2

votes

Cholesterol profile after 2-1/2 years strict paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 02, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I found my lipid profile from a blood sample taken just before going strict paleo. Here it is compared with my present numbers from 2 days ago (2-1/2 year span):

TC = 188 / 372
TG = 89 / 74
HDL = 50 / 73
LDL = 120 / 284

Obviously there is an LDL clearance issue or receptor sensitivity problem.
Here's what I'm thinking, based on my last 24 hours of research:

Start taking a mineral supplement
Increase carbs to 100g-150g / reduce SF consumption (currently consume ~16 oz. cream/day)

Then, in 4 weeks, get a full thyroid panel with lipids. Maybe an ApoE test? $$?

I'm 42 years old with a psoriatic arthritis condition that has greatly improved since going paleo (prescribed bi-weekly injections???now bi-monthly, if that) No other meds. I am lean, I workout 2-3 times a week, sleep well, etc.

I have experienced nothing but improvements (mood, energy, ~5 lbs. subcut. fat loss, mild GIRD one, hypertension gone ) over the last 2-1/2 years...except for that damn LDL number.

What would you do if this was your situation?

Thanks for your input!

C8586fa2188272d5474d22aa8a500619

(358)

on April 17, 2012
at 10:19 AM

try 30 days completely free of coffee and alcohol. Those proved to be significalt triggers of leaky gut (increased intestinal permeability) to me and as a consequence I completely cleared my psoriasis (even nails). That may help you with the remaining medication.

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on March 11, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Travis, you're probably heterozygous for FH (familial hypercholesterolemia), as is the OP.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 07, 2012
at 02:13 AM

sorry -- Psoriatic Arithritis?

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 09:12 AM

http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/03/02/the-fda-issues-new-warnings-about-statins/

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:24 AM

Bryan, what triggers the jointy RA?

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:23 AM

Excellent post Nora!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:23 AM

JayJay, Don't be absurd. The docs do it because of HEDIS. If their organization meets HEDIS (e.g. everyone is on a statin), then they get their PAYOUT... bonus, $$$$$$, lettuce. Gotta follow the MONEY dude *WINKY* you didn't know????! i've had docs INSIST the patient stay on the statin despite memory losses and muscle aches. HELL-O. classic statin side effects which graefully now the FDA is following up (only decades later). See Dr. Briffa's latest post.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:32 AM

same story here bud. completely shredded but I had too much fat in the blood.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 04, 2012
at 03:40 AM

grace brings up a good point....context of LDL and overall metabolic health. Many "main stream" experts are working off of a very basic algorithm that tells them cholesterol = more than 200 + anyone within one generation with heart disease = give statins. I mean to be honest these doctors are way to smart to follow this BS. Life is not an algorithm and while it helps to standardize care for insurances own algorithms on how to make money it literally sucks as a manner of improving health!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on March 04, 2012
at 03:05 AM

With autoimmune diseases, I believe Dr. Cannell from the Vitamin D Council recommends a blood level of 80-100 ng/ml. I keep my asthma completely at bay with 80 ng/ml.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:45 AM

I think LDLs sink with acute inflammation...

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:33 AM

If you are insulin sensitive carbs shouldn't negatively impact health. I'd concur with JayJay to cut or min the dairy for two reasons. Dairy (casein) can trigger autoimmunity and the saturated fat does raise LDL and HDL by modulating and increasing the particles sizing and sometimes the particle counts. When I went VLC and did IF, this caused adrenal and cortisol issues which affect thyroid. I think a lot of panu and IF fans like me hot into this jam. The LDL is just a marker but overall hormones are key IMHO. Ur doc will still pimp stains if the LDL is > 160 and u r perfectly healthy.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Vit. D was 35. I have a history of very low D (while on SAD) in the neghborhood of 15. All in normal range since going paleo-ish AND ~1 drop of 4,000 IU Carlsons in my morning coffee during the winter months.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:42 AM

I never count anything, JayJay. But in retrospect I'd say I rarely took in more than 50 g of carbs a day. I just concentrated on fat and protein from nutrient dense foods and let the "carbs come along for the ride" (KGH). Well, I'm thinking I may have failed to invite enough. The reason it may help is with thyroid function, so I've gathered from one of the other discussions.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Was VLC, now moderate LC. I'm looking to seek out even more rice, potatoes, and fruit. I just couldn't be bothered before.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:56 PM

I'd definitely get your D level tested, if you haven't already.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I don't think I'd "work" to increase carbs though....seems they play a negative role in increasing LDL. Otherwise good luck!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I'm with ya on a bit in the coffee :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Just a semantics note, but might wanna change the title to "strictly primal", the "paleo" police usually don't consider cream to be paleo.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 10:18 PM

