While I don't normally recommend drugs, for those of you who are inclined to take a drug to lower your cholesterol, you need to be aware of a study which compared the statin Lipitor and Pravacol. The researcher were surprised to find that after 18 months Lipitor lowered cholesterol levels more than Pravachol (79 vs. 110). Lipitor also had a measurable effect on the buildup of plaque in the patients' arteries. It actually stopped the deposits, developing and may have even shrunk them a little. Pravachol just slowed the progression of the fatty buildup.
In addition a study at Oxford University found that diabetics who took statins daily lower the risk of having a first heart attack or stroke by 25%.
Since I do prefer the non-drug route there's another option to cholesterol drugs and that's taking niacin. Dr. William Campbell Douglas recommends taking niacin in the form of inositol hexaniacinate. His view is everyone should be taking 190 mg per day.
If you're diagnosed with high cholesterol then he recommends the following regimen: Start with 500 mg three times per day for two or three weeks. Then increase the dosage to 1,000 mg. Once your cholesterol is down to under 280, cut back to 500 mg three times per day. Once you're down to under 250 , cut that dose in half. You can find inositol hexaniacinate in most health food stores.