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Hack My Cholesterol

by (475)
Updated about 6 hours ago
Created July 02, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Vegan for 5 years paleo for two month and my i am worried about the climb in my cholesterol

Male Age: 26 Weight: 147 Height: 6'2"

Lipid profile

Total CHO: 316

Triglycerides: 39

LDL = 204 HDL = 104

I eat a strict paleo high fat diet and am very active, should i be worried about high cholesterol numbers?

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475 · July 30, 2013 at 6:14 PM

that would mean going back to a diet focused on pounding down gobs of veggies, tofu, and grains. I did this, chronic constipation, bloating, shocking low weight, and horrid gas, were the result. I dont want to rely on processed soy meats and gluten chunks, tons of sugary vegan treats, and soy milk, to get the kcal i need. I wish veganism worked for me. it did then it didnt. Maybe it will again. but right now it is not my solution

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24528 · July 10, 2013 at 7:35 PM

I just found out that the more time you spend in the sun or artificial UVB, supposedly the lower your cholesterol too. So, you could always take up tanning.

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578 · July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

So it would seem (2): HDL and LDL went up via ApoE4, I'd think. No need to go vegan but I'd add safe starches like yams, white rice and up it to say 50% of your calories. Cut down on SaFA.

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578 · July 10, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Well, that could be true. But 33 trigs I tend to see in those who restrict calories and it's usually done by restricting carbs. But it's possible you can lower your trigs by eating yams and sweet potatoes and not overindulging. It reflects your caloric discipline. How lean are you? Have you ever been overweight before? If not, it's possible.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72
3150 · July 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM

That's great, then I'd not be very concerned and keep testing as time goes by just to verify that things are not going out of whack. Here's a link that you might find interesting, is a N=1 from someone who tests regulary making some dietary changes: http://bjjcaveman.com/2013/06/23/the-effect-of-a-ketogenic-diet-on-cholesterol-part-4

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:34 AM

2/28/12 My cholesteral as a raw vegan Total: 192 HDL: 63 LDL:122 Trigly: 33

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:33 AM

Also i eat tons of veggies besides sweet potatos

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:30 AM

2/28/12 My cholesteral as a raw vegan Total: 192 HDL: 63 LDL:122 Trigly: 33

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:25 AM

im am feeling pretty good, no stress good mood, ton of energy. i have noticeed I am a little more congested, but that is nothing compared to the problems that have been ellevated in the past few months ( cronic hunger and bloating constipation to start)

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26072 · July 08, 2013 at 1:52 PM

That's not true. I was at ~200g/day carbs when I was last tested, and on a 9 hour fast. Trigs were 42. Resistance starch and glucose will not raise your trigs.

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2030 · July 04, 2013 at 11:27 PM

....entirely sure but I don't think mother nature would put us at a disadvantage like that. I do know that mineral deficiencies/imbalances can be passed on from mother to child. So I tend to disagree with it being genetics but I'm open minded.

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2030 · July 04, 2013 at 11:22 PM

It's not a deficiency that I was implying, but an overload. Whenever one goes through a prolonged period with a low level of dietary zinc a copper excess is very easy to acquire. Especially when the diet is very high in plant foods, all of which have low ratio of zinc to copper. The body will start storing away copper acting just like a deficiency. Two months on Paleo isn't enough time to make any major differences in this specific ratio. So I tend to think that a lack of zinc is the main cause, but you would have to correct the imbalance to confirm this. Genetic or congenital? I'm not......

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7292 · July 04, 2013 at 8:31 PM

What were your numbers prior to paleo? Without that, the info you give is useless.

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578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Actually, his overfasting may have lowered his trigs under 40. That does happen. It's very hard to be that low in trigs unless you're doing a VLC diet, which he may be even though he's eating 1-2 sweet poes; he's not eating any other vegetables.

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578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:43 PM

The copper deficiency when he's eating 0.5-1 lb. of meat and chocolate is unlikely. The same with choline deficiency when he's eating 4 HB eggs. The micronutrient deficiency is the explanation provided by PHD, but it seems really unlikely when you're eating organ meats and eggs on Paleo.

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578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Not so much in his case. High HDL with inflammation as shown in high trigs are really the case when high HDL is alarming. If he always tested this high on HDL, it's due to his genes.

