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Help raising HDL cholesterol

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  • Help raising HDL cholesterol

    Hello all. I'm a longtime lurker who didn't think I'd need to post. My work requires us to do a "health screen" every year, and one of the tests is cholesterol. After a lovely HDL of 68 last year, it fell to 45 this year. Frankly, I had been expecting it to increase since I've been primal/paleo (which I was before last year's reading too). I am on progesterone supplements the second half of my cycle for a luteal phase defect (natural and bio-identical and prescribed by my naturopath) and also on vitex (an herbal supplement). The nurse interpreting my health screening for me said that hormonal changes like that can wipe out your HDL, and that she was actually glad mine stayed as high as it did, so I must be eating right.

    I'm already doing the primal/paleo thing. Lots of coconut oil, grass fed beef, eggs, olive oil, fish oil supplements, fish, nuts (mostly almonds and macadamias), tons of green leafies. I play soccer and do Crossfit, though my naturopath has also recommended I tone it down a bit on the Crossfit and add in some yoga and pilates.

    Any want to offer any more suggestions for me to battle the effects of the progesterone?

  • #2
    Nicotinic acid (nicotinate). It's the form of niacin that has the nasty flush involved. Tough it out. Most people's HDL goes up quite a bit on it. It looks like you're doing pretty much everything else right.

    Anything which more directly solves the problems caused by your hormone therapy runs the risk of actually counteracting it to some extent.
    Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

    Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread

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    • #3
      Junebug, I'm afraid that I don't have much for you on the HDL thing, but I was curious what your naturopath says is wrong with CrossFit.

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      • #4
        Too much, too often for most people. Additionally, I don't approve of lifting free weights rapidly for time and frequently without a spotter or appropriate safety rack. Don't get me wrong, it's great stuff, I'd just change a couple things.
        Give me liberty. Exploration of other options will be vigorously discouraged.

        Wondering something sciencey? Ask me in my Ask a Biochemist Thread

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        • #5
          Yeah. I mean, I'm just starting to get into it, but I don't think I'll ever do the three on/one off thing. I don't want to live my life perpetually sore. And the rapid lifting and "throwing it up" kind of stuff runs counter to a lot of the slow isolation type movements that I've done in the past.

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          • #6
            I couldn't do the 3 on 1 off; I need more recovery time. I heard some criticism that because I was doing WODs 3x a week, that meant I wasn't really "doing CrossFit" so I couldn't complain about it. I'm also not a fan of things like "deadlifts for time" but that's because my form starts to suffer, and I risk injury.

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            • #7
              A couple of things I have researched that raise HDL:

              Dark Chocolate. If you get the 85% then there is not much sugar in it. Some people think it's bitter but I love it.
              Red Wine.
              Normalize Vitamin D levels.

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              • #8
                Allbeef patty, my naturopath does not think there's anything wrong with Crossfit per se. My adrenals are very fatigued, so she wanted me to (amongst other things) do less Crossfit and/or switch to the less-intense Crossfit Mom workouts, especially since I already have soccer in there for intense exercise. Stress is stress is stress, and she'd have no problem w/ the Crossfit if my adrenals weren't crapping out on me.

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