5

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Should I Be Afraid of a Cholesterol Test?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I've been doing Paleo for 2 months and have blood work scheduled later this week. I'm afraid of how high my cholesterol will be, and wonder what others here have experienced.

I've looked through this forum pretty carefully for discussion of cholesterol, and I see two main thoughts running through the comments: (1) that total cholesterol - and in many cases LDL - often increase quite markedly; and (2) cholesterol doesn't matter that much because it isn't linked to CVD.

I've read Taubes, Stephen Guynet and others extensively, and I think I basically agree with point (2), but am for whatever reason still worried about it. I am afraid that if my total spikes from 225 or so (pre-paleo) to some number like 300 or above, it will probably create some doubt in my mind about what I'm doing. I also agree that, for the most part, dietary cholesterol doesn't have much effect on total cholesterol, and yet I know that in a small number of people it appears to have a large impact.

I'm wondering, though, if those two lines of thought implicitly mean that cholesterol often increases on Paleo?

I should add that I've lost 25 lbs and taken 4 inches off my waist since January 1 (2/3 of my goal) and BG is almost normal, so even if my cholesterol has increased I need to balance that against how much much healthier I am losing almost all of my visceral fat.

So, I'm wondering if folks could tell me: did your total cholesterol - and in particular your LDL - increase on Paleo?

Thank you!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 08, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Hey, that's a great improvement in triglycerides and HDL. Keep it up and you'll have them cross each other like strangers in the night. Strange that your total C and LDL dropped...what do you eat usually?

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 08, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Wow, my mom is on statins (I'm trying to get her off it) and has been complaining about her memory. I don't think she is on CoQ10, thanks for sharing this.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 24, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Perhaps you could post a comment here once you get your results? I'll do the same. Would love to know how others fare. The thing I can't figure is that many Paleos report higher cholesterol, but many Atkins types do not. Guess we'll know soon enough where we fall.

4f135301ab317e1b7b75ade9d25a4dad

(45)

on February 24, 2011
at 10:01 AM

And read Anthony Colpo "The great Cholesterol Con" And "The Mythgs of Cholesterol" by Paul Dugliss M.D. and "The Cholesterol Myths" by Uffe Ravnskov M.D. PhD and "The Cholesterol Conspiracy" by Russell Smith PhD You need to be concerned about heart disease not some weakly linked drug selling scare point.

4f135301ab317e1b7b75ade9d25a4dad

(45)

on February 24, 2011
at 09:55 AM

And if you follow the NIH line you have already been on statins too long!

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 24, 2011
at 01:21 AM

Is your father taking CoQ10, Helen? If not, get him on it ASAP. And try to get him off statins. If not, I am afraid he may well down that route you so correctly fear.

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on February 24, 2011
at 12:54 AM

I totally agree, while it was fairly easy for me to believe in a Paleo lifestyle change and eat the best I can afford, since i worked in the pharmacy for years and heard it daily about peoples cholesterol, their meds etc...It is ingrained and hard to let go of.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I'm new to Paleo, so I guess I still get sidelined by the conventional wisdom from time to time. Still, my weight and BG results can't be argued with!

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Rhonda - I'll post the results here to your comment once I get them. Look forward to hearing how yours come out, too.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 09:28 PM

My father, who is a very bright man, takes statins and his memory is now toast. I'm waiting for the day that they put him on Alzheimer's drugs because of it. It's so hard to see loved ones going this route and being unable to do anything about it.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on February 23, 2011
at 09:16 PM

On my Nov. 2010 test, LDL went up but my other numbers improved (HDL, trigs). However, my doctor ordered the simple test. It's time for my next test soon, and this time, I'm going to ask my doctor to order a more detailed examination of my blood, especially of LDL particle type (small dense = bad, fluffy = good). Let us know how it goes! Congrats on your weight loss and keep on going. If you feel this is right for you, then don't let the conventional "wisdom" convince you otherwise. Go to your doctor's office with all your ducks in a row on what you've learned and don't back down.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:18 PM

The youtube interview was great, btw.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:18 PM

BTW, my LDL went down after eating 90% Paleo for three months before my last test. The result was fine; it was elevated prior to going mostly Paleo.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Very well said...I think that "high cholesterol" is a made-up disease, too. It sure does keep the $$$ rolling in to drug company coffers, though, doesn't it?

