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).
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.
Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly
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:
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.
...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.
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.