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Advice on Lowering Cholesterol

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PhyllisCh
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 6:10 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
Does anyone have any advice on lowering Cholesterol? My doctor said that I need to stay on a strict diet,(but he didn't give me a diet to follow) and I am finding it difficult to know exactly what I can eat. They said to stay away from whole milk products, but I was eating whole milk Dannon yogurt because of the msg in the others and I have the beginning of Osteoporosis, so I need calcium in my diet. Some say that meat is good and others say it is not. I know that lots of veggies and fruits are good, as well as olive oil, but I am not sure about how to get my protein and how much I need. I want to try everything possible before I resort to Statin drugs. I am also having problems with multiple B vitamins. After taking them, I experienced a severe burning on the side of my temple, pains in my eyes, and difficulty sleeping. I have started CoQ10 by NOW, and will probably use powdered B6 and Taurine from Beyond a Century and Tri-Salts. I just think I have to start them one at a time, so I know if I get a reaction, what causes it. Has anyone used Flush Free Niacin? I am really completely staying away from msg in foods, but now I have to deal with the supplements. If anyone can recommend a good book on lowering Cholesterol or on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, I would really appreciate it. I have high antibodies, but the hormone levels are still normal. I hope that this autoimune problem will resolve with strict msg free diet and supplements which I can tolerate.
Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.
Phyllis
Deb A.
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 8:26 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Phyllis, are you able to find any stores in your area that sell cream top organic whole milk? Organic Valley makes it, I know. You could pour off the cream and use the skim milk underneath. Some people do fine with their skim milk varieties...2% and skim. I called the company and they said that they have to add dry milk solids to the skim milk sold in California, by law. But they said that their skim milk out of Oregon and Washington does not have dry milk solids added. Yohurt is really very easy to make. You bring 4 cups of milk to scalding. Then let cool to luke warm. Add a few tablespoons of plain commercial yogurt, like Dannons, to it and stir well to distribute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place bowl in the center of an opened bath towel and wrap up. Place on top of the fridge or other warm spot for 24 hours and don't disturb it. Check to see if it is set up enough with a spoon. If not, return to top of fridge and let sit for a few more hours. Use a few tablespoons of this for your next batch.
PhyllisCh
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 9:19 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Deb,
I hope I can get Organic Valley milk. I can't wait to try to make yogurt.
I have started a version of the Fat Flush Diet, which eliminates all preservatives and chemicals. The only thing I have to eliminate is the fruit drink she recommends with Whey Protein. Is there a protein powder that might be a substitute?
I started my 25 year old daughter on the same diet that I am on, and she said that she can't get over how much better she feels since she has eliminated all of the processed food!!
Now I have to work on my husband. He gets severe leg cramps after eating ice cream and cookies, but he continues and won't give in. I guess if the cramps are bothering him enough, he will eventually. Thanks again for your help.
Phyllis
Deb A.
Posted on Sunday, December 05, 2004 - 1:04 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would strongly suggest that you try to find a substitute for whey protein. The vast majority of protein drinks and powders contain a goodly amount of glutamic acid. I know that there has been a rice protein powder suggested here, but I think I remember reading that the person used it mainly as a last resort when traveling. I don't think using protein drinks on a regular basis is a good idea. I have heard from a body builder who was confined to a wheelchair due to his use of protein drinks. He found our site and book, and is back to health.
Carol H
Posted on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 11:30 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Phyllis,
I have often thought about the whole cholesterol question. I have always tested high on cholesterol, and was always admonished by doctors to lower it, however, when I had to have a renal artery bypass due to the way the artery grew - NOT cholesterol, the doctors attending my angiogram who looked right into my arteries and veins said they were "pristine" - there was no cholesterol buildup. I was in danger of dying of an aneurysm, though. I know I am flying in the face of conventional wisdom here, but what if cholesterol is the body's way of patching up damaged arteries. A slow thickening of the arteries is preferable to catastrophic (and fatal) failure of the artery wall. Trans fats, which are not found in nature, are used by the body to build structures like arteries and veins. However this may prompt the body to try to shore up those artery walls built with these inferior materials. My bypass surgery came many years after I learned about trans fats in college and avoided them on principle. I did not avoid red meat. I did not avoid dairy, except cow milk (I ate buffallo mozzarella, sheep milk yogurt and cheese, etc.) Think about it. Animals - carnivores in the wild don't get hardening of the arteries. I am becoming more convinced that it is not the burgers killing us nowadays - it's the fries. Animals in the wild -they eat red meat. They just don't eat french fries and mozzarella sticks, and donuts cooked in vats of trans fat, and margarine, and Crisco. Phyllis, my approach right now, based on the fact that my artery is at risk of getting blocked again, and I must watch any buildup inside - including cholesterol, is that I try to avoid trans fats wherever they are. I want my body to use the best natural ingredients to repair and maintain my arteries. I don't want my body to try to patch up inferior walls built with inferior materials. I believe this is why we have been warned about trans fats lately.
Deb A.
Posted on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 12:51 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, I found your theories and ideas in your last post really helpful. My cholesterol is on the higher end, too, but when I go to my doctor, he says he is not worried given that my blood pressure and health is good. I have energy that most people don't have at my age. I am mainly slowed down by the back pain I still experience from our car accident of last year. ..and that's mainly when I bend wrong or try to do too much housework. I do eat meatand cheese, but avoid transfats. I have been sprinkling ground flaxseed on my oatmeal and used it in other dishes and baked goods. I eat salmon regularly, too. The key is eating well and that means avoiding fast and processed pseudofoods.
PhyllisCh
Posted on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 6:19 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol,
I found your post very interesting and thought provoking. It makes a great deal of sense.
My mother always had high cholesterol, but never had hardening of the arteries. My father never had high cholesterol, but had severe heart disease. My brother (who eats a very healthy diet)and is very healthy has high cholesterol, but also has high HDL as I do. My husband eats the worst food, including transfats, ice cream, cream pastries, fast food, fried food, etc. and his cholesterol is perfectly normal. It really seems to be genetic.
Because of the way that I react to medications, I do not want to take statin drugs, so I will try everything I can to avoid it, especially watching everything I eat carefully. Many doctors make their patients feel so guilty if they don't take the medications they prescribe. They don't care about the quality of life and how the medication can make one so sick it is difficult to function.

