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Old 05-03-2007, 09:11 AM   #1
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Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

After just 3 weeks on a low-fat, high fiber vegan diet, my total cholesterol is down from 148 to 90 and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol is down from 76 to 29. HDL (‘good’) cholesterol is about the same at 42. Triglicerides down from 129 to 98. Fasting blood glucose still slightly elevated at 103, but Hemoglobin A1C is good at 5.6%.

As a result, my MD has lowered my daily Zocor dose to 10mg (from 20mg). I will be re-tested in about 6 weeks’ time. Obviously, the low-fat vegan diet is working extremely well. I may even be able to forego the statin therapy altogether, over the longer term. I have never felt better or had more energy.

The low-fat vegan diet means that there are no animal products in my diet, so zero beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish, dairy, eggs, milk, yogurt & cheese.

My new ‘food groups’ are:

i) beans, peas and lentils;
ii) whole grains including brown rice, old-fashioned oats, corn, whole-wheat pastas etc;
iii) vegetables
iv) fruits.

I avoid any low glycemic index foods such as sugar, sodas, white bread, potatoes, snack foods, etc. I exercise on a near-daily basis (running, weight-lifting and stationary rowing); I take fiber supplements & apple cider vinegar 3 times per day; I do not consume any alcohol, do not smoke (duh!), and avoid caffeine by drinking only herbal (African ‘rooibos’) and Chinese white tea.

For more information about a nutritionally balanced vegan diet (i.e. plenty of protein & calcium), please read Dr. Neal Barnard’s new book about Reversing Diabetes.

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Last edited by mod-anon; 05-09-2007 at 11:14 PM. Reason: Be polite on these Boards.

 
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Why don't you just stay on the 20mg since you are getting really low numbers and feel really good?

Jane

 
Old 05-03-2007, 07:56 PM   #3
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

[removed] for what worldly reason would you doctor even let you stay on stains with numbers that low? That is one of the prime examples of statin mis-use...and just one of the reasons so many of us are against statins. I suggest the other people that are concerned about their cholesterol do so looking into aggression and violent behavior and low cholesterol. They might also be concerned with hemorrhagic stroke and low cholesterol (TC below 180). Low cholesterol is not uniformly a good thing. Another article of interest is "Histopathology of Statin Myopathy" and also an artilce for the lead researcher of the Statin Study at UCSD in the Geriatric Times entitled "Statin Adverse Effects: Implications for the Elderly"....it is not just about elderly people. You might try Cinnamon, as the USDA has found that it does work. I do hope you're taking your CoQ10. Low levels don't just affect the people with it...it can also affect the people around you....(or in some cases, where you don't know you are). Boston as a side note: my sister took apple cider vinegar caps and her cholesterol dropped considerably. It could have been from that or that she had a hysterectomy. She didn't follow closely enough, before her surgery. It could have been just a casual relationship. Did you ever just try the vinegar caps to see if it dropped?

Last edited by Administrator; 05-10-2007 at 10:17 AM.

 
Old 05-03-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Jane, hi

I think there is some anecdotal evidence that shows that 5 mg to 10 mg of Zocor® works almost as well as 20 mg. This lower dose could reduce the risk of side effects by as much as four-fold. Not that I have been suffering from any side-effects but there is always a possibility of long-term risk.

If I can reduce and keep my cholesterol within acceptable limits without taking any medication, even better. The optimum situation would be to keep cholesterol levels within range by diet only.

 
Old 05-04-2007, 04:21 AM   #5
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

A large study conducted in Japan over a 20 year period indicated very low cholesterol = much higher incidence of Strokes. I've read many reports about the dangers of low cholesterol. One report recommended not going below 200. I'm at 202 and that's where I plan to stay regardless of what the Doctor says. I'm far more focused now on Homocysteine.

 
Old 05-04-2007, 05:37 AM   #6
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike In NY View Post
A large study conducted in Japan over a 20 year period indicated very low cholesterol = much higher incidence of Strokes. I've read many reports about the dangers of low cholesterol. One report recommended not going below 200. I'm at 202 and that's where I plan to stay regardless of what the Doctor says. I'm far more focused now on Homocysteine.
The connection between low cholesterol and hemorrhagic stroke is more complicated than what you may think.

As reported in the British Medical Journal in 2006, a team of researchers followed 800,000 Korean civil servants over ten years. In analyzing about 4,000 instances of hemorrhagic stroke, they found that low cholesterol was not a risk unless there was high blood pressure as well. When they looked further, people with low cholesterol levels only got brain bleeds if they were moderate to heavy drinkers, as measured by liver damage.

