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Control Group - HDL & TRI?

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  • Control Group - HDL & TRI?

    Are there any studies that looked at hunter-gatherer HDL and triglyceride levels? Why wouldn't anyone have thought of getting blood samples, before they all got perverted by modern society and that information lost forever?

    It would have been great if Weston Price had done that back in the 1930s, but I guess he didn't have that technology.

    We could guess they had high HDL and low TRI, thus explaining why they didn't get metabolic syndrome and thus low chronic disease. But actual samples would show us where natural numbers resided.

    EDIT: I like to get answers, so I dug around and found some numbers...

    Triglycerides & HDL:
    American Heart Association (Very High): 500 & 40, ratio 12.5
    American Heart Association (High): 350 & 40, ratio 8.8
    American Heart Association (Normal): 150 & 60, ratio 2.5
    Eskimos (Westernized): 91 & 63, ratio 1.4
    Eskimos (Traditional): 50 & 63, ratio 0.8
    Last edited by KimchiNinja; 06-16-2013, 04:31 AM.

  • #2
    Hmm apparently there is existing data, but I only see references to fragments here and there in online articles.

    This one for example only discusses their total cholesterol (and doctors don't even what total cholesterol means so who cares). It also mentions problems with studying old frozen samples gathered using outdated techniques.


    • #3
      And the numbers are skewed by parasites, anyway.

      Serum Cholesterol Among Hunter-Gatherers: Conclusion - Perfect Health Diet | Perfect Health Diet
      Last edited by Knifegill; 06-14-2013, 02:54 AM.
      Crohn's, doing SCD


      • #4
        Lipoprotein Profile of Inuits, 1989 data

        Edit: see updated numbers in posting below, and compared with 1971 Inuits.


        Okay, now we are getting somewhere. The only problem is it's from 1989, err we know they were eating Snicker's bars by then. There is a 1971 report (H O Bang, J Dyerberg, A B Nielsen) that I'd like to see instead.

        Haven't had time to read the full study as it's Friday night -- time to raise my triglycerides via some beer.
        Last edited by KimchiNinja; 06-16-2013, 04:20 AM.


        • #5
          Plasma Lipid & Lipoprotein Pattern in Greenlandic West-Coast Eskimos, 1971

          This study provides blood samples from an isolated population those "dietary habits have been only slightly influenced by civilization". The Eskimos were described as "probably the most exquisitely carnivorous people on Earth", with almost no carbohydrates consumed. We can contrast this with what is probably the most exquisitely sugarivorous people on Earth, what the USA considers "a balanced diet", and view the differences in HDL & TRI extremes. Plus see how Eskimos changed over time as they became Westernized.

          About the Greenlandic Eskimos -- The diet "consisted mostly of meat of whales, seals, sea birds, and fish...and is poor in carbohydrates". For carbs it's 25g from "potatoes and vegi only in very small amounts" and "Danish beer, coffee, tea with a good deal of sugar" (I've excluded carbs from consumed muscle glycogen). Very few cases of heart disease (three cases reported in Greenland between 1963-1967), and diabetes nearly non-existent.

          For fun I've also included Peter Attia's well-documented numbers; a guy who used to be a carbo-manic and is now zero white carbs.

          Americans vs Eskimos.jpg

          * AMERICANS (VERY HIGH & HIGH TRIS) - AHA values for "high" and "very high" triglycerides, these are considered risky. Plugged in avg calories per day of 2,700 and recommended 55/30/15 macros to represent the typical diet.

          * PETER ATTIA (WESTERN DIET) - An example of a guy who was super active, eating a "healthy American diet", 600g of carbs a day. Triglycerides were actually considered "normal" according to US standards, but HDL low, and the ratio of TRI/HDL bad at 5.0.

          * AMERICANS ("NORMAL" TRIS) - Considered normal values, leads to a ratio of 2.5.

          * ESKIMOS (WESTERNIZED) - Consumed a diet consisting of traditional foods, but also imported meats, frozen vegetables, fruit, bread, milk, alcohol. When they switched to more Western foods their HDL stayed the same, but their triglycerides increased 82% in 18yrs.

          *PETER ATTIA (PALEO/KETO) - Peter on a permanently-keto diet, drinking 1000 calories of heavy cream a day, barely any carbs, no sugar. His HDL interestingly actually exceeds the traditional Eskimos, maybe from his massive fat intake of 425g?! Wow. His triglycerides were cut in half after quitting sugar/carbs, but even so are slightly higher than Eskimos eating their traditional diet. Ratio of 1.0.

          * ESKIMOS (TRADITIONAL) - These guys had tris of 50, compared to the USA's "normal" of 150. Eskimos had a ratio of TRI/HDL of 0.8 vs USA normal of 2.5.

          Contrasting extreme environments -- American recommended triglycerides are 300% greater than traditional Eskimos who had virtually no heart disease or diabetes. American carb consumption is 1500% greater. American "high" triglycerides are 700% greater. American average sugar consumption is 1200% greater if you assume Eskimos were having 10g of sugar daily (40% of their carbs from sugar).

          The interesting thing is scale; that it's possible (and apparently very healthy) to have a triglyceride number as low as 57 +/- S/D of 28 for a male and 44 +/- S/D of 13 for a female, and yet it's also possible to hit a number of 500+. That's a monster range!

          US Food Profile:
          Eskimos (Traditional):
          Eskimos (Modern):
          Peter Macros: How I lost weight (Part 2) The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D. The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.
          Peter Bloodtest: How a low carb diet reduced my risk of heart disease (Part 3) The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D. The Eating Academy | Peter Attia, M.D.


          • #6
            I just want to say thank you Mr. Ninja for exploring this topic. I feel tris & HDL are way more important and do not lie. If you' e been eating those donuts, they will tattle on you!


            • #7
              Originally posted by stoney56 View Post
              I just want to say thank you Mr. Ninja for exploring this topic.
              Thanks, it was a bit of work on Sunday. But I'm getting ready to get my first blood numbers since starting paleo, and was really interested in what a normal control group looks like (not what the AMA says is "normal").

              Curious if any paleo people have hit higher HDL or lower TRI than the researchers found in 1971 Eskimos?