I just don't understand what causes this glutamate sensitivity. The minute I eat something with it, I feel symptoms. Some people can eat all they want and never feel a thing. It might catch up with them in the end, but they don't suffer in the process. Does anyone have any theories about why we have this sensitivity and others don't?
Phyllis
Deb A.
Posted on Monday, December 06, 2004 - 9:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are mechanisms in the brain that normally control and eliminate a potentially harmful amount of glutamate that can build up there. Dr. Blaylock suggests that these mechanisms are either compromised or even destroyed, possibly by the constant excess glutamate our system is exposed to. There can be genetic factors, a result of head or spinal injury, even a difficult birth...our own birth, that can even compromise the way we handle glutamate. These are theories. I think it is also a cumulative effect...after years of overdosing our system with glutamate. I'm really fearful for children...they are getting so much so much sooner than we did and their blood brain barriers are not even fully formed.
Carol H
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 8:21 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Phyllis,

I have a page on the MSGtruth site about why some may be more sensitive than others.
http://www.msgtruth.org/why.htm
PhyllisCh
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 3:27 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Deb, I have heard about so many friends with young relatives who have brain tumors or brain cancer. I wonder if this is related to the amount of msg in the food these days.

Carol, The link was very helpful. I now understand much better. I have been repeatedly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I am told that Fibromyalgia is not really a disease, but a syndrome with certain symptoms in common.(I guess this is because nobody knows what causes it). But what I am wondering is whether it is the msg that causes the Fibromyalgia, or whether the Fibromyalgia causes one to become sensitive to the msg. (kind of like the chicken and the egg question)
I believe I read that one needs B6 in order for the body to produce Taurine. Now, I am starting to take both (low doses)B6 and Taurine. Is that advisable, or shouldI take only one or the other? Also, since magnesium is so important in closing the calcium channels, should the ratio of calcium and magnesium consist of more magnesium than calcium? Do you recommend Niacin? I reacted badly to it, but am considering trying the flush free type.
Thanks for all of your help.
Phyllis
Deb A.
Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004 - 10:20 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Phyllis, Dr. Blaylock, neurosurgeon and author, has repeatedly blamed MSG and aspartame for the huge rise in brain tumors, especially among young adults.

Before I discovered my reactions were caused by MSG in 1995, I had all the classic symptoms of fibromylagia, although the word was hardly heard of back then. Now it's affecting people we all know. I for one, believe the majority of fibromyalgia cases are caused by years of glutamate toxicity.
PhyllisCh
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 5:18 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah, I get it. For my entire life, my favorite foods were the foods that were loaded with msg. I hope that some of this damage can be reversed over time. Does Dr. Blaylock still practice and if so, where is he located? Is his work accepted by the orthodox medical community, or will they ignore him as they do all alternative ideas?
I noticed on the msg website that an excess of Vitamin A can be toxic and cause glutamate problems. The vitamin that my husband and I took for years had very a high dose of Vitamin A.

