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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 03, 2017

Popular Blood Tests—the Facts, Ranges, and Alternatives You Should Know

By Mark Sisson
61 Comments

Inline_Blood_Test_PrimerI’m of two minds when it comes to blood testing. For myself, I’m not a huge fan of obsessive, frequent testing and optimization. I have a good idea about how to optimize my health through the actions I take and the foods I eat, and by monitoring how I’m feeling, looking, and performing in response. It’s worked well for me. Whenever I do get a checkup or have blood drawn, my numbers are great.

But many people are the opposite. They like to quantify what’s happening under the hood. That’s great, and often necessary. The problem is that there are big problems with many of the most common blood tests.

A glaring problem for almost every blood test are the reference ranges used. What’s wrong with those?

Reference ranges reflect what’s common, not normal. A reference range for a blood test refers to the values possessed by 95% of the normal population.

Reference ranges for blood tests are based on the people who get lab tests. Who gets lab tests? People who go to the doctor, often because there’s something wrong with them. They may not reflect normal ranges for truly healthy people.

Reference ranges are extremely broad, which may give a false sense of security. Having blood sugar on the high end of “normal” isn’t healthy. It actually presages type 2 diabetes.

Another problem inherent to almost every blood test you’ll take is that the result represents a snapshot in time, a brief glimpse at a situation in constant flux. Your cholesterol was elevated today at 12 noon. What does that say about your levels tomorrow at six in the evening? Next week? Nothing. To account for natural fluctuations, get tested at regular intervals and observe the trends.

Let’s get more specific.

Cholesterol

“Oh, gee, Tom, steak and eggs for lunch again? You ever get your cholesterol checked?” We hear this all the time, the chorus of pleas that we please go get a “cholesterol test” before we keel over. Say you decide to humor the skeptics. You go get a cholesterol test. What should you watch for?

Most of the time, LDL is calculated, not directly measured. If you have low triglycerides, as is common on low-carb diets, your calculated LDL will be higher than the reality.

LDL-C refers to the passengers in the cars, not the number of cars on the highway. Most basic tests don’t measure LDL particle number. All evidence points to the number of LDL particles being far more predictive of heart disease risk than the more common LDL-C. More LDL particles means LDL is hanging around in the blood, increasing the chance they’ll become oxidized and atherogenic.

The guidelines aren’t supported in the literature. Many studies have shown a disconnect between supposedly dangerous cholesterol levels and actual heart attacks. In a 2009 study, 75% of people hospitalized for a heart attack had “healthy” cholesterol numbers. A 2016 review found that the lowest levels of LDL were associated with higher mortality in the elderly—you know, some of most vulnerable among us.

What can you do?

Request an advanced lipid test. Tests like VAP, NMR, ApoB, and LDL particle number testing all provide deeper insights into the state of your blood lipids.

If you’re stuck with the basic test, take a look at ratios. Total cholesterol/HDL ratio is a good indicator of how long LDL is hanging around in the blood and remains the best standard assessment of heart disease risk. Another good one is triglyceride/HDL ratio, which is a strong surrogate marker for insulin resistance. In both cases, lower is better. An ideal T/HDL ratio is 1:1; 2:1 is about as high as you want to go. An ideal TC/HDL ratio is 3.5:1 or lower.

Blood Sugar

There are three primary types of blood sugar tests: fasting, postprandial, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). Postprandial blood sugar measures your blood sugar response to eating at various intervals after meal. Fasting blood sugar measures your blood sugar levels at rest, when no food is coming in. HbA1c measures your average blood glucose across the previous three months. They’re all important, but the tests all have issues.

“Normal” might not be normal. According to the American Diabetes Association, a fasting blood sugar (FBG) under 100 is completely normal. It’s safe. It’s fine. Don’t worry, just keep eating your regular diet, and did you get a chance to try the donuts in the waiting room? They only start to worry at 110-125 (pre-diabetic) and above 125 (diabetic).