Thanks for the informative reply Nora. Well, sure enough--I had a mild flare up (can always feel it in my lower back) just 4 days after the blood sample was taken. Do you know if the autoimmune response sequence would have LDL levels shooting up 3-5 days before inflammation sets in? BTW - my BG was 96. As if there wasn't enough screwiness with these labs. Ferritin 396, Iron normal. I checked out Cyrex Labs and will mention it to my Rheumy. I need to see her again for a prescription refill on my Humira. Thanks again Bry

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Thanks for sharing Travis. I'm convinced that the dairy fat is contributing. I'll report back in a few weeks.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:41 PM

I can't ditch the cream but I can cut out about 80% (love it with coffee, which should see a reduction as well). Less butter and ghee, up carbs a little and retest in 2 weeks. Thanks JayJay

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Thanks Jack. As if the cream consumtion wasn't a bit extreme, I too cook everything in ghee and butter. My grass-fed steer is way too lean, so I just started adding these fats. I experienced zero adipogenesis, so I figured all was good.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2012
at 05:42 AM

Maybe it's because of an autoimmune inflammation flare-up?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Dropped 20-something % after 5 weeks of no dairy fat so I assume that it's normal now. I was getting pissed at the idea of the cover price of the Perfect Health Diet doubling, then tripling as I kept forking over co-pays, so I haven't gotten it tested again.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:41 AM

Seconding the 16oz cream as too much. Many paleos disallow any dairy at all, including cream. If you want an ounce in your coffee daily, fine. A bit of butter, fine. But some moderation is called for.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on March 02, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Good post. Where are you now with your numbers, Travis?

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 02, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Sounds like you've got a good plan in place. 16oz is an insane amount of cream in a day; cutting down on that should make a good dent in your LDL. I assume you've listened to Kresser's podcast trilogy with Chris Masterjohn about cholesterol. If not, check it out!

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 02, 2012
at 06:23 PM

It's because of Chris that I have not completely disregarded that LDL number or simply wrote it off as predominantly large and buoyant. TSH only, which is normal. Perhaps I should schedule for that thyroid panel ASAP.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 02, 2012
at 06:06 PM

Definitely check out Chris Kresser. Have you had your thyroid checked out lately?

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12 Answers

9
Medium avatar

on March 02, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I hit 393 with heavy butter/cream consumption. I would wager that simply removing that will cause it to plummet, as it did for me. Paleo has created a Healthy Fat monolith that doesn't account for the differential response to various ratios of specific fatty acids. Butter and cream are twice as hypercholesterlemic as coconut oil, which is itself considerably more hypercholesterolemic than tallow.

That we've been sold a bill of goods with regard to saturated fat from healthy animals doesn't then mean that one can't create potentially dangerous aberrations with evolutionarily novel fats in large amounts.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 03, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Dropped 20-something % after 5 weeks of no dairy fat so I assume that it's normal now. I was getting pissed at the idea of the cover price of the Perfect Health Diet doubling, then tripling as I kept forking over co-pays, so I haven't gotten it tested again.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Thanks for sharing Travis. I'm convinced that the dairy fat is contributing. I'll report back in a few weeks.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on March 02, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Good post. Where are you now with your numbers, Travis?

Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on March 11, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Travis, you're probably heterozygous for FH (familial hypercholesterolemia), as is the OP.

6
90dfe63132887bc5948e4e23350d9ac7

on March 03, 2012
at 06:53 AM

Hey Bryan--

Keep in mind that cholesterol isn't a disease but rather an indication that something is going on in your body for which cholesterol is needed. There are many things which commonly elevate cholesterol, which may include things like: depressed thyroid function, excess dietary carbohydrate (unlikely due to your healthy HDL number and triglycerides), chronic infection (viral, bacterial or parasitic), chronic stress, lipopolysaccharides (due to dysbiosis) and (drumroll) a possible inflammatory process. As you indicated, you have psoriatic arthritis--an autoimmune disease (always inflammation-prone). One thing is certain: you do not have a carbohydrate deficiency. In fact, you would be more prone to inflammation with increased insulin production. The Paleo diet is perfect for you. As someone with autoimmune you WILL be prone to flare-ups and cytokine storms from time to time with antigenic exposure and stimulation of immune polarity. There's no question this can and will imact your cholesterol numbers from time to time. It happens. It also happens a lot less frequently on a Paleo Diet than a carbohydrate-based one. This is periodically likely regardless of the far healthier diet you have been on and you will find these numbers go up and down accordingly. That said, there is a ton you an do to modulate your immune response and help mitigate these flare-ups so this happens far less frequently and less tissue destruction occurs over time.

