LDL maintaining high while HDL increase and Triglycerides drop

by 5 · September 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I have been paleo for about 2 years now. Over this time period I have had regular blood panels and one of the trends I have noticed is that although my HDLs have gone up and my Triglycerides have dropped my LDLs remain mostly stationary and my total cholesterol is pretty stable as well.

Though I am not fearful, I feel great and in general I feel my numbers are trending favorably I would like to know if anyone else has noticed this or has some advice on how to lower my LDLs. As a side note my Potassium seems to be a bit high - I eat a ton of spinach, kale, ruffage greens, and occasionally a skinless sweet potato. Should I worry?

My diet is pretty low carb, most days I would say I am below 50 grams and on workout (powerlifting/HIIT) I stay closer to 100 (2 bananas post workout, or a sweet potato)

Here are my numbers:

2008 2013

TC 211 207

HDL 43 57

LDL 140 140

TriGs 141 49

TC/HDL 4.9 3.6

K 4.5 5.4

The night before the test I did something really stupid and let temptation get the best of me, I ate some pizza! (master, I failed you) Though I still fasted for 12 hours prior to the test. I have also started IF about a month ago.

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4328 · September 12, 2013 at 03:53 AM

Your LDL number is actually calculated (not measured) in both of your results, using the Friedewald formula. I just confirmed this using an online calculator (link below).

If you use the Iranian formula (instead of your Friedewald formula), then your calculated LDL number dropped from 174 (2008) to 110 (2013).

As i say, these are just calculated LDL numbers, the lab has not actually measured your LDL (more expensive to do that).

Here is the link to the calculator that uses both the formulas mentioned,


30 · September 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

A few thoughts.

  1. I have similar numbers than you have. Going Paleo dropped the Trig, increased LDL (also because I know exercise much more, including the Big Five regimen from Doug McGuff)
  2. According the Chris Masterjohn, cholesterol measurements does vary by a pretty good margin day by day. So best would be to test a few times in a month and make an average.
  3. I am in two mind regarding the cholesterol con. I tend to be dismissive of the cholesterol impact. I see my mum being fairly overweight, have a bad lipid profile and no CVD at all. On the other hand my dad has pretty good died but had a triple bypass and calcified heart valve at 75, he also had a MI at 58. I think genetic is HEAVILY involved in CVD - my 23andme is telling me that I have a few LDLR genes not quiet "optimum". So I am thinking that I can only try to makes things a bit better by following a diet high in fruit and vegs, proper meat and fats (not too much) and do sport. But in the end I believe the genes win!

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190 · September 12, 2013 at 04:41 AM

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov and many other doctors/authors have laid waste to the Cholesterol theory. It seems that the information can't break through the entrenched propaganda to follow your numbers no matter where they lead.

I'd do some reading before getting hung up on the numbers.

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