This may be unwise. Healthy people subjected to continuous glucose monitoring have much lower average blood glucose—89 mg/dl. A 2008 study found that people with a FBG of 95-99 were 2.33 times more likely to develop diabetes in the future than people on the low-normal end of the scale.

How about HbA1c? A “normal” HbA1c is anything under 5.7. And 6.0 is diabetic. That’s what the reference ranges, which mostly focuses on diabetes. What does the research say? In this study, under 5 was best for heart disease. In this study, anything over 4.6 was associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

That 5.7 HbA1c isn’t looking so great.

Healthy FBG depends on your BMI. At higher FBG levels, higher BMIs are protective. You read that right. A recent study showed that optimal fasting blood glucose for mortality gradually increased with bodyweight. Low-normal BMIs had the lowest mortality at normal FBG (under 100), moderately overweight BMIs had the lowest mortality at somewhat impaired FBG (100-125), and the highest BMIs had the lowest mortality at diabetic FBG levels (over 125).

The oral glucose tolerance test is unrealistic. The standard way to test postprandial blood sugar is the oral glucose tolerance test: 75 grams of pure glucose in liquid form. Unless you’re downing jumbo Slurpees, you’re not consuming that much pure glucose in a single sitting, so the results may not be relevant.

HbA1c depends on a static red blood cell lifespan. A1c seeks to establish the average level of blood sugar circulating through your body over the red blood cell’s life cycle, rather than track blood sugar numbers that rapidly fluctuate through the day, week, and month. If we know how long a red blood cell lives, we have an accurate measurement of chronic blood sugar levels. The clinical consensus assumes the lifespan is three months. Is it?

Not always. The life cycle of an actual red blood cell differs between and even within individuals, and it’s enough to throw off the results by as much as 15 mg/dl.

Ironically, people with healthy blood sugar levels might have inflated HbA1c levels. One study found that folks with normal blood sugar had red blood cells that lived up to 146 days, and RBCs in folks with high blood sugar had life cycles as low as 81 days. For every 1% rise in blood sugar, red blood cell lifespan fell by 6.9 days. In those with better blood sugar control, RBCs lived longer and thus had more time to accumulate sugar and give a bad HbA1c reading. In people with poorer blood sugar control, red blood cells live shorter lives and have less time to accumulate sugar, potentially giving them “better” HbA1c numbers.

Anemia can inflate HbA1c. Anemia depresses the production of red blood cells. If you have fewer red blood cells in circulation, the ones you do have accumulate more sugar since there are fewer cells “competing” for it.

If you’re very low-carb, postprandial blood glucose will be elevated. This is because very low-carb, high-fat diets produce physiological insulin resistance to preserve what little glucose you have for the tissues that depend on it, like certain parts of the brain. The more resistant you are to insulin, the higher your blood glucose.

What can you do?

If you need to pass a test, 150 grams of carbs a day will do it. Eat that way for three days to a week before your OGGT.

Try meals, not sugar solutionsMixed meals of fat, protein, and carbs are better candidates for testing one’s real-world glucose response.

Take all three measurements into account. If your HbA1c is higher than you’d like but you ace all the postprandial tests, you’re probably fine.

Follow trends. Even if your red blood cells are centenarians, you can track the trend of HbA1c with multiple readings.

Liver Enzymes

The most common liver enzymes you’ll test are alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). Another one is gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, or GGT.  When the liver is damaged or inflamed, liver enzymes generally go up. They’re usually pretty straightforward—more straightforward than the cholesterol and blood sugar tests—but not completely.

Weight loss can change them. Weight loss transiently increases ALT and AST in women and decreases them in men. If you’re in the process of losing weight, you can safely ignore small improvements or increases in liver enzymes.

Normal isn’t healthy. The normal range for GGT is 8 to 65 U/L, yet men under 70 years of age with GGT levels over 38—right smack in the middle of “normal”—have an increased risk of heart failure. Another study found that even low-normal levels of GGT were associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, a harbinger of more serious cardiovascular conditions.

What can you do?

