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    Old 10-25-2006, 12:34 PM   #1
    Bostonwnb
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    Good results with Zocor

    Hi

    I started taking 20mg Zocor in early September this year (2006) and just received the results of a blood test done on 16 October 2006.

    Triglycerides down from 186 to 129
    Total cholesterol down from 237 to 148
    LDL cholesterol down from 158 to 76
    HDL cholesterol up from 42 to 46

    CHOL/HDLC ratio now 3.2, previously 5.6

    So it is all good – and without any noticeable side-effects from the 20mg Zocor.

    I have also been taking (for about 4 months now) the following supplements:
    3 X daily Metamucil (about 1 tsp) together with 2 Fenugreek capsules
    1 X Curcumin capsule
    2 X Fish oil capsules
    3 X daily 1tsp organic Apple Cider Vinegar with 4 drops Stevia.
    Twice daily ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce with ½ tsp cinnamon.

    Either steelcut oats or Kashi Go Lean for breakfast, with non-fat milk. Otherwise being careful with the diet, which is about 25% fat, less than 10% saturated fat, 50% to 60% carbs, 20% protein and about 30g. or more fiber per day.

    I am 54, about 5’ 10, weigh 165 and I do lots of exercise: running (training for a marathon), some weight-lifting and also stationary rowing. I would like to trim my weight by an additional few pounds to be under 160.

    The doctor also put me on 15mg Actos for borderline high fasting blood sugar (tested at 106 in May last year and now 102); hopefully losing a few more pounds will help to get that under 100…

    I was initially very concerned about taking Zocor but no muscle pain yet… Will see how it goes over the next 6 months or so. I have to go back in 6 months time for another blood test.

    I have found many posts on these boards to be helpful!


    Cheers


    Bert
    Houston TX

     
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    Old 10-25-2006, 01:00 PM   #2
    janeslk
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Were you taking the supplements prior to starting Zocor or did you start them with the Zocor? Just curious.

    Jane

    Sorry, just noticed you had been on supplements a few months before Zocor. Were you tested while on supplements alone? My husband is taking many of the same supplements for the past year and we think his cholesterol has dropped about 90 points, based upon home testing. We will know for certain when he is tested next month.

    Last edited by janeslk; 10-26-2006 at 06:54 AM.

     
    Old 10-25-2006, 03:14 PM   #3
    NHone
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Your cholesterol is too low.....Studies show that lowering cholesterol ( by artifical means) to under 160 increases you chances of heart disease.

     
    Old 10-25-2006, 04:24 PM   #4
    running_guy
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Hi Boston,

    Welcome to the board. It's good to have another running nut on the board! I have been running about 25 years and found myself with fairly high calcification in my coronary arteries after a heart scan. The doctor saw the results and put me on zocor (5mg) immediately with a TC near 190. I run about 35 miles per week and had no problem with the zocor for 3 years. All of a sudden, I began to have calf pain and I dropped weight very quickly. I was off the zocor for about a year and my TC went back to 190. He then talked me into 5 mg of Lipitor and that lasted about 4 months until the groin pain started. I now take a more "natural" approach to my cholestrol lowering and am in the 150 range. I'm going to leave it right there.

    Being a long distance runner, keep close tabs on how you are feeling day to day. The muscle pains can sneak up on you....and the problems aren't always detectable with a blood test. You might also consider some enzyme Q10 supplement as very active people REALLY need it for cellular function. Statins deplete it from your cells.

    I wish you the best with your cholesterol lowering project. You are doing great! Remember, a glass of wine and a couple squares of 70% coca chocolate are good for you (I saved the good news for last) Keep putting on the miles....it's great for your HDL.

    Cheers,
    Running_guy


    PS - I'm 54, 5"11" and 167#.

    Last edited by running_guy; 10-25-2006 at 04:29 PM.

     
    Old 10-26-2006, 06:45 AM   #5
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Bert, your response to the low dose simvastatin was superb. It was obviously enhanced by your high fiber diet (psyllium and oats.) My partner gets a similar result with 20 mg. Zocor...1/4 of a delicately carved 80 mg. tablet

    I WORSHIP anyone who can pull off a marathon...to my mind it is super-human. May you break 3 hours!

    Keep up the excellent work and I wish you continued good luck.

