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  • Primal and LDL effects after Primal

    Hi all,

    I'm 36 with a family history of CVD and hypertension. I just wanted to raise this concern about elevated LDL levels after moving to Primal. There have been tomes written on this site about how LDL particle count is important and not the LDL cholesterol amount itself. To be honest, I have doubts about this.

    I personally experienced very high LDL after getting tested in about 2 months after eating all that saturated fat which is recommended on Primal.
    The only glitch from my side : exercise was not at all at the level suggested for the diet (i.e. intense weights interspersed with sprints etc.).

    I happened to read Loren Cordain's material on the Paleo Diet. It seems he advocates complete avoidance of dairy and saturated fats for e.g. from cheese, milk etc. This is in stark contrast to Mark Sisson's program. Cordain even goes so far as to mention that LDL is definitely going to cause heart issues.

    Why this post? Mainly because of the bad news.

    Well, the good news, firstly, is that I reduced 10 kilos in about a month. Triglycerides were super low compared to past reports. HDL was at a healthy high level.

    The bad news - Very high LDL. In a month from the test, I started getting slight upper chest and chin (mostly center of the chin) discomfort. I shudder to think that this could have been a nasty body experiment, especially with my family history.

    The question is : what if all that excess LDL does indeed lead to plaque formation?

    My honest opinion: I think Cordain makes much more sense for the long term than Sisson when he says that we need to stick the the meat, fish and vegetables and excluding all dairy. Having elevated LDL is not worth the risk, unless we get tested every few weeks and keep a close watch. The point is not only about losing weight and having a great body. I think lots of lean people have also succumbed to heart disease.

    I am a layperson, I just want to know whether decisions like Primal are right on the money for long term heart health.

    Thoughts are most welcome.
    Last edited by faredoon; 06-30-2013, 08:17 PM.

  • #2
    You can have an Ultrasound of your carotid arteries. That will give you some indication about the rest of your body. Also I believe they can get a good idea about plaque build up through an eye exam. Smaller vessels in your eye correlate well to the rest of your body.

    I have a very high LDL also, but also a high HDL, and no signs of plaque build up. There are many factors involved in heart disease, and ldl is only on factor. Likely its a symptom of a larger problem.

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    • #3
      @workinprogress, thanks for that. I'll give it a go.

      FYI, Cordain does mention that trading one evil (carbs) for another (saturated fats) does not make sense.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by faredoon View Post
        I just wanted to raise this concern about elevated LDL levels after moving to Primal. There have been tomes written on this site about how LDL particle count is important and not the LDL cholesterol amount itself. To be honest, I have doubts about this.
        Okay but did you get the results and find out the particle size??

        I have serious doubts that humans know what LDL means. If eating red meat, which we have been doing for 2.6M years, causes LDL to go up, the most obvious thing to conclude is that LDL is good. LDL is the only factor that moves the "wrong" way on a paleo diet. Probably we just don't know what we are measuring.

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        • #5
          I personally don't think high LDL is the issue. Too many people have high LDL and no CVD, and others with low LDL and lots of CVD. I think of it more like the canary in the mine shaft. Something else is making the LDL stick to the walls.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by workinprogress View Post
            Something else is making the LDL stick to the walls.
            Hmm, could it be high fructose corn syrup?

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            • #7
              I don't have problems with red meat. I however do have doubts about how "good" saturated fat from dairy - like cheese and whole milk - are. Being Primal gives us a free license to increase intake of these, but I think it's irresponsible advice.

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              • #8
                HFCS, Granulated sugar, Wheat, Corn. CAFO Beef, pork, and Chicken. Being sedentary. Air pollution, water pollution. The list could go on and on.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KimchiNinja View Post
                  Okay but did you get the results and find out the particle size??

                  I have serious doubts that humans know what LDL means. If eating red meat, which we have been doing for 2.6M years, causes LDL to go up, the most obvious thing to conclude is that LDL is good. LDL is the only factor that moves the "wrong" way on a paleo diet. Probably we just don't know what we are measuring.

                  True, but they weren't eating saturated fat from dairy. I think I might have missed the point because I increased intake of these and may end up paying the price.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KimchiNinja View Post
                    Okay but did you get the results and find out the particle size??

