I recently had a full blood panel after 4 months on the paleo diet. I'd love to get feedback from the community on my numbers. My total Cholesterol went from 184 to 214, so I'm alittle concerned. Here are the details:
Total Cholesterol: Pre 184, Post 214
HDL: Pre 67, Post 70
LDL: Pre 103, Post 133
Triglycerides: Pre 70, Post 54
Glucose: Pre 77, Post 77
I'd love to get feedback on these numbers.
It's the pattern type of the LDL that matters most.
Pattern-A (large, fluffy) LDL is not associated with an increase in heart disease.
Pattern-B (small, dense) LDL is associated with an increase in heart disease.
You need to find out from your doctor the breakdown of your LDL, not just the total number.
Having a high LDL level that is mostly pattern-A (big LDL) is good, imho. People with high LDL levels (that are pattern-A) actually live longer, have lower cancer risks, have fewer infectious diseases (LDL is also part of your immune system), and are NOT at higher risk of a heart attack.
Take a look at this study by UCLA:
They got hold of the medical records of 59% of all heart attack patients between 2000 and 2006 and analyzed them for cholesterol levels. It's laid out in a pretty easy to read table. One of the interesting facts is that people that had both high HDL (over 60) and high LDL (over 160) only had 0.7% of heart attacks. Note, that wasn't 7% that was 0.7%, as in less than 1%, as in only 7 of every 1,000.
The other thing you need to get from your doctor is the Lp(a) number. LP(a) is a type of LDL with a protein molecule attached. High levels of Lp(a) have been associated with heat disease. The reason most doctors don't focus on it is (1) the levels are primarily due to heredity, and (2) there is no magic pill to lower (although niacin is supposed to have some effect), so big pharma doesn't push lowering it.
Lp(a) is not the same as LDL pattern-A, but a lot of people get them confused.
HDL and Triglycerides are moving in the right direction. Chris Masterjohn said that anytime you get your blood tested for Cholesterol the numbers can fluctuate by as many as 40 basis points. The other thing he said was that when you change your diet from SAD to a healthier alternative that your liver can throw off LDL for months (up to a year). The LDL has built up in your liver over years and takes time to release. Be patient and get tested quarterly until you have passed the one year mark. Keep up the good work and continue to eat what will naturally detox your body!
First, our knowledge of what lipid panel numbers mean is typically in the context of the prevailing diet, not on a paleo-type diet.
Second, our knowledge of what lipid panel numbers is from epidemiological studies, and therefore is actually composed of guesswork (hopefully decent guesswork, though).
With those caveats thrown out, your numbers are fairly well in line with what we see in healthy populations. Total cholesterol between 200 and 240 is associated with the lowest rates of mortality and disease, and your HDL:LDL ratio is very good ("good" is over .3, "ideal" is over .4, yours is over .5).