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  • High LDL?

    Just wanted to get an opinion before I go back to my doctor - I'm 31 and am very involved in fitness (help run a CrossFit gym). I'm 6'2", 205 (dropping slowly on Primal) and am probably around 12% bodyfat.

    I get between 50-100g of carbs a day, eat an avocado a day, take about 15g of fish oil (Carlson's DHA gems) daily, and am very active. I also have a fairly high stress job (do IT consulting work), and according to the blood tests, have a slightly slow thyroid. I've also recently started taking the master damage control multi and a pro-biotic, as well as Vitamin D3.

    Based on my tests results, I think the doctor is going to want to discuss medication, which I don't feel is in my best interests, especially since I'm in the best shape of my life. Any feedback on these results? Anything I should be worried about, or would LDL probably be elevated due to stress and thyroid levels?

    As you can see from the recommendations below, it says very low fat diet and lower calorie - from what I know about decreasing fat (and increasing carbs as a result), I will take on more body fat, as well as probably increase triglyceride levels.

    Here are my latest blood test results:

    Test(s): CBC (blood counts), CMP (chemistries), UA (urine analysis)

    Results: Normal.

    Test Values (Complete Blood Count): on 09/28/2010
    White blood cell count (WBC)(Normal: 3.8-10.8) 5.1 THOUSAND/UL
    Hemoglobin (Normal: 13.2-17.1) 14.4
    Hematocrit (Normal: 38.5-50.0) 41.5
    MCV (Normal: 80.0-100.0) 90.8
    Platelets (Normal: 140-400) 196 THOUSAND/UL
    Test values (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel): on 09/28/2010
    Glucose (Sugar)(Normal: 65-99) 81
    BUN (Normal: 7-25) 24
    Creatinine (Normal: 0.79-1.33) 1.19
    Sodium (Normal: 135-146) 139
    Potassium (Normal: 3.5-5.3) 4.3
    Chloride (Normal: 98-110) 102
    Calcium (Normal: 8.6-10.2) 9.4
    Protein (Normal: 6.2-8.3) 6.7
    Albumin (Normal: 3.6-5.1) 4.4
    Bili total (Normal: 0.2-1.2) 0.5
    Alkaline Phosphatase (Normal: 40-115) 57
    SGOT (AST) (Normal: 10-40) 30
    SGPT (ALT) (Normal: 9-60) 36

    Test: Lipid (cholesterol)
    Results: Elevated cholesterol, higher than previous, LDL (bad) cholesterol is high.

    Test values (lipid): on 09/28/2010
    Triglycerides (Normal <150): 66
    Total Cholesterol (Normal <200): 234
    HDL (good cholesterol) (Normal > OR = 40): 48
    LDL (bad cholesterol) (Normal <130): 173 MG/DL (CALC)

    Recommend: Regular aerobic exercise (walking-jogging-bicycling-etc.)
    very low fat diet.
    lower calorie diet.

    Test: TSH (thyroid)
    Blood test shows a slow thyroid

  • #2
    Ah the old very low fat diet CW BS! You might want to read Mark's blog entry on cholesterol (

    Explains it all very well (but, then, Mark always does!)

    I notice it says slow thyroid - has he specifically mentioned hypothyroidism to you...?
    La tristesse durera toujours...


    • #3
      I had found Mark's post and Griff's primer, and ran through all of those numbers - the results are below. Regarding the thyroid, this is the first time this has popped up on a blood screen, to my knowledge. What could be causes of this? I do take a thermogenic (am slowly stopping use of it), BPI Rx6, which has 300mg of caffeine as well as 40mg niacin. I didn't take it that morning before the test, but I did have it the day prior.

      Based on the Iranian formula, my LDL is 149.7.

      Total/HDL = 4.875 (5 ideal, so implies Pattern A LDL?)
      Trig/HDL = 1.375 (<2 ideal)
      LDL/HDL = 3.6 (<4.3 ideal)

      So, based on those numbers, everything looks really good. Has anyone had experience showing these types of numbers to general practitioners and getting any kind of response other than "statins! high-grains! low-fat! treadmill!"?


      • #4
        Also, I have had test levels done recently - it was ~550 total test and something like 11.5% free, which I was told is good, if that has any impact on the matter.


        • #5
          D - I'm no expert, there are many here who are (or at least know more than I do, which isn't difficult). I know what can cause hypothyroidism for me (but it's strictly a girl thing, so no point me mentioning that to you). The usual thing is low iodine levels (when I was diagnosed as borderline, I began taking a spirulina supplement (spirulina is a blue-green marine algae) as it's the most bioavailable form of obtaining the mineral).

          It helped me enough that I didn't need medication.

          I'm not going to say any more as I'll be out of my depth and just spouting BS. There are many other folks on here who know stuff (I'm not one of them!)

          La tristesse durera toujours...


          • #6
            When I get home, I'm going to try to find some older blood test results and run the calculations against those to see how they measure up. I've always been on a sorta-primal diet, just with more carbs (i.e., lots of good fats) - I may have the doctor re-do tests in 3 months to see how they change after 3 months of 50-100g carbs a day (I was probably closer to 200, and still have a pretty good trig level).