Just be aware. Don’t fear weight loss for transient changes to your ALT/AST, and don’t rest on your laurels if your GGT looks “normal.”

Testing your cholesterol, blood sugar, and liver enzymes is helpful, informative, and often necessary—but only if you’re aware of the limitations and you know how to account for context.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

TAGS:  prevention

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61 Comments on "Popular Blood Tests—the Facts, Ranges, and Alternatives You Should Know"

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Shary
Shary
3 months 17 days ago
I learned the hard way years ago to have as little truck with the medical profession, lab tests, and drugs as possible. When I have an issue arise, I prefer to treat it in the least toxic, least invasive manner possible. For me, this invariably means alternative rather than allopathic modalities. There’s no such thing as “normal” other than how each one of us, as individuals, feels and functions. We are our own yardstick. Living a Primal/Paleo lifestyle and keeping stress to a minimum will serve most of us better than constantly having someone in a white coat checking internal… Read more »
Patrick
3 months 16 days ago

Fully agree with you Shary. The main function of all these tests is to come up with some excuse to get you on drugs. The doctors work for big pharma with very few exceptions and have very little idea of what real health is or how good it can feel.Why anyone should go to another person who is usually less healthy and over weight is beyond me. Listen to your body and use websites such as this and Mercola.com for any information required.

Susan B.
Susan B.
3 months 17 days ago

Regarding LDL-C, didn’t you mean to say that higher LDL is associated with lower mortality in the elderly?? I hope so, because I looked at the link, and otherwise I’m confused.

Heather B
Heather B
3 months 16 days ago

I noted the same thing. I think he meant to say that *higher* LDL-C is associated with lower mortality in the elderly.

BRUCE MURRAY
BRUCE MURRAY
3 months 16 days ago

I also noticed that. Agree

Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons
3 months 17 days ago

Thank you for this one, Mark!

While lab results can offer useful information, the way they’re typically used in conventional medicine does NOT support health and wellness. Rather, it feeds fear, health and diet myths, and the pharmaceutical industry.

When someone is put on dangerous drugs (statins, for instance) as a result of an inaccurate or incomplete understanding of lab results, the tests can do more harm than good.

Charles Grashow
Charles Grashow
3 months 16 days ago

Dr Lyons

This is your description from your website

I’m a licensed Doctor of Oriental Medicine – Acupuncture Physician in Colorado, Florida and Maryland. I’m also a certified Primal Health Coach trained in ancestral health and nutrition. I hold a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and completed my 5-year Doctor of Chinese Medicine training at the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences, in British Columbia.

So – you can’t prescribe any drugs of any kind can you?
Can you request lab tests via a patient’s insurance?

What are your qualifications to label statins as “dangerous drugs?

How many people die yearly from taking these dangerous drugs?

Lissa Ann A Homic
3 months 13 days ago

The negative side of statins is well documented in the literature. I believe the doctor knows how to read.

Charles GRashow
Charles GRashow
3 months 13 days ago
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879613 Muscle Pain Reported Mostly by Those Aware They’re on Statins: ASCOT-LLC Analysis https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/03/controversy-statins-nocebo-effect-placebos The controversy over statins has revealed something: the nocebo effect is real “I saw a woman in her early 60s today who had a stroke last year and, after a shaky start, made a fantastic recovery. She’s stopped smoking, which is the most important factor in preventing a recurrence. But she remains at high risk. She’s slim with an impeccable diet and walks every day. But her total cholesterol is 7 and most of that is the bad type. She’s adamant that she doesn’t want to… Read more »
Charles Grashow
Charles Grashow
3 months 16 days ago

http://www.euyansang.com.sg/cholesterol-and-tcm/eyscardio1.html

Managing Cholesterol Levels with TCM
Red yeast rice contains natural statins to invigorate the body, aids digestion and revitalises the Blood, lowering LDL cholesterol

Do more of these
• Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good quality fats

• Sleep and exercise

Do less of these
• Consume alcohol, meat and dairy products that contain high amounts of saturated fats

• Late nights

• Smoking

OMG – take a natural statin and eat less saturated fat!!

