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Cholesterol - A Primer (Attempt 2)

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  • Great piece Griff, but here is the problem: Insurance companies! I had my rate jacked up when I renewed my life insurance because my overall cholestetol was 280, though my hdl was 59. They would lower my fees if I went on statins which I wouldn't do. I'm not worried about chol#s as much as by how other outside forces like insurance costs can dictate to our pocketbooks, and our health. The insurance companies are also directed by CW, I suspect when they figure out how much they will save with people on primal diets they will change their MO--but that is like turning around an aircraft carries in a river.
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

    Comment


    • Hi Griff

      Really great thread, I posted my numbers here:

      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...olesterol-help!

      Total Cholesterol 8.9 mmol(344)
      HDL 2.5 mmol(96)
      LDL 5.9 mmol(228)
      Trigs 0.87(77)

      I have worked out the ratios and on my working out the ratios aren't that bad, can anyone check it for me to see if I'm working it out right, here's my figures:

      Total/HDL=3.5
      Trig/HDL=0.80
      LDL/HDL=2.3

      Thanks

      Comment


      • Hi Griff

        There are quite a few of us apparently whoseTC and LDL go up on 'paleo'. (See also http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/1087660) Do you think if this thread might be an appropriate forum where we could start collecting info, with a view to

        (1) trying to find out what is common among such people (some nonexclusive possibilities are (a) hypothyroid (b)young and female (c) more oriented to processing carbs(permanently or temporarily) --with good insulin sensitivity (d) healing fatty liver ...

        and

        (2) getting info about the natural history of these numbers. Ie. if they tend go down with time as eg. Chris Masterjohn's hypothesis suggests.

        (http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/wh...this-diet.html)

        ?

        Comment


        • I have 455 mg/dL of cholesterol

          My HDL is 96 mg/dL and Triglyceride are at 44 mg/dL.

          Should I be worried?

          Comment


          • Paul Jaminet, co-author of Perfect Health diet, posted earlier this month about the possibility of a micronutrient deficiency increasing LDL for paleo/primal eaters. Might be worth considering.
            My journal

            Comment


            • Originally posted by svelting View Post
              Paul Jaminet, co-author of Perfect Health diet, posted earlier this month about the possibility of a micronutrient deficiency increasing LDL for paleo/primal eaters. Might be worth considering.
              This post is why I decided to start eating liver once a week. We'll see what it does to the levels.
              Started PB late 2008, lost 50 lbs by late 2009. Have been plateaued, but that thing may just be biting the dust: more on that later.

              Comment


              • Griff- thank you thank you thank you for your original posts! Since I've been coming to MDA, I've seen reference to your cholesterol primer a whole bunch but never read it myself because I hadn't seen my cholesterol numbers....until yesterday. Just a quick glance, I started getting a tad stressed because the numbers seemed high. But I searched the forum for your primer, pulled out pencil and paper, and did some figuring. Now I will just have to 'splain this to my docs when they show concern for a white, normal weight, woman in her mid-30s with "borderline high" numbers.

                Lab results:
                TRIG 43
                HDL 84
                CHOL TOTAL 223
                VLDL 9
                LDL 130

                Using the Iranian method, however, my LDL came out to 96. My total/hdl ratio is 2.65; my trig/hdl ratio is 0.51; my ldl/hdl ratio is 1.14. (I'm no math whiz so if anyone sees any glaring mistakes, do tell!)

                So, once again, just want to tell you thanks for having done the research AND for having expressed it so coherently. <3<3<3
                Last edited by say_rahhh; 03-26-2011, 08:55 AM.
                Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.
                ~Borges

                Comment


                • my new cholesterol numbers, thoughts needed please

                  Hi,
                  I've been doing PB for a while, and recently had my cholesterol profile done, numbers as follows:
                  Total 253 (up fron 230)
                  HDL 84.8
                  LDL 156 Friedwald, 145 Iranian
                  Trigs 58

                  I think the ratios make it look pretty good, but I'm spooked.
                  Any thoughts (and reassurance) greatly appreciated!
                  I believe PB is the way to be, but the CW brainwashing is hard to let go of.
                  regrdsa
                  Grokann

                  Comment


                  • My Employer says my Lipid profile is unhealthy!