The very good news here is that there has never been more that is understood regarding the basic mechanisms behind autoimmune illness and how to modulate it naturally. There's a ton you can do. I don't see your cholesterol as the biggest issue here, and I would typically be more inclined to look at a broad array of other markers to better determine where the imbalances are and what might need to be prioritized. Cholesterol information alone is far from enough to really tell you very much. If I were you I'd get some Cyrex testing (Arrays 2, 3 and 4) ASAP to figure out at least some of what might be triggering this. You can contact Cyrex at www.cyrexlabs.com) to find out more. I'll be writing about all this more in the future.

I hope this bit of info is helpful to you.

Best of luck!

Warmly,

~Nora Gedgaudas (author of Primal Body, Primal Mind)

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 10:18 PM

Thanks for the informative reply Nora. Well, sure enough--I had a mild flare up (can always feel it in my lower back) just 4 days after the blood sample was taken. Do you know if the autoimmune response sequence would have LDL levels shooting up 3-5 days before inflammation sets in? BTW - my BG was 96. As if there wasn't enough screwiness with these labs. Ferritin 396, Iron normal. I checked out Cyrex Labs and will mention it to my Rheumy. I need to see her again for a prescription refill on my Humira. Thanks again Bry

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:23 AM

Excellent post Nora!

2
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 03, 2012
at 07:38 AM

it's the cream. i did the same thing. i used to go through about 3 pints per week. I haven't had a drop of cream in months. now I put half and half (trader joes) in my coffee instead, and use milk in places where I previously used heavy cream (although I don't consume much milk anyway). also, I cut my butter consumption by probably 70-80%. Also also, we used to fry a lot of stuff in ghee. Now... I've made one 16oz jar of ghee in the last 4 months, and most of that got used when we threw a party and cooked a bunch of platanos.

what I am really saying is that I second Travis' answer. just because butter and cream are good whole foods that are nutrient dense and pure does not mean we should use them as diesel fuel and eat as much as we can stomach.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on March 04, 2012
at 06:32 AM

same story here bud. completely shredded but I had too much fat in the blood.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Thanks Jack. As if the cream consumtion wasn't a bit extreme, I too cook everything in ghee and butter. My grass-fed steer is way too lean, so I just started adding these fats. I experienced zero adipogenesis, so I figured all was good.

2
6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on March 03, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Are you LC/VLC? I was reading some articles yesterday on PubMed that LCHF diets will increase LDL.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16712573

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20107198

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9805219

I would also chillax on the cream a little.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Was VLC, now moderate LC. I'm looking to seek out even more rice, potatoes, and fruit. I just couldn't be bothered before.

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 03, 2012
at 03:51 AM

I'd ditch the cream.....thats about all I'd change and then I'd test again.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 03, 2012
at 09:41 PM

I can't ditch the cream but I can cut out about 80% (love it with coffee, which should see a reduction as well). Less butter and ghee, up carbs a little and retest in 2 weeks. Thanks JayJay

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I'm with ya on a bit in the coffee :)

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:42 AM

I never count anything, JayJay. But in retrospect I'd say I rarely took in more than 50 g of carbs a day. I just concentrated on fat and protein from nutrient dense foods and let the "carbs come along for the ride" (KGH). Well, I'm thinking I may have failed to invite enough. The reason it may help is with thyroid function, so I've gathered from one of the other discussions.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 04, 2012
at 01:33 AM

If you are insulin sensitive carbs shouldn't negatively impact health. I'd concur with JayJay to cut or min the dairy for two reasons. Dairy (casein) can trigger autoimmunity and the saturated fat does raise LDL and HDL by modulating and increasing the particles sizing and sometimes the particle counts. When I went VLC and did IF, this caused adrenal and cortisol issues which affect thyroid. I think a lot of panu and IF fans like me hot into this jam. The LDL is just a marker but overall hormones are key IMHO. Ur doc will still pimp stains if the LDL is > 160 and u r perfectly healthy.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I don't think I'd "work" to increase carbs though....seems they play a negative role in increasing LDL. Otherwise good luck!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on March 04, 2012
at 03:40 AM

grace brings up a good point....context of LDL and overall metabolic health. Many "main stream" experts are working off of a very basic algorithm that tells them cholesterol = more than 200 + anyone within one generation with heart disease = give statins. I mean to be honest these doctors are way to smart to follow this BS. Life is not an algorithm and while it helps to standardize care for insurances own algorithms on how to make money it literally sucks as a manner of improving health!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 07:23 AM

JayJay, Don't be absurd. The docs do it because of HEDIS. If their organization meets HEDIS (e.g. everyone is on a statin), then they get their PAYOUT... bonus, $$$$$$, lettuce. Gotta follow the MONEY dude *WINKY* you didn't know????! i've had docs INSIST the patient stay on the statin despite memory losses and muscle aches. HELL-O. classic statin side effects which graefully now the FDA is following up (only decades later). See Dr. Briffa's latest post.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 06, 2012
at 09:12 AM

http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/03/02/the-fda-issues-new-warnings-about-statins/

2
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 03, 2012
at 12:21 AM

I love hearing improvements thus far!!! Congratulations!! The labs may be suggestive of E4 allele(s) presence and/or FHC allele(s).