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475 · July 03, 2013 at 11:07 PM

i eat a good deal of pork, i will dial it back a bit as an experiment

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475 · July 03, 2013 at 11:05 PM

18 hours water fast not even black coffee

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475 · July 03, 2013 at 11:03 PM

- 3-5 pastured eggs per day - 1/2 - 1 lb meat per day pas. pork or beef usually ground, occasionally pastured chicken or fish - No dairy except for about a 1-1 1/2 TB Ghee - Little bit of raw vegan chocolate almost everyday (I am a chocolate confectioner by trade, but we use no dairy and coconut sugar) - Active bike comuter xfit 3-4 times per week - Usally have 1-2 sweet taters per day, occasional fruit (I am trying to make lean gains)

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26072 · July 03, 2013 at 6:11 PM

when the doctor is using the friedwald formula to estimate LDL and the Trigs are off the LDL will be off too.

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250 · July 02, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Would you mind elaborating on what you're eating? Are you including dairy? Pastured butter and cheese? Eggs? Chocolate? What is your carb intake? This information would be useful in order for people to comment with greater poignancy.

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1005 · July 02, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Not everyone can do the high fat diet genetically (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familial_hypercholesterolemia#Genetics). I'd dial back the fat, up the vegetables, and keep checking your numbers until you get it where you want it. Maybe add Mg, Niacin, and Omega-3 supplements to your diet with lots of garlic and green tea. It might be too early for CoQ10 supplements, but, maybe not.

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1005 · July 02, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Not everyone can do the high fat diet genetically (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…). I'd dial back the fat, up the vegetables, and keep checking your numbers until you get it where you want it. Maybe add Mg, Niacin, and Omega-3 supplements to your diet with lots of garlic and green tea. It might be too early for CoQ10 supplements, but, maybe not.

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1005 · July 02, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Not everyone can do the high fat diet genetically (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familial_hypercholesterolemia#Genetics). I'd dial back the fat, up the vegetables, and keep checking your numbers until you get it where you want it. Maybe add Mg, Niacin, and Omega-3 supplements to your diet with lots of garlic and green tea. It might be too early for CoQ10 supplements, but, maybe not.n Facebook

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1005 · July 02, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Not everyone can do the high fat diet genetically (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LDL_receptor#Mutations). I'd dial back the fat, up the vegetables, and keep checking your numbers until you get it where you want it. Maybe add Mg, Niacin, and Omega-3 supplements to your diet with lots of garlic and green tea. It might be too early for CoQ10 supplements, but, maybe not.

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24528 · July 02, 2013 at 8:11 PM

That is really high HDL, are you sure you were completely fasted? And didn't have coffee with cream or coconut oil the morning of the test? The test is meaningless if you've eaten recently.

If going by the standard that it is the ratio that matters, you are golden. 3.5:1 ldl:hdl or less is supposed to be good, and your ratio is 2:1.

There are schools of thought that question whether HDL is really as protective as we've been led to believe though, so if total cholesterol is really high, it could be that something is not quite right. There are certain illnesses associated with super high HDL.

There can also be transient hypercholesterolemia when your body is repairing itself, and/or shifting to a decrease in body fat, which I would guess is what you are experiencing, since you are only 2 months in. If you can afford more testing, keep doing what you are doing, and ask for another test in 6 months to a year. Chances are the cholesterol will have stabilized on its own, and if not, you can then make the changes needed.

If it makes you nervous though, Akman is right on about the resistant starch/fiber, and you can add that right now. (Green bananas and raw potatoes sound kind of nasty to me. Why? Blarg. Lots of onion, cold rice and potato salad are good enough for me.)

If you test again and are still high you might have familial hypercholesterolemia, which is kind of wrapped in controversy about the appropriate treatment. Do some people need more cholesterol to synthesize vitamin D better if their ancestors lived in lower light conditions? Or is it just a crappy roll of the dice, leaving some people with fewer receptors for the circulating cholesterol, and drastic measures (i.e. statins) must be taken to keep levels lower and protect health?

Sadly, you might find that bacon is not your friend. My family, while doing awesome on paleo, the three of us who have taken it up have found that we have to be careful with pork fat for some reason, but do great on tallow, butter, eggs, shellfish, etc. Why? I have no idea, but it does seem to make a big difference come testing time.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24528 · July 10, 2013 at 7:35 PM

I just found out that the more time you spend in the sun or artificial UVB, supposedly the lower your cholesterol too. So, you could always take up tanning.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Not so much in his case. High HDL with inflammation as shown in high trigs are really the case when high HDL is alarming. If he always tested this high on HDL, it's due to his genes.

