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Dietary cholesterol doesn't affect blood cholestorol? My test results:

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  • Dietary cholesterol doesn't affect blood cholestorol? My test results:

    I was a vegetarian before turning primal a few months ago. I thought it would be a good idea to take before and after snapshots of my blood work to see if it is true as I've read on many of these forums that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol. Here are my results:

    Vegetarian: 2/3/11
    Total Cholesterol: 121 (recommended range: 125-200. mine was slightly below recommended)
    HDL Cholesterol: 72 (recommended: above 40, this is the "good" cholesterol. mine was very high)
    LDL Cholesterol: 40 (recommended: less than 130, this is the "bad" cholesterol. mine was very low)
    Triglycerides: 47 (recommended: less than 150)

    Primal: 5/20/11
    Total Cholesterol: 229 (recommended range: 125-200. mine is now high)
    HDL Cholesterol: 74 (recommended: above 40. my HDL is still high)
    LDL Cholesterol: 144 (recommended: less than 130. my LDL almost quadrupled and is now considered high)
    Triglycerides: 54 (recommended: less than 150. did not jump much)

    I have been eating lots of eggs, red meat, and vegetables since February. I think this shows that dietary cholesterol or fat does have an impact on blood cholesterol. Although the argument can still be made that cholesterol doesn't have an effect on heart disease, these results are pretty disheartening and I'm going to have to rethink my diet.

  • #2
    Do you mind giving a brief summary of your diet as a vegetarian? Your numbers are impressive, especially the LDL and Triglycerides.

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    • #3
      Remember those recommended ranges are by CW standards. Your total cholesterol and LDL levels were much more acceptable by CW standards as a vegetarian but it is hard to tell the particle size. But since you had low trigs and decent HDL numbers on both diets it is pretty indicative of the large fluffy bouyant LDL that is of little cardiac risk. I used to have similar cholesterol numbers to your vegetarian numbers when I used to be on a CW diet. But I have seen a lot of evidence that having too low of a cholesterol number could actually be more harmful to your overall health than higher numbers. I would do a little research regarding this. Mat Lallonde, Chris Masterjohn and Mary Enig have some pretty good primers on cholesterol that is backed by a lot of science.

      My numbers just came back last week and it looked like this
      HDL 80
      LDL 140
      Trigs 45

      Pre-Paleo
      HDL 50
      LDL 110
      Trigs 45

      The difference here is that my HDL went up 30 points in a 1:1 ratio with LDL thus making my LDL/HDL ratio much better than previously.
      "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

      People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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      • #4
        If you have time, you should go read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. It gives a very in-depth discussion of the evidence for the lipid hypothesis, with references.

        If you have less time, this article is a good summary, and has the bonus phrase "...but that's like using sock puppets to explain the workings of a supercomputer."
        Understanding Cholesterol and Heart Disease | Men's Health

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BobbySoFamous View Post
          I was a vegetarian before turning primal a few months ago. I thought it would be a good idea to take before and after snapshots of my blood work to see if it is true as I've read on many of these forums that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol. Here are my results:

          Vegetarian: 2/3/11
          Total Cholesterol: 121 (recommended range: 125-200. mine was slightly below recommended)
          HDL Cholesterol: 72 (recommended: above 40, this is the "good" cholesterol. mine was very high)
          LDL Cholesterol: 40 (recommended: less than 130, this is the "bad" cholesterol. mine was very low)
          Triglycerides: 47 (recommended: less than 150)

          Primal: 5/20/11
          Total Cholesterol: 229 (recommended range: 125-200. mine is now high)
          HDL Cholesterol: 74 (recommended: above 40. my HDL is still high)
          LDL Cholesterol: 144 (recommended: less than 130. my LDL almost quadrupled and is now considered high)
          Triglycerides: 54 (recommended: less than 150. did not jump much)

          I have been eating lots of eggs, red meat, and vegetables since February. I think this shows that dietary cholesterol or fat does have an impact on blood cholesterol. Although the argument can still be made that cholesterol doesn't have an effect on heart disease, these results are pretty disheartening and I'm going to have to rethink my diet.
          What “type” of vegetarian were you? Did you consume Dairy/cheese? Just curious.

          I wouldn't ever be a vegetarian, but I think this discussion is important as I see more and more people posting “bad” numbers on blood test here, then having them dismissed by any and everyone. I firmly believe that anytime people exceed everything in moderation (i.e “I eat two pounds of bacon per day fried in butter” or, on the other side, “I only eat uncooked plants”) problems start. Sustainability always involves balance.

          Comment


          • #6
            As a vegetarian I ate dairy in moderation, although at the time before the blood test I was eating eggs regularly. Other than that I ate CW "healthy", whole grains, hardly any processed food, no fast food...

