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Old 05-20-2016, 08:27 AM   #61
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I've been hesitating dropping the niacin, because it actually me a huge difference for me HDL-wise. From under 25 to ~47 is a like an 85% increase! No amount of exercise and vegetables is going to accomplish that. But really, if it doesn't change the CV situation and has nasty side effects, who cares about HDL? Bye bye niacin.
Harley, That is certainly impressive. What dosage do you take daily? I found niacin to be quite expensive vs what I pay for a statin which is next to nothing with my insurance, so I never took it long enough to measure how it impacted my levels.
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Cholesterol and diet - You there haha?
Old 05-20-2016, 10:11 AM   #62
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Cholesterol and diet - You there haha?

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Harley, That is certainly impressive. What dosage do you take daily? I found niacin to be quite expensive vs what I pay for a statin which is next to nothing with my insurance, so I never took it long enough to measure how it impacted my levels.

Not Harley, but the niacin I took was in combo with the simvastatin, in a "timed-release" formula, guaranteed to cause hot flashes from hell at around 2am.

For the record, that combo did improve my numbers, though it seemed to lose effectiveness over the course of several years.

GP doc replaced that with Vascepa, a highly-refined, i.e. more expensive, fish oil. Due for a return visit for a lipid panel; triglycerides are high, a familial bonus. Still on 20mg simvastatin.

I haven't tried low-carb, though I'm not a big carb consumer.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:56 AM   #63
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Harley, That is certainly impressive. What dosage do you take daily? I found niacin to be quite expensive vs what I pay for a statin which is next to nothing with my insurance, so I never took it long enough to measure how it impacted my levels.
Mine is just straight niacin, not the slow release stuff, 500 mg twice a day. I buy it at GNC for (I think) around $16/bottle, although I tend to stock up when it goes on sale. There are 240 tabs per bottle, so 4 month's supply. Not very expensive IMO. It's hard to find the fast release niacin. Most places only sell the slow release (non-flushing) kind, but my doctor said that wasn't as effective. It does cause a hot flash-like flush, but not that big a deal for me. I took it before breakfast and dinner, and the food seemed to help with the flush.

Having said all that, though, I wouldn't recommend it anymore based on the recent studies showing it's lack of impact on cardiovascular health, along with it's known side effects.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:59 AM   #64
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Your number might be higher, but not necessarily due to meat consumption. Eggs were accused of making numbers higher for decades and the egg yolk was almost considered toxic. That thinking has been debunked.

This study followed 43 people not a decent sampling at all. It seems like a balancing act..decrease your body fat and probably lower your blood sugar and your chol number might rise...different people will have different goals.

If you care to share please come back and post your numbers ..are you feeling generally perkier on the paleo diet?
I have been eating low carb for a couple of years. My chol levels have always been good but HDL went from high 40s to high 70s, Trig went from 60s down to low 20s, with LDL rising a bit from low 90s to around 115. I do feel like I have more energy than before going low carb. Even with these numbers, the doc had his asst call me after my labs last year to ask if I tolerated statins well - due only to the LDL above 100 even though all ratios were way better than normal and the total chol was under 200. I passed on the statins.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:35 PM   #65
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Your number might be higher, but not necessarily due to meat consumption. Eggs were accused of making numbers higher for decades and the egg yolk was almost considered toxic. That thinking has been debunked.

This study followed 43 people not a decent sampling at all. It seems like a balancing act..decrease your body fat and probably lower your blood sugar and your chol number might rise...different people will have different goals.

If you care to share please come back and post your numbers ..are you feeling generally perkier on the paleo diet?
Yep I'm eating a ton of eggs - usually 4 a day, so that may raise the number.

I'll post the numbers in 5 weeks when I have the tests.

