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  • cholesterol worry

    Ok first off I have read Griff's cholesterol primer...

    Well I have been primal for a few months now (5???) and I lost 30 lbs and feel great.

    I had some bloodwork done and here is what I got...

    tot 246
    hdl 55
    tri 108
    *calc ldl 169 (they used the more common eq to get this... I checked the math)

    My doc freaked and wanted to get me on lipator now if not sooner. (I said let me sleep on it... so I could check here since statins are no joke)

    My ratios are as follows

    tot/hdl 4.47
    tri/hdl 1.96
    ldl/hdl 3.07

    Anywho should I worry??? or am I good to go?

    I forgot to add... I did have a few vodka and selzter drinks about 11 hours before the blood was taken. Perhaps this is why the tri are a bit high?? my liver braking down the ethanol while a slept before switching back to fat?

    Last edited by Glockin Grok; 07-15-2011, 07:09 AM.

  • #2
    So what did the primer tell you your ratios mean?

    My MIL has been trying to eat fewer grains and a lot more primally overall. She gets her blood checked and the trig's are out the roof. Then she tells me ... she started eating sugar again in the last week before the blood test for the first time in 18 months. Coke, liquor, cookies. :/
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


    • #3
      Total cholesterol is such a meaningless number. LDL in a regular lipid panel result is pretty meaningless - and inaccurate - as well. It's a calculated number that doesn't tell you anything about the particle size of the LDLs, which is of much greater interest than the Friedewald equation calculated LDL number. You can always get a VAP test if you want to know if your LDLs are Pattern Type A (large, fluffy, not harmful) or Pattern Type B (potentially harmful.)

      Remember that with the Friedewald formula, the lower your triglycerides, the higher the LDL number the formula spits out. That's not so much of an issue if your triglycerides are between 100 and 400, but it is certainly something to consider if your triglycerides have dropped within the last few months and your total cholesterol and HDL haven't changed much.

      That reminds me - your triglycerides are above 100, which is not bad at all, but typically in someone who is eating a lot fewer carbs, they'll end up lower than that. Do you still eat pretty high in carbs? I found that cutting out all sugar, grains and very sweet fruits put my carb level fairly low, and dropped my triglycerides from over 200 down to 94 within the first 6 months.

      That leads me to the next question - did you have numbers done prior to starting your new eating plan? What were they? As I said, if your triglycerides have dropped while total cholesterol and HDL have remained close to the same, then you will see a rise in HDL from the Friedewald formula.

      As far as your ratios, they are much more important than the raw numbers. A person can have raw number all within the so-called "healthy" ranges, yet have horrible ratios! That's not the goal, though, right?

      Your TG/HDL is under 2. That's great. This is probably the most important ratio anyway.
      Your TC/HDL is 4.47. This is also good, as it is below 5.
      Your HDL/LDL is good at 0.325, since it is above 0.3.
      Your LDL/HDL is below 4.4. This is a good thing. That ratio is considered to be an indicator of plaque, and below 4.4 is desirable.

      Remember, too, that about half of the people who have heart attacks have cholesterol BELOW 200. The 200 number is so arbitrary, and people who have heart attacks have levels across the board (about half above 200 and about half below 200.) It's a LOUSY indicator of coronary health.

      Statin medications are terrible. Aside from the awful side effects, they provide minimal protection against a heart attack. They provide no benefit for anyone except for a small benefit to men under 65 who have already had a heart attack. The small benefit they provide doesn't come because they lower cholesterol (even though they do lower it.) The small benefit comes from a combination of anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant qualities that the drugs have. Taking an aspirin daily can provide the same. But, of course, it won't line the pockets of Big Pharma the way taking a statin will - despite the health risks the statins impose.

      Inflammation is behind heart disease. Eat properly (Primal) and take good care of yourself by exercising regularly, getting proper rest and all that good stuff. Doing these things will yield far better results in terms of heart health than a pill, anyway.

      Finally, cholesterol isn't a killer. It's a substance that your body makes because it is absolutely necessary to life. Too little is associated with increased risk of disease such as infection, cancer and Alzheimer's. Clearly, there is no relationship between cholesterol level itself and heart disease.

      Here's some reading:

      The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
      The Cholesterol Myths by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov
      The Cholesterol Delusion by Dr. Ernest Curtis
      Cereal Killer by Alan L. Watson

      Australian Homo Optimus Society Homepage
      Cholesterol and Health
      Cholesterol: Friend Or Foe?
      The Benefits of High Cholesterol
      Cholesterol Is Good
      Last edited by Labhraín; 07-15-2011, 08:23 AM.


      • #4
        No I do not have baseline readings exept from years ago

        Carbs... I consume maybe 50 grams a day... Slightly more on the weekend, but I try to hit ketosis good durring the week. This is why I was so curious about the tri being as high as it was.

        I am really guessing it was because I had some alcohol the night before and that was my livers priority for a few hours.

        Overall I am happy with the ratios... I guess next time I will get the lipid pannel AND the VAP test. I will just wait for a few months and get it done again.


        • #5
          Because you're eating so few carbs, there's a very good chance that those triglycerides were higher and have dropped. Higher triglycerides and lower HDLs are often associated with insulin resistance. So, healing from insulin resistance is a possibility. It is the case for me. People who are insulin resistant sometimes take longer getting the TGs down and HDLs up. But, if you keep eating right, exercising, etc., it will happen. Exercise is rather helpful with this issue. I'd give it the extra time.

          Some of us have more healing to do than others. I'm one of them. My triglycerides were at 94 on my last test, and I, too, eat low carb like you. But, they were consistently in the 200s before changing my eating. So, it's a big, big improvement. My HDLs are also about where yours are. So, our current results are quite similar, but I, too, am happy because my ratios are all good now. With the high triglycerides I had before, the TG/HDL ratio was not good (over 4.)


          • #6
            Oh, and with a TC of 238, my doctor also suggested a statin. I told him I wouldn't take a statin if he paid me to do so.


            • #7
              Yeah... thats what I was thinking... temp raised from the booze.

              Also it is very possible that I am insulin resistant... I have always been the "fat kid" my whole life there was never a time I was thin. The kicker was I was ALWAYS active in sports growing up too heh... lifes sick joke I guess. The only way I ever used to loose any significant weight was I did atkins to cut from 300lbs for football to about 265 for wrestling in a month. BTW I am 6'7"

              The weight is still comming off and I am lifting weights (squats bench row and clean and jerks being my base) and feel great... I am not to worried yet... I am thinking it really was temp thing.


              • #8
                Good stuff, Labhrian!

                A bunch of the books you mention have been in my Amazon cart for a while now!