Is Intermittent Fasting causing elevated LDL-C / ApoB?

Commented on February 04, 2013
Created November 07, 2012 at 2:39 PM

There are numerous threads discussing people who went Paleo and had a subsequent increase in their lipoprotein levels. Usually this is in the form of greatly increased LDL-C. This may or may not be a problem according to the latest "flavor of the week/year" in lipoprotein research, which posits that it's the number of LDL particles (LDL-P) that drives athersclerosis.

Some say that insufficient iodine/selenium, too great an intake of goitrogens, too little carbohydrate intake, or some combination of these is causing hypothyroidism which can indeed drive up LDL-C and LDL-P due to decreased LDL receptor expression hence decreased clearance. Others blame FH (familial hypercholesterolemia) which begs the question: why did it only manifest after switching to a Paleo diet? Others have found eliminating certain foods (dairy fat) to help lower cholesterol levels.

One confounding factor is that meal frequency often decreases on a Paleo diet due to greater satiety and also the general consensus in the paleo-sphere that snacking is bad for your metabolism (see J. Stanton's treatise here: http://www.gnolls.org/1794/why-snacking-makes-you-weak-not-just-fat/).

I found some recent research that gives evidence that eating more frequently versus less decreases many lipoprotein levels, including ApoB, which is a good appoximation for LDL-P: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049595900667 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12973474

Can anyone else corroborate these findings? I may try a self-experiment with more frequent meals if I can get my doctor to agree to more freqeunt ApoB testing.

Bonus question: Does LDL-P really matter? See this post where the doctor's LDL-P went through the roof (over 3000), but his carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) dropped over the same time period: http://azsunfm.blogspot.com/2012_09_01_archive.html

UPDATE: I had a basic cholesterol test done last month and my LDL-C has gone down by 40 points (220->180) over the last 6 months. I still more or less do 16/8 IF, but I frequently eat 3 meals in that window instead of 2. I also upped my carbs a good bit (paired with a lowered intake of fat), even on rest days. Also, I started eating a Brazil nut each day (for selenium) and getting some seaweed each week (for iodine). In other words, I have no idea which change in my lifestyle and diet caused the LDL to lower, but something did.



on February 04, 2013
at 10:23 PM

Thanks for the feedback. And reminding me to update.



on February 04, 2013
at 06:22 PM

"Does LDL-P really matter?" I would be extremely cautious about drawing any conclusions based on one anecdotal report, event from an MD. That said, these are risk markers meaning that they are not definitive indications that disease is present. Also, CIMT is a complex subject on its own.

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