It is so motivating to know that you alleviated your Fibromyalgia symptoms by avoiding msg and proves that there is still hope for those of us that are just beginning this difficult journey.
Phyllis
PhyllisCh
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 6:06 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In my last post, I mentioned that B6 is converted into Taurine. I guess I read wrong. It is B6 that is used to create CoQ10. So my question is whether it is necessary to take B6 and CoQ10 together and would it be harmful?
Phyllis
Carol H
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 10:20 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Phyllis,

B6 helps with many chemical reactions in the body, including turning one amino acid into another and is also needed for making CoQ10 and many other substances - including taurine. I believe doctors often suggest both B6 and CoQ10 for cardiovascular patients. Be aware though, that you can take too much B6.

I do think that my exposure to MSG and aspartame had everything to do with my pituitary tumor. Glutamate is turned into GABA which induces the pitutary to release growth hormone. Unfortunately, for many years in the U.S., only malignant tumors were kept track of. Many of these tumors caused by these additives are non-malignant, and so, were not kept track of since MSG and aspartame were added to the U.S. food supply. So right now we have no way of proving our case.
Deb A.
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 10:48 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, I take B6 powder from www.beyondacentury.com. I also take magnesium. Do you know what is a good amount of B6 to take?
MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 12:19 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carol, Deb and Phyllis - Excuse the interruption but how does one know if you need to supplement with B6?

My biochemist told me a story about a patient of his who came in for help since she had MS symptoms -- trouble walking. He eventually deduced with her that she was getting too much B6 via her self-prescribed supplements and her problems went away as soon as she stopped them.

I asked him how one can tell if they need B6. He said that low levels of SGPT and SGOT may indicate deficiency of vitamin B6 which I see mentioned at http://www.mercola.com/forms/mpt.htm

I found other references about determining B6 deficiencies. See below:

http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual/section1/chapter3/3m.jsp --- At present, there is no generally accepted test of vitamin B6 status. The whole blood level of pyridoxal phosphate is a better indicator than the plasma level. Erythrocyte glutamic pyruvate and oxaloacetic transaminase activities are decreased in vitamin B6 deficiency, but these changes are not diagnostic because of the wide range of values in healthy persons.

http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/vitamin_b6_deficiency.jsp --- Vitamin B6 status is measured by the transaminase stimulation test. This test requires extraction of red blood cells, and placement of the cells in two test tubes. Special chemicals (reagents) are added to both test tubes to allow for measurement of aminotransferase. This enzyme requires pyridoxal phosphate. A known quantity of pure pyridoxal phosphate is added to one of the test tubes. The activity level of the enzyme is measured, and compared, in both test tubes. If the added pyridoxal phosphate did not stimulate activity, the patient is considered not to be deficient in vitamin B6. Neither is the patient considered deficient if only slight stimulation occurred. But if a stimulation of four-fold or more occurred, a vitamin B6 deficiency is present.

http://www.ecureme.com/emyhealth/data/Vitamin_B6_Deficiency.asp --- A blood test that measures pyridoxal phosphate can be done to determine the amount of Vitamin B6 in the body.
MEMorrisNJ
Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 - 12:31 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The site at http://www.caromont.org/13085.cfm says: "The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for vitamin B6 from dietary sources and supplements combined is 100mg per day. Symptoms of vitamin B6 toxicity include: Muscle incoordination, numbness of the hands and feet, Impaired reflexes, Abnormal plasma amino acid levels."

Pays to be careful it seems! --- at http://neuro-www.mgh.harvard.edu/forum_2/MitochondrialDis.F/testforB-1orB-6Dependency.html , its stated that: "Recovery is slow and, in some patients, is only partial after pyridoxine ingestion is stopped."
Paul Scott
Posted on Thursday, December 09, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recently saw in the healthguide section of the Vitamin Shoppe that some cholesterol-reducing drugs lower blood levels of CoQ10. See link and quoted text below. Unfortunately, I did not see where they give the reference for the cited study.

http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/learning/healthguide/healthguide_content.jhtml?Category=Drug&title=Atorvastatin&relativePath=%2Fcontent%2Fhealthnotes%2FDrug%2FAtorvastatin.htm

""Coenzyme Q10
In a double-blind trial, individuals with high cholesterol who were treated with lovastatin or pravastatin (drugs related to atorvastatin) for 18 weeks had a significant reduction in blood levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).1 One study found that supplementation with 100 mg of CoQ10 prevented declines in CoQ10 levels when taken with simvastatin (another HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor drug).2 Many doctors recommend that people taking HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor drugs such as atorvastatin also supplement with approximately 100 mg CoQ10 per day, although lower amounts, such as 10Ð30 mg per day, might conceivably be effective in preventing the decline in CoQ10 levels.""
Paul Scott
Posted on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 12:46 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's an interesting article on the effect of excitotoxins in food on the enteric nervous system. See the last sentence of the abstract for the real-world zinger.

