Edit 4: Since this just got bumped, I should say that the TC/LDL-C was definitely the result of butter intake and the low testosterone was definitely the result of a zinc deficiency that arose as a result of not eating animal products for 8 years + a bunch of phytate from wheat and soy. Whoops.
Got my first batch of labs in today from yesterday's draw:
Glucose: 101 (seems high, but apparently being low in carbs in the days leading up to the test can influence that)
Cholesterol: 391 (120-200) TGs: 54 (30-199) HDL: 55 (27-68) LDL: 325 (Friedewald; an online calculator using the Iranian equation is 268.99) HDL Risk Factor 7.1 (0-7 ref range) hsCRP: .4 (0-3.0) TSH: .86 (.35-5.50)
I'm still waiting on vitamin D, HbA1c, testosterone and I asked for a VAP test and she said she would do it, so I'm kind of wondering why I even got these results back unless she didn't do the VAP or did both for some reason. Naturally, there's a note that says the cholesterol is "quite high and really needs to be treated." Sure, let's treat it with the SAD and statins.
I've only been doing what most would consider to be high fat diet for a short while. Before that I'd say it was moderate fat but still low carb, both compared to the SAD. I think LDL jumps up pretty rapidly in response to dietary shifts, but HDL lags a bit. I'll have to dig up my previous results, but total cholesterol was something like 168, with HDL a bit lower and TGs a bit higher. I'd like to work toward a higher HDL and lower TGs, but I'm pretty happy with TSH and CRP.
I'm kind of wondering if our diets might skew the cholesterol results in a way that hasn't been accounted for. This was a 12 hour fast, but the last things I ate before I started the fast were two fatty lamb steaks cooked in butter. I'd be pretty surprised if that didn't have an effect on the levels 12 hours later. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
For what it's worth, I typically eat 2-4 pastured eggs for breakfast, and grass-fed lamb for lunch and/or dinner. I eat mashed potatoes in whatever amounts I feel will fill up my glycogen stores most of the way on that particular day. There's some fish and crustaceans here and there and occasionally some chicken. I eat close to a half a pound of steamed spinach a day. Everything is cooked in or covered in pasture butter. I am leaner, stronger, get sick far less frequently and just feel all around better than I ever have in my life, so I'm not worried about the test results, but it is curious that some of us are only slightly out of range for cholesterol while others go off the charts. Even though TC or LDL of our type don't really correlate to mortality, I think it would be interesting if we pinned down why some of us can set records for these values.
Edit: I should also say that I had a low fat vegan diet for 8 years, followed by about 2 years or so on a low fat, whole grain yuppie diet. I wonder if going so long with so little fat in my diet has caused me to be ultra-sensitive to it with regard to LDL? Maybe someone else who is similarly off the charts might see if they had a similar pre-paleo situation.
Edit 2: 3 years ago cholesterol was 168, TGs were 65, HDL was 48 and LDL was 107.
Edit 3: 25(OH)D: 85ng/mL; free testosterone 1.8 (1.6-2.9); total testosterone 374 (300-1080) Clearly vitamin D is quite high and right where I wanted it. Testosterone on the other hand is quite low and far less than I expected. I realize that it is highly variable based on time of day etc. but this is fairly striking, especially considering how aggressive I am and my level of libido. I can only assume that if it is fairly low that it is the result of a nutrient deficiency, such as selenium. I wonder if the high LDL may be related to the low testosterone? Perhaps it's not being properly used to create sex hormones and as a result it just sitting around idle. In any case, I think liver consumption will be advantageous for correcting both situations.
As always, any input is appreciated.
Well everyone here is praising you. I wont. You HDL is way too low for these labs, especially the ratio of LDL to HDL. And if your eating coconut oil and still got a 55 I would be even more concerned. I also would want your Cardiac CRP to be on the ground considering your TG levels, but its not at 0.4. Anyone north of 330 I want Cardiac CRP's real low......like .02 low. It has to do with arterial wall thickness and PAD risk. And if youre inflamamtion goes above .5 you can still hurt yourself. It may not kill you but it could lead to issues. I think you need to fine tune it a bit. Overall compared to a Standard American Diet youre way ahead. But I do not like your HDL at all. With the labs you posted I would be OK with your HDL north of 70. To get there you need to supplement In some areas......and using low rep olympic lifts a few times a week to get there. Dont settle for good or OK......settle for optimal. And eat more myrstic sat fats and more stearic fat. It will also help your fat profiles and push your HDL over 70. Low TG and high HDL with real low cardiac crps are the key to long healthy doctor free life. If your labs stayed this way for several yrs I would be sending you for biannual calcium index scores. So the news for you is not totally rosy............its good in context to the kids eating Taco Bell......but you would not be the head of my paleo pupils.
With cholesterol levels in excess of 350 ng/dL I would suggest getting tested for sitosterolemia. Standard cholesterol tests do not differentiate from, and include in the totals, beta sitosterol, camposterol, etc. This occurs when the body can't break down and excrete plant sterols. The condition is believed to be under diagnosed.
