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Posted by Alan on July 29, 2000 at 00:42:04:

In Reply to: Anyone heard of these alternative meds to lower cholesterol? posted by Gina Williams on July 28, 2000 at 16:42:20:

: Hi,
: I'm 32 and was recently diagnosed as having the LDL as high and HDL as low. I'm not overweight, 5'7" 135 lbs but 10 of those lbs were gained recently in the abdominal/hip area. There is heart disease in my family and I've had lots of stress so I worry about this. I'm considering trying fish oil to see if that increases the HDL levels and a new supplement called Policosanol made by Enzymatic Therapy. It's derived fromm Cane Sugar and works by balancing cholesterol levels by impacting both excessive manufacture and impaired breakdown of cholesterol. There have been clinicals done and you see effects in 6-8 weeks (according to the brochure). No side effects known. Has anyone tried this and is it ok to take the fish oil? Thanks.

High cholesterol is a symptom and trying to lower it with meds is not taking care of the underlying problem. It's like trying to lower your white blood cell count with some medication, when the cause for high white blood cell count is an infection. You get to the root cause of the problem by treating the infection. Treating the symptom is counter productive. That said, the underlying cause for high cholesterol in most cases is diet. And a low fat / high carbohydrate diet is not the cure. This can actually aggravate the problem. Recent studies show that the ratio of HDL to Triglycerides is a better predictor of heart disease than total cholesterol (high HDL is good, low triglycerides is good). What raises HDL (good)? Animal protein. What raises triglycerides (bad)? Carbohydrates, and in particular refined carbs (sugar, corn syrup, white flour, etc.). So what is the best diet to lower the symptom of high cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease? A low carbohydrate diet that emphasizes good quality animal protien, non-starchy high fiber vegetables, and low sugar high fiber fruits while avoiding the refined carbohydrates and other simple sugars and starches. And don't worry much about the fats in your diet, except to avoid the trans fatty acids found in hydrogenated vegetable oils (margarine, shortening, etc.). That's my $.02. Alan

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