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475 · July 03, 2013 at 11:07 PM

i eat a good deal of pork, i will dial it back a bit as an experiment

B5141236ad924674a96803ee1ccccaf1
475 · July 03, 2013 at 11:05 PM

18 hours water fast not even black coffee

best answer

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578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Your cholesterol is high but it's not as alarming as someone with 300+ cholesterol largely due to high LDL. You're high because of your HDL and high enough (but not that high) LDL. The simplest explanation is your genes; you probably have ApoE4 and your LDL goes up by reacting to high fat.

First, I would look at past records:

(1) was your HDL always this high? If so, it's you genes and your total cholesterol will always be somewhat elevated because high HDL converts 1 to 1 to total cholesterol.

(2) How was your LDL on a vegan or standard American diet? If it's your ApoE4, they were probably significantly lower. In that case, I would cut down on eggs, red meat, up the starches and introduce vegies.

(3) If your LDL was at similar levels before, then it could be FH. But still, your LDL isn't really that high; I mean, not like Jimmy Moore. And the distinction between Friedenwald and the Iranian derivation is meaningless here: your reported LDL of 204 is right in the middle of the two. Whether it's 180 or 240, they're high enough but I would do a retest and confirm that it's 200+ once more.

If I had to bet my money, it would be (2). Increase your yams, sweet potatoes, white rice, etc. Introduce fibrous and green vegetables; right now you're not consuming any. Cut down on high SaFA foods. This happens in 1 out of 4 and it's probably extreme reactions like these that convinced doctors to conclude that high fat = high cholesterol = heart disease. Thankfully, the opposite is true for the majority, i.e., 3 out of 4. But it's always the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

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578 · July 10, 2013 at 5:25 PM

So it would seem (2): HDL and LDL went up via ApoE4, I'd think. No need to go vegan but I'd add safe starches like yams, white rice and up it to say 50% of your calories. Cut down on SaFA.

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:34 AM

2/28/12 My cholesteral as a raw vegan Total: 192 HDL: 63 LDL:122 Trigly: 33

best answer

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3150 · July 04, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I'd try to get a full thyroid panel and also hormonal panel, you might find some clues there. Despite your cholesterol numbers... how are you feeling? Have you been very stressed at any level? Physical or psychical?

If you're at least a little bit like me, you might probably have ditched Veganism because you suspected it was not doing good on you (why change if working fine?) so that's why I ask.

If you carry some form of hormonal imbalance, stress, fatigue, leaky gut, or a combination of many... that could have an impact on your cholesterol numbers.

My understanding as a layperson is that when cholesterol is high is either because is fighting some serious inflammation or it cannot be used to generate the hormone cascade that is expected to be done by using LDL. You might find poor thyroid status (maybe normal TSH, T4 and T3 levels but poor conversion to final free T3) also you could find low testosterone and probably low Vitamin D.

Cortisol can be a key role player in this blockade, so that's why I ask about stress. But many other things could be. Going too low carb is reported to many to impair cholesterol uptake to make T3 according to the Jaminets and many others. This has been discussed here on PH many times if you want to give it a look.

Maybe just eating too much fat and no use for it so cutting back a little could help, and no real need to worry.

Are you feeling all right in the end?

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3150 · July 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM

That's great, then I'd not be very concerned and keep testing as time goes by just to verify that things are not going out of whack. Here's a link that you might find interesting, is a N=1 from someone who tests regulary making some dietary changes: http://bjjcaveman.com/2013/06/23/the-effect-of-a-ketogenic-diet-on-cholesterol-part-4

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:25 AM

im am feeling pretty good, no stress good mood, ton of energy. i have noticeed I am a little more congested, but that is nothing compared to the problems that have been ellevated in the past few months ( cronic hunger and bloating constipation to start)

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3180 · July 02, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Yes you should, and here's why. The only thing you probably had right while vegan was a healthy gut flora from all the plant fiber. Healthy gut flora is paramount to healthy levels of cholesterol. When going paleo, many people ditch the fibrous plants and gut flora starves, leading to leaky gut and high cholesterol.

Ensure you eat plenty of inulin and resistant starch. Eat onions, garlic, leeks, legumes (prepared carefully) as well as green bananas, cold or raw potatoes, and cold rice. These foods will give you the 20-40g/day of prebiotics you need for a healthy gut and low cholesterol. Don't be fooled by the paleo meme that high cholesterol is normal and good--it's normal, all right--but not good. Eat the right fiber and watch your ldl plummet!

