1

votes

Hack my VAP...!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Hello Everyone. Just found this group and happy to see all great collaboration. About me. 43M. Strict Paleo now 10 weeks - haven't eaten grains for 4 months, but moved to Palaeo after feeling benefits. No cardio, but exercise 4 times week mixed between weights and bodyweight exercises. Light walks and 10-15 mins of garden fun with kids (high heart rate). Breakfast - fish and veggies and 2-3 eggs. Lunch is meat (we bought a whole grass fed cow) or free range chicken. Eat lunch again for dinner and sometimes add salad. Mix with berries, apples and low GI fruit. Occasional treat with dried fruit and 95% chocolate. Drink mainly water, sometimes cranberry. Occasional beer (Friday). I had regular cholesterol tests done after being on Paleo for a few weeks. TC 251, HDL 47, LDL 184, Trig 106, VLDL 21. Doc wanted to put me on statins, but I asked to give me a chance to see what Paleo does. I was concerned about levels, but wanted to see what high fat diet did. So for the next 6 weeks I geared up my fat and cholesterol intake to the menu above. Before this there was much less fat and fewer eggs and some potatoes/brown rice as carbs. I invested in a VAP test and the results were interesting. My LDL didnt change..! I did start taking red yeast rice and policosanol in the 6 week period hoping to help reduce the effects of the higher cholesterol/fat diet. Perhaps they worked. Perhaps not. In hindsight I should not have taken the supplements to see what my body did on its own. I also supplemented with fish oil when eating chicken to balance the omega 3 and 6. My VAP test shows:

  • LDL 183
  • LP(a) 4
  • TC 241
  • HDL 41
  • VLDL 16
  • Trig 60
  • LDL Density - Pattern A

So, although I was dismayed at the static LDL, I was pleased at the pattern A and big drop in Trig's after just 6 weeks on Paleo. I'd love to get my LDL down 20-30% and HDL up some more to get a 3:1 ratio. I really cant tweak my diet much more. I seem to be genetically predisposed to high cholesterol. I've been in touch with a homeopath and it seems that one needs to treat the liver to ensure it is optimally balanced. I'd be interested to hear some viewpoints and what direction I should take for the next 6-8 weeks. My options -

  1. Continue with my diet. Stop all supplements. See what happens.
  2. Continue with my diet. Stop all supplements, except fish oil and CoQ10. (fish oil to keep HDL up and support vit D/E needs)
  3. Continue with diet, continue with all supplements
  4. Continue with diet, but introduce herbal liver supplementation only.

I'm inclined to go with option "4"...? Thanks..!

7b91be6e22d4e2960f40935e306bdee5

(245)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:18 PM

Hi findlay - I've been taking faish oil for 6+ weeks, it didn't seem to help. Maybe I got crappy fish oil, maybe I slacked off on exercising too much over the month prior to my last test (click my name for a few in depth threads). I've been doing crossfit for about 3 weeks now, I'll see what that does.

Dd1f2bbed93f5502fc44663a0f6b0c79

(95)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:14 PM

@berger. My HDL goes up with exercise and fish oil. Fish oil being a very good anti-inflammatory. I also leaned that coconut oil reduces LDL and increases HDL. This I will include in my next 8 week test to see what impact it makes... cheer

Dd1f2bbed93f5502fc44663a0f6b0c79

(95)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:09 PM

So here's another add-in to this. I've just read on Chris Masterjohn's blog that 20% of cholesterol is from diet. 80% is made in the liver. So I figure that if I become vegan I could actually get down to a close-to-normal range. But who wants to be a vegan, especially since being on Paleo i sleep better, think better, improved skin, better digestive systems, no bloating, optimal weight, blah, blah... The focus needs to be on fixing the liver to produce less cholesterol as i feel confident that diet alone isn't going to be the solution for me..:)

7b91be6e22d4e2960f40935e306bdee5

(245)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Keep me in the loop too guys, if you figure out the HDL thing. Hoping this is just "it takes time", I've been trying for 6+ months, I know Jack has been going longer.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:53 PM

hi findlay. yes I am very familiar with mary enig and her work. thanks for the compliment. i've been lifting weights for over a year solid now. seach "share your paleo before and after" for a whole lot of really cool success stories from folks here. :)

Dd1f2bbed93f5502fc44663a0f6b0c79

(95)

on November 22, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Cheers Jack. Good to see we are "related"...:) I'm determined also to figure this out. In a booked called "know your fats" by Mary Enig, she suggests that we've been led down the dark path by the Pharma's to consume carbs. So with eating carbs for 20+ years to gain weight and keep cholesterol down, my body has become programmed to metabolize carbs for energy. So changing to Paleo, the body needs to adjust to metabolize fats. Mary said to eat high fat so that the liver produces less. But this takes time... Your profile pic looks good - what program are you on? Anything special?

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2 Answers

1
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Great stuff -- thanks for sharing. Allow me to chime in.

