good option? Whole wheat is no good?
Grains generally speaking aren't a great source of fiber. Whole grains aren't going to kill you but it's debatable if they are actually beneficial as opposed to just less bad than refined grains. Soluble fiber is specifically good for lowering LDL and you don't get that from most whole grains, oats being the notable exception.

 

jamny

Footballguy
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.

 

culdeus

Have good
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.
Here's benecol

Regular Spread Ingredients

Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Tell me what of these you want to eat? Name one thing on this list that stands to benefit you in any possible way other than water.

 

jamny

Footballguy
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.
Here's benecol

Regular Spread Ingredients

Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Tell me what of these you want to eat? Name one thing on this list that stands to benefit you in any possible way other than water.
Well, I was looking to increase plant stanols. I'm taking CholestOff but only half the recommended, figuring I could get the rest in other places.

 

culdeus

Have good
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.
Here's benecol

Regular Spread Ingredients

Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Tell me what of these you want to eat? Name one thing on this list that stands to benefit you in any possible way other than water.
Well, I was looking to increase plant stanols. I'm taking CholestOff but only half the recommended, figuring I could get the rest in other places.
Like, plants. perhaps?

 

Ilov80s

Footballguy
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.
Here's benecol

Regular Spread Ingredients

Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Tell me what of these you want to eat? Name one thing on this list that stands to benefit you in any possible way other than water.
Well, I was looking to increase plant stanols. I'm taking CholestOff but only half the recommended, figuring I could get the rest in other places.
Like, plants. perhaps?
Lol, it's not really that complicated. Fruit and veggies makeup like 70% of my diet. Beer might be the other 30%, but at least that's a very natural thing to consume.
 
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jamny

Footballguy
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.
Here's benecol

Regular Spread Ingredients

Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Tell me what of these you want to eat? Name one thing on this list that stands to benefit you in any possible way other than water.
Well, I was looking to increase plant stanols. I'm taking CholestOff but only half the recommended, figuring I could get the rest in other places.
Like, plants. perhaps?
From what I've read, most foods that have them are only in extremely small amounts so that's why products are being fortified with them to get to the 2g-3g recommended level. I'd have to eat like 10 avocados a day or 3 cups of sunflower seeds as examples. I take one CholestOff twice a day to get to 900mg. It says to take 2 of them twice a day for 1800mg but I started off only at half.

 

glumpy

breeze
Lol, it's not really that complicated. Fruit and veggies makeup like 70% of my diet. Beer might be the other 30%, but at least that's a very natural thing to consume.
It really seems that simple to me but maybe I'm just lucky. I don't count percentages and do eat a full range of breads and meats along with plenty of veggies. Maybe the key is lots of water.

 

Ned

Footballguy
Still at 251.

I just started taking CholestOff, upping my fiber intake to try and get 30g daily.(that's not easy!) eating oatmeal and more fruits, vegetables and nuts. Also using Benecol spread instead of butter, looking to get the recommended plant stenol amounts. I'll go back in February and see if it has helped.
hate to see you using benecol. It's a mashup of all the worst things man has ever made.
yikes. Are Smart Balance or Take Control any better?
I wouldn't advise people use anything of the sort. There are too many good fats out there that are not mutants grown in a lab.

Lard

Coconut oil

grass fed butter

olive oil

are all profoundly better for you than those.

Quit eating grains, especially wheat, eat more vegetables and clean protein, get healthier.
Really? Isn't raising fiber intake a good option? Whole wheat is no good?
Absolutely not. The fallacy was that raising fiber consumption was best accomplished by grains was the single greatest health disaster in this country, one that we will never really recover from. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but was a classic case of data trying to fit a narrative that certain powerful people wanted to see.

Raise fiber intake from vegetables, lots of them at every meal. Grains should never be the star of the meal. Don't fear good fats. Keep protein sources clean. Moderate drinking. Go on walks. Lift heavy things. All your markers will improve.
:goodposting:

 

culdeus

Have good
Thanks guys.

I never really looked into the soluble vs insoluble fiber, so that helps. I'll look more into the benecol and other spreads too.
Here's benecol

Regular Spread Ingredients

Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Tell me what of these you want to eat? Name one thing on this list that stands to benefit you in any possible way other than water.
Well, I was looking to increase plant stanols. I'm taking CholestOff but only half the recommended, figuring I could get the rest in other places.
Like, plants. perhaps?
From what I've read, most foods that have them are only in extremely small amounts so that's why products are being fortified with them to get to the 2g-3g recommended level. I'd have to eat like 10 avocados a day or 3 cups of sunflower seeds as examples. I take one CholestOff twice a day to get to 900mg. It says to take 2 of them twice a day for 1800mg but I started off only at half.
There is absolutely no research that says that artificial stenols do a damn thing for you. And they usually come fortified in foods that are generally awful for you. The research on this was classic FDA garbage that couldn't see the forest for the trees. More "take a pill" type approach that they are famous for.