New studies show psoriasis is highly associated to peptides of gut flora breaching the intestinal lining and triggering autoimmunity leading to skin, collagen and jOint attacks where the tissue peptides resemble the breaching gut flora

In my experience what ive observed helps psoriasis is

-- thyroid replacement if refractory to diet, nutraceuticals and cleaning up the gut first

-- improving thyroid (NOW Thyroid Energy contain nearly 99% of what thyroid glands need to optimally function besides adrenal support; the adrenals are synced with thyroid and both need to usually by addressed) [as noted earlier by Korion, look at thyroid -- poor thyroid/adrenal function reduces LDL clearance at the receptor level; read: Chris Masterjohn. I shoot for upper 1/4 of normal lab ranges for both FT4 and FT3 and TSH ~ 0.5-2.0 and lowest quartile of rT3 ranges]

-- when thyroid/adrenals improve then this improves body temps improve and we evolved normal 98.6 f temps to fight pathogens and parasites; our immunity and protein enzyme work horses function better and optimally when our vitals (temp, pH, O2 sat, etc) are within normal range, no?

--Conventional medicine UV Lamp therapy (vitamin D)

--fat soluble hormonal messengers and nutrients omega3 and ADEK2 particularly Retinol and D [which all aid the gut healing/sealing in clinical trials]

--probiotics and fermented foods to alter gut flora

http://www.jrheum.org/content/33/10/2099.2.long

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 02, 2012
at 08:43 PM

Supplement with d3 and remove dairy as a test.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:56 PM

I'd definitely get your D level tested, if you haven't already.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on March 04, 2012
at 03:05 AM

With autoimmune diseases, I believe Dr. Cannell from the Vitamin D Council recommends a blood level of 80-100 ng/ml. I keep my asthma completely at bay with 80 ng/ml.

2f14bf1625aba1af749882ac892d3477

(81)

on March 04, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Vit. D was 35. I have a history of very low D (while on SAD) in the neghborhood of 15. All in normal range since going paleo-ish AND ~1 drop of 4,000 IU Carlsons in my morning coffee during the winter months.

0
Ea1bb0c24b59345463ef96880b6b27fc

(300)

on January 28, 2013
at 07:19 PM

Just going over the astounding amount of unsubstantiated information given out here on cholesterol and this caught my eye:

"Keep in mind that cholesterol isn't a disease but rather an indication that something is going on in your body for which cholesterol is needed. "

It would be nice to know upon what exactly this statement is based other than wishful thinking.

0
Dfeb3c1ef269c5dc03154d1689c14373

(716)

on March 11, 2012
at 11:50 PM

So your arthritic condition has improved, you have more energy, lost weight, Gerd and hypertension dissipated, and you have a problem? WIsh I could have more problems like you.

P.S. you're probably heterozygous for FH (familial hypercholesterolemia)

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2012
at 11:31 PM

16 oz. is a lot, but I can spin this apparent "debauchery" with my own story. My wife and I found gallons of grass fed raw heavy cream for $20. We started drinking that $20/gallon cream. People that's 640 calories of pure white gold for one dollar.! With no cooking/prep time.In a three week period we drank a whole gallon. She drank 2/3 of it. We both lost body fat during this time. Cholesteral levels rose,. Our consumption of said cream was cut by 90%. Test results await.

0
Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on March 03, 2012
at 10:27 PM

I am totally confused about cholesterol.

The only cholesterol testing that I have had in the last year and a half is the total cholesterol test I get every two months when I give blood. I always fast for 10-12 hours prior and always give in the morning between about 9 and 10 AM, so that I'm consistent on that. I suppose the assumption on my part is that there is hopefully some sort of meaning to be gleaned from the total cholesterol number and being fasted in the same way each time will help with some sort of consistency. Or something.

Having written all of that, I have to say that the numbers I get are all over the place. I fluctuate from as high as 311 to as low as 240. I'll jump 40 or more from test to test.

Perhaps this speaks to the blood people's testing or perhaps it speaks to fluctuations in cholesterol (or a little of each). At any rate, I'm confused about what any single cholesterol test means.

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