Authors: Kirchgessner AL. Liu MT. Alcantara F.

Institution: Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Title: Excitotoxicity in the enteric nervous system.

Source: Journal of Neuroscience. 17(22):8804-16, 1997 Nov 15.

Abstract
Glutamate, the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the CNS, is also an excitatory neurotransmitter in the enteric nervous system (ENS). We tested the hypothesis that excessive exposure to glutamate, or related agonists, produces neurotoxicity in enteric neurons. Prolonged stimulation of enteric ganglia by glutamate caused necrosis and apoptosis in enteric neurons. Acute and delayed cell deaths were observed. Glutamate neurotoxicity was mimicked by NMDA and blocked by the NMDA antagonist D-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate. Excitotoxicity was more pronounced in cultured enteric ganglia than in intact preparations of bowel, presumably because of a reduction in glutamate uptake. Glutamate-immunoreactive neurons were found in cultured myenteric ganglia, and a subset of enteric neurons expressed NMDA (NR1, NR2A/B), AMPA (GluR1, GluR2/3), and kainate (GluR5/6/7) receptor subunits. Glutamate receptors were clustered on enteric neurites. Stimulation of cultured enteric neurons by kainic acid led to the swelling of somas and the growth of varicosities ("blebs") on neurites. Blebs formed close to neurite intersections and were enriched in mitochondria, as revealed by rhodamine 123 staining. Kainic acid also produced a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in cultured enteric neurons at sites where blebs tended to form. These observations demonstrate, for the first time, excitotoxicity in the ENS and suggest that overactivation of enteric glutamate receptors may contribute to the intestinal damage produced by anoxia, ischemia, and excitotoxins present in food.
Carol H
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 11:35 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, thanks for that info regarding the statin-CoQ10 deficiency link. That is very important to know.
For deficiencies it is best to see a doctor to be diagnosed. The RDA amount of B6 is only about 1.3 milligrams. For women who are lactating it is only 2.0 milligrams. As MeMorris stated, the "tolerable upper limit" for B6 is only 100 mg. So - a B6 supplement of 100 mg of B6 is over FIFTY times the amount the body needs in a day. I wouldn't exceed that. Potatoes, chicken, watermelon, bananas, and beef are good sources of B6 if you want to go the whole foods - caveman route instead of the supplement route.
Deb A.
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 9:35 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pork is high in B6, too.
Deb A.
Posted on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 9:39 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks again for all the great info, everyone. I was taking magnesium orotate and some B6 (both pure powder forms) for about 3 weeks straight, and I felt very good, more relaxed. Then I caught a cold from Mike and got lazy about taking anything. I will start up again, but will reduce the amount of B6...think it was too much from what I am reading here.
PhyllisCh
Posted on Sunday, December 12, 2004 - 7:38 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you, Paul, for the information regarding CoQ10 and statin drugs. This is something very important to be aware of if I do have to take this medicine. It is also interesting to read about the effect of neurotoxins on the enteric nervous system.
Deb, Were you taking magnesium orotate and also tri-salts or did you discontinue the tri-salts? I know that Malic Acid and Magnesium are both good for Fibromyalgia, but I don't know if I should take it in addition to the Tri-salts (calcium and magnesium).
Phyllis
Deb A.
Posted on Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 6:51 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do take both....every couple of days. I drink milk, so get some calcium there. I should take the B6 and magnesium daily, I think. I try to remember to do so, but sometimes get busy and forget. I feel better when I take them regularly.
margaret
Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2005 - 4:59 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One supplement that seems to work as good as the statin drugs, according to Dr. R. Blaylock, is policosanol, and it doesnt have the nasty side effects of the statin drugs.
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 3:32 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some policosanol studies are linked here:

http://www.lef.org/prod_hp/abstracts/php-ab554.html#1
Roy Piwovar
Posted on Monday, October 24, 2005 - 5:58 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's another link for policosanol:

http://heartdisease.about.com/cs/cholesterol/a/Nrxcol_pcol.htm
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