Take Metamucil to lower cholesterol (health tip of the month)

Tips for saving money

I realize most of my readers are here for investment-related tools rather than health tips, but I’ve got a helpful one that I thought worth sharing.

I went to my doctor last week for my regular checkup and found my cholesterol level had risen to 223. Just to give you some background, I’m 5’3″ and about 110 lbs, I do exercise regularly and I tend to eat home-cooked meals, so this isn’t a case of needing a major lifestyle change. Actually, I think it’s largely genetic in my case. I sound like some sort of perfect candidate for those cholesterol-lowering medications you see on TV, right? The truth is, I’m pretty averse to taking medication if I can help it, what with all the potential side effects, especially if there are all-natural alternatives.

What’s my solution? Well…it’s, uh, Metamucil. Two years ago, my cholesterol level was at 243, and the nurse practictioner who was working for my primary care physician told me to lay off the refined starches (pasta, potatoes, rice) to lower my triglycerides (which were also high), and to take Metamucil for the cholesterol, which many of her patients had discovered was very effective.

Though I had never heard of this before, it’s apparently fairly well-documented and a solution that’d been around for at least a few years. Anyway, I was definitely willing to give it a try. After taking the recommended dosage daily, six months later, my cholesterol levels had dropped to 184, almost a 25% decrease. Still sort of high, but at least below the threshold for unhealthy. Of course, like most people, I promptly quit taking Metamucil as soon as I’d reached my goal.

So, it looks like I’m back on it for now, and maybe for a while. You can get huge cans of it for $10 at Target that last a month or two, and it’s all natural — supposedly it’s the psyllium fiber that does wonders for cholesterol, or you could probably also take the pill form (something I haven’t tried yet). The only downside is that some people are allergic to psyllium, so this solution wouldn’t work for them. If you’re not allergic, what’s not to like in comparison to taking cholesterol-lowering medications? It might even be considered a frugal solution.

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20 Feedbacks on "Take Metamucil to lower cholesterol (health tip of the month)"

Kira

Ha, yeah I have slightly high cholesterol for no good reason like you.. I don’t even like beef and fried foods make me sick. I went to a nutritionist and she told me that if I ate worse, she’d be able to help me more. =) They recommended fish oil capsules and oatmeal to increase my dietary fiber, although they didn’t specifically recommend Metamucil. I wasn’t impressed with their scientific belief in its efficacy though when both the doctor and the nutritionist separately said, “Hey, come back in six months and get new labs! I’m interested to see how it works!” ie, they aren’t actually all that sure that it will ;) Glad to see you got results, maybe I will get some Metamucil too!



An

I’ve heard vague handwaving about cardio exercise helping to reduce cholesterol, though I don’t know how true that is.

I guess health stuff is weird – my height/weight stats are way unhealthy compared to yours, yet my cholesterol is super low. Interesting.



foods that lower cholesterol

Thanks so much for all this helpful cholesterol information !:)



Samantha

After going for my check up at 39 years of age the doc gave me results on total cholesterol of 283 the LDL measuring 199, strangely the HDL and triglycerides were within normal range. He prescribed me Crestor. Here I am a skinny 5′-5′ and weighed just 105 lbs at this time, walked 6 miles a day, ate a well balanced diet with no fatty or starchy stuff, and no cigarettes so I am baffled. I am totally against having to take these drugs for fear of liver damage. Doc was not interested in even telling me alternative ways on my problem. I lost faith in the doctor as he only wants to prescribe pills and thinks its the only way to go. SO I am now trying Metamucil as I’ve heard good things about it, anyone out there have positive results in lowering their super high cholesterol this way?



kc

I’ve been battling this cholesterol thing for years. I’m now 48, 5’4″ and weigh around 165. Yes, a little overweight. Even when I was 20 lb lighter my cholesterol was too high. I’ve tried low fat diets, exercise, even taking Lipitor. The Lipitor worked, but I had terrible leg cramps so stopped after 3 months.

Now my cholesterol is close to 300. I’m ready to try the Metamucil. It is one of the only things I haven’t tried yet…here goes.



