2

votes

Raising HDL - how much does omitting alcohol play a part?

Asked on January 11, 2015
Created September 24, 2011 at 6:36 PM

So after a physical in April, I drastically revised diet/added in exercise (those numbers were kinda scary!) Took advantage of a 3 month medical exercise program at the gym 'prescribed' by my doctor, just had 3-month outtake interview last night. Switched to a primal way of eating mid-May, am now 90% paleo (or more, depending on your interpretation of the facts below.)

Since April, ALL of my numbers (save one) have dramatically improved.

BP - was 140/90, is now 118/68
Hemoglobin AIC - was 6.5, is now 5.8 (as of mid-August)
Vitamin D-deficient in April (15), at 38 in mid-August (after supplementation, sun)
Resting heart rate dropped 10 pts, heart rate recovery also dropped 4 pts
Dropped 5 inches from my waist (swimming in old clothes!), and have dropped 35 lbs since April.

This after adding in supplements (fish oil, vitamin D), subbing in good fats (coconut oil, avocado, saturated fats, olive oil), eating more fish, moving to grass-fed meats 60-70% of the time, etc. Also - no sugar, beans, dairy (except for plain greek yogurt 1X a week or less) or grains.

AND I was stil able to drink alcohol 3-4 times a week while out socializing - albeit limited kinds, in moderation (tequila or vodka w/soda, wine only - entirely gave up my former true love, bourbon!)

So why am I asking a question now, you wonder?

Here's what I got from a full lipid set in April for cholesterol:

201 total - with HDL of 38, triglycerides of 203, LDL of 122

Yesterday's partial (will get another full lipid set in late October) looked like this:

169 total - but a HDL of 34.

Clearly, I'm supplementing with fish oil, eating fish 2-3 times a week, doing moderate exercise (will amp up strength training), using good fats only - so what's up with the HDL drop?

Some of the initial reading I'm doing suggests that I might want to consider dropping alcohol before amping up fish intake, increasing my walking, etc. Is there something to this?

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on October 14, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Cholesterol: 176 HDL: 38 (also 38 in April) LDL: 122 (same in April) VLHL: 17 (was 41 in April)

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on October 14, 2011
at 10:32 PM

My triglycerides were stellar, it turns out. Was at 203 in April, now at 84.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 26, 2011
at 05:49 AM

All kinds of benefits ? I hope you are aware that dropping dairy means your body will produce less lactase and you will become lactose intolerant. Unless you are certain that dairy harms you, which is more unlikely then likely, I suggest you eat more of it.

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on September 25, 2011
at 10:08 PM

HAH! So I don't need to worry about the drinking after all (at least as it relates to HDL, that is...) Am already drinking green tea & eating dark chocolate on occasion.

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on September 25, 2011
at 06:25 PM

Don't know - only had a partial check done as part of gym outtake appt, only got total cholesterol & HDL. Will be getting full lipid set done in late October, am very interested to see triglyceride number in particular!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on September 25, 2011
at 01:28 AM

What were your triglycerides this time around?

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on September 24, 2011
at 10:37 PM

It's funny - I used to completely adore cheese, in particular (ate cottage cheeese/oatmeal for breakfast every day) & always drank coffee with half & half. Now? I'm fine going without cheese & can feel all kinds of benefits from going without. I also thought I could stop drinking booze in a heartbeat (and never drink at home even now, even though I have full liquor cabinet here). Now, I can skip dairy w/o any pain at all - but can't seem to give up the occasional drink. (Would have thought it would have been the other way around when I started for sure!)

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6 Answers

2
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on September 25, 2011
at 09:22 PM

Alcohol, green tea, niacin, dark chocolate and several other substances increase HDL.

Google "How to Triple Your HDL" by Jonathan Carey and feel free to contact him. This was one of the more interesting poster presentations at AHS'11.

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on September 25, 2011
at 10:08 PM

HAH! So I don't need to worry about the drinking after all (at least as it relates to HDL, that is...) Am already drinking green tea & eating dark chocolate on occasion.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on September 25, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Your ratio between HDL and LDL is probably much lower than before, correct? I would say you're making progress rather than the opposite.

HDL ranges seem to be partially genetic. Mine has been high (70+) no matter what I ate or did.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Blood Cholesterol changes throughout the day! I know, shocking. Each test is a point estimate, over time they can give the doctor a good idea of where you are.

I only say this because a drop of 4 mg/dL is NOT a drop it is essentially the same reading.

Drop in TC and trigs, HDL stayed the same. Looks like a good result...

0
703c0b5e3b29ee943bd067631e0fc3cc

on July 17, 2012
at 04:00 PM

Look up on Google how accurate cholesterol lab tests are. I believe that even with the same sample of blood, it will come back with a variation in the numbers of maybe 5% to 15%. Look it up for the most recent data on this.

0
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on September 25, 2011
at 01:02 AM

My cholesterol a year ago (while consuming about 4 drinks/day): 190 total, 90 HDL. My cholesterol a few weeks ago (while still consuming about 4 drinks/day average): 199 total, 98 HDL.

I was on a misinformed "healthy" diet a year ago and am now on something that is more informed, sort of paleo. For me, at least, alcohol is either beneficial for HDL stats or insignificant.

0
1c33cda52b22490ef1666e768f2ebddf

on September 24, 2011
at 10:03 PM

A year ago, my total cholesterol was 168 and HDL was 38. Within one month of switching from a vegan diet to following Robb Wolf's recommendations, my HDL was 72. (Total cholesterol was 299 and triglycerides dropped from 135 to 57.)

I concluded that the saturated fat was the main factor in increasing both my LDL and HDL. Heck if I know whether I'm right on that.

No alcohol for me either before or after the switch. I'm not against drinking or anything.... it just never comes up in my typical days.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 26, 2011
at 05:49 AM

All kinds of benefits ? I hope you are aware that dropping dairy means your body will produce less lactase and you will become lactose intolerant. Unless you are certain that dairy harms you, which is more unlikely then likely, I suggest you eat more of it.

408b32d0900853851167089d730f1881

on September 24, 2011
at 10:37 PM

It's funny - I used to completely adore cheese, in particular (ate cottage cheeese/oatmeal for breakfast every day) & always drank coffee with half & half. Now? I'm fine going without cheese & can feel all kinds of benefits from going without. I also thought I could stop drinking booze in a heartbeat (and never drink at home even now, even though I have full liquor cabinet here). Now, I can skip dairy w/o any pain at all - but can't seem to give up the occasional drink. (Would have thought it would have been the other way around when I started for sure!)

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