Known heavy drinkers tend to have lower than average cholesterol and higher blood pressure so the drinking is connected with the strokes, not the low cholesterol.

 
Old 05-04-2007, 06:18 AM   #7
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Mike in NY;

Can you decribe for me how many categories are tested and their ranges when you get your homocysteine test done?

 
Old 05-04-2007, 06:57 AM   #8
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Mr. Detail. I insisted on a Homocysteine test last 06/30/06 when I had my annual blood test. The Doctor was surprised since patients don't request it and he wasn't certain it would be reimbursed (it was reimbursed). All the Cholesterol results (total, HDL, LDL Trig, Ratio) were in the range but not the Homocysteine. The result was 12 versus reference range of <11.4. The Doctor felt it should be below 10. In December 2006, I read an article that stated it should be below 7 and that a score of 12 placed me at three times the risk of having a heart attack than someone with 7. Since the Homocysteine test is fairly new the blood testing centers have not perfected the range. Since late December, I've been taking a Homocysteine Formula which I purchased at our local heath store (high B6, B12, Folic Acid, TMG). I'll retest for Homocysteine in early July 07. I've since read a second article about the importance of Homocysteine (although the Jury is still out) and that it should be below 7. I don't care to wait for additional Research that may take 5 years or more that indicates the importance of the Homocysteine Test (I'm 67 years old). Therefore, I'm far more concerned about lowering Homocysteine than Total Cholesterol. The Test for Homocysteine is expensive so not all Insurance Providers will cover it. I was willing to pay out of pocket. I was surprised that Medicare covered it.

 
Old 05-04-2007, 01:30 PM   #9
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

bostonwnb, could you tell me what you consider "acceptable levels" are and who sets them? What proof and scientific evidence is there to show what desirable levels are?

 
Old 05-04-2007, 02:50 PM   #10
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Boston: Thanks for your response. Very interesting study indicating that blood pressure & alcohol is dangerous along with very low cholesterol. However, I've read two other articles about the danger of low cholesterol regarding mood disorders, depression, altzheimer, violence and some other disorders I don't remember. I'm slightly above what's considered the average and I plan to keep it at this range regardless of what the Drug Companies and Doctors say (which I'm very skeptical of).

 
Old 05-04-2007, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by chj View Post
bostonwnb, could you tell me what you consider "acceptable levels" are and who sets them? What proof and scientific evidence is there to show what desirable levels are?
You would need to discuss that with your physician: 'acceptable levels' of cholesterol are not the same for everybody.

 
Old 05-05-2007, 01:41 AM   #12
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

The problem with most doctors are that they are guided by the drugs companies and therefore puts everybody in the same boat, ie TC 200. Personally I have found that starting to eat more animal fat, not to any excess, and coming of Zocor my hdl numbers have improved a great deal and gone from around 50 to 71. This might of course be a personal thing like most others. I am afraid I am getting very cynical about the whole question and hype regarding cholesterol and really wonder who to believe. One well known brand of cereal now claims that if you eat their products your cholesterol will be eliminated from your body Whatever next!

 
Old 05-05-2007, 05:33 AM   #13
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Quote:
Originally Posted by chj View Post
The problem with most doctors are that they are guided by the drugs companies and therefore puts everybody in the same boat, ie TC 200. Personally I have found that starting to eat more animal fat, not to any excess, and coming of Zocor my hdl numbers have improved a great deal and gone from around 50 to 71. This might of course be a personal thing like most others. I am afraid I am getting very cynical about the whole question and hype regarding cholesterol and really wonder who to believe. One well known brand of cereal now claims that if you eat their products your cholesterol will be eliminated from your body Whatever next!
How true.

"Hype" describes it very well.

 
Old 05-06-2007, 05:03 AM   #14
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Quote:
After just 3 weeks on a low-fat, high fiber vegan diet, my total cholesterol is down from 148 to 90 and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol is down from 76 to 29. HDL (‘good’) cholesterol is about the same at 42. Triglicerides down from 129 to 98.
Boston,

That is SPECTACULAR. If your numbers remain that good with the Vegan Diet + 10 mg. Zocor, I suppose the next trial might be JUST the vegan diet. If you try, be sure to report the results.

My hat is off to anyone who can stick to a vegan diet...I love meat far too much to succeed.

 
Old 05-06-2007, 12:13 PM   #15
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Re: Effect of vegan diet on cholesterol levels

Again that cholesterol is TOO low.

 
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