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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can you lower your cholesterol level without medication ?

What foods, if any, might control or even help lower it ?
Mon, 14 Dec 2009
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Yes. There are two supplements you should consider taking which have been shown to reduce cholesterol. Statin drugs, which doctors usually recommend for high cholesterol, treat the symptoms but not the underlying problem. Niacin, aka B3, is especially important to take regularly. It can cause flushing of the skin, so you may want to get a no-flush supplement. You can find this over the counter at supermarkets and drugstores. A good fish oil supplement may also help to lower cholesterol when taken consistently. As far as foods you should eat, you need to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, lentils, brussel sprouts, and peas. Avoid fast food and foods that have been fried in particular. If you are cooking and have to use some kind of oil, I highly recommend you use olive oil. Olive oil is "heart healthy" and although it is high in fat, it is the good kind of fat. You should also increase your exercise level and try to get regular exercise at least 2-3 times per week to start. Try to stay on the treadmill or an elliptical machine for 30 minutes at a time. Studies have shown that staying on the machine an extra 10 minutes increases the level of calories your body burns. I work for several doctors, and these are basic guidelines recommended by the internal medicine and family practice MDs. The supplements I recommend based on studies that have shown these can be effective in prevention of heart disease, high cholesterol, and possibly diabetes. Best of luck to you. I've provided some links below. The Mayo Clinic has some excellent articles about how to lower cholesterol.
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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