1

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Hack my blood lipid results (young guy, on paleo ~7 years, athlete)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 14, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Hey

I recently got some bloodwork done. Just turned 25.

Total cholesterol was above 11mmol/l LDL cholesterol was above 9mmol/l HDL was 1.41 mmol/L Triglycerides were 1.06 mmol/L

Background: for the past 2-3 weeks I've been dieting with a fairly big deficit, around 1000 calories per day. So I've been eating fairly high protein as a percent of macros. Trying to get around 190 grams per day (I'm around 198lbs, six pack)

Anyway, my (calculated) LDL is too high. If it was just kinda high like you guys post sometimes I'd be okay with it. But it is super high.

Wonder if this factors in to the acute pancreatitis I suffered a few months ago. Maybe high cholesterol contributed to some very small gallstone which blocked the pancreatic duct. No idea.

Yes, I'm going back for measure of the different LDL particles when I can. Still I think the number is abnormally high and may have something to do with the liver not uptaking or excreting excess cholesterol.

Thanks

Edit: Conversion of LDL into ng/dl is 357.

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on July 20, 2012
at 01:59 AM

One example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1575961 , 225% increase in LDL for those with the E4/4 phenotype (just from the abstract btw, I don't have access to the full article). Diet can have a significant impact in some individuals. Stop with the confounding variables.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Well, lower weight has been shown to lower cholesterol. That much is true. However, Hyperlipidemia, is essentially that while you are in the process of lowering your weight and burning fat, that fat can exist in your blood stream. This is not the same as having high cholesterol, but the centrifugal process that every lab uses cannot distinguish between the two.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Doctor said I likely have FH. I doubt he'll pay for the genetic testing though (I'm in Canada).

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I do not think my LDL level can be this elevated from dieting, considering dieting usually lowers cholesterol levels, and has only shown a slight increase at a certain point in obese women. Also, they had cholesterol levels which were in the normal or high normal ranges. My LDL level does not even show up on charts.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I don't see how having this level of protein should make my LDL level 357. All bodybuilders have a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight and nobody has LDL this high. My doctor said it is impossible for diet to cause LDL to rise this high. I saw him today. He recommended statins to me and said I have familial hypercholesterolemia judging by how high my LDL is.

60ed52f79e2b89eadf754f660e7fd838

(10)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:30 AM

357 is really high number for ldl. I'm going to get slammed by people on this board. I would read this book. http://www.amazon.com/The-Engine-Diet-Firefighters-Save-Your-Life/dp/0446506699 It talks about a firefighter in Texas reducing his fellow fireman's cholesterol by adopting a whole food plant based diet. Seriously your level is heart attack waiting to happen. Be careful consider changing your diet.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 15, 2012
at 08:02 PM

My LDL was 357 nanograms per deciliter, for people familiar with ng/dl.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 15, 2012
at 06:46 PM

Alright, my TSH was normal, so I figured I may not have hypothyroidism. Will ask my doctor if he permits doing the full thyroid panel (it's ultimately his decision).

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 15, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Well, lately I've been eating a lot of pork, chicken breast, and tuna. I also have steaks often. When I slow cook a roast I end up eating the fat, but otherwise my meats are on the leaner side. I throw in some vegetables with whatever I eat. That is about it. A few weeks ago I moved. From before June 15 I was eating a lot of BBQ beef, kimchi, seaweed, etc because I was living in Korea. Tonnes of cabbage and canned mackerel as well. I wasn't in much of a caloric deficit then (was around maintenance calories or slightly below). Now dieting.

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6 Answers

1
332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

on September 19, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Your cholesterol is very high. That't elevated enough that I doubt its entirely your diet. A few things that I'm pretty sure it isnt:

Its not a result of your dietary transition, as CD suggested. "...during caloric restriction could be part of the issue. As you burn fat, and release it into your blood stream cholesterol tests can show an increased LDL and HDL (and thus total cholesterol) while dropping Triglycerides..." I have never heard of anything like this.

If your TSH levels are normal, I'd stop chasing after hyperthyroidism: its not likely to be your culprit.

Bryan, you are correct that dieting - especially low carb - typically lowers LDL and raises HDL. When you had your lipid panel done, were you fasting? If so, for how long? If you ate or drank anything that can affect your lipid levels dramatically.

