Why are my efforts with diet and exercise not enough to improve results of my lipid profile?

Hello. I’m 32 years old. I’m a very active person and consider my nutrition to be pretty healthy. I exercise to a high intensity about 5 days a week for an hour each day. My nutrition consists of lean meat, fruits, vegetables. Very low carb, low sugars. My total cholesterol sits at 265. HDL=88. LDL=164. Triglycerides=63. VLDL=13. My doctor prescribed me on 40mg statin. My question is…what do my numbers mean? Why are my efforts with diet and exercise prove to be unsuccessful and I still have to be medicated?

Submitted by Tan from Des Moines, Iowa on 10/11/2017

by James T. Willerson, MD

Thank you. The most important cholesterol is the LDL. We wish to keep it less than 100 mg/dl and as far below 100 as possible, if you have a family history of heart attacks, known coronary artery disease or strokes. Your LDL is almost certainly high because you have a reduced number of LDL receptors on your liver cells allowing LDL to increase in your blood. A statin, like Lipitor or Crestor at 40 mg per day will reduce the LDL. Being good about diet and exercise help reduce the LDL, but will usually not by themselves totally correct it, but they are helpful in reaching that goal.