365tc
365tc
3 months 16 days ago
Mr. Grashow, While you are entitled to your opinion, it is interesting that you seemingly attempt to insult Dr. Lyons and question/belittle her credentials while in your next immediate post you offer none of your own, and provide only a link to a web site where the reader is, presumably, to be compelled to believe your post over hers, which, incidentally, are not your ‘insights’ at all but are taken directly from the web site you reference. This is a forum of highly educated and informed individuals who believe in captaining the ship of their own well-being. No one, LEAST… Read more »
Charles Grashow
Charles Grashow
3 months 15 days ago

I’m merely pointing out the fact that just because one has Dr in front of their name one cannot assume that person is a medical doctor. I also point out the fact that while she rails against dangerous stain drugs there are TCM web sites that promote the use of “natural” statins like red rice yeast.

“This is a forum of highly educated and informed individuals” This is a website with a specific point of view and the vast majority of the people here are not interested in anything that goes against their paradigm.

For example
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/forum/the-primal-blueprint-forum-discussion/primal-blueprint-nutrition/103039-had-heart-attack-on-sunday-22nd

Troels Rasmussen
Troels Rasmussen
3 months 17 days ago

I’ve heard Rhonda Patrick mention that cholesterol levels will look worse if you’re stressed, so that if you’ve just experienced some big stressful event in your life, your cholesterol test will be misleading.

Brian
3 months 16 days ago

I wonder if this holds true for people that are chronically over trained too…

Nocona
Nocona
3 months 16 days ago

A lot of fine information in one post. After reading Kresser/Masterjohn and others on this subject, this is by far the clearest and most helpful. Thanks!

lemarquis
lemarquis
3 months 16 days ago

I love this website so much!!

Brian
3 months 16 days ago
I’m one of those people obsessed with the data… I love to see my glucose, ketones, weight and HRV numbers every morning… I love to see how things change based on diet and lifestyle (ie sleep, crossfit training, cumulative allostatic load, sun exposure, earthing, etc). I love giving my list of requested labs to the doctor’s office and telling them how to prepare the specimens… I make sure that the vitamin A specimen is wrapped in gauze so that the light doesn’t ruin the sample. I make sure that may DHT specimen goes straight into the freezer. It’s better than… Read more »
Gypsyrozbud
3 months 16 days ago

Wow, that is very cool! Do you pay much for that service? I live in Canada and not sure if our health system includes all those tests?
What I would really like to know….is how are my gut/brain doing? Of course, who would decide what is ‘normal’….?????

Brian
3 months 16 days ago

Glucose, ketones, weight and HRV numbers… fixed cost (HRV monitor) and cost of strips. All the other labs/ data is pretty much covered by my insurance though I’d be willing to pay… because, after all, I see value in all the data.

One of my favorite things to do is to change one variable (lifestyle or diet) and see how it impacts the data.

David
David
3 months 16 days ago

Brian, check out Dave Feldman and the tons of tests he does tracking his cholesterol lipids. I think his site is CholesterolCode.com. He gave a presentation recently showing an inverse relationship between his test results and his dietary saturated fat intake 3 days prior to his cholesterol test. I was amazed how easily cholesterol test results could be ‘gamed’

Natasha
Natasha
3 months 16 days ago

Funny timing. I just got my annual physical and test results back. Everything was normal as usual except for my Alkaline Phosphatase which is consistently low (34 U/L vs standard range 37-113 U/L). I’ve tried looking into it to determine the cause or effect but there’s not much information out there.

Mark or anyone have any ideas?

Bob
Bob
3 months 16 days ago

Low Alk Phos may indicate low zinc. I believe it is s zinc dependent enzyme. Just about everyone could use extra zinc anyway. Go for it. Try 30 to 50 mg . Use capsules. Take before a meal unless you get nausea, then take with food. I’m s licensed nutritionist.

