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Lowered LDL, but HDL also decreased to below normal level

I am 38 (male) and I have never had a cholesterol issue before this (but never really had a health check done before either).

I had my blood tested as part of a pre-employment health test a week ago, and to my awe, I was told that my cholesterol levels were totally out of control. This was the breakdown:
Total cholesterol : 9.0 mmol/l (VERY HIGH)
HDL : 1.2 mmol/l (normal - acceptable)
LDL : 7.3 mmol/l (VERY HIGH)
Triglycerides : 0.85 mmol/l (normal - acceptable)

All other blood test results showed normal levels (liver function, endocrinology tests, etc).

As a result of this, I have been given 2 weeks and was told to visit a physician to bring down my total cholesterol level to below 7 mmol/l. AFter this 2 week period, I need to return to get my blood tested, and if the total cholesterol level has come down to below 7 mmol/l (and nothing else is wrong), I will be given the "fit to work" status.

My physician put me on 40mg Atorvastatin last Monday. I also began a very strict diet of water, green tea, oats, boiled vegetables and fruits (apples, honey dew, mango, plums, grapes).

After 6 days (today), I went to my physician for the follow-up blood test. To my amazement, my cholesterol levels have come to near normal. My LDL level has come down to normal, my Triglycerides are still normal, BUT, my HDL level has now dropped to 0.7 mmol/l (was previously 1.2 mmol/l). I understand that HLD levels should be more than 0.9 mmol/l. These were my cholesterol levels from the blood test today:
Total cholesterol : 4.2 mmol/l (normal - acceptable)
HDL : 0.7 mmol/l (DROPPED to below-normal level)
LDL : 3.2 mmol/l (normal - acceptable)
Triglycerides : 0.64 mmol/l (normal - acceptable)

Overall it was good news, but the low HDL is worrying me as I understand why the HDL needs to be more than 0.9 mmol/l.

I now have 5 days to raise my HDL level to 0.9 mmol/l (an increase of 0.2 mmol/l). I plan to keep to my original diet (water, green tea, oats, boiled vegetables and fruits) and the prescribed atorvastatin medication. Besides adding more green veges to my diet, increasing aerobic exercise daily, i.e. 1 hour of jogging/running on the treadmill, and taking a glass of wine every day(as adviced by my physician), is there anything else that I could do to increase my HDL in the next 5 days?
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replied June 21st, 2012
A diet of water, green tea, oats, boiled vegetables and fruits is fine, but I suspect that the answer to your improved lipid profile is Atorvastatin. Most cardiologists concentrate on total cholesterol and LDL, though more attention has been paid lately to HDL. There is no evidence that I know of proving that higher HDLs are associated with fewer heart attacks or longer life.
HDL is raised by the niacin group of drugs; these agents should be given under the supervision by a physician and do have side-effects in some persons.
Please be aware that I am unable to diagnose medical conditions online.


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