 
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Ilov80s

Footballguy
Lol, it's not really that complicated. Fruit and veggies makeup like 70% of my diet. Beer might be the other 30%, but at least that's a very natural thing to consume.
It really seems that simple to me but maybe I'm just lucky. I don't count percentages and do eat a full range of breads and meats along with plenty of veggies. Maybe the key is lots of water.
No doubt generics is huge. Some are just lucky/unlucky. Drinking water is really important for everything since water is involved in so many chemical reactions inside the body. I drink 96 ounces or so minimum. 24 on the way to work, 24 in the AM at work, 24 in the PM at work and 24 in the evening after dinner.
 

gmbacm

Footballguy
My new doctor isn't a big proponent of statin drugs unless they are needed. Not just because cholesterol numbers are high. I'm not overweight, don't smoke, eat really healthy and get moderate exercise.
What does he recommend if someone has 1/4 of these issues covered. :askingforafriend:

 

jamny

Footballguy
culdeus said:
There is absolutely no research that says that artificial stenols do a damn thing for you. And they usually come fortified in foods that are generally awful for you. The research on this was classic FDA garbage that couldn't see the forest for the trees. More "take a pill" type approach that they are famous for.
Well yeah, if you believe that stanols and sterols do nothing for you, I can see why you would be against things like Benecol and CholestOff. I've read studies that seem to indicate otherwise so I figured it's worth a shot for 3-6 months to see if there is any lowering of my LDL. I'm just trying to avoid Lipitor but chances are my high cholesterol is hereditary.

 

jamny

Footballguy
My new doctor isn't a big proponent of statin drugs unless they are needed. Not just because cholesterol numbers are high. I'm not overweight, don't smoke, eat really healthy and get moderate exercise.
What does he recommend if someone has 1/4 of these issues covered. :askingforafriend:
He'd say you have room for improvement. If I wanted to stay on Lipitor, he wouldn't have had a problem with it. But he saw how hard I work to lower it naturally and encourages me to do so.

 

Arizona Ron

Footballguy
I would typically hover in the 190s then last year I went for my annual and was at 203. My doctor, awesome guy, just showed me the trends and said to make small changes now so I'm not putting you on meds years later.

Since then I stop eating pork and processed meats (hot dogs, cheese steaks, etc). I caved in a few times over the summer and had a sausage at a cookout but things like bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches are a thing of the past.

I don't even eat turkey bacon because that just made me want bacon bacon. Tomato, egg and cheese is my go-to now if I'm on the run now.

Last reading was 175

 

jamny

Footballguy
Thanks for that.

And it shows exactly what my doctor was saying. He believes 100% in statin drugs once you have heart disease but high cholesterol itself doesn't necessarily lead to heart disease. He used a calculation to show that my risk of developing heart disease increases from like 2% to 3% because of my high numbers. I don't remember the exact % but it was minimal.

In fact, what happens is that in response to an inflammatory situation, the body uses cholesterol as a “band-aid” to temporarily cover any lesions in the arterial wall. In the event the inflammation is resolved, the band-aid goes away and repair takes place. No harm, no foul. Unfortunately, in most cases, the inflammation proceeds, the cholesterol plaque is eventually acted on by macrophages and is oxidized to a point at which it takes up more space in the artery, slows arterial flow and eventually can break loose to form a clot.
 

kupcho1

Footballguy
Just out of curiosity, for those trying to lower your cholesterol, how are your Thetans? In range, out of range? Are you clear?

 

D_House

Footballguy
Thanks for that.And it shows exactly what my doctor was saying. He believes 100% in statin drugs once you have heart disease but high cholesterol itself doesn't necessarily lead to heart disease. He used a calculation to show that my risk of developing heart disease increases from like 2% to 3% because of my high numbers. I don't remember the exact % but it was minimal.
:thumbup: Sounds like you have a good PCP that explains things well to you. The AHA guidelines on statin use (infographic) in people without pre-existing heart disease suggest that PCPs have exactly the type of conversation and risk factor calculation that your Dr. had with you.
 

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