                    Wow, thank you so much for this! I just got the results of my lipid panel and according to the hired medical review board for my employer, at almost 36 yrs old, 114lbs, athletic and primal DF /GF/SF, I am not worthy - physically of Employee Health discounts. However my co-workers on statins And blood pressure meds are!!! What's wrong with THAT picture?

                    Total Cholesterol: 246
                    HDL: 119
                    LDL: 118 (friedwald) LDL Iranian 85
                    Trig: 46
                    VLDL: 9

                    My ratios look like this:
                    T/HDL 1.5
                    Trig/HDL .38
                    LDL/HDL .99

                    If I calculated correctly, I'm in pretty good health! Do you agree?

                    Comment


                    • Yes I definitely agree that those are great blood lipids. I'd be interested in other markers of health like c-reactive protein, fasting glucose and such but it's looks like everything running smoothly.

                      edit: everyone on this page is good. What we have to remember is that if you make cholesterol from fat, it's because your body needs cholesterol. To reduce LDL you could possibly reduce saturated fat and slug corn oil but that wouldn't be making you healthier, the opposite it true. What we need to do is decrease damage to the body while supplying ourselves with plenty of fat so as to heal damage and eventually we just won't need so much cholesterol. People routinely see their cholesterol go up and then down a few months later on a paleo diet for that reason.
                      Last edited by Stabby; 04-18-2011, 08:14 PM.
                      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

                      Comment


                      • Great info in this thread. The parents have been bothering me about my the high cholesterol foods I eat, and I`ve been trying to explain to them the whole primal lifestyle but they don't want to listen. They see me eat 6 eggs and 6 pieces of bacon for breakfast and they start having a panic attack. They're both on cholesterol medication and eat a CW "diet" of low fat, med-high carbs, tons of weight watcher processed "dessert" crap. The information in this thread is great to show them and help me debate cholesterol with them.

                        I`m active, workout 5 days a week(3 lifting, 2 sprinting days), have an ever decreasing body fat%, look and feel amazing, eat a ton and I`m the one with the problem! Probably the most frustrating thing about being primal is dealing with brainwashed CW drones.

                        Comment


                        • New numbers, doctor very concerned. Should I be?

                          Last Week: 6 months ago:
                          Cholesterol, Total 134 123
                          Triglycerides 376 105
                          HDL 37 47
                          VLDL 75 21
                          LDL 22 55

                          Ratios:
                          Total/HDL 3.62 2.62 Target: <5
                          Trig/HDL 10.16 2.23 <2
                          LDL/HDL 0.59 1.17 <4.3

                          Very different numbers for me. Trigs have soared over the last 6 months. So have VLDL.
                          HDL went down marginally. More disturbing for me, my HbA1c went from 5.5 to 6.2.

                          Here is what is strange: My weight has been steady for the last 6 months. In the previous 6 months to that, I lost 50 lbs on VLC (50 grams max, aim for 30 grams). Most of my calories are fat - 75-80% I do not cheat - ever. I am Type II diabetic. I measure my blood glucose 5-8 times daily to stay on target. My blood glucose, with only one or two exceptions where it was in the 135-140 range, is always below 120, before I eat, after I eat, in the morning, at night. My test results also showed my fasting blood glucose at 134. A half hour before, I checked it at 117 and then took my 20 units of Lantos and 1000 units of Metformin.

                          It is almost as the test results are for a different person. I checked the accuracy of my meter against others I own. They all agree +/- 2 units.

                          I have an appointment tomorrow. My endocrinologist sent me a note and she is freaked out by my new numbers for cholesterol. Said that 6.2 A1c is good! (I don't agree.)

                          I am going to see if she will order a VAP or NMR test tomorrow and use a different lab.

                          Comment


                          • Looking for a little reassurance and confirmation

                            Hello Griff!

                            I'm a looooooong time lurker here, and I am stepping out of the shadows to ask you for your kind assistance. I have been Primal since Jan 2010 with great success. My hubby was impressed enough with my results (and tired enough of my gentle nagging), that he decided to try going Primal as well in the summer of 2010....with the goal of getting off of his 40mg Lipitor Rx.

