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Old 10-26-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
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What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

I have abnormally low HDL (good cholesterol) readings, and it has been like that for my entire life.
Since low HDL is a key indicator for future heart disease, I have been trying to find effective ways to boost my HDL level.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of information available on this, although I did read about a study suggesting that Niacin supplementation could boost HDL a few points.
I haven't been taking it long enough to know whether it is working or not though.

So far, I haven't read anything to suggest that there could be a genetic link to low HDL, but I sure wonder if there is indeed such a link, because nothing I have done so far has worked.

In my early twenties, I was in terrific shape with only a 6 percent body fat ratio, and I ate mostly protein foods, fruits and vegetables. Still my HDL was abnormally low.
Now I am 57, and I am much heavier (although still athletically involved) and I have the same exact HDL reading that I had decades before!

My doctor said that it is difficult to raise HDL levels, and so far my own experience seems to bear this out, but Iím hoping that the solution to the problem is out there somewhere, and I just havenít tried it yet.

I'm curious as to what other people are doing to successfully boost their HDL levels?

LD

 
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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Smile Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

When I stopped taking Statins for cholesteral adjustment, I increased my walking time and added Total Gym (not the name brand) workouts every other day. I'm 66 yrs and I work full time in law. So I'm really hoping this will work ....

My doctor suggested I replace red meat with raw walnuts.

I've been doing it for one month. We'll test in another month.

I mix walnuts with a fresh apple and blend to a frothy cold beverage. Put them in the high fiber cereal we all eat, etc

I love the taste. I don't know yet if it's helping. I'll post when I know.
My docter has me eat 5 veg, steamed or raw and 4 serving of fresh fruit including Blueberries everyday, I naturally drink skim milk and eat cottage cheese, so if this doesn't work I don't know what to try next.

==================
Things we've tried the past 12 years.
We discovered the hard way that I'm allergic to "Ace inhibitors" (almost died of Angio Edema Reaction), "Beta blockers," made me lethargic, gain weight, and become clinically depressed. Statins suck the fluids out of me and have left muscle damage, though most of that pain is gone.

kweiler

 
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:22 AM   #3
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

I too have eliminated red meat, and have added a variety of nuts (including walnuts) to my daily diet.

I also am eating fresh vegetables and fruits to the point where I almost gag on them. I have never been a big fan of either, so now I guess I'll just have to get used to them. Usually though, if I'm hungry enough, they will go down without gaging however

In my last post, I forgot to mention that I am also taking coconut oil in soft capsule format. These seem to help to eliminate the hunger while at the same time provide a number of positive health benefits.

It will be interesting to see if our conditions improve as a result of all of this.

By the way, thanks for the information about the ACE inhibitors. Generally speaking, I do not fare well with traditional pharmacological drugs anyway, so I always try to find a natural solution first to any health problem. Your comment about ACE inhibitors simply reinforces my belief that I should do what I can to avoid taking them.

LD

 
Old 10-29-2008, 06:38 AM   #4
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conanld View Post
I'm curious as to what other people are doing to successfully boost their HDL levels?
Hi, again!

My Cholesterol Numbers, which were at unhealthy levels, are now at healthy levels, without having to take statins! I went on a small meal, frequent feeding, low carb, low calorie diet.

* Total Cholesterol: previously over 300 currently about 160
* HDL: previously about 42 currently about 60
* LDL: previously over 200 currently about 90
* Trig: previously over 500 currently about 60
* Ratio: previously over 6 currently about 3

I have also lost 4 pant sizes. I'm now down to a 32! I haven't had that waist since my youth. Amazing diet, but very difficult to follow.

I'm close to 70, with heart failure. Just a few years ago, I figured that my best days were behind me, and my worst nightmares were in front of me. Now, not only do I have hope for my future, I feel much better than I did. Plus, I don't have to take a bunch of pills!

