Sunday, September 04, 2005

Low-Carb Can Raise HDL Levels Without Cholesterol Medication

New drug claims to raise your HDL "good" cholesterol in a few hours

Doctors and medical professionals in Singapore are rejoicing today in this story about a new drug designed to help raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides to help prevent heart attacks and stroke.

Singapore is the first Asian country to approve the use of Niaspan, an extended-release form of the prescription drug Niacin. According to their web site, Niaspan can be taken in combination with statin drugs (Lipitor, Crestor, etc.), but should not be taken with another form of niacin drug. It does not "prevent the development of heart disease" and should not be taken if you drink large amounts of alchoholic beverages. The primary side effect is flushing, which includes warmth, redness, itching, and/or tingling of the skin.

Health experts have long held the belief that lowering your LDL "bad" cholesterol is the key to reducing the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. But new studies are finding that doing this only decreases those risks by 25 percent. In other words, you still have a three in four chance of having a fatal heart attack or stroke despite taking these very expensive prescription drugs.

That is why the new focus is on finding ways to raise HDL "good" cholesterol.

James Shepherd from the University of Glasgow and Royal Infirmary in Scotland said raising HDL is "good for you."

"What we have not really appreciated is that if you raise HDL, the good cholesterol, and lower the bad cholesterol, you'll get even greater benefits than just lowering bad cholesterol," he remarked.

Interestingly, Dr. Peter Yan, a heart surgeon and cardiologist from the Gleneagles Medical Center and Mouth Elizabeth Medical Center said the benefits of raising "good" cholesterol are better than the ones you receive by lowering "bad" cholesterol.

"Epidemiological studies have shown that if you lower 1% of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, you will get a 1% in coronary events reduction," he explained. "If you increase 1% of HDL cholesterol, you will get a 2% to 3% reduction in coronary risks or coronary events. So you actually get a better bargain."

As a result, in steps Niaspan to the rescue to be combined with other cholesterol-lowering medications. Or does it?

I have a hereditary reason for taking statin drugs (I've taken Lipitor and it killed my muscles, so I switched to Crestor and have felt fine) to keep my LDL "bad" cholesterol in check, but I have noticed my HDL "good" cholesterol has gone WAY UP since I started livin' la vida low-carb. Before I began my low-carb program last year, my HDL number was 27. Do you know what it is today after being on low-carb for a year and half? 72! WOO HOO! That's my GOOD cholesterol nearly TRIPLING thanks to the healthy benefits of low-carb living. At the same time, my triglycerides have fallen faster than a lead weight in water from a high near 300 down to 52!

All of this happened WITHOUT the assistance of any new prescription drug. It's all because of livin' la vida low-carb.

A few months ago I shared with you the opinion of Dr. Ron Rosedale who holds the belief that we shouldn't be worried about our cholesterol, but rather our blood sugar to help prevent the onset of heart disease. He might be right. Livin' la vida low-carb takes care of that too as you restrict unhealthy sugar and high fructose corn syrup consumption from your diet.

Why would you take another expensive prescription drug when a simple lifestyle change in the way you eat could produce the same results for you? If there was ever a reason to start livin' la vida low-carb, then this might be the best one you've heard if you have low HDL "good" cholesterol. My personal experience shows it can happen when it is tried. You might be surprised just how well it works!

Of course, as this story points out, you should include exercise and putting down the cigarettes to help keep your heart healthy, too.

"Not smoking will actually raise your HDL cholesterol by about 8% to 10%. It may lower your blood pressure as well. Exercise can also raise the levels of your HDL cholesterol," an endocrinologist said.

Low-carb may just be the lifestyle change you've been looking for.


Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

When I started on the South Beach diet, mainly to lose weight, but also hoping to lower my cholestral, I had taken lipitor for 5 years. With medication my numbers were: cholesterol 198 (not great), triglycerides 206 (too high),
hdl only 37 (too low). At one point in my cholestral medication days I begged my doctor to let me go off medication just to see how bad it would be. Pretty Bad!! Cholesterol 269, triglycerides 604 (!), hdl 28,.
After only a month on the SBD my numbers with medication were cholesterol 124, triglycerides 101, hdl 41. After 9 months on South Beach and losing 35 pounds my doctor again agreed to let me go off medication. This time WITHOUT MEDICATION cholesterol 145, triglycerides 107, and hdl 43. You are free to share this with anyone you wish. I have documentation if anyone does not believe me.

9/04/2005 10:22 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

CONGRATULATIONS, Kalyn! I can attest to improvements in my blood pressure and cholesterol as well. It works!

9/05/2005 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kalyn/Jimmy

I came across your blog while searching for High Insulin Low HDL ..I am less than 25 yrs and obese since last 10 yrs.. now I have been detected with High Insulin and Low HDL 28 while LDL is okay. I am very very depressed as endocinologist told me to be prepare for the medications for YEARS... Even i am unmarried now and jus started the life.. I don want to be in the cycle of the medicines.. Plz guide me
I AM tiatlly vegetarian so Even I have problem in following south beach diet...My ECG also showed RIGHT BUNDLE BLOCK RBB and I have pain at left side ... doctor has adviced me to get cardiography
I AM less than 25 and life seems too end for me. Can I BE OKAY WITH ONLY RIGHT DIET and exercise ..Then WHAT VEG DIET should I follow and exercise keeping in mind my RBB in heart


5/23/2008 12:40 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Edward,

THANKS so much for writing and I'm sorry you are struggling with low-HDL and high insulin. My wife Christine had something similar happen to her recently--high triglycerides and high insulin levels. Her LDL was fine like yours.

After just six weeks on the low-carb lifestyle, her triglycerides dropped from 297 down to 132 (55% decrease) and her insulin levels dipped by 50%. IN JUST SIX WEEKS OF EATING LOW-CARB! This is VERY good news for anyone who suffers from high triglycerides, low-HDL, high insulin, etc.

Even as a vegetarian, you can STILL eat low-carb if you want to. It's gonna be more difficult, but it's not impossible. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! You MUST do this!

5/23/2008 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a ton for your words.Really you have instilled confidence in me to fight my disorder..

I will surely Do this ... Promise...I present my details som more
Weight--- 240 pounds
Height 6'2
TriGlyceride-- 95 (LIP/GK UV)
Sr chlstrol-- 181
Insulin--- Fasting-- 27
Insulin PP- 176

Plz guid me more if you can analyze the figures...

Actually the thing is I don want to be in cycle of medicines so PLZ SUGGST that whether I should rely on diet only.. means can i improve by that way ....
Thanks a ton

5/29/2008 4:04 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Just keep your carbs low (around 20-30g daily) and your fat high (at least 50% of your total calories) and your numbers will improve dramatically. ;)

5/29/2008 9:56 AM  

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