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blood work shocker (of the wrong sort)

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  • blood work shocker (of the wrong sort)

    First some background.
    I've been following a strict diet of eggs, meat, non-starchy veggies (mostly broccoli and cauliflower), coffee (with some 1/2 and 1/2) for about 10 years. I'm very lean (lots of veins etc.) and plenty strong (squat 245, bench 185 for sets of 5). My aerobic fitness isn't bad either, as I bike to and from school every day (about 20 minutes each way). I'm 29. Weigh 172 lbs at a height of 6 ft 2 in. So, I figured I had nothing to worry about with regards to my blood-work. But, out of curiosity I got a lipid panel, cortisol, and testosterone measured last week.

    Just got my results back. Turns out I'm about to die of a heart attack.

    In particular, I believe my LDL is REALLY REALLY
    high. So, anything I can do to lower it would be a good idea. I also
    think my free testosterone is a little low -- but I guess it's in
    normal ranges. Cortisol seems to be normal -- especially considering
    I was tested the day after a hard deadlifting workout (cortisol is
    raised after hard workouts -- or so I've read).

    Right now my diet is basically
    Chicken (crockpot)
    Coffee + 1/2 and 1/2 (maybe I should drop the 1/2 and 1/2)
    Cauliflower and Broccoli
    not very many eggs (8 or 9 per week right now)
    not very much beef (maybe one 3-lb pot roast)
    no supplements (not even fish oil)
    *all meat and eggs is of the factory farm variety (I'm a grad student on a budget).

    My initial thought is that I should start taking fish oil, since I
    have essentially zero omega-3 sources in my diet. Perhaps I should also drop the 1/2 and 1/2 from my coffee (though, I really do not use much of it).

    Any helpful thoughts this community can offer would be extremely helpful to me.

    The results are below
    CAPITALS indicate my results
    Reference range is "normal" levels.

    CORTISOL, TOTAL 14.3 mcg/dL

    Reference Range: For 8 a.m.(7-9 a.m.) Specimen: 4.0-22.0


    Reference Range: 250-1100

    Total Testosterone was measured by LCMSMS. The LCMSMS method

    correlates well with our extraction/RIA method.


    Reference Range: 35.0-155.0


    Reference Range: 125-200 mg/dL


    Referance Range > 40 mg/dL


    Reference Ranme <150 mg/dL


    Reference Range <130 mg/dL


    Reference Range < 5.0

  • #2
    It's nothing to do with coffee. But, for a start, WHERE are the fat sources in your day? I see none whatsoever, apart from the fat in your animal foods(which should be cut off incidentally as you are eating farm factory stuff, which=grain fed, which=not so good).


    • #3
      No sources of fat other than the fat in the animal meat. I used to eat about 12 eggs per day, but recently had diminished my egg consumption and beef consumption precisely because I was worried about getting too many omega-6 from the factory farm meat and eggs. Given the amount of protein I eat (about a 5-lb chicken each day), I would quickly go broke if I bought free-range chicken and grass-fed beef.

      As for fat sources, what would you suggest I add? Fish oil. Flax seed? Olive oil? Coconut oil? Palm oil? Lard?


      • #4
        Too bad theres no VLDL score. That would be useful. I don't know how useful an LDL score is...

        To eat non omega-6 food on the cheap, put your money on pastured butter and omega eggs and coconut oil and some olive oil. Then buy the normal-priced crap meat and and veggies and cover it in these. Eat fish. Take DHA supplements.


        • #5
          Chicken is high in Omega-6, so its highly inflammatory.


          • #6
            The standout from those numbers for me is the Trigs at 135. This doesn't accord with the VLC diet that you reported. My Trigs are always below 80 and I'm eating quite a bit of starchy vegetables and having a glass of wine per day.

            Your HDL is excellent. Total LDL is irrelevant. If you can afford it, get a VAP test done to determine your lipid profile (a or b) which is what really matters.

            Only thing I can think of is that your VLC diet is resulting in significant gluconeogenisis. You might be better off introducing some starchy vegetables and reducing the protein.

            I don't think you need extra fat. After all, you're stable on this diet. You would only need extra fat if you were hungry and fatigued
            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


            • #7
              @orchid: DHA = Fish oil, correct?
              @confused_monkey: would beef or pork be better (keeping in mind it will be farm-raised)?


              • #8
                I'd just try to get better meat sources. You LDL is high, but your HDL is awesome. I'd second the suggestion to get a VAP test, and make sure you're fasting for the test.


                • #9
                  @Allbeef Patty
                  I'll ask for the VAP test next time I see my doctor
                  Vertical Auto Profile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


                  • #10
                    I'm not an expert (thought there are some on here who are), but there's another test to determine how much VLDL there is. I just can't remember the name of it. I never had the test because my insurance doesn't cover it. There were other tests that they didn't cover that were more important in my case.

                    If it helps you any, I was a text book case of syndrome X (metabolic syndrome). HDL very low, LDL high, triglycerides through the roof, fatty liver disease, overweight, high blood pressure, etc... I now eat a tremendous amount of saturated fat and I've completely reversed all of that. My LDL is acceptable, but still a little high. I don't know my biological father, but heart disease runs rampant in the family. He had his first heart attack at 35, and he's had two since. He's also had 13 angioplasties. I'm 41, so I payed to have my own cardiac calcium score done. Zero. That's the best score you can get, and it's indicative of clear arteries. I can't always afford the best sources of meat, but I eat what my doctor would consider ludicrous amounts of saturated fat. I don't care too much about my LDL.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mattlorig View Post
                      @Allbeef Patty
                      I'll ask for the VAP test next time I see my doctor
                      Vertical Auto Profile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                      Either the VAP or the NMR Lipoprotein. A lot of insurance plans don't pay for it so check ahead of time. When I did it the NMR Lipoprotein test was cheaper.

                      After I had mine done through my doctors office Last year, I found this site
                      You can order your own tests and get the bloodwork done at any Labcorp location. Both of the tests mentioned are $99.

                      Heart Scan Blog recommends the NMR Lipoprotein.
                      Last edited by Adrianag; 03-01-2011, 06:34 PM.


                      • #12
                        What is your family history with heart disease?



                        • #13
                          In my opinion beef is the best option, even conventional. Pork is to high in Omega-6.


                          • #14
                            My mom and dad a borderline diabetic (high triglycerides), but they are both over-weight and eat a high-carb diet. No history of heart attacks or anything like that. My dad does have a genetic heart defect. But, that has nothing to do with cholesterol, and I've been checked for the same defect.

                            Beef it is. I'm not much of a pork fan anyway.


                            • #15
                              Reference ranges for tests have been altered to get people on Lipitor (Read Primal Mind Primal Body).
                              And see the film King Corn, you will pay extra to get the grass fed meat after that!!
                              Some ways to save money: Cook a whole chicken, boil the bones and make broth, use all fat after cooking meat for frying eggs Etc. We are a poor family, but we are actually spending less since we are no longer buying "processed" foods- nuts and berries instead of protein bars, eggs EVERY morning ETC