High Cholesterol

1) S. R. writes:
“I was having a very difficult time with cholesterol and triglycerides. My triglycerides were over 700 and cholesterol was 256. I went on a regimen of powdered lecithin, and in two months, my cholesterol was reduced to 180 and triglycerides were reduced from over 700 to 350. Then, I started taking 1,500 mg of niacin, and raised it to 3,000 mg/day. I suspected that my future lipid tests would continue to show dramatic improvement, and they did. Three months later, cholesterol: 149; triglycerides: 250. “I am 62 years old, and the doctor said that he was jealous of my blood pressure and cholesterol count.”

2) M.B. had a coronary occlusion requiring two weeks in the hospital. He appeared to have recovered, but the following year remained very tired, even though he participated in a cardiac fitness program. He suffered shortness of breath on walking up stairs but not when walking on the level. Also, it was much more difficult to cope with stress and this impaired his ability to function in his senior management job. Before seeing me, he had improved his diet. I (Abram Hoffer, MD) started him on a sugar-free diet, adding niacin, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, pyridoxine, and zinc sulfate. One month later, he was almost back to normal, with more energy, a greater feeling of being free of tension, and he had no further problem coping with stress.

3) R.K., age forty-four, had a coronary two months before I saw him. One artery was blocked, which was cleared by angioplasty. He remained well but was very concerned about a possible recurrence. He had suffered with diabetes for twenty-seven years, which was under good control. He also had been operated on for left carpal tunnel syndrome, and the same condition was developing on the right side. He was advised to eliminate sugar, to increase complex carbohydrates, and to supplement with niacin, ascorbic acid, pyridoxine, and zinc. One month later, he reported he was feeling better on the program.

4) N.C., age sixty-eight, complained of intermittent claudication (cramping in the legs and often an indication of atherosclerosis), which was present for two years. The left leg hurt more than the right one, and pain extended to her knee. She was started on a sugar-free diet, niacin, ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and a multivitamin/mineral preparation. One month later, zinc gluconate was added because her blood copper was too high and zinc was too low. But she could not tolerate the mineral or zinc preparations. Six months later, she still suffered pain, but her legs felt warm. She could not tolerate niacin, which was replaced by inositol hexaniacinate (a nonflushing niacin preparation). Two months later, she was at last able to tolerate zinc. After two years, it was still difficult to find a program that was free of side effects. Niacin brought down her cholesterol levels but caused ankle edema. Later, she could tolerate only 2 g of slow-release niacin. She was now well, free of pain, and not depressed.

5) W.C., age forty-eight, suffered severe chest pain after swimming to shore from an overturned boat. After angioplasty, his blood flow in one artery increased from 5 percent to 70 percent. His cholesterol levels were moderately elevated. He was advised to follow a diet that was free of sugar and milk products, supplemented by niacin, ascorbic acid, pyridoxine, and zinc sulfate. Two months later, he felt better than he had been in many years. He will remain on this program for the rest of his life.

From: Hoffer A and Saul AW. Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub, 2008.