Natasha
Natasha
3 months 16 days ago

Thanks Bob I’ll give it a try

framistat
framistat
3 months 15 days ago

Zinc status is easy and cheap to test at home – get a bottle of Liquid Zinc Assay on Amazon, put about 3/4 tsp in your mouth – if it is tasteless, you are low; if it’s a bitter metallic taste, you’re fine. A good multi like Life Extension Two Per Day has 30 mg of a bioavailable form (not zinc oxide).

Dale
Dale
3 months 16 days ago

As a huge fan of this website and also the “Stop The Thyroid Madness” website , the term that makes most sense is ” optimal”, not ” in range”…
Then you are working with what is best for you personally, not some arbitrary ” range”.

DaveK
3 months 16 days ago
Mark, please always include Lipoprotein(a) testing as part of your recommended lipid panel. Particle counts from VAP, NMR are great. But regardless of the type of lipid panel Lp(a) just gets lumped into the LDL number. Unless you specifially request an Lp(a) test you won’t get the number. Its a number you should know, because Lp(a) is nast. High levels of Lp(a) are inherited. If a relative had early heart disease, you should definitely have this checked. (I didn’t learn about this until years after my heart “event”). While there is little you can do about high Lp(a), you can… Read more »
Laurie
Laurie
3 months 16 days ago
I’m a newbie to this site and I think it is factual, educational and well worth reading. I’ve been eating a primal diet (ala Nora Gedgaudas) for a few years, and I feel so much better than when I was eating vegan. Lately though, I had some blood work done through the Mayo clinic, and the results returned showed that have Apolipoprotein E Genotyping, B Result Genotype e3/e4. The e4 allele leads to down regulation of the LDL receptor in the liver and is associated with increased total cholesterol (mine is 362) triglycerides (mine are 59) and LDL (mine is… Read more »
Helen
Helen
3 months 16 days ago

I just had blood work done and my glucose was 103 and I’ve been Paleo for over a year. Hopefully as he states it’s because of low carbs. Also just got diagnosed with auto immune hypothyroidism. I was quiet shock giving how healthy I eat. 🙁

\'Teri
\'Teri
3 months 16 days ago

Omg Helen, my blood glucose is consistently around 90 no matter what, but after being Paleo for 2 years, and feeling absolutely fabulous, I crashed. I too got diagnosed with hypothyroidism, hashimoto’s, goiter and and multiple nodules on my thyroid two years ago, and I’m still trying to get “right”, and so far, the only thing making me feel even a little better is seriously cleaning up my diet, and trying to get more sleep.

In general, the medical community does not know how to treat the autoimmunity, and sure doesn’t have any notions about root causes.

Tracey Holekamp
Tracey Holekamp
3 months 16 days ago

Hey Teri and Helen- consider looking at Dr Alan Christianson’s thyroid program. He has an incredible understanding of all thyroid issues and you can take an online course from him to help with all aspects!

Kate
Kate
3 months 15 days ago

How frustrating Teri. I have had Hashimoto’s over 30 years with little change in dosage of meds. After I went Paleo I was able to reduce the levothyroxine twice in the last year and a half. I could not find an endocrinologist that was up on any current info and would spend more than 10 minutes with me so I switched to a naturopath. Much better fit.

Joanna
Joanna
3 months 16 days ago

So I was also recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism (NOT autoimmune) and my fasting glucose surprisingly high at 98 even on low carb, primal diet. I’ve been told hypothyroidism can mess with blood sugars, but now I am wondering if it could be to do with low carb? Doctor was very supportive and told me to just keep cutting out all starches and sugars – but I can’t envision going lower carb than I am ready am (NOT willing to give up vegetables and occasional fruit). Would be interested to hear from others who eat primal while hypothyroid.

Sue
Sue
3 months 16 days ago

Being too low-carb harms the thyroid and can cause paradoxical high blood sugar. Many source for these ideas exist, here are just a few:

The book “The Perfect Health Diet” by Paul Jaminet, especially around page 94. The entire book studies science behind problems with being too low carb, and presents evidence for better health by raising carbs, and doing so with certain safe carbs.