I do feel perkier on the paleo diet. It's gotta be due to the bacon. I've been churning out full days of yard work with no problem. Before paleo, I'd get tired mid day and take a nap. No naps since paleo, but its only been a week.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:46 PM   #66
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For what I read what you eat has nothing to do with cholesterol. It's different for different people.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:57 PM   #67
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I have been eating low carb for a couple of years. My chol levels have always been good but HDL went from high 40s to high 70s, Trig went from 60s down to low 20s, with LDL rising a bit from low 90s to around 115. I do feel like I have more energy than before going low carb. Even with these numbers, the doc had his asst call me after my labs last year to ask if I tolerated statins well - due only to the LDL above 100 even though all ratios were way better than normal and the total chol was under 200. I passed on the statins.
I somewhat offended a poster on another thread. His cardio doc told him that HDL number was unimportant and wanted him to go the statin route...I commented I'd probably switch docs because I want one with an open mind. FWIW my DH number on a low carb diet did exactly what yours did much higher HDL and and a somewhat higher LDL..but this does push the numbers over the "approved" zone. That's a excellent Trig number...which some docs says is more important then the Big C total. MY DH said "thanks, but no thanks to the statins as well.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:10 PM   #68
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One other comment on statins, they will lower LDL, and HDL as well which most folks do not want.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:22 PM   #69
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You know, the more I read about diabetes and cholesterol, as well as their various treatments, the more I realize the medical profession doesn't have a clue. They grab a symptom and treat the hell out of it, until they realize either the symptom isn't the cause or that the treatment is worse than the symptom. Then they grab another pharmaceutical strand of spaghetti and throw it against the wall and see if it sticks.
Spot on, Harley.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:08 PM   #70
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I somewhat offended a poster on another thread. His cardio doc told him that HDL number was unimportant and wanted him to go the statin route...I commented I'd probably switch docs because I want one with an open mind. FWIW my DH number on a low carb diet did exactly what yours did much higher HDL and and a somewhat higher LDL..but this does push the numbers over the "approved" zone. That's a excellent Trig number...which some docs says is more important then the Big C total. MY DH said "thanks, but no thanks to the statins as well.

Offended It takes a lot more than that to offend me. I was just suggesting I'd trust my cardiologist more than someone posting on this board.


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Old 05-20-2016, 03:14 PM   #71
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You know, the more I read about diabetes and cholesterol, as well as their various treatments, the more I realize the medical profession doesn't have a clue. They grab a symptom and treat the hell out of it, until they realize either the symptom isn't the cause or that the treatment is worse than the symptom. Then they grab another pharmaceutical strand of spaghetti and throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. [...].
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Spot on, Harley.
I think this is taking things a couple of steps too far.

I believe that people generally have an impression that medicine should be infallible, and that doctors should have "the answer," when in reality empirical sciences (like medicine) make probabilistic statements about causality and are based on specific observations which are extrapolated (hopefully to as small a degree as possible) to general populations.

This means that answers are always to some degree inaccurate.

That does not mean, however, that they "don't have a clue." It just means that they will get it wrong sometimes.

In this particular case, the evidence is a little fuzzier than in some other areas, but I believe there is a good scientific body of evidence that suggests that adjusting the numbers results in reduced risks. However, due to the long timeframes involved and huge individual variances in drug response and risk factors involved, and the difficulty of controlling what effectively need to be epidemiological studies, it's very difficult to draw precise conclusions, and there is a significant amount of contradictory evidence generated.

A much fairer statement, in my opinion, would be to say that the medical field "is not certain" of the right solution.

In this case, I think it is going to be up to you as an individual to do your research and decide for yourself what the right answer is. Hopefully you'll listen to your doctor as an expert, but there's also a benefit to be found in doing your own research (just be aware of the vested interest of you source - and be extremely skeptical of secondary sources: Kendrick and other "anti-statin" authors benefit greatly from promoting their positions, and are generally slanting the primary sources to suit their message).
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:45 PM   #72
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Offended It takes a lot more than that to offend me. I was just suggesting I'd trust my cardiologist more than someone posting on this board.


Enjoying life!
I'm glad you weren't offended and if you are happy with your Doc that's all that matters....stay healthy and happy
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:05 PM   #73
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A much fairer statement, in my opinion, would be to say that the medical field "is not certain" of the right solution.

In this case, I think it is going to be up to you as an individual to do your research and decide for yourself what the right answer is. Hopefully you'll listen to your doctor as an expert, but there's also a benefit to be found in doing your own research (just be aware of the vested interest of you source - and be extremely skeptical of secondary sources: Kendrick and other "anti-statin" authors benefit greatly from promoting their positions, and are generally slanting the primary sources to suit their message).
As opposed to the pharmaceutical companies? I think the people pushing the anti-statin viewpoint have a lot less to gain than the ones pushing the pro-statin viewpoint.

Other than that, I'll accept your fairer statement. Using nicer words never hurts.
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Old 05-20-2016, 06:26 PM   #74
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I prefer mine malted...
Hmm...not shaken over ice and served up with two olives and an onion?
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:30 PM   #75
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I think this is taking things a couple of steps too far.

