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Cholesterol - HELP!

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  • Cholesterol - HELP!


    Big hello to all you groks out there.

    After spending 6 months on statins, I decided to come off and give Primal a try. Got some lab results back yesterday - very frightening!

    So - before statins (Feb '09): Total 277, HDL 53, LDL 193, Tri-G 107

    After statins (6 months, Nov '09): Total 195, HDL 55, LDL 129, Tri-G 58

    No statins, primal (3 months, Mar '10): Total 355, HDL 72, LDL 269, Tri-G 77

    I'd say I was about 90-95% comliant. Certainly no wheat, very little sugar.

    My weight is 180lbs, 6'2" tall.

    I take 5000 U vit D + fish oil.

    Has anybody got any ideas about what's going on or what I could do?



  • #2

    Your HDL going up is definitely a good sign! As for the rest, it's possible that you're just genetically predisposed to high cholesterol regardless of diet, which is what appears to be my problem:

    A full NMR or VAP lipoprofile can determine your actual particle size and density so you have a better idea of what's going on. Also, Dr. Davis at HeartScanBlog is very big on niacin:


    • #3

      Don't fret. Cholesterol has no link to heart disease; processed carbohydrates do.


      • #4

        I agree that NMR/VAP would be helpful, since large LDL is benign and may have caused your LDL to rise. On the other hand, Richard (Free The Animal) has done several posts that show that actual measured LDL (as measured through NMR/VAP) often is radically lower than the traditionally calculated LDL given by a standard lipid profile.

        Hope this helps assuage your concerns!


        • #5

          I am anxious to see my test results after six months of this. I had great numbers last August on my old diet. In fact, my doctor would write "Excellent" next to my cholesterol figures with a smiley face. It will be disappointing if it changes for the worse.


          • #6

            john-e that's my fear as well. I had great numbers six months ago, and will be tested again in early May. I've been PB for about 3 weeks and I'm wondering what my numbers will look like by then. I'm going to ask for more than just the basic cholesterol measurements to be taken (have some reading to do before then) and I'm thinking of asking for my test results *before* my appointment so I can do some calculations based on Griff's info before my face-to-face with the doctor.


            • #7

              i have been going through the same thing and thats why i came to a semi primal total numbers are not as high as you but my hdl is extremly low

              i respect everything that has been said but decided to go a little different grains at all for me..i only go with red meat 2 to 3 times a week,i dont really do the bacon thing. much more chicken and seafood. i dont use coconut oil...try to get my fats mainly from sources like olive oil, avocado, walnuts etc....and i take in a lot more fruits and vegies then most around here i think.... anyway im pretty new to all this but im feeling good and am excited for how this way of eating has made me feel....wish you the best dwels


              • #8

                Definitely get a VAP test! My 'high' LDL was a constant source of friction between me and my doctors until my endo did a VAP test--100% of my LDL is the large, fluffy kind that's actually heart healthy.

                My endo said that in testing his patients, he's noticed that anyone with a high HDL and low triglyercides (your current pattern) usually has the 'good' LDL.

                If that's the case, the high numbers are actually a good thing, and you should NOT take statins.


                • #9

                  dwels, please specify a bit your diet. You said 90%-95% compliance, Low Sugar (How Much?) and what kind of exercise were you doing?

                  Cholesterol levels are direct function of your vessels damages. The internal plaque signals a repair/maintenance needs and if you dont have the animal proteins and fat necessary to do the repairs, your Cholesterol will go up.

                  My hunch here is that while you turned primal you started also exercising more than you did when on Statines. Exercise, specifically Intense workouts will make need of more vessel repairs, for obvious reasons. Make sure you balance the exercise with increased amounts of animal protein and fat. That will make in time your total cholesterol to go down.


                  • #10

                    Wow! Thanks for all the help and support.

                    I would love to get a 'proper' lipid profile VAP or NMR, but as far as I can discover, there is no such thing in the UK (home) and if there is, it's certainly not promoted. If anyone knows different, please let me know.

                    I do love the diet (I take a slightly different exercise approach) and it does feel 'right'. I do generally feel better in myself and I wouldn't want to give that up.


                    I'm a regular reader of Dr Davis's blog too. I'm going to take up your suggestion for Niacin. Thanks for the tip.


                    • #11

                      First, read this:

                      Once you've read that, come back and read the rest of my response.

                      I'll bet that the LDL was calculated, not directly measured, in all three cases. Labs are lazy like that. But when trigs are under 100, the equation they use doesn't work correctly. Let's try the Iranian equation, instead, which works better with low trigs:

                      (Total/1.19) + (Trig/1.9) - (HDL/1.1) - 38 = LDL

                      Before statins:

                      (277/1.19) + (107/1.9) - (53/1.1) - 38 =

                      234 + 56 - 48 - 38 = 204

                      So your LDL before statins was actually a little higher than their calculated score.

                      After statins:

                      (195/1.19) + (58/1.9) - (55/1.1) - 38 =

                      164 + 31 - 50 - 38 = 107

                      They miscalculated your LDL there. It's about 22 points lower than they said.

                      Off statins, on Primal:

                      (355/1.19) + (77/1.9) - (72/1.1) - 38 =

                      298 + 41 - 65 + 38 = 236

                      Again, they miscalculated your LDL. It's about 33 points lower than they said.

                      So, your cholesterol ratios:

                      Before statins:

                      Total/HDL: 277/53 or 5.22 (ideal = 5 or below)

                      Trig/HDL: 107/53 or 2.02 (ideal = 2 or below)

                      LDL/HDL: 204/53 or 3.85 (ideal = 4.3 or below)

                      After statins:

                      Total/HDL: 195/55 or 3.5 (ideal = 5 or below)

                      Trig/HDL: 58/55 or 1.05 (ideal = 2 or below)

                      LDL/HDL: 107/55 or 1.95 (ideal = 4.3 or below)

                      Off statins, on Primal:

                      Total/HDL: 355/72 or 4.93 (ideal = 5 or below)

                      Trig/HDL: 77/72 or 1.06 (ideal = 2 or below

                      LDL/HDL: 236/72 or 3.27 (ideal = 4.3 or below)

                      In all cases, your ratios are still within the ideal range. And your total/HDL ratio indicates large, fluffy LDL particles. See if your results have something about "LDL subfractionation" - if yours is over 26.8, your pattern is Pattern A (you want that). And it should be.
                      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                      Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

                      Ditch the scale!:

                      My Success Story:


                      • #12

                        Damnit, Griff. I love your cholesterol posts. Every time I read one I get a chill up my spine because I'm watching a superhero in action.


                        • #13


                          Sorry, missed your post before I started mine.

                          The only direct sugar I have comes from 90% chocolate that I have occasionally and sometimes a little maple syrup in a shake (once a week max). I do have a few blueberries too (say 15-20, 4/5 times a week), with some greek yoghurt. Other than that, no sugar or other fruits.

                          I eat fairly large amounts of saturated fats (butter and heavy cream) and mono oils (olive and coconut), plus lots of red meat.

                          The exercise I do is Dr Greg McGuff's Body By Science - very intense weights, very short, once a week. No cardio. I changed to this exercise regime when I went primal. Prior to that I did a lot more interval training (2x / week), plus much more cardio (though I wouldn't go as far as to call it 'chronic&#39.


                          • #14


                            Many thanks for that. It's gonna take me a little while to get through the thread, but thanks for taking the time and I like your numbers much better!

                            Unfortunately, no 'LDL subfractionation' (very lazy here in the UK), just Trig, HDL, LDL (calc) and HDL / total ratio.