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Ask Dr. Gott 11/07

Does soy lecithin lower cholesterol?

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I want to tell you of my experience with high cholesterol. I went to the health-food store and bought soy lecithin granules. I take 2 tablespoons every morning in a glass of juice or milk. I have enclosed my results. In three months, my cholesterol went from 250 to 180!
    I also use it occasionally on my cereal or put it in meatloaf. I now use it only two or three times a week as maintenance.
    DEAR READER: Soy lecithin is new to me as a product to lower cholesterol levels, but your experience is convincing, so I am turning it over to my readers for help.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Understanding Cholesterol."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: Please forgive me giving some unsavory details about my problem and feel free to "sanitize" my letter. I, like another reader, pass something that can go from a small seed to a needle size. It is generally accompanied by itching and a red, itchy sore. I told my general practitioner about this, and he suggested I take a specimen to the lab within one hour of the passing. I did, and I was told that my stool specimen showed no infection. I am at a quandary as to what to do. I still continue with the same problem but do not want to pester my doctor. He claims that tapeworms and pinworms do not exist in this country, despite the fact that we have people from other countries where these infections are present. I would very much appreciate your valued opinion. I have tried to be extremely careful with my hygiene habits, plus washing my hands every time I touch anything, etc.
    DEAR READER: If you had intestinal parasites, you would probably be passing these specimens or eggs, not "small seed to needle size" portions. I suspect that what you are seeing is evidence of normal digestion and portions of food.
    To test my theory, have a stool (one or more) submitted to the lab to test for for ova, cysts and parasites. This will tell the tale.
    If your bowel is not harboring parasites, the stool test will be negative. At that point, you may wish to see a gastroenterologist.
    I also feel I should mention (for your physician's sake) that despite his claims that this country does not have tapeworms or pinworms, he is wrong. Pinworms are more common in the warmer southern states than in the cooler northern states, such as Nebraska, where you are located. Tapeworm is very rare in the United States.

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