                            In October 2010, while still on Lipitor, he got the following results:
                            Total Cholesterol: 209
                            Trigs: 113
                            HDL: 49
                            LDL (calculated): 138

                            That was enough of an improvement over his prior results that his doc agreed to the next step of our experiment--stopping Lipitor altogether to see what would happen.

                            He has been fairly good with his diet for the last 6 months (the holidays were tough), and had his bloodwork done last week. We got the results today:
                            Total Cholesterol: 326
                            Trigs: 67
                            HDL: 44
                            LDL (calculated): 269

                            His doctor had a bit of a freak-out because of the Total/HDL ratio being at 7.4 (up from 4.3 six months ago), and of course, the leap in LDL. He glossed right over the drop in Trigs.

                            I followed your first posts in this thread carefully, and this is what I came up with for his Iranian Calculation:
                            274 + 35 + 40 - 38 = 201 for total LDL

                            In regards to the Total/HDL ratio, your post states that the ideal is 5 for men, so clearly his 7.4 ratio is too high.

                            But, if I am interpreting your post correctly (big "if"), then his Trig/HDL ratio of 0.65 is quite encouraging, since it is well below 2....so most of that LDL he's pumping through his veins is likely the good Type A kind (right? please say yes....)

                            Now....with the LDL/HDL ratio, using the lab result of 269 comes out to 6.11 (not horrible), and using the Iranian calc of 201 comes out to 4.56 (almost kick-ass good).

                            IF I have followed your directions correctly, then it would seem to me that his results are not as bad of news as the doc seems to think--particularly considering the fact that these are "Lipitor-free" results. His HDL has room for improvement, but I'm encouraged by the drop in his Trigs.

                            The doc has told him that if his LDL is still high 6 months from now, he will officially recommend that he goes back on Lipitor...and even mentioned that if he refuses to do so he would have to mark it in his medical file as AMA (against medical advice)--which could have negative repercussions on our health insurance...meaning that if he has any sort of coronary issues, they would have grounds to contest paying the claim.

                            I'll admit it--that veiled threat scared me. That's why I would greatly appreciate it if, at your convenience, you would validate my calculations and interpretations for his results, and if you have time, any suggestions you may have for improving his results.

                            A VAP test is not covered by our insurance, but if his LDL is still way up there six months from now, we will bite the bullet and pay the $500 bucks for the peace of mind.

                            EDIT TO ADD:
                            Anyone else who feels qualified to chime in on this post--please feel free.....I'll take all the advice I can get!!!
                            Last edited by Sparkie6678; 05-02-2011, 07:53 PM. Reason: typo

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by hilm3 View Post
                              Last Week: 6 months ago:
                              Cholesterol, Total 134 123
                              Triglycerides 376 105
                              HDL 37 47
                              VLDL 75 21
                              LDL 22 55

                              Ratios:
                              Total/HDL 3.62 2.62 Target: <5
                              Trig/HDL 10.16 2.23 <2
                              LDL/HDL 0.59 1.17 <4.3

                              Very different numbers for me. Trigs have soared over the last 6 months. So have VLDL.
                              HDL went down marginally. More disturbing for me, my HbA1c went from 5.5 to 6.2.

                              Here is what is strange: My weight has been steady for the last 6 months. In the previous 6 months to that, I lost 50 lbs on VLC (50 grams max, aim for 30 grams). Most of my calories are fat - 75-80% I do not cheat - ever. I am Type II diabetic. I measure my blood glucose 5-8 times daily to stay on target. My blood glucose, with only one or two exceptions where it was in the 135-140 range, is always below 120, before I eat, after I eat, in the morning, at night. My test results also showed my fasting blood glucose at 134. A half hour before, I checked it at 117 and then took my 20 units of Lantos and 1000 units of Metformin.

                              It is almost as the test results are for a different person. I checked the accuracy of my meter against others I own. They all agree +/- 2 units.

                              I have an appointment tomorrow. My endocrinologist sent me a note and she is freaked out by my new numbers for cholesterol. Said that 6.2 A1c is good! (I don't agree.)

