• Ways to reduce cholesterol without prescription meds?

    Asked by Yallpaint on Friday, April 19, 2013

    Ways to reduce cholesterol without prescription meds?

    I've been taking femera since 2010, and have joint pain in my hands that is well controlled through a variety of vitamins. Had a Reclast in fusion in 2011 with many nasty side effect so switched to Prolia in 2012 (no side effects at all...yet). Now the docter tells me I have very high cholesterol and gave me 3 months to try to get it down without going to prescription medication. I know it's a diet and exercise thing, but does anyone have suggestions of specific food that work really well? What about vitamins, minerals, tai chi, yoga, or other non-drug options? Thanks.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      This just shows you that advertising works....But Cheerios claims that eating it reduces cholesterol. Worth a shot, you have to eat breakfast anyway, right.

      I'm sure others will have more help for you.

      over 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      Yes, eating oatmeal helps. However, I'm temporarily off my Lipitor, and my Integrative Med specialist (an MD) wants me to cook with Unrefined Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil (that can take heat.) Yes, it is solid at room temp. However, she says that this oil has been shown to greatly improve good cholesterol, and help generally. There are odorless varieties, so that all your food won't taste like Pina Coladas (tho that's not a bad thing!)

      over 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Yallpaint,

      Hi. I'm Aliza, a BC patient and the site's unofficial resident Medical Librarian. I offer advice (usually non medical [Librarians make a point of not offering medical advice - against out Code of Ethics & a bit illegal; practicing medicine sans license]). But I can speak from my own experience and that of my family and close friends as well as offer referrals to doctors, hospitals/istitutions . agencies, books, media, etc. I also do research when required/requested.

      The advice that both GregP and abrub gave you re Cheerios and oatmeal is absolutely correct. I can tell you from my personal experience. About 15 years ago, one of my doctors felt my cholesterol was a bit high, and I didn't want to take medication back then so I dieted, exercised, and ate either Cheerios or oatmeal for breakfast and voila - my cholesterol went down very well.

      I, being the Librarian that I am, will suggest a book for you (you can also browse Amazon or B&N to your heart's content) on lowering your cholesterol and that book is "Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks--Without Prescription Drugs" by Janet Brill.
      It seems to fit the bill for what you're seeking.

      I wish you luck in your endeavor and keep us posted. Btw, both Cheerios and oatmeal are delicious with fresh strawberries or blueberries on top!...;)

      Warm Wishes,

      over 5 years ago
    • CrazyHarry's Avatar

      I did a boot camp thing for a year or so and my cholesterol dropped way down. I'm not even close to very athletic and mostly suffered terribly as I went through the exercises, but getting up in the morning and exercising was quite refreshing. They disbanded the group and it went back up to near where there is some concern. Been working on getting out and walking/jogging with the pooches and it has kept levels below 200. Living on the edge. Heading for surgery in a week then 4 more months of chemo. Hope to be able to keep on moving...

      over 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      NIcacin often helps...but its a "med"....I couldn't take it....it make me turn red and itchy!!!! all the best to you.....

      over 5 years ago
    • alphphi02's Avatar

      My husband has "hereditary" high cholesterol. His dr put him on fish oil supplements. I've also read that flax seed helps ... You grind it up and mix it into your food... I'm no expert so talk to your dr about these. There's been a lot of new research about cholesterol lately.

      over 5 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      The best diet for both cholesterol and maintaining a healthy immune system is to try to focus on more plant based diet. Reduce inflamation in the body at the same time. I was very lucky to have spent time with a nutritionist ( a well noted one who works with the Phillies and does spots on Tv) as part of a wellness effort from a local charity for breast cancer patients. Learned so much. So as a rule of thumb, your animal protein should be only 1/4 of your diet-it becomes your side dish now not your main--I heard eat green to be clean as a mantra...so stock up on greens. I make so many varieties of salad now and that is my main meal with a little chicken, fish, or other animal protein as my side. Try to eat organic whenever possible. Use only olive oil, coconut oil, or walnut and flax seed (just do not heat the walnut or flax seed oil) . Add walnuts to salads and oatmeal. Oatmeal is great for breakfast but use only organic steel oats, but also use quinoa, chia, and hemp seed based grains, etc. They even have pasta made with these now. Most grocery stores now carry this. So lower your meat, if you eat beef, eat only grass fed. A lot of our diet today had too much corn in it and don't use canola oil or margerine. These things contained genetically modified foods and can lead to high cholesterol and affect the immune system. Fruits such as pineapple, watermelon, mango, are awesome. Veggies like kales, raw baby spinach, brocolli.. introduce more root veggies like beets, yams. Add spices like cinamon and ginger.. Start sipping water with lemon and use apple cider vinegar in salad dressing (tastes delish with walnut oil) Also, exercise as much as you can without hurtin yourself, combining yoga and just walking for cardio is fine. This is just a start, but really changes your life if you start to make the changes gradually. Then, of course, enjoy a treat once a week or so.. it is just to adjust the things you eat every day that makes the most difference. I'm now studying every thing I can get on this. Great book is "The cancer fighting kitchen" and I follow the blogs on Integrated Nutrition Institutes site as well. Awesome info! Best of luck.. let me know if there is anything else you need, I'm happy to research it!

      over 5 years ago
    • jad's Avatar

      High cholesterol must have a genetic component since I've been eating oatmeal pretty much daily for YEARS, and have eaten a heavily plant-based, very low red meat diet all my life and now have high cholesterol. Also I was raised in a location where fresh ocean fish, which my family always preferred, was abundant and easily available. It used to be pretty cheap too (no more :( . My family knew how to eat healthy before all the books and theories were published.

      Note 1: I have added flax seed to my diet. I buy it already ground at Trader Joe's.
      My oatmeal recipe: what the box says, plus that fiber powder metamu..., ground almond meal (also available at Trader Joe's) ground flax seed, shakes of cinnamon and cumin. (Yes the cumin sounds odd, but deepens the flavor wonderfully). For sweetness, a few raisins or other fruit and a splash of real maple syrup. - OMG I've got to whip up a bowl now.

      Note 2: This is neither a preventive nor a cure for any affliction, just something I like that's not "bad" for you.

      I exercise too. I can't say definitely that any of this has helped. But maybe if I hadn't been doing all that stuff for years already I might already be dead.

      over 5 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      Dear Yallpaint:
      Have you been told that your high cholesterol is a side effectbof Femara? Because it can be. My cholesterol levels, which have always been low, with high "good cholesterol", went up within weeks of starting Femara. I am now borderline and watch my diet to keep it from getting higher. No red meat, lots of fiber, avoid processed foods, etc., etc., etc. Thers

      over 5 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      Have you been told that your high cholesterol is a side effectbof Femara? Because it can be. My cholesterol levels, which have always been low, with high "good cholesterol", went up within weeks of starting Femara. I am now borderline and watch my diet to keep it from getting higher. No red meat, lots of fiber, avoid processed foods, etc., etc., etc. There's no real secrets here. But if the Femara caused the rise in cholesterol levels, getting off the Femara may allow your levels to return to normal. Ask your onc if this is possible and to have more frequent testing to check your levels going forward.
      Fight on,

      over 5 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      I take 500 mg of Slo Niacin or any non flush niacin will do. I took that when a natural product of a product business I am in and in one year I dropped my choloesterol from 334 to 256, my LDL from 285 to 170 and my HDL increased from 36 to 56. All without exercise because I am unable to do it because of my very painful fibromyalgia. To there are natural ways to lower your choloestrol without the poison they put into our system. If you want to know about the Nature4You products let me know and I will get the website. I don't know it off the top of my head since my memory has gone downhill.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I've heard good things about red rice yeast (My cousin a MD recommended it) other things to try CoQ10 and fish oils. These might interfere with your chemo, so speak with you oncologist and cardiologist about it. I had super high cholesterol and triglycerides due to the chemo I was on a few years back (Afinitor), once I stopped taking it last year my numbers have been great.

      Find out if the numbers you are seeing are caused by treatment. Hopefully a plan that doesn't mean meds of side effect of meds needs to be developed.

      over 5 years ago
    • Kossmore's Avatar

      Niacin is an OTC medication for cholesterol, be carefull it can give you horrible hot flushes if you are prone to them. Cholester is formed if your body from eating red meat, pork and chicken. You can make a sizeable dent if you start vegan foods. There are "Excellent" Vegan foods, even meats (made from beans and wheat flours). Be sure to also watch your sweats, cakes have eggs, pies have butter or use hard fats. The closer you can get to natural foods, nothing processed the better. You will benefit from cooking everything yourself rather than going out for dinner or eating other peoples foods.

      over 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Garlic ... there is a concentrate called Kyolic which you might consider.

      Something called IP6.

      More greens in your diet and less sugar & meats.

      Abandon cans, bottles, and packages for a time. They all have added sugars and/or molds and/or chemicals which will cause cholesterol to rise.

      Go organic. Too many conventional foods are secretly GMO. Look it up. Not good for cholesterol and in several other ways destructive to your health. Be especially wary of corn, soy (in those packages too), and squash.

      Definitely exercise!

      There is a lot more. Eat sprouts. Use a search engine. I've no idea, BTW, about femara interactions. Best of luck.

      over 5 years ago
    • suz's Avatar

      I have a dear friend who greatly lowered her cholesterol by basically eating vegetarian, but not totally. She did it for health insurance purposes, but she loved it and still eats that way now!

      about 5 years ago
    • raven's Avatar

      I am reading a book I am really impressed with, Healing Spices How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices To Boost Health and Beat Disease, by Bharat B Aggarwal, PhD (works at MD Anderson). He lists these spices, and sites studies (not all on humans) that support them: almond, basil, black cumin (not even same family as cumin - botanical name Nigella saliva), caraway, celery seed, chile, cinnamon, cocoa, coriander,curry leaf, fenugreek seed, garlic, ginger, horseradish, lemongrass, mustard seed, nutmeg, onion, oregano, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sun-dried tomatoes, tamarind, turmeric, and wasabi. He stresses that most spices loose their essential oils within about 6 months. So use fresh and grind your own where possible. Can't hurt to spice things up a bit, who knows, it may work for you.

      about 5 years ago

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