Regards......
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CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
Old 10-29-2008, 10:50 PM   #5
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

What is your iron source in your diet if you eliminate meat? Do you eat legumes/eggs? I don't eat meat etc. either but prefer a vegetarian diet. Fam

 
Old 10-30-2008, 12:36 PM   #6
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

As I understand it, exercise is one of the best ways to raise the HDL. In your case, since you were very active and in great shape when young and still had a low HDL, makes me wonder if some hereditary factors are involved.

It sounds like you are doing everything possible to take care of your cardiovascular health, with a mostly plant based diet and exercise.

If it is any consolation, it is generally more difficult for males to maintain a high HDL. It's much easier for females d/t the protective effective of estrogen, which naturally raises the HDL. I know of a female coworker who is very overweight and eats a high fat diet and yet, her last HDL was at 70. - go figure?

Leea

 
Old 10-30-2008, 12:57 PM   #7
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Your story is quite an inspiration!

I'm not sure about my HDL readings because the doctor didn't think it was necessary for me to have another blood test , but my BP is finally starting to trend down a little bit.
It's still too high, but at least it's heading in the right direction for change

Interestingly enough, I took a Mayo Clinic test (on-line) using the figures from my last physical about 2 months back. The results that came back were all but a death sentence. It was pretty damned grim, and really scared the stuffing out of me.

LD

Last edited by mod-anon; 10-30-2008 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Please use the Quick Reply button instead of Quote Reply.

 
Old 10-30-2008, 01:00 PM   #8
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Except under extreme conditions, I don't believe men are supposed to supplement with Iron. In other words, they need very little Iron once they reach adulthood.

LD

Last edited by mod-anon; 10-30-2008 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Please use the Quick Reply button instead of Quote Reply.

 
Old 10-30-2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

leea,

Absolutely. I am very concerned that the genetic factor (in my particular case) might stonewall any attempt I make to raise my HDL figures. It might turn out that I will need to overcompensate in other areas in order to move back into the healthy range. For example, get my BP on the lower side of normal, as well as my blood sugar etc.

LD

Last edited by mod-anon; 10-30-2008 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Please use the Quick Reply button instead of Quote Reply.

 
Old 10-30-2008, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conanld View Post
Your story is quite an inspiration!
Thanks. I am hopeful that others, with serious heart disease, like I have, will believe that their dreadful illnesses can be significantly improved through diet, period! All the pills in the world, and all the exercise in the world, and all the worry in the world, does not match up to the great medicinal effects from eating a healthy diet.

My health improved dramatically, mostly due to a small meal, frequent feeding, low calorie, low carb diet. When I started an exercise program, it added additional health benefits.

If I were younger, I'd probably not post as much as I do now, but, nearing 70, I am amazed and surprised that I am doing as well as I am, after having Heart Failure for over 20 years.

Quote:
I'm not sure about my HDL readings because the doctor didn't think it was necessary for me to have another blood test , but my BP is finally starting to trend down a little bit.
It's still too high, but at least it's heading in the right direction for change
I have become convinced that one's blood pressure acts like a gauge, indicating the general health and hormonal balance of one's body. As one improves the health of their body, and gets their hormones in balance, the blood pressure gauge goes lower.

So..... IMHO, as your blood pressure improves, through healthy diet, your cholesterol numbers should also improve. Sound reasonable?

Quote:
Interestingly enough, I took a Mayo Clinic test (on-line) using the figures from my last physical about 2 months back. The results that came back were all but a death sentence. It was pretty damned grim, and really scared the stuffing out of me.

LD
Sometimes it takes a real jolt to get us to change our unhealthy lifestyles. In my case, it took swollen legs, ankles and feet; constant breathing problems; constant chest pains; constant fatigue; and the fear of dying, that got me to forgo all that I loved to eat and drink, and do whatever I had to do to survive.

It's not easy, and seldom as much fun, to go on a healthy diet. With the stresses of everyday life, bills, family problems, the rat race, commuting long distances to work, it's no wonder why many refuse to give up one of their main solaces in this world, food and drink!