Results over time:

Oct 2009 Results (while taking 40 mg/d of prescribed statin for hypercholesterolemia, diagnosed about 15 yrs ago)

Total Cholesterol: 243 Triglycerides (basically, blood sugar): 278 HDL (so-called "good" cholesterol): 55 LDL ("bad" cholesterol): 132

April 2011 (shile still taking 40 mg of statin, but 3 months into CrossFit training and ~2 mos on paleo diet 80%+)

Ttl Cholesterol: 191 ("reference levels" indicate <200) Trig: 163 (ref. levels 0-149) HDL: 60 (ref. >39) LDL: 98 (ref. <100)

Nov 2011 (w/ 2 mos of NO statin -- just stopped taking it -- and 7 more months of CF training and paleo diet)

Ttl Cholesterol: 278 Trig: 86 (good improvement, but I've heard that 45 is optimal) HDL: 84 (this is great, imo) LDL: 177 (significant increase...?? fish oil?? eggs?? too much almond butter?) Vit D: 29.3 (ref. 32-100) Insulin: 3.5 (good, by ref. standards 2.6-24.9) Hemoglobin: 5.6 (on the high end of reference average -- 4.8-5.6)

Big takeaways to me are the big jump in "good" cholesterol level and that Vit D is still deficient! -- imagine what it was before I started taking it about a month ago! Also, first time I've ever seen my HDL:Triglyceride ratio close to 1:1, which I've heard is considered optimal.

So, as I read the results, my total cholesterol comes out "high" because of the LDL levels. What GP's don't go into is that, just like there's "good" and "bad" types of cholesterol, there are good and bad forms of the LDL type. In a nutshell, there's a "bad" form, that is like small, compact globs, and a "good" form that is puffy. I guess I need to look into the cost of having a particle density test done to determine my ratio of good:bad LDL. In other words, a person could actually have a high "total" cholesterol level, as measured by standard blood tests, but not be at risk, possibly.

Since going paleo, I have brought back a lot of things to my regular diet that I had been limiting severely for years -- such as eggs (yum!), red meat, and "good" fats. I've cut out all grain-based stuff (breads, wheats, pasta, aside from the occasional cheat -- like Thai spring rolls...and steamed white rice with Indian food...), cereals, oatmeal, granola -- all gone. As is all things soy, anything packaged (chips and other crappinabag) most dairy (still use cream in coffee and tea, and will pounce on cheese given the opportunity). Never had a real issue with sugar -- largely I think b/c I had the carb variety of the sweet tooth -- though I occasionally treat myself with Justin's Nut Butter. I've even dumped my beloved white potatoes in favor of sweet potatoes. And beans, another food love, are gone. On the exercise front, I religiously do CrossFit 4 nights/week. I've lost about 35 pounds (and 6 inches from my waist) since January -- and know that weight loss can often cause increase numbers, but most of the weight dropped early on, so I wonder if this is still a factor.

Bottomline is I'd like to be able to live happily sans any amount of statins. But I'd also like to know I'm not running around feeling like a 20 year old (I'll be 50 in Feb 2012) while inadvertently eating my way to disaster. I'd be grateful to hear any and all of your thoughts and feedback.

0
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on November 22, 2011
at 05:19 PM

findlay - some definite similarities between us. But it's nice to see that lowering trigs can produce pattern A LDL even with only 41 HDL. Your TC/HDL ratio is almost identical to mine. Your diet is very similar to mine as well, as is your activity. I wouldn't be too concerned about your LDL, for several reasons. It's pattern A, you have low trigs, low VLDL, very low LP(a). Possibly whatever is keeping your HDL in the 40s range and your LDL in the high 100s range is the same as me. Seems like no matter what I try my HDL stays in the low 40s and LDL in high 100s.

I don't see a whole lot of concerns with your numbers... possibly just keep trying to solve the riddle of hampered HDL. Maybe together we can figure it out one day.

Dd1f2bbed93f5502fc44663a0f6b0c79

(95)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:09 PM

So here's another add-in to this. I've just read on Chris Masterjohn's blog that 20% of cholesterol is from diet. 80% is made in the liver. So I figure that if I become vegan I could actually get down to a close-to-normal range. But who wants to be a vegan, especially since being on Paleo i sleep better, think better, improved skin, better digestive systems, no bloating, optimal weight, blah, blah... The focus needs to be on fixing the liver to produce less cholesterol as i feel confident that diet alone isn't going to be the solution for me..:)

7b91be6e22d4e2960f40935e306bdee5

(245)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:18 PM

Hi findlay - I've been taking faish oil for 6+ weeks, it didn't seem to help. Maybe I got crappy fish oil, maybe I slacked off on exercising too much over the month prior to my last test (click my name for a few in depth threads). I've been doing crossfit for about 3 weeks now, I'll see what that does.

7b91be6e22d4e2960f40935e306bdee5

(245)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Keep me in the loop too guys, if you figure out the HDL thing. Hoping this is just "it takes time", I've been trying for 6+ months, I know Jack has been going longer.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on November 22, 2011
at 07:53 PM

hi findlay. yes I am very familiar with mary enig and her work. thanks for the compliment. i've been lifting weights for over a year solid now. seach "share your paleo before and after" for a whole lot of really cool success stories from folks here. :)

Dd1f2bbed93f5502fc44663a0f6b0c79

(95)

on November 22, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Cheers Jack. Good to see we are "related"...:) I'm determined also to figure this out. In a booked called "know your fats" by Mary Enig, she suggests that we've been led down the dark path by the Pharma's to consume carbs. So with eating carbs for 20+ years to gain weight and keep cholesterol down, my body has become programmed to metabolize carbs for energy. So changing to Paleo, the body needs to adjust to metabolize fats. Mary said to eat high fat so that the liver produces less. But this takes time... Your profile pic looks good - what program are you on? Anything special?

Dd1f2bbed93f5502fc44663a0f6b0c79

(95)

on November 22, 2011
at 08:14 PM

@berger. My HDL goes up with exercise and fish oil. Fish oil being a very good anti-inflammatory. I also leaned that coconut oil reduces LDL and increases HDL. This I will include in my next 8 week test to see what impact it makes... cheer

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