Sources with high levels of beta-sitosterols are the ubiquitous vegetable and seed oils in the SAD, as well as in many nuts (pistachios are quite high, as are the skins of almonds). Canola oil, expeller pressed, is the worst. Animal fats generally contain little if any beta sitosterol or other plant sterols.
The test runs about 150 USD if not covered by your health insurer.
I had my levels tested a few weeks ago. They also shocked my doctor.
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL): 419
Cholesterol, HDL (mg/dL): 114
Cholesterol, LDL (mg/dL): 277
Triglycerides (mg/dL): 51
Glucose: (mg/dL): 101
This was done after about a 14 hour fast. I'm male, 26 years old, paleo for 9 months. I'm 5'11", 160 lbs and quite active. Honestly, I'm not too worried about my results, but they seem to scare some people (like my parents).
Fascinating article with subsequent comments conversation going on over on Perfect Health Diet regarding high LDL. BE SURE to read the comments too, not just the article. Masterjohn weighs in. Paul Jaminet replies frequently. It's very interesting.
Paul poses question about Paleo, high LDL:
Paul answers question about Paleo, high LDL:
Your TGs are so awesome. She needs to do direct count and make sure the LDL particles are fluffy before she starts yelling at you. CRP's really good too, look Ma, no inflammation!
I'm with Travis on this one. I think the numbers that we all have come believe are 'normal' do not provide an accurate picture of health. It doesn't make any sense to say that if Travis is eating the right things in his daily diet, is fit, and feels healthy that he has to adjust some stupid LDL number that people rely on as a health marker when it's unfounded.
LDL numbers taken from sample groups of people on the SAD is a VERY different scenario than LDL numbers and cardiac arrest percentages taken from folks on a pure foods or 'paleo' style diet. Until I see a well run study that shows people who eat a high quality fat diet with whole, nutrient dense foods, essentially avoiding the agents of disease, who are fit and healthy, then I just don't buy into the LDL figure being a 'trump all' for all the other indicators that Travis has going for him. These are some pretty intricate numbers folks, and I know that we can deduce 'some' important factors from them, but I strongly believe that it's much better to rely on Travis's (or anyone else) personal eating/activity habits. I know being 'fit' or not obese does not necessarily equal health, but at least it's a great plus on his side.
I have nearly the same story. "high" LDL at 211, low trigs at 82 and decent HDL at 58. CRP is healthy. Vit D is in range. Liver functioning perfectly. I am fit and muscular and have plenty of energy. And I bet my HDL has climbed in the last 4 months since gettint tested. But Doc wants to put me on statins for my LDL. So ignore all other factors that my body is functioning very well and focus on some silly LDL number that we don't even know is really detrimental? I say... hogwash. I only live once, and I'm not about to screw up my health with some stupid manmade drug that NOBODY on earth had access to 100 years ago.
Travis, we already had a little discussion about Vit D, sun tan, and fooling the body...
I also have very high LDL cholesterol after a period eating what I believe to be healthful and natural food. I don't think that high cholesterol causes CVD, but suspect that there might be something wrong when is too high; at the same time, as I refuse to believe that what I eat is not good (sounds vegan?), I started looking at supplementation as the possible cause of the problem.
I actually suspect that the relationship between cholesterol, Vit D, and fish oil is not completely understood and might be cause for concern.
Ok, the causation is: cholesterol+sunshine >> Vit D.
However, is it possible that when we get a lot of Vit D and fish oil through supplements, our body is fooled into thinking that it's summer, that we are going to get a lot of sushine, and thus ups cholesterol production? Should supplementation be seasonal?
It would be interesting to see if those who supplement with Vit D (+fish oil) have seen a sharp increase in cholesterol levels.
That's pretty interesting, Travis. I'm glad you are not letting it phase you. I had mine done in January. I don't know what I ate the night before, but as I eat only meat and fat, you can bet it was fatty meat. Here were the results (I'm female, and was 37 at the time):
glucose 71 (70-100 mg/dL)
25-OH vit D 33.3 (25-80 ng/mL)
I had forgotten to ask for direct LDL measurements, but since low TG/Total predicts low particle size, I'm not concerned. Also my ratios are stellar.
I was really surprised at the glucose though. Most carnivores report about 100.
I do have vegetarianism in my past (in fact I was raised ovo-lacto), but it was never low-fat, and the vegan experiment in my case was for less than a year (I think), and I haven't been vegetarian for over a decade, so if there is an effect, it might have passed.
I wonder about that too. I got some blood work done a month ago... did about a 14 or 15 hour fast ahead of time, and come to think of it I'm pretty sure my last meal was also some fatty lamb meat ; ) (uncommon at the time but that's a staple meal much more frequently now).
My results were something like TG 28, HDL 84, and LDL 101. Total cholesterol around 191. I had no clue how accurate these numbers were and didn't know what to think of them. Like you I'm not sure how much what I eat or not eat prior to the test skews the results.