If you don't mind, what kind of results did you get from the Mayo test? Like a death sentence? Wow! Not the kind of results any of us want to see.

Take care..............
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
Old 10-31-2008, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Sound reasonable? Absolutely. I think you hit the nail on the head.

I expressed a desire to my doctor that I wanted to try to pinpoint the specific area of my hormonal imbalance, and he didn't seem to think that was necessary. He said just keep doing what you are doing. I still would like to know the specific source of my imbalance though.

The MAYO clinic answers were very generalized with respect to the specifics of my lab tests and the life style & personal experiences questionare that they had me take. It was all done online.

Basically they just said that I was at a very dangerously high risk level for stroke or heart attack, AND that I was also diabetic. My doctor said that the diabetic analysis was incorrect, that I was pre-diabetic, not diabetic. Either way, I needed to make life style changes.

I also noticed the doctor had a tendency to want to focus on drug solutions rather than alternatives. Just as you had suggested would happen.

LD

Last edited by mod-anon; 10-31-2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: removed quote

 
Old 11-04-2008, 08:54 PM   #12
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Conanld,

I am curious about how abnormally low your levels are. My father has had problems with this for about 15 years. Lifestyle, diet, drugs, nothing made much difference... in fact the numbers went down some. He has been to a variety of doctors over the years and several have told him that they haven't seen anyone alive with such low levels. A couple years ago, he started working with an Endocronologist and a Hematologist who specializes in cancer. Just this last year, he has had a bit of increase in his numbers. The Endocronologist did some research and testing and said he had a really rare genetic disorder that originates from a certain small area of Italy. (Never knew we had ancestry from there, but who knows.) This was confirmed through some of the testing they did. The only reassuring thing with this is the fact that people who actually have this condition can live fairly healthy lives with numbers that would cause most people major problems.

 
Old 11-05-2008, 11:42 AM   #13
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
Conanld,
The Endocronologist did some research and testing and said he had a really rare genetic disorder that originates from a certain small area of Italy. (Never knew we had ancestry from there, but who knows.) This was confirmed through some of the testing they did. The only reassuring thing with this is the fact that people who actually have this condition can live fairly healthy lives with numbers that would cause most people major problems.
Does he happen to have the Milano APO A1 gene by some chance? If so, he's actually very lucky -- probably never have a heart attack. Although it's super rare... incredibly rare... I didn't think anyone outside of a small town in Italy had that gene.

 
Old 11-05-2008, 09:03 PM   #14
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

My HDL level is 32. Anything below 35 is considered high risk. 40 and greater is considered the low end of "normal".

I think that it is unlikely that I have any genetic markers from Italy. All of my distant relatives came from the northland - Britain, Northern Russia, that sort of thing. I'm very pale too

I kinda wish I had a bit of Italian in me

There are a number of other anomalies associated with my chemistry. I am extremely heat sensitive. I can suffer heat stroke in 80 degree temperatures just sitting in the shade no less, if I sit outside long enough.

On the other hand, I never wear a jacket even in the dead of winter. I can literally work outside in the yard for hours, wearing nothing more than shorts, and a T-shirt in 20 to 30 degree temperatures in a stiff wind, and be perfectly comfortable (most of the time at any rate).

In all of my life, I have never met another person who can do that, or conversely who suffers as much as I do in the heat.

I once took a trip to Bejing China in the dead of winter. As always, I didn’t bother to bring along a jacket.

I walked around outside all day long in sub freezing temperatures and did just fine. You should have seen the looks of shock I got received from the natives! They really dress for the winter over there.

LD

Last edited by mod-anon; 11-06-2008 at 12:37 AM. Reason: removed quote

 
Old 11-05-2008, 11:31 PM   #15
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Re: What are you doing to boost HDL Levels?

Taking simvastatin 40mg per day.....it costs me 25 cents, raises my HDL and decreases my LDL

Taking 3 1gm fish oil capsules with my multivitamin afer dinner

Drinking 2 glasses of red wine with dinner

 
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