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15 Answers

3
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I, personally, don't think about cholesterol at all...either how much my diet contains or what my cholesterol "numbers" are. I actually couldn't care less what they are. I don't "buy" the lipid hypothesis at all because I think its one of the biggest scams ever pulled on the public. Btw, congratulations on losing that weight and getting you BG back to almost normal...keep up the good work.

3
A20e31adbe986b5ff2131c9e0e5dfdc0

on February 23, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Mine went from 200 or so pre-primal to 330 after. However my HDL to LDL ratio, in the words of my doctor was 'FANTASTIC'. I do firmly believe that high Cholesterol is a "made-up" disease as it is a TERRIBLE indicator of overall health.

This is a great interview that is eye-opening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awA2fsa94MI

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:12 PM

Very well said...I think that "high cholesterol" is a made-up disease, too. It sure does keep the $$$ rolling in to drug company coffers, though, doesn't it?

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:18 PM

The youtube interview was great, btw.

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on March 08, 2011
at 10:21 AM

Got my results this A.M.

Here's my lipids:

The first number is the "Before" from September, 2010 When I began my Paleo, although I have been a "cheese-cheater".

The second number is the "After" , results from February, 2011

Total Cholesterol 260 --> 237

LDL 183 --> 172

HDL 37 --> 49

Triglicerides 198 --> 81 (triglicerides tanked)

My doctor suggested statins from the high cholesterol. I declined. Poor guy, he told me he was taking them.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 08, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Hey, that's a great improvement in triglycerides and HDL. Keep it up and you'll have them cross each other like strangers in the night. Strange that your total C and LDL dropped...what do you eat usually?

1
1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:16 PM

Lee - please check out http://www.spacedoc.net/ before you take any statins.

"Dr. Duane Graveline, MD and others have submitted over 250 articles on Cholesterol, Statin Drugs and their Side Effects."

If your doctor prescribes a statin without telling you to supplement with CoQ10, get another doctor. Statins deplete CoQ10, which means your memory will be depleted.

Having lost all that wight means your LDL will be lower than had you not lost the weight.

In any case, please check out the link (Graveline is an MD, and was an astronaut).

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:18 PM

BTW, my LDL went down after eating 90% Paleo for three months before my last test. The result was fine; it was elevated prior to going mostly Paleo.

1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 24, 2011
at 01:21 AM

Is your father taking CoQ10, Helen? If not, get him on it ASAP. And try to get him off statins. If not, I am afraid he may well down that route you so correctly fear.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 09:28 PM

My father, who is a very bright man, takes statins and his memory is now toast. I'm waiting for the day that they put him on Alzheimer's drugs because of it. It's so hard to see loved ones going this route and being unable to do anything about it.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 08, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Wow, my mom is on statins (I'm trying to get her off it) and has been complaining about her memory. I don't think she is on CoQ10, thanks for sharing this.

1
E6c790e285048d9d09a554e65879693a

(435)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Lee, I'd like to know what you find out. In the exact same boat myself. Blood test tomorrow, seeing the doc next Wed.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Rhonda - I'll post the results here to your comment once I get them. Look forward to hearing how yours come out, too.

1
Cd2ff8c68dd1f1d539ad7f0ee94b0421

on February 23, 2011
at 06:01 PM

Mine has gone as high as 585 total (240 to start), but that was a fairly drastic increase. Many people get "improved" numbers from the start. If you don't believe the Lipid hypothesis, it doesn't matter. You may get static from your doctor if your numbers are alarming enough.

0
Afddfbaee3b84c20b38fc6d0d079dd4b

(60)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:47 PM

Since shifting to a more paleo diet my cholesterol has inched up also. It doesn't bother me, because my HDL LDL ratio is great, but my doctor is concerned. I was wondering if donating blood a couple days before having the next cholesterol test might help. Has anyone tried to get a better cholesterol result to avoid flack from their un-primal educated general practitioner?

0
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on March 03, 2011
at 02:32 PM

will do..........

0
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on February 24, 2011
at 08:39 AM

I am in the same boat. Had a blood test this morning. Going for results on march 8th

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 24, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Perhaps you could post a comment here once you get your results? I'll do the same. Would love to know how others fare. The thing I can't figure is that many Paleos report higher cholesterol, but many Atkins types do not. Guess we'll know soon enough where we fall.

0
4f135301ab317e1b7b75ade9d25a4dad

on February 24, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Stressing over it is likely a much greater risk factor that the highly inaccurate mormal cholesterol panel numbers you receive.

And did you know that clinical trials show that people with higher cholesterol live longer?

And did you know that roughly 50% of people who have heart attacks have high cholesterol and roughly 50% have low cholesterol?

It (normal cholesterol blood tests) are largely a hyped up drum for the statin drug makers to beat (to death).

Cholesterol is not the issue to worry about - heart disease deserves your attention. Not a trumped up imaginary disease called Hypercholesterolemia!

http://www.wmodavis.com

0
415ce5b8f88f4d762fa946f9f43d94b6

(564)

on February 24, 2011
at 12:32 AM

I'm 38 and my doctor just ordered blood work for a physical. He didn't bother ordering cholesterol tests. I took that as a sign that I might like this doctor.

0
Cfccbcf3450ac4919311ded8ef162d49

(2312)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Last year, after a year of paleo, my total cholesterol increased a few points, but my HDL also increased, LDL decreased and trigs decreased. I feel the need to check my blood levels again soon.

0
Medium avatar

on February 23, 2011
at 07:35 PM

Just focus on increasing HDL and lowering TGs. They're the factors that truly correlate to mortality. You know you're getting healthier, so are you afraid of the number or are you afraid of being unhealthy?

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I'm new to Paleo, so I guess I still get sidelined by the conventional wisdom from time to time. Still, my weight and BG results can't be argued with!

Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

(1471)

on February 24, 2011
at 12:54 AM

I totally agree, while it was fairly easy for me to believe in a Paleo lifestyle change and eat the best I can afford, since i worked in the pharmacy for years and heard it daily about peoples cholesterol, their meds etc...It is ingrained and hard to let go of.

0
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on February 23, 2011
at 06:53 PM

According to this meta study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10733371?dopt=Abstract the important factors are the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL and the level of CRP. It seems that total chol. per se is not important, but its ratio to HDL is really important. There is also some research about different types of LDL the problem is that very often this division is not measured as such.

4f135301ab317e1b7b75ade9d25a4dad

(45)

on February 24, 2011
at 09:55 AM

And if you follow the NIH line you have already been on statins too long!

0
A5ead9de259ae72f2165ecb12f4ae764

(440)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:21 PM

I think your total cholesterol doesn't tell you much unless you buy into the cholesterol guidelines. There is talk about the size of your LDL particles meaning more than your LDL number (Large "fluffy" LDL is better than small particle size). I recommend reading "The Great Cholesterol Con" by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. He provides strong arguements against the lipid hypothesis.

4f135301ab317e1b7b75ade9d25a4dad

(45)

on February 24, 2011
at 10:01 AM

And read Anthony Colpo "The great Cholesterol Con" And "The Mythgs of Cholesterol" by Paul Dugliss M.D. and "The Cholesterol Myths" by Uffe Ravnskov M.D. PhD and "The Cholesterol Conspiracy" by Russell Smith PhD You need to be concerned about heart disease not some weakly linked drug selling scare point.

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