    Were I you, I would discontinue the pioglitazone. Firstly, I don't think a BG of 106 warrants drug treatment and secondly, if all it can do is get you to 102 (which is statistically IDENTICAL to 106) it sounds like a waste of money: all risk/no benefit.
    Buy a tester (often given away FREE with 10 strips) and test yourself at home. LOTS of things can make for an occasionally quirky serum BG at the lab...not the least of which is improper centrifuging and gel barrier formation by the doctor, or too long in transit, etc. etc.
    I got a 110 that got my doctor all bent out of shape but it was never repeatable...and at home I get consistent 80's or low 90's.
    Do you have diabetes in your family?

    Last edited by Lenin; 10-26-2006 at 06:55 AM.

     
    Old 10-26-2006, 10:15 AM   #6
    Bostonwnb
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Hi!

    In response to a few questions, the following:

    I was never tested while taking supplements (Metamucil etc.) only. In the past my Total Cholesterol hovered around 200 or so; I can't recall my LDL or HDL levels or ratio. When I was tested in May 2006 everything (except HDL) had increased quite a lot over the previous levels. This had to do mostly with diet, I think. I never stopped excercising - have been running since 1970, completing a marathon (occasionally two) every year since 1991.

    So yes the supplements likely also played a role in the lowering of TC etc, but patently the 20mg Zocor is doing its job very well.

    Regarding the blood sugar issue, I have been taking a reading at home about once or twice a week for about 4 months, and I'm afraid it is pretty much at the same level as tested in the lab, ranging from about 99 to 116 (fasting).
    I am also inclined towards dropping the Actos, will discuss that with the MD in 6 months' time. There is a newer drug on the market - Januvia - which looks promising.

    As for the observations about my TC being 'too low' and that it may lead to (future) heart problems, I think I will rather take my chances on the low side than on the high side. Thanks for your concern, nonetheless.

    Oh yes, Running Guy, I do indulgence in the occasional Dove dark chocolate square! I quit both alcohol and nicotine many years ago when I turned 40.

    BTW I also quit caffeine about 4 weeks ago - I had severe withdrawal symptoms (headache, muscle pain, leg cramps, sleeplessness etc) which lasted almost a week! I feel so much better now without the ups and downs of the several large cups of coffee (1,000mg+ caffeine) I used to consume every day of my life.

    But that is beside the point.

    Good luck to everybody on managing your cholesterol levels.

    Cheers



    Bert
    Houston TX

    Last edited by Bostonwnb; 10-26-2006 at 10:21 AM.

     
    Old 10-26-2006, 05:58 PM   #7
    running_guy
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Evvo, you're right, I should have never been on statins. I received really bad medical advice with a big dose of fear included. IMO, there seems to be a lot of that being passed out relative to statin use. I'm glad this board was here to talk with others about these drugs.

    Hey Bert, you were one of the ORIGINAL distance runners if you got started in the early 70s. My first pair of running shoes were the original Nike Waffle
    Trainers. You had to wear a mouth guard to keep your teeth from chipping on foot strike.....talk about a lack of padding. I hope all keeps going well for you on the Zocor and your cholesterol lowering program! Dove cholcolate is my addiction...other than running.


    Running Guy

     
    Old 10-26-2006, 07:32 PM   #8
    Laura789
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    I am also surprised that the doctor put you on medication with that blood glucose level. Did he even do an A1c test? You would be better off watching your diet (fewer carbs).

    Last edited by Laura789; 10-26-2006 at 07:35 PM.

     
    Old 10-26-2006, 08:54 PM   #9
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bostonwnb
    ..... being careful with the diet, which is about 25% fat, less than 10% saturated fat, 50% to 60% carbs, 20% protein and about 30g. or more fiber per day ..... The doctor also put me on 15mg Actos for borderline high fasting blood sugar ......
    As you get a lot of exercise, the raised blood sugar is most likely the result of the 50%-60% carb in your diet. Remember that carbohydrate is the only nutrient that increases blood glucose. ......
    __________________
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    Old 10-27-2006, 08:01 AM   #10
    Bostonwnb
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Hi!

    I realize that my high carbohydrate intake is the leading cause for the elevated blood sugar, but it is somewhat of a Catch 22. Long distance runners need lots of carbs just to keep going... I would not be able to run - forget finish - a marathon on a low carb diet.

    What I probably should do is to minimize things like rice, bread, pasta, potatoes etc and rather opt for more vegetables, fruit & legumes. And I can probably get away with taking in a lower percentage of carbs most of the time, except for a couple of days or so before a long run. Will work on that and see how it goes over the next 6 months, until my next series of tests.

