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Cholesterol - A Primer (Attempt 2)

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  • Get him on a good triglyceride based fish oil like Nordic Naturals (2tsp or 10 pills a day) - it dropped my LDL 70 points (on the standard scale), while my HDL went up (I was taking 500mg of slow release niacin at the time).

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    • Originally posted by Sparkie6678 View Post

      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!!!
      Hi Sparkie,

      My suggestion would be that your hubbie double down for the next 4 - 6 months on eating primally. Really cut out the veg seed oils, the grains, and keep carbs below 100/day (below 75 even better). Eat grass fed meats and pastured eggs if you can get and/or afford them. If not, supplement with fish oil. Olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats, avocado, macadamia fats - these are all good. (Olives, coconuts, and avocados are all FRUITS, not seeds.)

      Second, next time he gets his cholesterol checked spring for the VAP test automatically. Here is why - eating primal fats and low carbs alters the lipid profile in predictable ways. The LDL changes from small dense particles to large fluffy particles. Since LDL is measured by VOLUME in the standard cholesterol test, not by particle number, it looks like your LDL is going up on primal. But it is like comparing baseballs to beachballs. You might only have 25 beachballs in that sample, but they take up more room than the 75 baseballs used to. What really causes damage to your blood vessels is those small little baseballs hurtling into vessel walls. What would you rather be hit with, a baseball thrown at top speed, or a beachball?

      When those results come back, you want immediate evidence to present to the doctor that his LDL is NOT the dangerous, artery damaging kind. There is lots of info (and good, scientific info) on the internet about interpreting VAP tests and the importance of knowing particle size to evaluate arterial risk. Go in prepared.

      My other thoughts are that his LDL after stopping statins may have rebounded in order to compensate for a long period of deprivation. Your body and brain needs cholesterol - and while no longer being under the suppression of statins, may be making up for lost opportunity. This is just a guess on my part. But it may naturally come down a bit in a few months.

      Really being good about primal eating usually raises HDL into a good, healthy zone (60 - 100), brings trigs significantly under 100, and also keeps traditional LDL at a number that most traditional MD"s are not happy about. But a VAP test almost invariably proves that the LDL is large, fluffy and not harmful.

      Best of luck and keep us posted!

      Comment


      • Hey--thanks for the quick reply, Peril!

        I googled up a list of symptoms for the various mineral deficiencies that you mentioned in your post...and I can't say that any of them jumped out at me as being applicable, other than the low HDL/high LDL which would be consistent with a copper deficiency.

        Since going Primal last summer, he has lost 12 lbs--but he didn't have a real weight issue to begin with...he's now down to 185 lbs on a 5'10" frame. Do correct me if I'm incorrect, but I always thought that thyroid issues tend to lead to rapid weight gain.....so hopefully we can cross that off the list of possibilities.

        He hasn't mentioned any fatigue issues--in fact he has commented on a general increase in energy and getting really great sleep since committing to Primal. The only other difference is a marked improvement in his psoriasis. Nails and hair seem fine, and no signs of arthritis or other bone issues (he's 54, btw).

        We eat a wide array of veggies each day, including a daily raw salad with as many different veggies as possible, and try to have an organ meat once a week. I was hopeful that would be sufficient to not need a daily vitamin/mineral supplement (I personally find the whole supplement issue very overwhelming), but considering the high LDL/low HDL readings he got I think it would be prudent to moderately increase his copper and zinc intake and see if it helps.

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        • Hey look--more replies!

          DFielder: Indeed, I have been seriously considering adding a Fish Oil supplement, and I thank you for the specific brand recommendation. At this point, it seems like a no-brainer that should be added. I have heard of the Niacin connection to cholesterol, but I can't say I completely understand how it works. I believe you are saying that the slow-release Niacin helped to improve your HDL. My first instinct is that Niacin shouldn't be that difficult to get through diet, but I'll definitely look into that and see what I can find for Niacin-rich foods.

          Barb--thanks for the response. While he has gotten much better with his food choices in recent months, there's always room for improvement. I'm thinking of doing a 30-day Challenge--Him vs Me to see who can eat the most Primally for a month to get him to go further with his commitment (wink!).

          I do believe we will be doing the VAP test in the Fall....if anything, we want to be able to demonstrate that we do take his health and cholesterol seriously in the event of a future issue with the insurance company (grrrrrrr....)

          EDIT TO ADD:
          Barb, I was also wondering about the possibility of a "rebound effect" after taking a rather high dose of Lipitor for so many years and then stopping. The doc implied that 6 months is plenty of time for the body to adjust to the removal of a statin, but hubby wasn't completely confident that he was speaking authoritatively--he just kinda dismissed the idea.
          Last edited by Sparkie6678; 05-02-2011, 08:49 PM. Reason: one more thing....