                    I have serious doubts that humans know what LDL means. If eating red meat, which we have been doing for 2.6M years, causes LDL to go up, the most obvious thing to conclude is that LDL is good. LDL is the only factor that moves the "wrong" way on a paleo diet. Probably we just don't know what we are measuring.
                    I haven't got the particle count done, I believe it's expensive.

                    Also, making life-altering decisions based on no definite medical community consensus seems like shooting oneself in the foot, which is what I probably have done.

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                    • #11
                      faredoon, I highly doubt you shot yourself in the foot over the dairy. Take a deep breath relax. If you are truly worried see if you can get one of those tests I told you about. They are noninvasive, generally considered safe because they aren't going into a vessel.
                      Generally speaking, saturated fats are only a problem if they are Hydrogenated and or in the presence of high levels of insulin and glucose.

                      I work in the medical field, but am not a Doctor. So take any advice I give you and consider its worth what you paid for. Discuss with a Doctor you trust.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by workinprogress View Post
                        faredoon, I highly doubt you shot yourself in the foot over the dairy. Take a deep breath relax. If you are truly worried see if you can get one of those tests I told you about. They are noninvasive, generally considered safe because they aren't going into a vessel.
                        Generally speaking, saturated fats are only a problem if they are Hydrogenated and or in the presence of high levels of insulin and glucose.

                        I work in the medical field, but am not a Doctor. So take any advice I give you and consider its worth what you paid for. Discuss with a Doctor you trust.
                        Thank you. I appreciate your supportive comment.
                        BTW, the figures I mentioned were random (non-fasting). Does that mean anything?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by faredoon View Post
                          I am a layperson, I just want to know whether decisions like Primal are right on the money for long term heart health.

                          Thoughts are most welcome.
                          1. There's nothing wrong with LDL. LDL is necessary and vital to health.

                          2. The problem is with small, oxidised LDL. These are the particles which lodge in your arterial wall and can be a cause of heart disease.

                          3. You can get rid of oxidised particles by eating foods rich in anti-oxidants.

                          4. You can get rid of LDL by stimulating your thyroid (with carbs, iodine and selenium). This will take your LDL out of commission, particularly the bad oxidised stuff that you want gone.

                          5. LDL particle size is indicated by your Trig/HDL ratio. You can lower Trigs by lowering carbs, and increase HDL by increasing animal and dairy fats.

                          All of that rolls up into a neat advice package, except for the carbs (your LDL particle size wants you to go as low as possible, while your thyroid wants you to keep eating them). I've compromised and still eat 'safe starches' like potatoes, kumara, rice and bananas daily.
                          Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                          Griff's cholesterol primer
                          5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                          Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                          TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                          bloodorchid is always right

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                            1. There's nothing wrong with LDL. LDL is necessary and vital to health.

                            2. The problem is with small, oxidised LDL. These are the particles which lodge in your arterial wall and can be a cause of heart disease.

                            3. You can get rid of oxidised particles by eating foods rich in anti-oxidants.

                            4. You can get rid of LDL by stimulating your thyroid (with carbs, iodine and selenium). This will take your LDL out of commission, particularly the bad oxidised stuff that you want gone.

                            5. LDL particle size is indicated by your Trig/HDL ratio. You can lower Trigs by lowering carbs, and increase HDL by increasing animal and dairy fats.

                            All of that rolls up into a neat advice package, except for the carbs (your LDL particle size wants you to go as low as possible, while your thyroid wants you to keep eating them). I've compromised and still eat 'safe starches' like potatoes, kumara, rice and bananas daily.
                            Thanks for the cholesterol primer link. very nice explanation by Griff indeed.

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                            • #15
                              faredoon,

                              First, it is hard to find lipid subfraction tests here. But they're not really necessary. The INTERHEART study (see my sig) determined that the ApoB/ApoA1 ratio is by far the best predictor of CVD. Both of these can be measured in a single blood test covered by Medicare. You just need to find a GP willing to order them rather than the standard lipid panel

                              Second, Vitamin K2 deficiency is implicated in CVD. Best source? Dairy, particularly hard cheese from grass-fed dairy.

                              There is a lot of confusing advice on this matter. I've just added to your confusion, but this subject is a matter of life or death for me. One thing I ask you to consider - if the standard advice is any good, why are so many having heart attacks and why do half of those that do, like me, have normal LDL levels
                              Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                              Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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