    Runner Guy - yes - I also started off on a pair of Nike Waffle trainers. At the time, they were the coolest thing out! I ran myself into a world class case of shin splints on those shoes, the first few weeks. Did not have a slow gear - still don't! I read and re-read Jim Fixx's famous book - The Complete Book of Running - many times! Running is a part of my being - last week I could not run due to a pinched nerve and I fretted more about being inactive than about being in pain. I'm shooting for a 3:45 in the Houston Marathon in Jan 2007 which will qualify me for Boston in 2008. Being able to qualify for Boston is one of the few 'advantages' of advancing years. That and an AARP membership card.

    Cheers

    Bert
    Houston, TX

     
    Old 10-27-2006, 01:33 PM   #11
    Mark1e
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bostonwnb
    ..... Long distance runners need lots of carbs just to keep going... I would not be able to run - forget finish - a marathon on a low carb diet. ....
    Bert,

    You need to think outside the box here. If you find you are hitting the wall without carbo-loading, it is because you are relying on carbs as your primary source of energy. When you eat carbs, some of them will be stored as glycogen which you can use later. But your ability to burn fat is down-regulated, denying you access to this vast store of energy when you need it most.

    Relying on carb as the main source of energy doesn't make sense for someone who is pre-diabetic. Increasingly, athletes (and especially marathon runners) are finding that a ketogenic way of eating works much better for them. Essentially, replacing carb with fat trains your body to increase the efficiency of the fat burning mechanism. Ultimately, it increases energy levels and keeps you going a lot longer.

    A metabolic consequence of eating carb is that it stops your body burning fat. Which is disastrous for an athlete. You need access to all the energy you can get. And carbo-loading shortly before exercise is the worst thing you can do. It increases insulin levels, cutting off glucagon production and denying you access to liver based glycogen reserves. Carbs should be eaten after exercise to replenish glycogen that has been used up. The fact that you are pre-diabetic means that your insulin levels are probably high in any case, denying you access to nearly half of your glycogen during exercise, anyway.

    It takes about 6 weeks to acclimate to a ketogenic way of eating and open you all those unused pathways. But once it is working, you won't look back. For me, giving up carbs was a bit like giving up smoking. I should have done it 20 years ago, especially as I am a type 1 diabetic.

    Mark
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    Last edited by Mark1e; 10-27-2006 at 01:41 PM.

     
    Old 10-28-2006, 05:23 AM   #12
    Lenin
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Hmmm, fat as running fuel?

    Are there many world class runners that practice FAT LOADING before a race? I would imagine something like 2 pounds of half cooked bacon or a few sticks of butter?
    If so it must be a well kept secret.

    Do obese runners have a metabolic advantage in marathon running? It seems so few of them cross the finish line. Still they DO have all those stored calories ?
    After all, even with carb loading one can squeeze in 1000 extra calories or so, while a grossly obese person can have MILLIONS of extra calories available to run 5, 6 or 20 marathon lengths. I guess a person weighing 600 pounds might be able to run for WEEKS without stoppiing.

    (I guess I can take my tongue out of my cheek now lest I perforate it.)

    Carbs are the fuel for runners...PERIOD. Anything else is Atkins nonsense.

    Last edited by Lenin; 10-28-2006 at 05:34 AM.

     
    Old 10-28-2006, 08:22 AM   #13
    HubbleRules
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mark1e
    Bert,

    Relying on carb as the main source of energy doesn't make sense for someone who is pre-diabetic. Increasingly, athletes (and especially marathon runners) are finding that a ketogenic way of eating works much better for them. Essentially, replacing carb with fat trains your body to increase the efficiency of the fat burning mechanism. Ultimately, it increases energy levels and keeps you going a lot longer.

    Mark
    Mark,

    Can you share info about the diet you follow with us? If you already have, just point me to the posting...

    I have been told by my doctor that I'm becoming pre-diabetic - my blood glucose has been around 110 - 115 the past year. And I know I eat too many carbs - not sugary stuff, but probably too much rice, pasta and bread. My older brother was just diagnosed with type-II diabetes - so I may be more at-risk for diabetes than I admit to myself.

    HubbleRules
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    Old 10-28-2006, 03:33 PM   #14
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lenin
    ..... (I guess I can take my tongue out of my cheek now lest I perforate it.) ....
    lol .... But just to get this into perspective, you can store 100-150grams of carb as glycogen. Which translates to 400 - 600 calories. But someone weighing, 70 kg and with only 5% body fat is would be carrying 3.5kg of fat around, which converts to 31,500 calories ....