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10 · July 03, 2013 at 7:17 AM

"The test is meaningless if you've eaten recently."

Incorrect. Fasting or not fasting only impacts your triglycerides, not your LDL/HDL numbers.

The Harvard Medical School says: "Incidentally, although eating before the test doesn't affect total cholesterol or HDL levels to any great extent, levels can be lowered by stress (physical or psychological) or infection." Here's the link: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Which_cholesterol_test_should_you_get.htm

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578 · July 10, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Well, that could be true. But 33 trigs I tend to see in those who restrict calories and it's usually done by restricting carbs. But it's possible you can lower your trigs by eating yams and sweet potatoes and not overindulging. It reflects your caloric discipline. How lean are you? Have you ever been overweight before? If not, it's possible.

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475 · July 10, 2013 at 4:33 AM

Also i eat tons of veggies besides sweet potatos

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26072 · July 08, 2013 at 1:52 PM

That's not true. I was at ~200g/day carbs when I was last tested, and on a 9 hour fast. Trigs were 42. Resistance starch and glucose will not raise your trigs.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63
578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Actually, his overfasting may have lowered his trigs under 40. That does happen. It's very hard to be that low in trigs unless you're doing a VLC diet, which he may be even though he's eating 1-2 sweet poes; he's not eating any other vegetables.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7
26072 · July 03, 2013 at 6:11 PM

when the doctor is using the friedwald formula to estimate LDL and the Trigs are off the LDL will be off too.

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5853 · July 03, 2013 at 5:35 AM

I guess some of us just manufacture more cholesterol from all the saturated fat we eat. I guess you could try mufa fat or little less fat and retest.

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14 · July 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Hey man,

Your levels seem to be a little higher that they should but here are my thoughts..

You say you are an active person and you still have bad test results?

  • I would double check the food you eat. Just because it sounds healthy it does not need to be like that

Also it could be just your genes man. It would be good if you could research on that just so you know. And maybe to get more vitamin rich fluids ...

Keep running and I keep looking on how to lower cholesterol

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2030 · July 04, 2013 at 3:05 PM

I really wish the Vegan community was more open and honest about the pitfalls of their diet. It may be possible that you've acquired a copper imbalance. Copper is a very important modifier of our lipid metabolism.

So if your levels don't end up normalizing and you'd like to keep eating that way, it may be something you can look into further. Here's a couple of articles that may interest you:

http://www.intechopen.com/books/lipid-metabolism/the-role-of-copper-as-a-modifier-of-lipid-metabolism

http://www.arltma.com/Articles/CopperToxDoc.htm

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2030 · July 04, 2013 at 11:27 PM

....entirely sure but I don't think mother nature would put us at a disadvantage like that. I do know that mineral deficiencies/imbalances can be passed on from mother to child. So I tend to disagree with it being genetics but I'm open minded.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a
2030 · July 04, 2013 at 11:22 PM

It's not a deficiency that I was implying, but an overload. Whenever one goes through a prolonged period with a low level of dietary zinc a copper excess is very easy to acquire. Especially when the diet is very high in plant foods, all of which have low ratio of zinc to copper. The body will start storing away copper acting just like a deficiency. Two months on Paleo isn't enough time to make any major differences in this specific ratio. So I tend to think that a lack of zinc is the main cause, but you would have to correct the imbalance to confirm this. Genetic or congenital? I'm not......

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578 · July 04, 2013 at 7:43 PM

The copper deficiency when he's eating 0.5-1 lb. of meat and chocolate is unlikely. The same with choline deficiency when he's eating 4 HB eggs. The micronutrient deficiency is the explanation provided by PHD, but it seems really unlikely when you're eating organ meats and eggs on Paleo.

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-2 · July 30, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Go back to veganism. ;-)

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475 · July 30, 2013 at 6:14 PM

that would mean going back to a diet focused on pounding down gobs of veggies, tofu, and grains. I did this, chronic constipation, bloating, shocking low weight, and horrid gas, were the result. I dont want to rely on processed soy meats and gluten chunks, tons of sugary vegan treats, and soy milk, to get the kcal i need. I wish veganism worked for me. it did then it didnt. Maybe it will again. but right now it is not my solution

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