If you are already suffering from metabolic syndrome and heart problems doesn’t mean you are doomed. High cholesterol and pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome can be successfully diagnosed and treated. We checked this in other blogs, but here are eight tips to help you get big large fluffy cholesterol particles and reverse metabolic syndrome.
1. Get the right cholesterol tests. Check NMR particle sizes for cholesterol by asking your doctor for this test at Labcorp. You want to know if you have safe light and fluffy cholesterol particles, or small dense, artery damaging cholesterol particles. A regular cholesterol test won’t tell you this.
2. Check for Metabolic Syndrome.
• Do you have a fat belly? Measure you waist at the belly button and your hips at the widest point — if your waist/hip is greater than 0.8 if you are a woman or 0.9 if you are man, then you have a problem
• If you have small LDL and HDL particles, you have metabolic syndrome.
• If your triglycerides are greater than 100 and your HDL is less than 50, or the ratio of triglycerides to HDL is greater than four, then you have metabolic syndrome.
• Do a glucose insulin challenge test. This is very important and most physicians do not test for insulin and glucose.
• Check your hemoglobin A1c, which measures blood sugar over the last six weeks. If it is greater than 5.5, you may have metabolic syndrome
3. Eat a Healthy Diet. Eat a diet with a low glycemic load, high in fiber, and phytonutrient and Omega-3 rich. It should be plant based, and you should consume plenty of good quality protein such as beans, nuts, seeds, and lean animal protein (ideally organic or grass fed).
4. Exercise. Enough Said.
5. Get Good Quality Sleep. It's essential for healing your body, maintaining balanced blood sugar, and your overall health.
6. Use Supplements to Support Healthy Cholesterol Particle Size. These include:
• A multivitamin including at least 500 mcg of chromium, 2 mg of biotin and 400 mg of lipoic acid. For most you will take three capsules twice a day.
• 1000 mg of LongLifeNutri Omega-3 fats (EPA / DHA) twice a day.
• 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day at maximum. (Some people recommend less — consult your doctor.)
• 1200 mg of red rice yeast twice a day.
• 2-4 capsules of Glucomannan 15 minutes before meals with a glass of water.
• Broad-range, balanced concentration of plant sterols. You will usually take one capsule with each meal.
7. Consider Using High Dose Niacin or Vitamin B3. This can only be done with a doctor’s prescription. It is useful to help raise HDL cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase particle size.
8. Use Low-Dose Statins ONLY If You Have Had Heart Disease or are a male with multiple risk factors, while carefully monitoring for muscle and liver damage.
For the vast majority of people this approach is better than simply taking a cholesterol medication. To reduce your risk of heart disease you need to address metabolic syndrome, and that can ONLY be done effectively with a comprehensive diet and lifestyle approach like the one outlined above.
(i) Cannon, C.P., Shah, S., Dansky, H.M. et al. 2010. Safety of anacetrapib in patients with or at high risk for voronary heart disease. N Engl J Med. 363(25): 2406-2415.
(ii) Barter, P.J., Caulfield, M., Eriksson, M. et al. 2007. Effects of torcetrapib in patients at high risk for coronary events. N Engl J Med. 357(21):2109-2122.
Mark Hyman, M.D. is a practicing physician, founder of The UltraWellness Center, a four time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine.