Okay, so I suppose 80% of my questions will involve my mother somehow! >_< She's a hardcore skeptic, and is super concerned with her cholesterol numbers. (By the way, her total is 224, HDL ~50 since menopause). She was pretty horrified to learn that I ingest all the hardened fat layer from my beef broth and that I eat organ meats, so she has begun to "nag". Hahaha. Her proof that cholesterol-filled foods affect her physically is through the outbreaks around her eyes that I've learned are called xanthelasma palpebra - which are supposedly cholesterol deposits. I can't seem to argue if that's what they are, and it seems to be a real phenomena in others. She says these occur when she's had too much cholesterol, and she has been trying to eat more meat since I've been visiting for the week, so what gives?? Are they a cause for concern?
asked byCoconutWaterisGood (343)
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on October 28, 2011
at 04:51 PM
Your mother could improve her HDL. You didn't say what her triglycerides were or if her blood numbers were fasting.
I look only at HDL, triglycerides, blood sugar, and A1C. I don't bother with LDL because LDL particle size is hard to obtain (most insurances don't pay for it).
Total cholesterol is meaningless because you can have high HDL and have high cholesterol. My father's PCP tried to put him on statins because he had high total cholesterol ... his HDL was nearly 100 after a Paleo diet! He ripped up the Rx in front of the doc. His cardiologist (another doc) said to him,"You have the best blood numbers I've ever seen, better than even mine."
based on Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Illustrated Manual of Opthalmology 2009 edition p.106 used by almost all eye doctors:
Xanthelasma are foamy histiocytes surrounded by localized inflammation that occur in older patients. Most patients have normal blood lipids. Systemic diseases that can occur with this cholesterol deposit include: biliary cirrhosis, diabetes, pancreatitis, renal disease, and hypothyroidism.
By the way my mother has xanthelasmas since her 20s, and her blood numbers are great so her eye doctor and I are not worried about them.
I would recommend your mother get fasting blood panels that include:
triglycerides, hemoglobin A1C, glucose
Thyroid Function - TSH, T4, Thyroid Antibody
Liver Function - ALT, AST, AMA (antimitochondrial antibodies), and Bilirubin
Pancreatic Enzymes - Lipase and Amylase.
If some of these tests come about abnormal they may do an abdominal ultrasound or further testing.
People eating a proper Paleolithic diet can improve blood glucose, lipids, and reduce systemic inflammation. The inflammatory and autoimmune diseases mentioned in association with xanthelasma should improve with Paleo.
My husband had elevated liver enzymes and they returned to normal on Paleo.
I don't know if the xanthelasma deposits will go away over time on a Paleo diet - that hasn't been tested, but it would make for an interesting experiment.
on December 20, 2011
at 06:40 AM
the skin is a major organ, cholesterol deposits in the skin under the same conditions that you find it depositing in the arteries as atherosclerosis. however, cholesterol isnt the problem. high cholesterol is just the human response to the underlying health issue. we must accept that as a species we inherently are predisposed to the process of atherosclerosis. The paleo diet will give you a very large HDL number, and that is a good thing, but all it really means is you are burning stored fat. because as i understand it HDL contains lipids of human origin and not dietary origin. we are all hoping the paleo diet reverses atherosclerosis. i dont think it will. But, its not because it is high in cholesterol. i think its because we dont manufacture vitamine C.
on December 20, 2011
at 04:42 AM
Hi ! I too have this problem, and my cholestral levels are within normal range. However as per the reaserch I've donr, it seems to be sign of heart problem or an impending heart attack. The people with this condition need to go for a heart check up and follow the physician order, without arguing. There should be not much concern oveer the cosmetic issue, when the heart is at risk. I did check with a docotr, and I do have a heart condition, need to take penicillin injections once every 21 days. and keep my cholestral and weight under control.All the best.
on October 28, 2015
at 12:08 PM
Has anyone had success regressing xanthelasma with a low carb diet?
I'm a 31yo male and noticed xanthelasmas under my eyes after adopting a very high fat/low carb diet but with plenty of cheating on the weekends with refined carbs, i eventually started eating more starchy carbs/less fat but they seemed to just get worse over time.
After hearing from someone that their xanthelasma regressed after sorting out their thyroid and going strict VLC i'm going to try again and stick to it this time.
on November 22, 2012
at 10:32 PM
I have a xantholasma on my eyelid. I am 45yo cholesterol levels are in the normal healthy range. I get plenty of exercise and eat organic foods including coconut oil, whole cream dairy and plenty of grass fed lean beef. I am not worried about atherosclerosis because my CRP and HS-CRP levels are normal. HS-CRP is prime indicator for low grade systemic inflammation which leads to atherosclerosis. All other serology levels (pancreas, liver and thyroid kidney) are normal .
Here is a link on HS-CRP levels and atherosclerosis http://ajcp.ascpjournals.org/content/supplements/116/Suppl_1/S108.full.pdf