Heredity, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease Risk

A forum to discuss cholesterol and the meaning of blood cholesterol levels.

Heredity, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease Risk

Postby jb0615 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:46 pm

I joined this forum because it looked like an excellent place to get good information and advice.

I am a 57 year old female. Heart disease runs in my family. My mom had it (although she died from complications due to other health concerns), and her mom had it (died of a stroke at age 45). I was able to keep my cholesterol down for many years, but in the past few years it began going up.

Last year my levels were, HDL 46, LDL 164, total cholesterol 240. Just a month ago my levels were HDL 49, LDL 230, total cholesterol 311. This alarmed me! How could it go up so dramatically in a year?! My doctor said it was my natural heredity kicking in. My doctor did an analysis on my cholesterol and said that the LDL was the bad, dense kind that causes plaque buildup.

My doctor wants to start me on Simvastatin, 40 mg. per day for a 6 week period to see how I tolerate it. He says that I am at a very high risk of heart attack and stroke, and he strongly believes that this is my only alternative right now.

I don't know all the right questions to ask here. I'm looking for any comments, advice, help, etc. that I can get. My prescription will be at the pharmacy tomorrow and he expects me to begin it promptly. I want to be sure it is the best thing to do, and I'm inclined to give it a try given my family history. But if there are other good options/alternatives out there, I'd like to know about those, too.

Thanks,
jb0615
 
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Postby cjbrooksjc » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:43 pm

jb0615: Only a few words in this post are mine. The immediate following are excerpts from Doc Graveline's papers on the Forum Home page. The last entry on krill oil is from another forum member.

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I would be the first to admit that those patients with familial hypercholesterolemia are in a very special category. Yes, we have some families with this condition that have normal cardiovascular risk but what of the others? What of those with cholesterol deposition in the tissues, as: arcus senilis ( yellowish cholesterol deposits of eyes ); tendon xanthomas ( cholesterol deposits on tendons of wrists and ankles ) and xanthelasmas ( cholesterol deposits of eyelids ) and few blood relatives over 60 years of age?

These are caused by various LDL receptor mutations on chromosome 19. Cholesterol control is vital in these relatively few cases and this is why my focus here on cholesterol lowering for this uncommon but devastating lipid problem. For many of these people statins already have been tried with serious side effects resulting. Options rapidly diminish when this occurs. Natural cholesterol lowering products may be useful in such cases but often prescription items may be required.

Fibrates: Fibric acid derivatives, or fibrates, affect the actions of key enzymes in the liver, enabling the liver to absorb more fatty acids, thus reducing production of triglycerides. These drugs also work well at increasing production of HDL. Although they can also lower LDL levels, they're not considered first-line treatments for high LDL or total cholesterol. Overall, they tend to lower LDL levels between 10 and 15 percent and tend to increase HDL levels. Atromid-S, Lopid , and Tricor are the major brand names. Side effects are few. Fibrates are usually given in two daily doses totaling 1,200 milligrams, taken 30 minutes before morning and evening meals.

Niacin: High doses of niacin (available by prescription) have been shown to prevent and / or improve both high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol. Because the common side effects of niacin can be prevented or minimized by starting with low dose therapy and slowly raising the dose as tolerated, many people try the low dose OTC pills for this purpose. Consult with your health food specialist as to reliability of the product before starting. If any doubt exists, the prescription form should be considered. In either case starting with a small dose with slow increase is recommended.

Niacin is available in several different supplement forms: niacinamide, nicotinic acid, and inositol hexaniacinate. The form of niacin that is best tolerated with the least symptoms is inositol hexaniacinate. Niacin is available as a tablet or capsule in both regular and timed-release forms. The timed-release tablets and capsules may have fewer side effects than the regular niacin; however, the timed-release are more likely to cause liver damage and are therefore not recommended for long-term treatment. Regardless of the form of niacin being used, periodic checking of liver function tests is recommended when high-dose ( 2 – 6 gm per day ) of niacin is used. A starting dose of 25 mg regular niacin is reasonable with 25 mg increases every few days to tolerance or effect.

High doses ( 75 mg or more ) of niacin can cause side effects. The most common side effect is called "niacin flush," which is a burning, tingling sensation in the face and chest, and red or "flushed" skin. Taking an aspirin 30 minutes prior to the niacin may help reduce this symptom.

At the high doses frequently required to lower cholesterol, liver damage and stomach ulcers can occur. When taking pharmacologic doses of niacin, your doctor or other healthcare practitioner may wish to provide periodic testing. People with a history of liver disease or stomach ulcers should not take niacin supplements. The possibility of side effects when taking other medication must always be considered.

Stanol Esters: Plant sterols and stanols are substances that occur naturally in small amounts in many grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Since they have powerful cholesterol-lowering properties, manufacturers have started adding them to foods. You can now get stanols or sterols in margarine spreads, orange juice, cereals, and even granola bars.

On a molecular level, sterols and stanols look a lot like cholesterol. So when they travel through your digestive tract, they get in the way. They can prevent some of the real cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream which just goes out with the waste.

Experts have been studying the effects of food fortified with plant sterols for decades. One important study from 1995 of people with high cholesterol found that less than an ounce of stanol-fortified margarine a day could lower "bad" LDL cholesterol by 14%. The results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Srinol and Krill oil: See the following Spacedoc link: http://www.spacedoc.net/board/viewtopic ... ight=krill

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Welcome to the forum.

Best,

Brooks



[/b]
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Postby jb0615 » Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:11 am

Thank you for posting this. I also was reading about Linus Pauling's treatment. In fact, I ordered a bottle of the Tower HeartTechnology Drink Mix and plan to try it for a month and see what it does. Depending on the result, I'm hoping and praying I can avoid having to use the simvastat.
jb0615
 
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Postby jb0615 » Mon Mar 24, 2008 1:40 pm

I read the link regarding the Krill oil that you posted, Brooks. Am I correct in thinking that although Krill lowered the cholesterol, the best thing one can do is to take large doses of vitamin C? If so, then I would be on the right track with Pauling's method.

I have also read about Policosanol and have decided to try it along with the Vitamin C therapy. I'd be interested in any feedback from anyone who has tried Vitamin C therapy and Policosanol.

Thanks,
jb0615
 
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Postby cjbrooksjc » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:48 pm

Vitamion C is a good remedy. Keep your intake to about 500Mg per dose a few times during the day. Vit C doesn't stay in the body and flushes out if not used immediately (one hour or so). One gram doses are probably a waste of money.
As to the rest of your post: I would take a krill oil supplement as well. You can do a SEARCH function in this forum - why not try Krill Oil and Policosanol searches for more immediate info.

Brooks
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