            • #7
              Do you know the TSH level? You could have sub-clinical hypothyroidism, where it is normal or close to normal, but still requires medication. Hypothyroidism can cause elevated cholesterol levels. If you had to make a choice between taking a thyroid replacement medication and statins, it would be obvious to me that they thyroid would be a better choice.

              When you go back to the doc have them run a complete thyroid panel, including TSH, T4, Free T4, T3, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies. (thyroid peeps, did I miss any?)

              Also ask about doing a VAP for the cholesterol, it appears you really are in a healthy range. Try using google scholar to find actual peer reviewed research that supports alternate ways of looking at cholesterol levels.

              My MDA journal

              Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

              And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!


              • #8
                Unfortunately, I can't find my earlier results to compare. I will tell the doctor that I don't want to do anything with the cholesterol, since I think my numbers are great, but I do want to do the thyroid test to see what's going on with that. I was reading about it, and I really don't use any table salt (we cook w/ kosher salt) and eat very little bread, so I probably don't have much dietary iodine.

                What is a VAP for the cholesterol? Another test? What would it tell me?


                • #9

                  ASAP .... PLEASE spend some quality time at this web site.

                  Cardiologist Dr. William Davis is the BEST, and you will find the RIGHT answer to your problem there.

                  Best to you,


                  • #10
                    Went back to the doc today - they took blood for a thyroid test. He said that once we get the thyroid squared away, then we'll look at the LDL, since fixing the thyroid can impact the LDL numbers. When I asked if there was a chance that I was iodine deficient, he said there was no way based on where I live (SE Texas).

                    When I raised the possibility that LDL was raised because of fish-oil megadosing and was maybe the "good" LDL, he said that studies have shown that there isn't much distinction with regards to heart conditions and mortality if you have the good or bad LDL, just how much there is. Is that the case?

                    When I asked about the VAP, he said we could do that or the Berkeley panel when the thyroid stuff is resolved.


                    • #11
                      Yep,having the same thing going on here.....high number= lots of side notes on the test results....low calorie,low carb,low fat....avoid pork and beef

                      I'm finally back on track losing weight and she wants me to cut out fat.....and BEEF......


                      • #12
                        Got the thyroid results back:

                        Tests: (1) TSH, 3RD GENERATION (899SB=)
                        TSH, 3RD GENERATION 3.15 mIU/L 0.40-4.50 RG

                        Tests: (2) T4, FREE (866SB=)
                        T4, FREE 1.1 ng/dL 0.8-1.8 RG

                        Tests: (3) THYROID PEROXIDASE ANTIBODIES (5081SB=)
                        32 IU/mL <35 RG

                        So, he said that was normal, so the initial hypothyroid concern may have been a false alert. I have added some kelp into my diet on a daily basis, just to increase iodine intake.

                        Anything else to be concerned with? I probably won't be getting the VAP test yet - I'm going to do a re-test of cholesterol in 3 months, to see if restricted carbs along with Vitamin D3 and less Omega3 (5g daily instead of 15-20) will change the numbers any.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DFielder View Post
                          Went back to the doc today - they took blood for a thyroid test. He said that once we get the thyroid squared away, then we'll look at the LDL, since fixing the thyroid can impact the LDL numbers.
                          Correct answer. +1 for the doc

                          Even though you life in SE TX and have more sun than is typical, your 25(OH)D level should be checked *via labcorp* (not quest). ZRT is an option too and it's a reasonably priced home test. See my linked doc in my sig line for all kinds of D info - testing, levels, supplementing etc. D will impact thyroid function and is highly protective against heart disease.

                          Have a look at this as well.

                          When I raised the possibility that LDL was raised because of fish-oil megadosing
                          Why are you taking so much fish oil? The goal is simply to bring Ω3:Ω6 ratios into line. With 15g, you're almost undoubtedly getting more Ω3 than you need. PUFAs, even the good ones, aren't so stable and should be consumed as minimally as possible.

                          Tracking your diet in will give you useful info about your Ω6 intake so that you can figure out accurately how much fish oil you *actually* need based on your diet rather than your weight. Robb Wolf is way off on this one. Supplementing Ω3 based on weight, rather than ratio, makes no sense.
                          Last edited by cillakat; 10-02-2010, 03:41 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DFielder View Post
                            Got the thyroid results back:

                            Tests: (1) TSH, 3RD GENERATION (899SB=)
                            TSH, 3RD GENERATION 3.15 mIU/L 0.40-4.50 RG
                            Those very familiar with thyroid stuff (see will generally say that TSH of 3.15 indicates a hypothyroid condition. Iirc, you want TSH right around 1.

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                            • #15
                              The dosage for fish oil was based on the advice of a prominent strength coach, who said to keep increasing your fish oil dose until you basically have diarrhea, then back off one pill. I wasn't at that point, but I had throttled back some because I was going through bottles of Carlson's Super DHA Gems (180ct) every week and a half!