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Anxious to get blood drawn: how common is worse lipid profile?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 19, 2012 at 1:31 AM

While listening to back Robb Wolf podcasts, he periodically fields a question from someone freaking out about elevated total and LDL. He will then go into a discussion that the friendly fluffy LDL is nothing to worry about.

How common is it to go paleo and get elevated total and LDL?

I'm only 2 months into it and I really love eating this way. I feel my blood sugar is much more stable, and I'm not hungry, and not eating every few hours.

I'd love it if my lipid profile was better by generally accepted standards so my doctor doesn't hassle me to go on a statin. My before total was 199 and LDL was 146 and my doctor wanted me on a statin (which is crazy). If my total jumps to 250 or 275, I'm sure he'll tell me that I'm killing myself.

I've lost 7 of the 22 pounds I want to lose so I think it makes sense to let my weight stabilize so I don't have fat being liberated from my fat stores confuse the issue.

BTW, I hesitate to ask this question because I think 20 people answering that their numbers got worse might not tell the whole story if 1,000 people had numbers improve.

With all that said: did your lipid profile numbers improve on paleo?

Thanks for sharing your experience, Mike

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 19, 2012
at 05:14 PM

@Mike, LOL, PH was part of my recovery. I spent a lot of time here and thinking and exchanging experiences. This month I'm disciplining myself to spend no more than an hour total per day as an element of reducing stress. Being here can be pretty emotional and draining if you "put yourself out there."

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 19, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Wow! Nance: you've only been doing ancestral eating for 11 months and you've earned a paleohack score of 24.3k !!!

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 19, 2012
at 06:25 AM

Also check out: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2547. And @Mike, do NOT listen to your doctor if he wants to put you on statins because of increased LDL. What they usually do is use the Friedewald equation to calculate LDL. Insist that they do a direct measurement to see what kind of LDL you have.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 19, 2012
at 06:20 AM

Studies have shown low-carb/high-fat diets produce greater weight loss but larger LDL particle size (a.k.a. the large fluffy harmless kind). Check out: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1520-037X.2002.01231.x/pdf and http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/4/880.full.pdf+html.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on April 19, 2012
at 03:53 AM

foreveryoung, why is that?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 19, 2012
at 03:02 AM

That doesn't sound too bad!

85178e006119b00322a2401c494dd3a4

(644)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:06 AM

Total 170 -> 214 LDL 107 -> 112 Current chol/hdl ratio: 2.94

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:00 AM

@Anthony: How much did the numbers go up? What was your ratio?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 19, 2012
at 01:55 AM

If you are in the process of losing weight, you can basically expect your LDLs to rise.

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4 Answers

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1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:51 AM

This varies widely--some see improvement, some stay the same and some see TC and LDL go quite high. If you're feeling any anxiety about your reactions you should definitely have the test done so you know where you stand.

Chris Kresser and Chris Masterjohn have a great series about cholesterol. I don't have the link handy but it's a series of podcasts on Chris's blog.

In my case, my recent blood panel (after 11 months of ancestral eating) was very similar to those I saw on SAD. I have cholesterol that runs between 160 and 180 when I eat plenty of fat and gets alarmingly low if I follow a "healthy" low-fat diet as I foolishly did when I didn't know better.

I've lost a lot of weight in the past year but I didn't see the high LDL numbers reported by some. It's relevant to say I haven't used chronic calorie restriction. I've alternated periods of "resting," as in not trying to lose, with periods of gradual weight loss. I've used both IF (intermittent fasting) and ADF(alternate-day fasting.)

The only real blip on my results was that I may have been dehydrated--my BUN and creatinine were both normal but the ratio was just under the normal range.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 19, 2012
at 05:14 PM

@Mike, LOL, PH was part of my recovery. I spent a lot of time here and thinking and exchanging experiences. This month I'm disciplining myself to spend no more than an hour total per day as an element of reducing stress. Being here can be pretty emotional and draining if you "put yourself out there."

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 19, 2012
at 04:44 PM

Wow! Nance: you've only been doing ancestral eating for 11 months and you've earned a paleohack score of 24.3k !!!

1
531b053b68e92ac509fc1544f88dc103

(1205)

on April 19, 2012
at 03:47 AM

Get yourself a Cardiochek machine and take your cholesterol every 2 weeks while making adjustments in your diet until the numbers come out the way you want them to. A natural supplement like polycosanol or sytrinol can help keep your LDL down.

0
1ce9661622ba354c61669ffe900a01ab

on April 19, 2012
at 01:53 AM

I'm interested in responses on this topic as well. I'm at 40 lbs lost (and still losing weight) and bet my panel will be out of whack (a guess, but pretty sure). Seeing how my doc (CW Dr, go figure) will railroad me and try to force me on a statin. That's why I'm waiting another 6 to 8 months (and hoping to lose another 40 to 50 lbs).

0
85178e006119b00322a2401c494dd3a4

on April 19, 2012
at 01:52 AM

I just had my blood work done a couple weeks ago (three months into paleoishness). My previous test was three years ago. Since then, my total cholesterol went up, and my LDL went up. But my triglycerides went way down, and my HDL went way up. So, despite higher total and LDL numbers, my chol/hdl ratio was better, and my doc said I had an "excellent cholesterol profile".

So, it depends on your other numbers, and maybe also on your doctor.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:00 AM

@Anthony: How much did the numbers go up? What was your ratio?

85178e006119b00322a2401c494dd3a4

(644)

on April 19, 2012
at 02:06 AM

Total 170 -> 214 LDL 107 -> 112 Current chol/hdl ratio: 2.94

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on April 19, 2012
at 03:02 AM

That doesn't sound too bad!

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