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What does TC/H and VLDL on my lipid pannel mean?

by (1967)
Updated about 23 hours ago
Created August 11, 2010 at 12:54 AM

I just received my lipid panel. I didn't get any info from the doc because he wanted me to pay for another visit and I refused. I think the numbers look pretty good but I don't know what some of it means. The name on the paper says "Lipid panel plus"

I've been paleo about 6 months, I've lost 70lbs and feel great. I no longer eat low carb, but still paleo, plus potatoes on occasion(once a week).

Age: 28

Weight: 159

Total Cholesterol 229, a little high by CW, I'm not worried

HDL: 55, good, could be a little better

TC/H: 4.2, wondering if this means trigs or total / hdl

LDL: 157, probably calculated so I'm not worrying about it

VLDL: 18, not sure what this is

So, any idea what TC/H and VLDL mean? and I'd like to hear opinions on my numbers.

Thank you.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13983 · August 11, 2010 at 7:05 AM

Please find some good sources online and add to my post! Thanks both! We're all here to help each other learn. :)

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb
2254 · August 11, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Yup, I too have understood VLDL to be a separate type of particle from LDL. It's even lower density than any LDL (hence the name) and is the first particle to be made by the liver for export to tissues. I think its levels are thought to correlate with triglycerides, though I may be wrong as I'm just going from memory.

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9647 · August 11, 2010 at 3:39 AM

From what I understand (which might be wrong of course), VLDL is its own thing, just as IDL is. And then there is, separately, the split within the world of LDL. Thus, fluffy LDL does not = VLDL. I am a fan of the Chris Masterjohn website: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/LDL-HDL-Good-Cholesterol-Bad-Cholesterol.html And also the Malcolm Kendrick book, though it has certain key errors according to Masterjohn.

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4 Answers

F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614
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346 · August 11, 2010 at 2:16 AM

TC/H is the ratio of total cholesterol (including LDL + HDL) to HDL cholesterol.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is one of the five main types of lipoproteins found in circulation, together with very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and chylomicrons.

You can see some photos of these particles here:

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/02/large-ldl-and-small-hdl-particles-best.html

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
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13983 · August 11, 2010 at 2:07 AM

The VLDL is the number with which you should be concerned. As Zack referenced, it stands for "Very Low Density Lipoprotein" and as Mark Sisson explains in this blogpost about cholesterol, the VLDL are the large fluffy LDLs and you want this number to be higher:

The latest research into LDL shows that there are actually sub-categories of this cholesterol transporter and that some are more dangerous than others. The larger, more billowy LDL particles are now thought to have little or no significant role in heart disease. On the other hand, the smaller, dense LDL particles are the ones believed to be most involved in the process of inflammation that begins the atherosclerosis cascade. And wouldn???t you know it, but it???s a diet high in simple carbs that most readily promotes the formation of these small LDL particles! Unfortunately, this important distinction is probably something your doctor knows very little about, yet it???s the number of small particle LDL that might be the most important reading in any cholesterol test. So a total cholesterol of, say, 230 or even 250 might not be dangerous at all if your HDL is high and your small particle LDL is low.

And of course, Dr. Eades has something to say about VLDL:

...numerous studies have shown that whenever subjects go on low-carb diets, they end up increasing the size of their LDL particles. Large, fluffy LDL particles are not only harmless, but may be protective. If they are protective, what???s wrong with having a bit more of them?

At the same time, numerous studies have shown that low-fat diets usually decrease LDL levels, but do so while reducing the particle size. Followers of such diets end up with lower levels of LDL made of smaller, denser, more atherogenic particles, which, in my mind, isn???t a good trade off.

And...

...if you have been following a low-carb diet and your triglycerides are low (or if your triglycerides are just low) and your LDL reading comes out a little high ??? or even a lot high, don???t let anyone mule you into going on a statin or undergoing any therapy for an elevated LDL. Demand to have a direct measurement of your LDL done.

I don't have any information on good ranges. I will open this up as a community wiki so someone can add that info.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4
9647 · August 11, 2010 at 3:39 AM

From what I understand (which might be wrong of course), VLDL is its own thing, just as IDL is. And then there is, separately, the split within the world of LDL. Thus, fluffy LDL does not = VLDL. I am a fan of the Chris Masterjohn website: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/LDL-HDL-Good-Cholesterol-Bad-Cholesterol.html And also the Malcolm Kendrick book, though it has certain key errors according to Masterjohn.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208
13983 · August 11, 2010 at 7:05 AM

Please find some good sources online and add to my post! Thanks both! We're all here to help each other learn. :)

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb
2254 · August 11, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Yup, I too have understood VLDL to be a separate type of particle from LDL. It's even lower density than any LDL (hence the name) and is the first particle to be made by the liver for export to tissues. I think its levels are thought to correlate with triglycerides, though I may be wrong as I'm just going from memory.

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10 · August 11, 2010 at 1:21 AM

TC/H is the ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL (229 / 55 = 4.2).

VLDL stands for "Very Low Density Lipoprotein"; you can find out more about it here.

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0 · August 11, 2010 at 1:41 AM

Try reading this to help make sense of your cholesterol numbers, or watch these videos.

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