I believe that people generally have an impression that medicine should be infallible, and that doctors should have "the answer," when in reality empirical sciences (like medicine) make probabilistic statements about causality and are based on specific observations which are extrapolated (hopefully to as small a degree as possible) to general populations.

This means that answers are always to some degree inaccurate.

That does not mean, however, that they "don't have a clue." It just means that they will get it wrong sometimes.

In this particular case, the evidence is a little fuzzier than in some other areas, but I believe there is a good scientific body of evidence that suggests that adjusting the numbers results in reduced risks. However, due to the long timeframes involved and huge individual variances in drug response and risk factors involved, and the difficulty of controlling what effectively need to be epidemiological studies, it's very difficult to draw precise conclusions, and there is a significant amount of contradictory evidence generated.

A much fairer statement, in my opinion, would be to say that the medical field "is not certain" of the right solution.
You are being far too kind and deferential to scientists and doctors. I feel like you're patting me on the head when you say their "answers are always to some degree inaccurate." Read Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes for a good story on how the actual science about cholesterol and heart disease was ignored, and a political agenda was put in as a substitute (boosted by George McGovern). He is a reputable science writer. It's shocking how scientists and doctors failed to follow where the actual data was leading them. The only thing they cared about was preserving their legacy and reputation. Slowly this is being acknowledged; way too late and how many millions of statin Rx later?

Here's a link: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories...s+bad+calories
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:50 PM   #76
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As opposed to the pharmaceutical companies? I think the people pushing the anti-statin viewpoint have a lot less to gain than the ones pushing the pro-statin viewpoint.

Other than that, I'll accept your fairer statement. Using nicer words never hurts.
Actually, I'll differ with you on that. The primary statins are all off patent, and are almost ridiculously inexpensive.

Besides which, the pro-statin viewpoint is also held by many people who have nothing personally to gain from their viewpoint (prescribing doctors, researchers).

On the other hand most anti-statin sources I've seen are blatantly self-promotional. The overall dollar amount that goes to these sources may be miniscule compared to the pharma market, but the personal gain these individuals derive is relatively large.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:54 PM   #77
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Besides which, the pro-statin viewpoint is also held by many people who have nothing personally to gain from their viewpoint (prescribing doctors, researchers).
I'll agree with that, I'm sure they are nice people.

BUT, if the entire hypothesis behind prescribing statins is WRONG, this is a moot point.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:11 PM   #78
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[...] I feel like you're patting me on the head when you say their "answers are always to some degree inaccurate."
Not at all - that statements reflects the objective truth of how I view the field of medicine.

I think that people expect too much, and therefore when they find some apparent discrepancy in what was once considered a medical "truth" need to come up with grand conspiracy theories to justify them.

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Read Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes for a good story on how the actual science about cholesterol and heart disease was ignored, and a political agenda was put in as a substitute (boosted by George McGovern). He is a reputable science writer. [...]
You're making the point of my previous response to harley.

Gary Taubes is an excellent example of an individual who has a strong personal profit motive for sensationalizing a health story.

Also "reputable science writer" is not the same thing as "reputable scientist", and a book like he writes is not the same thing as good science.

I'm not saying there's no possible truth to what he writes, but I believe much of what he writes about is written with the motive of entertaining and engaging his audience as much as (or perhaps in excess of) informing them.

The primary sources are rarely as clear cut as authors like he represent, and the tactics used by these authors get in the way of an objective analysis of the sources.

Do I agree that past views on cholesterol and causes of heart disease were considerably different than today's body of knowledge suggests? Certainly. Do I agree that that implies some kind of grand conspiracy motivated by nefarious motives? Not so much. To me this is much more the normal evolution of scientific understanding.

Sure, there may be some political entities that gain in having one theory favored over another. But there are also many countering pressures (the self-promoters not being the least of them).
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:19 PM   #79
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Who was it that said we have to wait for those that proposed the theory to die-off before we can move-on?
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:45 AM   #80
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For what I read what you eat has nothing to do with cholesterol. It's different for different people.

I had a fasting blood test done after having been on a pescetarian diet for decades. I then went vegan for I think 10 weeks. I kept my weight and my level of exercise the same during this time period. My LDL dropped 22% after switching to the vegan diet.

This was just over three years ago. I added back wild caught salmon and locally sourced organic eggs to my diet about two years ago, but I eat those sparingly. I haven't had my blood tested since, but I thought the results of this experiment was interesting.
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