"..Wonder if this factors in to the acute pancreatitis I suffered a few months ago. Maybe high cholesterol contributed to some very small gallstone which blocked the pancreatic duct. No idea..." I highly doubt the two are related, so rest easy on that front.

A bit about me: My wife is a nurse and I'm a nursing student (graduating in May of 2013) so we're both pretty familiar with lipid panels and the lab work you had done. I researched a lot on the pathophysiology of low carb dieting and on endocrinology, and I've been a paleo eater for about a year and a half, closing on 2 years now.

1
Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on July 17, 2012
at 01:44 AM

I think this is just jumping the gun. You're on a highly calorie restricted diet and consuming an ass-ton of protein (which, for hardcore dieting is the right way to go - not arguing). You then get some blood markers checked and you're out of whack (although really high).

Get rechecked 3 months after you're done dieting and on something "normal" (whatever you decide normal to be).

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on July 20, 2012
at 01:59 AM

One example, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1575961 , 225% increase in LDL for those with the E4/4 phenotype (just from the abstract btw, I don't have access to the full article). Diet can have a significant impact in some individuals. Stop with the confounding variables.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:47 PM

I don't see how having this level of protein should make my LDL level 357. All bodybuilders have a gram of protein per lb of bodyweight and nobody has LDL this high. My doctor said it is impossible for diet to cause LDL to rise this high. I saw him today. He recommended statins to me and said I have familial hypercholesterolemia judging by how high my LDL is.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 01:12 AM

Hyperlipidemia -- lipid levels in the blood -- during caloric restriction could be part of the issue. As you burn fat, and release it into your blood stream cholesterol tests can show an increased LDL and HDL (and thus total cholesterol) while dropping Triglycerides.

Check with your doctor, make sure he/she knows about the weight loss. Ask if you should plateau before getting tested again.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Well, lower weight has been shown to lower cholesterol. That much is true. However, Hyperlipidemia, is essentially that while you are in the process of lowering your weight and burning fat, that fat can exist in your blood stream. This is not the same as having high cholesterol, but the centrifugal process that every lab uses cannot distinguish between the two.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:48 PM

I do not think my LDL level can be this elevated from dieting, considering dieting usually lowers cholesterol levels, and has only shown a slight increase at a certain point in obese women. Also, they had cholesterol levels which were in the normal or high normal ranges. My LDL level does not even show up on charts.

0
34b551194c4b959fc3c9eaa5023c2b13

on August 28, 2012
at 07:41 AM

Euthyroid Sick Syndrome. Get a full thyroid panel done, ESS can be deceiving since TSH isn't strongly affected but your T3 levels plummet.

0
60ed52f79e2b89eadf754f660e7fd838

(10)

on July 15, 2012
at 05:32 PM

What do you typically eat?

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 15, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Well, lately I've been eating a lot of pork, chicken breast, and tuna. I also have steaks often. When I slow cook a roast I end up eating the fat, but otherwise my meats are on the leaner side. I throw in some vegetables with whatever I eat. That is about it. A few weeks ago I moved. From before June 15 I was eating a lot of BBQ beef, kimchi, seaweed, etc because I was living in Korea. Tonnes of cabbage and canned mackerel as well. I wasn't in much of a caloric deficit then (was around maintenance calories or slightly below). Now dieting.

60ed52f79e2b89eadf754f660e7fd838

(10)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:30 AM

357 is really high number for ldl. I'm going to get slammed by people on this board. I would read this book. http://www.amazon.com/The-Engine-Diet-Firefighters-Save-Your-Life/dp/0446506699 It talks about a firefighter in Texas reducing his fellow fireman's cholesterol by adopting a whole food plant based diet. Seriously your level is heart attack waiting to happen. Be careful consider changing your diet.

0
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on July 15, 2012
at 01:07 PM

If you're going back to get NMR or VAP, also get all your thyroid hormones checked. TSH, T4, T3, rT3, etc. Elevated cholesterol can be a symptom of hypothyroidism, which some people have symptoms of on a low carb diet. Check out all of Chris Kresser's posts on the subject.

If it's not thyroid, the next most likely explanation is familial hypercholesterolemia.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 15, 2012
at 06:46 PM

Alright, my TSH was normal, so I figured I may not have hypothyroidism. Will ask my doctor if he permits doing the full thyroid panel (it's ultimately his decision).

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:49 PM

Doctor said I likely have FH. I doubt he'll pay for the genetic testing though (I'm in Canada).

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