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  1. #1
    barryman9000's Avatar
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    Is my cholesterol too "high."

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    While I've read enough articles/studies to show that "high" cholesterol is actually a good thing (provided it meets certain criteria like Pattern A LDL, high HDL, low TRG) I still wonder, what's the limit? I keep finding articles and studies that talk about "high" cholesterol and argue that its fine, but then the authors give examples like total = 220 or something "really high" like 240. I've read some studies (that I can't seem to find right now) that suggest mortality is lowest when total cholesterol is between 200 and 240.

    I ask because my recent VAP test showed my total at 318. Some would argue thats fine because it's Pattern A, but is there some limit to total cholesterol? Is total = 1,000 too high? If so, why?

    Pre-PB
    Total: 238
    LDL: 177
    HDL: 46
    TRG: 74

    6 months of PB
    Total: 318
    LDL: 243 (Pattern A)
    VLDL: 19
    HDL: 56 (should go up, I just started Vit D supp)
    TRG: 75

  2. #2
    MamaGrok's Avatar
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    Your Total is irrelevant. Really. I mean, it includes HDL, which you *want* to be high, so what sense does it make to care what the total is, when you want one of the addends to go up?! The addends are what matter.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2

    By this analysis, you've got:
    Before PB:
    Tt/H = 5.2 (optimal is 5 or less)
    Tr/H = 1.6 (optimal is 2 or less)
    L/H = 3.8 or 4.3 (depending on whether you use the older or the newer formula for calculating - yours should use the newer, since your Trig's are <100) (optimal is 4.3 or less)

    After PB:
    Tt/H = 5.7
    Tr/H = 1.3
    L/H = 4.3 or 4.6 (depending - using the more accurate formula, this is only an increase of .3)

    The optimal levels of the ratios indicate:
    1. Total/HDL: that LDL is pattern A (large, fluffy and non-harmful)
    2. Trig/HDL: that free insulin levels are low (which is good)
    3. LDL/HDL: That you probably have minimal to zero arterial calcification/plaque buildup
    So in your case, these numbers would indicate having moved slightly more toward the dense LDL, which you already had about 50/50 of?, that free insulin levels are low, and that you are very close to the ideal of arterial calcification, but have gotten slightly worse.

    Whether these changes are statistically significant (big enough that they're not just chalked up to chance or slight error in measurement/calculation), I don't know. Question: how do you think you're doing on eliminating grains & sugar? I have struggled with this for a VERY long time, and even though all other food I ate was very primal, I was still eating way too many grains/sweets, even though I knew better and didn't want to eat them. By even the AHA's admission, triglycerides & small/dense LDL are caused by excess and/or refined carbohydrate consumption (unless you had something fatty, like fish oil, in the fasting hours before the test).

  3. #3
    barryman9000's Avatar
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    Thanks MamaGrok. I thought my numbers looked worse too. And although I'm confident "high" cholesterol is a meaningless term, I had found some articles showing a lower early mortality rate among people who fell into the 200 - 240 range. That led to my question "is 1,000 too high?"

    I've completely cut out grains, vegetable oils, and only allow sugar in such small quantities its negligible (some dark chocolate here and there, half a packet in coffee 3-4 times a month, etc) and I've been eating Primal/Paleo for almost 6 months.

    Notice though, my LDL is Pattern A (aka light buoyant). My doctor even said "That's excellent! But your LDL is too high." I posted earlier that that means I have "too much excellent cholesterol..." Hmmm, really doc?

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    MamaGrok's Avatar
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    The total/HDL ratio would indicate that you're right on the border between mostly pattern A and mostly pattern B, leaning further into the pattern B this time, but I don't know how the VAP test finds out which type it is - do they use a similar method, calculating instead of directly measuring, like they do with LDL? and I don't know why that particular ratio helps you know which pattern you have, so I don't know whether the ratio or the VAP is more accurate. Definitely go read Griff's thread on this! He seems to have done a LOT of research into this area.

    If HDL is nice & high, and LDL is pattern A, then only triglycerides matter, and yours are pretty good. I understand the concern looking at a pattern toward worsening, but I've heard of the body releasing triglycerides after beginning a primal diet, temporarily driving the numbers up, and the changes are pretty small, so I'd watch it for a bit longer, at least 6 more months.

    I'm no expert, so take this advice for exactly what you paid for it!

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    barryman9000's Avatar
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    Well, to my understanding the VAP measures 4 densities of LDL (rather than calculating), and according to those results and my doctor's input, it's almost all Pattern A. Which makes me wonder about the idea of predicting particle size based on HDL and total ratios - of course, that's probably correct in most cases, just not all (like mine).

    I'll definitely go back in a few months, especially since I started taking 4,000 IU of Vitamin D/day. My Vit D was low at 31. From what I understand, supplementing will raise my HDL quite a bit. We'll see.

    Thanks again.

    Any other input is much appreciated.

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    arthurb999's Avatar
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    You're assuming cholesterol is a good indication of heart issues...

    http://www.totalhealthbreakthroughs....-huge-mistake/

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    Is your LDL 100% Pattern A? I ask because when I had my VAP test, the results showed three ranges (percentages) for the LDL, and my own was 100% Pattern A. But I have very high HDL and very low trigs.

    Even so, my doctors will frequently see a 140 LDL and start talking about 'lowering' it. Then I have to remind them that it's ALL Pattern A, so there's nothing to worry about.

    By the way, a better test of heart issues is C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and you should ask for one of those before worrying about cholesterol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurb999 View Post
    You're assuming cholesterol is a good indication of heart issues...

    http://www.totalhealthbreakthroughs....-huge-mistake/
    Yeah, maybe. I'm really going by the idea that there is probably a limit, and a study (which I cannot find, but have checked every bookmark I have) that showed an overall lower early mortality rate when total was between 200 and 240. Although I have a feeling that all that "excellent Pattern A LDL" my doctor told me about probably isn't a bad thing.

    Thanks for that link. It's always frustrating to find some great article like that that was written almost 2 years ago - yet I'm only hearing about all these cholesterol myths now and none of my friends and family have ever heard them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    Is your LDL 100% Pattern A?
    Not 100% - I guess this is 60% Pattern A, which again makes me wonder if it's just something genetic, because I'm eating pretty strict Paleo with some cheese:
    - LDL4: 15.5 (Pattern A)
    - LDL3: 115.3 (Pattern A)
    - LDL2: 44.1 (Pattern B)
    - LDL1: 42.0 (Pattern B)

    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    By the way, a better test of heart issues is C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and you should ask for one of those before worrying about cholesterol.
    I haven't even looked into this, but I will. Thanks.

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    arthurb999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryman9000 View Post
    Yeah, maybe. I'm really going by the idea that there is probably a limit, and a study (which I cannot find, but have checked every bookmark I have) that showed an overall lower early mortality rate when total was between 200 and 240. Although I have a feeling that all that "excellent Pattern A LDL" my doctor told me about probably isn't a bad thing.

    Thanks for that link. It's always frustrating to find some great article like that that was written almost 2 years ago - yet I'm only hearing about all these cholesterol myths now and none of my friends and family have ever heard them.

    Drug companies don't want you to hear about them...

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