                              I am going to see if she will order a VAP or NMR test tomorrow and use a different lab.
                              Can't see how you can be primal and sober and get a Trig reading like that. Were you fasting?

                              In both cases, LDL was calculated using Friedewald. For the lastest numbers, this will have understimated the LDL because of the very high trigs. Yes get it retested and get a direct measure of the LDL

                              BTW, your total cholesterol is too low. Such low numbers are correlated with higher rates of mortality from cancer and violent causes
                              Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                              Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Sparkie6678 View Post
                                Hello Griff!

                                I'm a looooooong time lurker here, and I am stepping out of the shadows to ask you for your kind assistance. I have been Primal since Jan 2010 with great success. My hubby was impressed enough with my results (and tired enough of my gentle nagging), that he decided to try going Primal as well in the summer of 2010....with the goal of getting off of his 40mg Lipitor Rx.

                                In October 2010, while still on Lipitor, he got the following results:
                                Total Cholesterol: 209
                                Trigs: 113
                                HDL: 49
                                LDL (calculated): 138

                                That was enough of an improvement over his prior results that his doc agreed to the next step of our experiment--stopping Lipitor altogether to see what would happen.

                                He has been fairly good with his diet for the last 6 months (the holidays were tough), and had his bloodwork done last week. We got the results today:
                                Total Cholesterol: 326
                                Trigs: 67
                                HDL: 44
                                LDL (calculated): 269

                                His doctor had a bit of a freak-out because of the Total/HDL ratio being at 7.4 (up from 4.3 six months ago), and of course, the leap in LDL. He glossed right over the drop in Trigs.

                                I followed your first posts in this thread carefully, and this is what I came up with for his Iranian Calculation:
                                274 + 35 + 40 - 38 = 201 for total LDL

                                In regards to the Total/HDL ratio, your post states that the ideal is 5 for men, so clearly his 7.4 ratio is too high.

                                But, if I am interpreting your post correctly (big "if"), then his Trig/HDL ratio of 0.65 is quite encouraging, since it is well below 2....so most of that LDL he's pumping through his veins is likely the good Type A kind (right? please say yes....)

                                Now....with the LDL/HDL ratio, using the lab result of 269 comes out to 6.11 (not horrible), and using the Iranian calc of 201 comes out to 4.56 (almost kick-ass good).

                                IF I have followed your directions correctly, then it would seem to me that his results are not as bad of news as the doc seems to think. His HDL has room for improvement, but I'm encouraged by the drop in his Trigs.

                                The doc has told him that if his LDL is still high 6 months from now, he will officially recommend that he goes back on Lipitor...and even mentioned that if he refuses to do so he would have to mark it in his medical file as AMA (against medical advice)--which could have negative repercussions on our health insurance...meaning that if he has any sort of coronary issues, they would have grounds to contest paying the claim.

                                I'll admit it--that veiled threat scared me. That's why I would greatly appreciate it if, at your convenience, you would validate my calculations and interpretations for his results, and if you have time, any suggestions you may have for improving his results.

                                A VAP test is not covered by our insurance, but if his LDL is still way up there six months from now, we will bite the bullet and pay the $500 bucks for the peace of mind.

                                EDIT TO ADD:
                                Anyone else who feels qualified to chime in on this post--please feel free.....I'll take all the advice I can get!!!
                                While the HDL could be better, the low trigs are very encouraging. You're interpretation accords with my understanding.

                                There is a definite trend of higher LDL when going primal/paleo. This can be due to a number of causes:

                                * micronutrient deficiencies:

                                - too little copper and LDL can't do its job so the body keeps producing more
                                - imbalance between zinc and copper, often caused by too little zinc, and copper can't do its job in assisting LDL, so the body keeps producing more
                                - sodium, magnesium and calcium need to be in balance for correct thyroid function. High LDL is a symptom of hypothroidism
                                - iodine deficiency can also cause hypothyroidism

                                Serum (ie blood) tests for most minerals are useless as the body will deprive cells of minerals to defend the serum levels. Unfortunately, other measures, such as hair tissue mineral analysis, are not recognised by conventional medicine

                                Does your husband have other symptoms that may indicate mineral imbalance?
                                Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                                Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

                                Comment

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