            Comment


            • #7
              Why worry, cholesterol does a lot of good stuff in the body.
              The real thing you need to worry about is the state of your artery walls, which can be damaged by high glucose and excess sympathetic activation (due to high stress). If you have healthy arteries, how can LDL 'get stuck'?
              Free book on Self-change (aswell as Paleo articles) at my website: www.identityisdynamic.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Just posted my results in my blog, the comparison might be useful. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30340-3.html
                It doesn't sound like you had the newer blood work done - even CW is coming around to the idea that it's basically low grade chronic inflammation that causes everything from arthritis to atherosclerosis - I've been reading webmd and some other sources in the non-paleo sphere recently. In one of the biggest studies done, CRP (measure of inflammation) was a much better predictor of risk than any LDL measure, and LDL pattern type (A,B, or mixed) basically determines risk - you haven't posted either number. My doctor, a cardiologist, predicted that in 5 years no one would pay any attention to LDL any more, and he is a CW heart specialist.
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Perhaps you should rethink cholesterol in general rather than your diet?

                  Since your trigs are low, it's a good thing your LDL went up. It's most likely the large fluffy LDL which doesn't contribute to heart disease and may actually be protective against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, stroke, dementia, etc.

                  Eat up

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                  • #10
                    I guess I would question why you went primal in the first place.

                    Clearly, it wouldn't be to improve your cholesterol.

                    Was it to get more energy? Loose weight? To be more popular at outings where meat is served?

                    The next question would be: How are you doing on those goals which motivated you to go primar?

                    If, discounting your cholesterol numbers, you are happy with the benefits of a primal lifestyle, then a discussion about the risks and benefits of higher cholesterol numbers would be in order.

                    On the other hand, if you are NOT realizing any benefits of a primal lifestyle over a vegitarian lifestyle... then maybe you are better off as vegitarian.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      From the Men's Health article, here's the operative paragraph:


                      Not only is dairy fat unlikely to increase heart-disease risk, Dr. Krauss and others have learned, but reducing saturated fat in a way that increases carbohydrates in a diet can shift a person's LDL profile from safe to dangerous. That's pretty much what happens whenever some well-meaning person with "high LDL" starts eating "low-fat" frozen dinners filled out with corn-derived additives, all the while engaging in the customary ravaging of a basket filled with dinner rolls.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Waskydiver View Post
                        I guess I would question why you went primal in the first place.

                        Clearly, it wouldn't be to improve your cholesterol.

                        Was it to get more energy? Loose weight? To be more popular at outings where meat is served?

                        The next question would be: How are you doing on those goals which motivated you to go primar?

                        If, discounting your cholesterol numbers, you are happy with the benefits of a primal lifestyle, then a discussion about the risks and benefits of higher cholesterol numbers would be in order.

                        On the other hand, if you are NOT realizing any benefits of a primal lifestyle over a vegitarian lifestyle... then maybe you are better off as vegitarian.
                        I went primal because after much reading and debate, I thought that it might be a better more nutritious way to live so I went at it with an experimental mindset. I was interested to see how it would affect my cholesterol, since I've heard many tout that 'dietary cholesterol has no effect on blood cholesterol." Go google 'cholesterol myths' and you will find this as a recurring theme. However, from these tests, I think that it is not a myth and dietary cholesterol does in fact affect blood cholesterol. So now it's just a matter of delving deeper into the pros and cons of having 'high' cholesterol.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "dietary cholesterol has no effect on blood cholesterol" could still be true despite your results -- the higher fat content of your diet could be what is allowing your own body to make more cholesterol. That is, it's not the cholesterol in your diet contributing to your higher numbers, but rather more of the raw materials your body needs to make it itself. Just a guess
                          Primal food in Japan

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                          • #14
                            Your diet clearly increased your cholesterol, but you can't say that it was the saturated fat/dietary cholesterol. Here's a thought though: low LDL can be due to not needing much LDL, or due to not being able to produce much. Same bloodwork results, different causes (and health implications). I would argue that your low cholesterol levels (even by conventional standards) indicate it's likely the latter, and the increase is due to the body finally being able to synthesize the LDL it needs to take care of some issues. If this is the case you should see that the LDL levels will start to go down as time passes. See Why is My Cholesterol So High on this Diet?.

                            It's great that you're coming with an experimental mindset; that and critical thought are most of what you'll need to find what works.

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                            • #15
                              This is what Uffe Raksnov says:
                              UR: There is general agreement that atherosclerosis is an inflammation in the arterial wall, and also that bacteria and virus participate in some way, but few have realized that it is the microorganisms that may cause the inflammation. This is a hypothesis that I have presented together with Kilmer McCully, who discovered the association between high homocysteine and atherosclerosis. Our arguments, and we think they are very strong, were presented in a scientific paper this year and in a popular way in the last chapter of my new book. They are based on the fact that the lipoproteins, including the “bad” LDL, participate in the immune system by binding and inactivating bacteria, virus and their toxic products.

                              HW: And which study or studies do you think are the most convincing in showing that LDL cholesterol actually protects against infectious disease?

                              UR: If you inject bacterial toxins into rats they die almost immediately, but if you start by injecting them with purified human LDL, most of them survive. Normal mice die also, but mice with high cholesterol survive. Many studies have also shown that people with low cholesterol are at a greater risk of being infected than people with high.

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