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Reducing Cholesterol without statins

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#1 Life'sJuggle

Posted 28 December 2015 - 06:49 AM

Hi I am looking for some tips for DH.

His cholesterol has been a bit on the high side for a few years (he is 42) and it has been managed with a low dose of lipitor.  He has not felt great since being on them.  His dose was recently increased and he had terrible muscular aches and pains and the GP has stopped the meds for now.

We are looking for natural alternatives to try to make a change in an effort to avoid returning to the statins.

Other than reducing saturated fat does anybody have any ideas?  Supplements to try, foods to add to his diet?  Things to avoid?  He drinks more alcohol than he should, is there a link?

Do you think a naturapath is likely to be of use?

Thanks for allowing me to pick your collective brains EB!

#2 sunnies

Posted 28 December 2015 - 06:53 AM

Intermittent fasting is really good for reducing cholesterol.  Google the 5 2 diet.

#3 AMPSyd

Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:18 AM

Heart active milk.
dark chocolate.
Lemon water - squeeze 1/2 a lemon into warm water and drink first thing in the morning (found that when I was looking at lowering blood pressure).
Google foods good for heart health.
I reduced mine from 6.9 to around 5.0 (or from last blood test - actually managed it to go lower when I was really looking at good foods).

Edited by AMPSyd, 28 December 2015 - 07:25 AM.

#4 Bess Marvin

Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:27 AM

DH reduced his cholesterol (specifically triglycerides) through low/no fat eating and moderate cardiovascular exercise three or four times a week. Triglycerides went from 8.5 to 2.2 and he can now have avocado, olive oil spray and eggs a few times a week while maintaining that level. We had to completely change our regular meals and cooking techniques but now it's habit and I actually don't like the taste of oil in meals - it's very overpowering and heavy.

He's just started a fish oil supplement too, but no idea what that's doing just yet. Give it 6mo and we'll know more.

#5 Melbs2010

Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:30 AM

Increasing soluble fibre intake can help with small reductions.  Oats, psyllium husk (either natural and included with cereal or in say, a dose of Metamucil) are examples of soluble fibre.

You could also substitute whatever type of spread you are using for one like Flora Pro-activ.  The plant sterols are believed to work to lower cholesterol.

Apart from that a diet low in saturated fats which includes a lot of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables is likely to be the best.

#6 Bess Marvin

Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:58 AM

Forgot to mention - DH saw a dietitian for advice re diet and cholesterol lowering. There was some excellent tailored advice that made it easier for us to navigate the big changes. The interwebs is full of pseudo-science so having a dietitian provide their evidence-based advice was very reassuring.

#7 opki

Posted 28 December 2015 - 08:03 AM

Watch the movie Forks Over Knives on Netflix. A whole food plant based diet has been proven many many times to reduce cholesterol. This website is run by a melbourne GP and has heaps of info-


Posted 28 December 2015 - 11:48 PM

good dietitian.

#9 triangle

Posted 29 December 2015 - 12:33 AM

Bess mar in has sound advice.
Don't buy into th chef given asvice on statins!

As long as it is done in conjunction with the gp the all good.

As above, limiting processed foods, sticking to food in its most basic form. Eg steamed veg, fresh fruits.
Fibre as mentioned above, in particular oats.

Is he overweight? unfortunately one of the biggest things is to be in a healthy weight range with minimal abdominal fat. Easier said than done but one of the changes that can be made that will make a significant difference.
Regular exercise.

Definitely reduce alcohol intake as it affects the liver.

However, if he does all this and still has increased/abnormal cholesterol, he could possible be genetically inclined that way, in which case all the above needs doing, as well as trialling different medications to find one that works and is tolerable.

A dietician is a great idea. Save your money and don't bother with a naturopath.

#10 akunazone

Posted 29 December 2015 - 12:37 AM

Egg whites. If he's having a veggie omelette use one whole egg and add 3 or 4 egg whites, bulks it out and lowers cholesterol.

#11 Rogelio de la Vega

Posted 18 January 2016 - 02:43 PM

Hi Life'sJuggle,

I echo some of the PP advise on consultation with a dietician, and I would consult with them, a GP, or even a cardiologist before considering a naturopath. Actually, in this case, a naturopath would be off my agenda as a dietician (with a GP) would be the best person to advise on non-medication approaches to lowering cholesterol and the scientific evidence for the use of these.

I am a researcher and look at the link between statins and muscle side effects. There would be a few questions I would be asking my GP. 1. Given the GP recently upped the dose of statins, is this because the high cholesterol was becoming unmanaged on the lower dose, or for some other reason (ie other cardiovascular risk factor)? 2. Would it be of any benefit for your husband to go back to the lower dose, which may go some way to managing the cholesterol and minimizing the side effects. 3. Has your GP considered a switch to another statin (some have a higher risk than others of side effects) or to a non-statin drug?

I wouold be asking these questions and seeking advise from a dietician.

#12 amdirel

Posted 19 January 2016 - 10:48 AM

Good tips from PP's, but also you can get the plant sterol in capsules,  rather than needing to fuss with special milks/marg.

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