Joan Scheiwiller

I heard about Metamucil by word of mouth. I have made big life style changes over 5 months. I want to find a way to get my cholesterol levels down with out statins. I hope to see a huge improvement in levels the next time I have a test just to prove my Doctor wrong. I will live any way I can NOT buy into the drug company promotion. I just read the book ” The Selling of Sickness” and that put me off the promotion of drugs as the only way cut cholesterol .



max ponce

dear sir/madame:

im 45 y.o, 5’6, 160 lbs. last result of my cholesterol was 220. should i take metamucil to help lower my cholesterol.

advise me please.

thanks
max



robert

I also had very high cholesterol. 240. I am 6′ 210lbs, not overweight and very athletic. High blood pressure and high cholesterol run in my family. I was able to reduce my cholesterol with diet only to 218. However being that I am only 27 years old my doctor advised me to bring it even lower in fear of long term effects of a 200+ level. I used Metamucil for 3 months, twice a day, 4 large spoon full’s in each glass. I had my checkup yesterday and now have a total score of 176. With diet and fiber I reduced my total cholesterol by 64 points. I will continue to take Metamucil to maintain my count. Metamucil also makes you feel full so you eat less, so you loose weight. Anyways I am a big fan of this stuff.



nancy

I want to try this but also have problems with my stomach making embarrassing noises all the time. Will this help or hurt, should I be looking elsewhere? I also have high cholesterol. Tell me what you think please.



Bonita Webster

I’m going to try take it, only in the evenjng after dinner. This might stop my overeating hopefully.



Neil

You might also consider extra Vitamin C
for high cholesterol. Also recommended
by Dr. Mercola.

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http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/10/70.cfm



Sonya

Where do I begin, not realizing what I had to face at the first stages of menopause I’ve had problems with my digestive system…so I’ve started to use Metamucil…however I had no idea it could help me with a hereditary problem with high cholesterol,also I do love starched, and dairy. My last check up stated my level was in the 300’s….it has been on the rise for years. I am taking back my life and will use Metamucil and will continue to use it for the rest of my life or until I have things under control.
Thank you so much for your helpful info…I also refrain from taking the prescribed medications that do more harm than good…I look for more holistic choices….if possible.



Tim

Since I started monitoring my cholesterol, some 20 years ago, my “score” was a consistent 220. At my last checkup it went to 259. My eating habits had not changed, but I was certainly getting older. I started taking Metamucil (1 spoonful a day – usually in the evening before bed) and an Omega-3/Fish Oil capsule every day. I recently had another blood test and the cholesterol score dropped to 198. That was a 61 point drop in about six months and the first time since keeping records that it was below 200.
My diet has not changed much. I attempt keep to a low fat, low starch, lean meat, and fresh vegetable food intake. However, having included the additional fiber and fish oil to the mix seems to have helped considerably. I am curious why the medical community doesn’t pursue these kinds of additional/corrective actions before prescribing medications. I will say, my doctor mentioned that cholesterol control was 80% diet and 20% exercise.



Erica S

My cholesterol was high – I weigh around 110lbs, 5’6″ and am very active. My diet and appetite is great. My problem is genes. Wasnt interested in statins to lower the levels so went onto a no animal- fat diet, in fact rule of thumb is no fat that congeals at room temperature. Physllium in a glass of water every morning, 2 fish oil caps with every meal and my cholesterol went down significantly. If I stick to the regime it stays down, if I slip up for a while sure enough, the levels go up again. I believe in trying lifestyle changes first and if that doesnt work you can always lean towards medication with careful consultation with a good MD



N Tong

I was in late 30s when my triglycerides and cholesterole climbed on a straight line. I am now in mid 40s. I have always been good (not best) with my diet before, and later in last 10 years, tried various things to try to contain my triglycerides level, but with no effect – life style changes, diet, O Mega 3 oil, you name it but no effect. Until accidentally, thru my pile operation last year, I started on Metamucil for that reason. I lost weight because of the operation as well. I took advantage of the situation and tried to maintain the lower weight level. Essentially, last year, several major things took place,
a) keep low carbo (less rice, pasta etc.)
b) watch weight level almost daily (I am 5’10”, at 150lbs)
c) take Metamucil only 3 times a week
d) did more exercises

And the great news is that in my last two lab tests, both cholesterol and, in particular, triglycerides came down to well within the healthy limit. My triglycerides previously was well over 3, sometimes 4.x, but now is back to 1.7.