Also this site, although not nearly as thorough as that book is:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/low-carb-diets

Margaret
Margaret
3 months 15 days ago

There’s lots of info online about hypothyroidism not being compatible with a very low-carb diet. Moderate carb may be better for you. It is for me (like 120 g per day).

Nicole Chauvet
Nicole Chauvet
3 months 16 days ago

“If you’re very low-carb, postprandial blood glucose will be elevated. This is because very low-carb, high-fat diets produce physiological insulin resistance to preserve what little glucose you have for the tissues that depend on it, like certain parts of the brain. The more resistant you are to insulin, the higher your blood glucose.”

Would this also apply to AM fasting glucose testing? I’m low carb/keto and finding I test well with most carbs post meal but AM fasting is mid 90’s to low 100’s. BMI is good. All other things Excellent. Hope Mark can chime in on this topic!

Gary
Gary
3 months 15 days ago

I would like to know a little more about this too as I prepare to do Robb Wolf’s “7-day Carb Test” to see how few of my favorite foods I can safely eat.

Brandon
Brandon
3 months 15 days ago
I’m in this boat too. I discovered it two years after having a blood tests. I almost always have fasting blood glucose between 90-100. After getting my own glucose monitor I discovered though that this only in the morning. The rest of the day by blood glucose is a more reasonable 75-85. After over a year of trying to “fix it” I am convinced that this is fine and just how my body is. I don’ think this is due to some sort of low carb insulin resistance. Quite the contrary, I think it is due to being very insulin… Read more »
Barbarian
Barbarian
3 months 16 days ago

Look hard enough for something and you will always find it.

Primal Beginner
Primal Beginner
3 months 16 days ago
This is perfect timing for me! I’ve been a long time lurker on the site and understand the primal lifestyle is exactly what I need to feel, look & be my best. I’ve managed elements at times but fall off the wagon – too much beer and the all too frequent Nashville fried chicken sandwich are the big hurdles for me along with binge eating chips once in a while… At 32 and overweight but not obese I just kept making excuses and never commited to making a full lifestyle change. My insurance company just started offering health checks and… Read more »
Primal Beginner
Primal Beginner
3 months 8 days ago

Do you think my LDL numbers will go down naturally if I do the 21 day primal challenge?

Sweet Charlotte
Sweet Charlotte
2 months 2 days ago

Yes! Do it! And don’t worry about full fat dairy and bacon, but also DONT ever mix high carb and high fat.

rene
rene
3 months 16 days ago

I love this post. I literally just got my blood test results in the mail today. All looks good, except maybe my A1c at 5.3. Thanks for all the great info and hard work you do to get it our to us!

Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson
3 months 16 days ago

Question: what is the effect of giving blood on the HcA1c?

Is it a bit like the effects of anemia?

Pineapple Deficiency
3 months 16 days ago

I think we should take lab results more as an indication of where we might be going wrong as every person is different and it’s impossible to make a standard because of this. I had no idea that the standards where that low I think they should rise them a bit up being borderline with a condition is not normal and will place false security on people and eventually shock because think they are ”normal” and then suddenly you are over. Cheers for this great post Mark 😀

holly
holly
3 months 16 days ago
Reference ranges for blood tests are based on the people who get lab tests. Who gets lab tests? People who go to the doctor, often because there’s something wrong with them. They may not reflect normal ranges for truly healthy people.” Not so! Establishing reference ranges involves testing healthy people, not patients. There are criteria to meet before being allowed to donate for a reference range study and they are different depending on the analyte being measured. Every lab either establishes it’s own reference range or validates one that is in common use and this is done on a regular… Read more »
mark
3 months 16 days ago

Thanks for the subject and your info Mark. Just had my yearly blood drawl and all is good but blood preassure is high as it has my whole active life.

