The Nation's Health + Mental Health

Lipoproteins: Which is better?

If you have the common pattern of high LDL particle number (NMR) with small LDL --a pattern highly related to coronary plaque--which is better:


Lipitor or a combination of fish oil, vitamin D, and elimination of wheat?

Lipitor quite effectively reduces LDL particle number, usually on the order of 40% or so. Effect on LDL particle size: None. Side-effects: plenty, including muscle aches (inevitable in my experience, not the ridiculous 2% they claim) and occasionally mental effects such as impaired short-term memory.

Lipitor does seem to exert a modest effect on reduction of C-reactive protein, around 30%. It also reduces cardiovascular events by 30%.

A combination of fish oil, vitamin D, and elimination of wheat:

Reduces LDL particle number commonly by a similar 40% (though variable, depending on body weight). There is substantial improvement in LDL particle size, a large drop in C-reactive protein, often >50%, a 30% or more reduction in cardiovacular events.


On this combination, however, you also:

--Lose weight, often substantially.

--Improve bone health, esp. osteoporosis and arthritis.

--Reduce cancer risk from the vit D supplementation.

--Reduce risk of stroke.

--Reduce postprandial (after-eating) abnormalities like intermediate-density lipoprotein.

--Reduce winter blues.

--Experience more energy.

--Obtain increased clarity of thought (from elimination of wheat).

--Reduce blood pressure.

Oh, and there's no muscle aches.

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