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Friday, September 16, 2011

September is National Cholesterol Education Month

High cholesterol affects many people so I thought I’d share some information and links to help you find quality information on the Internet.

Controlling cholesterol


You should not have more than 30% of your daily calories that come from fat, which comes to 66 grams of fat.  (A quarter pound hamburger contains around 21 grams of fat).

Limit saturated fat consumption to 8-10% of your daily calories.  (About 16 grams for an adult).

Daily cholesterol consumption should be no more than 300 mg.

Limit sodium consumption to no more than 1500 mg per day.


Statins are a class of drug that is used to treat high cholesterol.  A couple of the popular statins are simvastatin and lovastatin   Other types of drugs that fight cholesterol are resins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, fibrates and niacin.  For more detailed information on drug therapy for cholesterol check out Drug Therapy for Cholesterol from theAmerican Heart Association and High Cholesterol: Medicines to Help You from the Food and Drug Administration.

Cholesterol-lowering supplements:

If you don’t like taking a lot of prescription medicine, you may want to try non-prescription supplements.  However, it is important to discuss all treatment options with your health care provider since supplements also have side effects.

A common supplement that is used is fish oil.  This could be either in capsule or liquid formats.  Fish oil may reduce triglycerides.  There are some possible side effects which include a fishy aftertaste, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.  If you are on warfarin (Coumadin) or other blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor as fish oil may interact with some of these medications.

Green tea extract is another supplement that  may lower LDL cholesterol.  There are some possible side effects:   May cause nausea, vomiting, gas or diarrhea.  For a more complete list of supplements, visit Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements: Lower Your Numbers without Prescription Medication from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Here are some other great links for cholesterol information:

Lifestyle Changes and Cholesterol (American Heart Association)

High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

High Cholesterol: Understand Your Risks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Levels of Cholesterol (American Heart Association)

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