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          • Fish oil and niacin supplementation are, in my experience, vexed issues. Fish oil supplementation does work to reduce LDL. I was supplementing fish oil while taking niacin and getting good lipid numbers. However, neither is without its downsides. Fish oil can oxidise easily so turn from an anti-inflammatory agent to and inflammatory agent that actually promotes artherosclerosis. Niacin is an antagonist to copper so may interfere with LDL's function in endothelium repair.

            I have taken both and since stopped, at different times. Since stopping the fish oil my LDL increased. I've not had it measured again since stopping the niacin and supplementing zinc.

            Note that zinc deficiency is far more likely than copper deficiency. Supplementing these without knowing if you have a deficiency is a shot in the dark and may be counterproductive
            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

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            • Understood, Peril.

              I see I have much to learn about supplementing, as well as a nagging concern about it. I don't want to just "swap pills"---a handful of supplements instead of a handful of prescription drugs, and hubby doesn't particularly relish the idea of a shelf full of supplements to keep track of.

              I'm going to research it more, and try to come up with a list of the truly "must haves", and then learn about proper dosing with them. I sense a lot of reading in my immediate future!

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              • A good quality fish oil that's kept in the fridge should minimize spoilage.

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                • Interesting. I had no idea that trigs are related to carb intake. Is this specifically related to starchy carbs/grains or to fruit and veggies as well? I guess I'm wondering why this is the 1st time I'm hearing this?

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                  • Originally posted by whizzytwizzyprimadonna View Post
                    Interesting. I had no idea that trigs are related to carb intake. Is this specifically related to starchy carbs/grains or to fruit and veggies as well? I guess I'm wondering why this is the 1st time I'm hearing this?
                    Anything containing carbohydrate will raise your triglycerides. Doesn't matter if it's starchy or not. A carb is a carb when it comes to trigs.

                    The reason this is the first time you're hearing this is that most of the medical community is incredibly uninformed, and misinformed, about all matters nutritional.
                    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: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                    Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                    My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Griff View Post
                      Anything containing carbohydrate will raise your triglycerides. Doesn't matter if it's starchy or not. A carb is a carb when it comes to trigs.

                      The reason this is the first time you're hearing this is that most of the medical community is incredibly uninformed, and misinformed, about all matters nutritional.
                      I've heard about refined grains and sugars creating inflammation etc but had never heard in relation to lipids. Very interesting.

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                      • Great topic.

                        I scanned about half the pages looking for a simple answer to "If cholesterol alone is not really the key cause of heart disease, what is?"

                        I googled and found this article, which is a good read on cholesterol that I think agrees with the OP, and it expands on the topic to cover the actual causes of heart disease, and myths about statins-

                        Why Cholesterol May Not Be the Cause Of Heart Disease

                        #1- lower your C-reactive protein
                        #2- lower insulin.

                        Docs seem to think cholesterol is all you need to know, and blood sugar tests are more useful that checking insulin, which I think is nuts.

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                        • by reading this I have been seen some relevance on my part...this is a lot of help an additional knowledge to me...thanks!

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                          • Anyone care to do the conversion on my recent readings?

                            TC 208
                            HDL 35
                            TRIGS 88
                            LDL 156
                            Ratio 5.9

                            Thanks in advance

                            SPB

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by scottbushey View Post
                              Anyone care to do the conversion on my recent readings?

                              TC 208
                              HDL 35
                              TRIGS 88
                              LDL 156
                              Ratio 5.9

                              Thanks in advance

                              SPB
                              Well, first of all, you don't have high cholesterol. Normal cholesterol levels in human males are 200-240. The pharmaceutical companies got doctors to lower it to 200 so they could sell more drugs; I kid you not (go read The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo, and Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig and Susan Fallon, for more on that).

                              You very likely have a calculated LDL. By Friedewald, it's elevated. By the Iranian calculation, it's fine: 151. That's really not bad at all.

                              Even without that problem, your ratios are fine:

                              Total/HDL: 5.9 (ideal = 5 or below)
                              Trig/HDL: 2.5 (ideal = 2 or below)
                              LDL/HDL: 4.5 (ideal = 4.3 or below)

                              Be aware, too, that for LDL/HDL ratios, "dangerous" is about 11, so being just a touch over the ideal of 4.3 is not a big deal. Similarly, the slight elevation in your other ratios will very likely disappear the longer you stay Primal.

                              I understand being afraid, but frankly, your doctor is an idiot if he tells you that a total cholesterol of 208 is "high." It's not. It's nothing. It's a blip. Give it six months and do another test.

                              You said on another thread that you're two months into Primal. This is not bad at all for two months into Primal! The body can take up to a year to repair the damage done by a non-Primal diet, so it's no wonder that you have a slightly elevated LDL level (remember the fireman analogy? Right now you have a lot of LDL running around and patching damaged places that the body will get to eventually). Get enough exercise to boost your HDL and eat more saturated fat, too. HDL is important to this process - vital to it. And relax! The more you stress out about these numbers, the more stress your body is going through, and the higher your cortisol gets and the less likely you are to optimize your health.
                              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: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                              Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                              My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

                              Comment


                              • Thanks for the share, i would follow and update the results soon.

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