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Thread: Help!!! Is this reason for concern or panic? page

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    poundcake's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel


    I recently had a lipid panel done just out of curiosity. I am a 37 year old woman, 5'10", 143 lb. I have been following the primal blueprint for about 3 months, having gradually made my way to it from a pretty typical American diet. I've lost about 8 lb and gained lots of lean muscle. I look and feel fabulous and consider myself in the best shape of my life. I Crossfit and my workout times and strenght have steadily improved. I have more energy and when I do have a cheat meal I regret it b/c of how sluggish I feel.


    So back to my lipid panel:

    Cholesterol 300

    HDL 92

    Triglyceride 54

    LDL 197


    I haven't had a lipid panel drawn in over 10 years but vaguely remember the numbers all being WNL.

    My husband and several family members are skeptical about the way I eat. My husband is a healthcare professional and I'm worried this is going to be ammunition for him against what I think (thought?) was the right way to eat.


    Please, someone tell me that those numbers are absolutely fine, considering the very high HDL and the good triglyceride number. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.


  2. #2
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    poundcake, Griff seems to be very good at de-constructing blood lipid profiles. Hopefully he will step in and give you some feedback.


    Actually Griff, I think the community would benefit a lot from a "Lipid Profile 101" sticky in the forum. What do you think?

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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    poundcake, your HDL is very high and triglycerides are low and that's what all of us should aim for. Yeah, Griff will be able to work out the ratios for you. But just going by your HDL and Trigs, I don't think your numbers should cause any worries.


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    I completely agree with SS. Griff, if you have the time I would really appreciate a cholesterol FAQ.


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    Total/HDL ratio: 300/92 = 3.2 (this should be 4.4 for women or 5 for men, but preferably lower...you are doing good)


    Triglycerides/HDL ratio: 54/92 = .58 (under 2 for this is great, and you are well under two)


    From what I have learned from Griff's posts, these levels are great. Your LDL was likely not actually measured but calculated, and it is not accurate if your triglycerides are under 100. So your LDL is likely not that high. You can either get a Vap test that will actually measure your LDL, or not even worry about it because seeing the ratio's it shows you have great blood levels.


    I started looking through threads with cholesterol, and this seems to be Griff's approach. I don't actually know anything about it, just copying Griff.


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    Wow, I actually just found the formula they used to calculate your LDL...it works out exactly:


    LDL cholesterol = total cholesterol – HDL cholesterol – (0.20 × triglycerides)


    0.2 x tri = 10.8


    total cholesterol - hdl = 208


    208 - 10.8 = 197.2


    Wow, that is pretty crazy.


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    SerialSinner: That sounds like a good idea, but I don't know how to make a sticky. Any thoughts?


    poundcake, breathe. You're very likely fine. Your doctor will no doubt shriek and scream at the total and LDL numbers, but I'd be willing to bet money that the LDL was calculated, not measured, and that calculation (known as the Friedewald equation) doesn't work when trigs are under 100, as yours are. It overestimates LDL.


    A quick rundown:


    The formula used to calculate total cholesterol is: LDL + HDL + [Trigs/5] = total. But what they usually do is calculate your LDL. They measure your HDL, your Trigs and your Total - so the equation becomes: Total - (HDL + [Trigs/5]) = LDL.


    This calculation works fine for trigs over 100. But when your trigs drop below 100, it becomes misleading and usually calculates your LDL far higher than it should be. Always, always demand a VAP test, which is a direct measurement of the LDL. According to Dr. Mary Vernon, "These labs in which the LDL is calculated are not accurate if your triglycerides are below 100... The equation used to calculate these numbers makes assumptions which are not accurate when triglycerides are low." (from http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.blogsp...t-results.html).


    Now, the ratios.


    The ideal ratio of Total/HDL is 4.4 for women and 5 for men. Also, according to http://wwww.yourmedicaldetective.com/public/532.cfm and several other sites, the ratio of your trigs to your HDL will indicate whether your LDL is small and dense (bad) or large and fluffy (neutral). A larger number indicates smaller LDL particles and a smaller number indicates larger LDL particles. It's an inverse relationship.


    Your Total/HDL ratio is 300/92, or 3.26. That's better than either "ideal," and indicates that you have fluffy, innocuous LDL particles. (Again, demand a VAP test which will directly measure both the number of LDL particles and the size of the particles.)


    The ideal ratio of Trig/HDL is 2 or below. 4 is high. 6 is "danger!!" Yours is 54/92, which is 0.59. That's amazingly good.


    Additionally, a low ratio of Trig/HDL is great because it's a semi-reliable indicator of lower free insulin levels. Lower free insulin is good. However, this doesn't appear to work for those of African descent, so take that with a grain of salt.


    Demand that VAP test, and let us know the results.


    Also see: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/w...king-the-myth/ for more information.

    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

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    Brilliant Griff, as usual.


    And about the sticky post, I'm sure a short email to Mark should do the trick.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

  9. #9
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    Wow, thank you all so much for your feedback. Griff, your explanations are awesome, as are all the links. I showed this thread to my husband and he did lots of research on his own last night and I think he's finally convinced that I may be onto something. As I see it my numbers were actually quite good and and indication that I am eating primally. I am going to demand a VAP test and I will keep you all posted on the results.


    Thanks again.


  10. #10
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    poundcake, it's great to see your response. You could also demand an NMR test. I know that at least one of those two tests does direct measurement of LDL size.


    Best of luck!

    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

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