    Clearly we have evolved to use fat as the primary fuel. There is no need to "fat load". This enormous store of energy is pretty permanent. And it is in our interests to make the best possible use of it. The glucose that glycogen gets turned into is like turbo-fuel. We need it for extreme anaerobic exercise. And we would be in trouble without. But relying on glucose as the main source of energy and allowing the fat burning capability to fall into disuse doesn't make much sense.

    Lenin, I know this works for me, simply because my blood glucose doesn't jump up and down the way it used to when I ate lots of carbohydrate. My blood sugar still drops during exercise. But it declines gently. And I don't have to carbo-load before, during or after exercise to avoid hypoglycemia. This can only mean that I am getting more of my energy from keytones. I am on a mission to make that fat burning pathway as efficient as possible. And anyone who persists with this approach will get similar results.

    Consider for a moment where we came from and how things worked in the past. Our paleolithic ancestors used to expend enormous amounts of energy over extended periods of time (much longer that a marathon) hunting big animals, like wooly mamoths. We can be pretyy sure that they didn't carbo-load, simply because concentrated carbs were not available. But they did exceedingly well on the fat they ate, to the extent that their success took us to the top of the food chain. And it is odd that the human species is turning it's back on what worked so well during our formative years.


    Quote:
    Can you share info about the diet you follow with us? ....
    HubbleRules,

    My diet is very simple, and Lenin won't like this lol.... I don't eat carbs with meals. And I don't restrict fats (except trans fat) at all. In fact, I eat as much saturated fat as I can. My main challenge with this way of eating has been to maintain body weight. And I have to keep my energy store topped up!

    My protein consumption at meals has probably not changed much. The protein from bread, for example, has been replaced with protein from eggs. I am now supplementing with a protein shake after workouts, but that is because I am trying to build muscle.

    For breakfast, I normally eat 3 eggs, lots of cheese (the full fat stuff) and a sausage or some salami. This meal contains a lot of calories and sets me up well for the rest of the day. The virtual absence of carbohydrates means that my blood sugar is not significantly affected and, more importantly, I don't get hungry a few hours afterwords.

    After gym workouts, I recover with a protein shake, which is 23 grams of whey protein powder in 250ml of full-fat milk. I don't eat much for lunch - maybe some fruit if my blood glucose is on the low side. I am still working on this. I need to find an easy high-fat meal to take to work with me to keep the calories up. After work, I have a low-carb beer (5grams of carb) and snack on peanuts (lots of them!). For supper, we have a protein (chicken, sausages, meat, fish) and a salad. I eat an extra sausage/piece of chicken etc and leave out the carb.

    The diet is not ketogenic in that I rarely go into ketosis. But I have certainly opened up some fat burning pathways and reduced my reliance on glycogen/blood glucose. This certainly makes a lot of sense for a diabetic, or anyone with some degree of glucose intolerance. In fact, people without glucose tolerance also do better on this way of eating.

    I was concerned about what eating this way would do to cholesterol. But I have found that, while LDL went up a bit to start with, it is now back where it started. HDL has gone way up and triglycerides have come down. So my heart attack risk is very low (4% during the next 10 years, according to the NCEP calculator). The numbers from my last lipid panel are :

    Total Cholesterol 257
    LDL 136
    HDL 98
    Triglycerides 106

    The test was done after a fatty breakfast, and triglycerides are probably a lot higher than they would otherwise be. But they are still pretty low. The higher-than-desirable TC is partially because of high HDL, which increased substantially after cutting carbs, reducing insulin and increasing fats.

    Cheers,

    Mark
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    Old 10-28-2006, 04:07 PM   #15
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    Re: Good results with Zocor

    257???
    isn't that pretty high?

    EVERY doctor, nutritionist, etc., that i've ever talked to has told me to stay the heck away from these low/no carb / high fat diets...
    they've all also told me that this state of "ketosis" that diets like Atkins herald as being such a great state to be in is complete hogwash, and that it's actually a state of crisis for your body...

    i've taken their advice, stayed away from these types of diets, limit my saturdated fat intake, upped my vegetable and fruits intake, subbed brown rice for white rice, and generally eat "healthy" and have dropped my total cholesterol from 250ish to 170...

    just my $0.02...

     
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