OnTheBayou
OnTheBayou
3 months 16 days ago
Those ratios are suspect. At 1:1, that would mean your total cholesterol was all HDL. Years ago there was a really smart, well informed poster here named Griff. I don’t know if he was ahead of his time, but now I’m started to see some ratios show up on some lab reports. The original link apparently is no longer live, but here is the text: From: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/topic/cholesterol-a-primer?replies=3#post-63791 By Griff I’ve been working on this for a while, and I think it’s finally ready to post here. A lot of people post to MDA’s forums freaking out about their cholesterol tests… Read more »
Nannsi
Nannsi
3 months 16 days ago

If your Trig are low, use the Iranian equation
(LDL = TC / 1.19 + Trig / 1.9 – HDL / 1.1 – 38).
Saves the cost of an additional lab test.

Kate
Kate
3 months 15 days ago

Thanks for this ! My TG levels are always low (46) and I knew this made the usual calculation for LDL pretty meaningless. Didn’t know there was another, more accurate one. Will have to educate my doctor………….

Patrick
3 months 15 days ago
Thanks for that brilliant summary OnThe Bayou (interesting name). This confirms what I have known instinctively for the last ten years. I was put on a low fat diet by a witch doctor before this and was very ill from all the bread and sugar. Probably pre diabetic with some candida thrown in. Felt horrible with very bad digestion, bloating and elimination. Ten years ago went low carb high fat and the rest has been great. Back in great shape , rarely ill and love exercise. The cholesterol con is taking away people’s lives and making them sick. This is… Read more »
Cory
Cory
3 months 16 days ago

Anyone have any info on iron levels? I was recently told by my company doctor I had high iron levels from one year to the next in my company physical. He advised to get checked by my personal physician who did a second set of labs and said he had no concern. Level was around 290. I cut out eggs ( was having two every morning). Any thoughts?

framistat
framistat
3 months 15 days ago

If your iron is high, donate blood on a regular basis.

workingon100percentprimal
workingon100percentprimal
3 months 14 days ago

Did he check you for hereditary hemachromatosis? If your iron levels are chronically elevated it can be damaging to your organs (it builds up in liver and heart among others). I would double check that due diligence was done in working up the cause. As is mentioned, regular phlebotomy (therapeutic or through blood donation) is effective treatment, but knowing the cause and excluding end-organ damaging if you’ve had high iron over a long period of time are essential!

workingon100percentprimal
workingon100percentprimal
3 months 14 days ago

*damage

Bond
Bond
3 months 15 days ago

Any evidence on the anemia ‘competing’ effect on A1C?
Doesn’t sound very logical…

workingon100percentprimal
workingon100percentprimal
3 months 14 days ago

I also found that confusing. Found this article and thought the text portion was helpful.

http://www.ngsp.org/factors.asp

Kate
Kate
3 months 15 days ago
There was a documentary in UK where twins tested different diets. One cut out all carbs and his blood tests after a couple of weeks were so bad according to the doctors regarding insulin resistance that he had to start eating carbs again because the inference was that it was life threateningly bad for the body to eat this way. They suggested that your pancreas stops producing insulin if it doesn’t get the call for a while. So is the insulin resistance from a low carb diet something to be concerned about or not? I eat very few carbs, nowhere… Read more »
Chickie
Chickie
3 months 15 days ago

I lost 29 lbs eating low carb and couldn’t lose anymore for about 10 months. I Was very frstrated and had no energy. Then I ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and thought I’d really blown it. Checked the scale and I actually lost 2 more lbs. All this stuff about nutrition makes no sense.

Jessie Miller
3 months 13 days ago
I really enjoyed this read. It brings Normal and Normal pages into light and that is a great thing, however, if we look at the reference ranges there is always that place where practitioners believe most people should be, however, there are always the outliers (those who function better at elevated or reduced rates). As a rule, and I believe this blog is all about, is that we need to establish norms of living in our daily lives. Such as, don’t go off the rails two or three times a week and eat a greasy hoagie and expect cholesterol to… Read more »
Cyndi
Cyndi
3 months 12 days ago

My triglycerides has been above 400 since I was 20 ( I am now 44) Of course I have been in statins for almost as long. Total cholesterol is normal. Any thoughts on whether this is really a concern??

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