Now I cannot be sure if it’s Metamucil, or the reduce carbo. (I also did exercise before and my weight was 164lb before). But the trend is good. Hopefully an end to the struggle for 10 years…. and will continue….

Just to share….



Mike

As a doctor, I thought I would add a couple words. First, do not solely pay attention to your total cholesterol. It is not the most important number, in fact many of you who have a total cholesterol in the 220s might be healthy. What is more important is your cholesterol ratio. Your health goals should be to reduce your ratio below 4. If you have a ratio below 4 you greatly reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke.

Also, you should realize that eating dietary cholesterol has minimal effects on your blood cholesterol level. It is eating saturated and trans fats that tends to raise cholesterol levels.

Lastly, metamucil many times does work to lower cholesterol. What you should try to do is eat more soluble fiber. It is the soluble fiber in metamucil that can lower your LDL and raise your HDL levels improving your ratio. You can also accomplish this by eating any foods high in soluble fiber. It is the soluble fiber that is important

I am a true believer that patients should attempt to improve their cholesterol health trough diet and exercise first. Sometimes this is not enough however, and there are genetic factors at play. In that case medicine should be used. If you cannot keep your cholesterol ratio below 4 with diet and exercise please use the medication your doctor recommends. There is no conspiracy, he is most likely just trying to make you live longer.



Petra S.

Oatmeal vs Metamucil???? Which seems to work better with fewer gassy issues? I have rather embarassing problems with oatmeal.

I noticed that no one has mentioned the use of Niacin (specifically Nicotinic Acid) for cholesterol. It raises the good and lowers the bad. In very high doses, you do need to watch the liver, but it is an alternative to Statins. Niaspan is expensive, but some have reported that OTC Niacin has worked… either regular or slo-release. Endur-acin (sold as a nutritional supplement), like Niaspan, is only the Nicotinic Acid element of Niacin…. it is the nicotinic acid that works on cholesterol. As I understand it, the other component of OTC niacin, niacinamide, benefits diabetes. There is, of course, the flushing issue, which is very minimal for me, even with high doses of immediate release niacin. I don’t even need to take an aspirin 30 min before.

BTW… if flushing with niacin is a bother, the flushing is a good thing. It is the expansion of your blood vessels and capillaries. Some Fire Departments give firemen large doses of niacin followed by 30 min of strenuous exercise after being exposed to toxic substances. The Firemen, literally, sweat the toxins out of their system.



louise perkins

Thanks, for all the info on metamucil and the one on niacin. I take both and have lower my cholesterol, bad one . My HDL is 70, so even though my total cholesterol is above 260, my ratio is below 400.



Dan G.

My dad died at 43 from heart disease, and I have gotten checked my entire adult life. My levels were 200-220. Finally, I had chest pain and a very clogged “widow maker” coronary artery. I needed angioplasty and a stent at 48. I am lucky to be alive, and I have been a “gym rat” my entire life. It’s genetic for me. My regiment, besides a better diet and exercise, consists of Crestor, Effient (blood thinner), aspirin, fish oil, magnesium, b-Complex, multi-vitamin Vitamin C., and a large dose of non-flush niacin. I also eat a bowl of oat bran everyday. My cholestrerol is now 95, and I am going to add the Metamucil as well. I knew, but had forgotten about this benefit.



Maggie Luttrell

I also wanted to through out another option for taking Metamucil! By the way, in my case if definitely works. Every time I stop using it, my cholesterol hits dangerous levels. My favorite way of taking it is in my smoothies! I discovered this accidentally one day when I was looking for a liquid for my smoothie. I was out of juice, and at that time was all I used for my smoothies. I have used metimucil with both water and milk in my smoothies and can not tell how how delicious it is! I will never use juice again. What a great way of getting it into my daily diet!



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