Three months after going paleo, more than two years ago, my cholesterol started rising - particularly the LDL level with triglycerides remaining low and HDL varying but generally being nice and high. I have a cholesterol meter and check my levels weekly and have done so for the past three years. I also have a regular lab test two or three times a year. I'm 130lbs, 15% bf. ApoE 3/3
Over the past year I've varied the various ratios of fats in my diet to try and reduce the LDL all to no avail. I've increased protein intake from 15% of my diet to 25% which has reduced the fat percentage but again with almost no change in LDL levels.
A couple of days ago I happened to notice one lab test reading from fifteen months ago where the LDL level was 177 (4.6) whereas the two readings either side were 289 (7.4) and 220 (5.7). Since I keep a daily food record I checked to see if there was something particularly significant about my diet the day before the lab test. There was! I'd consumed almost 1 gram of cholesterol the day before the test.
I then checked my diet for each day prior to the cholesterol tests and sure enough, on 6 occasions when I'd eaten more than my average amount of cholesterol (300-400mg), the following day's LDL level was far lower.
To check this theory I've now done the following with my n=1 experiment :
Last Saturday (28 Apr) cholesterol intake : 585mg (from 2 eggs, beef, salmon, butter) LDL next day : 241 (6.26)
Thursday (3 May) cholesterol intake : 1080mg (2.5 eggs, 2oz beef liver, 2 oz beef kidney, cheese) LDL next day : 171 (4.43)
A 30% reduction in LDL - bringing my Total Cholesterol to a fairly "normal" 244 (6.33) for the first time in almost two years.
I'm due lab tests and a full medical in the coming week or two and will see if I get similar results.
If anyone else with elevated LDL is interested in giving this a try then I'd be very interested to hear the results.
Incidentally, I had a full thyroid panel recently as I was hoping to discover this to be the cause of the LDL elevation however all my levels came back fine. Also, Hs-CRP 0.4, ESR 6, Lp(a) 9 .
asked byMarcPH (1533)
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on May 25, 2012
at 03:52 PM
After much searching I believe I've found the reason/science behind my results - I've now had 5 similar results with LDL being consistently 30% or greater below my levels over the past two years.
The following explanation comes from P186-187 of Mary Enig's "Know Your Fats" :
"What about dietary cholesterol? Feeding dietary cholesterol raises serum cholesterol in healthy normal people whose cholesterol levels are low and lowers serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemics whose cholesterol levels are high. . In some individuals whose serum cholesterol levels are high, there is some overproduction that is turned off when dietary cholesterol is consumed: this results in the same levels of serum cholesterol or sometimes a reduction of serum cholesterol."
Seems that my liver was consistently producing far too much cholesterol, possibly due to increased saturate fat intake (including coconut oil). I've reduced the saturated fat, increased monounsaturated fat and added a few eggs or liver each day.
I'm grateful, after almost two years of elevated lipids, to have found a dietary solution to the problem. LDL reduced from 260 (6.7) to 170 (4.4).
on May 07, 2012
at 12:40 PM
If you don't have familial hypercholesterolemia, and you're eating a healthy balanced diet of natural whole foods, why are you so fixated on lab values that don't really say anything about your state of health?
on July 03, 2013
at 07:33 PM
Dave, was wondering if your LDL has remained low in conjunction with increased dietary cholesterol intake. Thanks!
on May 25, 2012
at 05:49 PM
You kinda compared a diet of muscle meat with a diet with organs. Put that into cron-o-meter, and I think you'll agree it's not just the cholesterol. You might have some issues with copper, addressed by eating liver.
on June 13, 2013
at 07:26 PM
Really interested as I am in a similar situation. Are you still getting the same results with increased cholesterol intake? Would love to hear any updates. Thanks
on June 05, 2013
at 04:27 AM
Cholesterol meter? What's that? Can I get it in Canada? I just had my blood result and my LDL jumped from 3.7 to 5 and my HDL rose, too . My doctor is alarmed saying that I have the cholesterol of a 70-year old! I just had a skin cholesterol done 2 months ago and it was excellent at just below 5.
So I'd like to test it for myself at various times. How does this meter work?
on January 20, 2013
at 01:17 AM
Anybody have experience with high LP-PLA2 test results (as it relates to inflammation)? My recent Lp-PLA2 was 242, with HDL 65 and LDL 154/ total cholesterol of 242, triglycerides 105
on June 18, 2012
at 06:02 PM
I am surprised that diet can change LDL in only 1-2 days. See this link below for some info on this point: http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2011/11/friday-is-my-bad-day.html
Are you measuring real LDL or using Friedewald formula for calculating it from TC, HDL etc? The best way to measure LDL is LDL particle number. Have you ever tried it? (NMR Lipoprofile) Also, do you now your ApoE Phenotype e.g. E3/E3 or E3/E4? 23andme checks it, so you can find it in your 23andme file.
Also check the links below. You may find them related to your question.
http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2010/04/carbohydrates-and-ldl.html http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2009/12/small-ldl-perfect-index-of-carbohydrate-intake.html http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2011/10/unforgiving-small-ldl-particles.html
on June 18, 2012
at 05:45 AM
Dave, it seems you have some fairly uncommon genetic disorder called Familial Hypercholesterolemia, For the sake of your health I would advise seeing a doctor, rather than just doing home experiments which may help for the short run, but may cause a multitude of problems in the long term.
on May 30, 2012
at 06:00 PM
@ed Thanks for the links - I wasn't aware of either of them. Did you watch the video I linked to above - I found it interesting even if it's only n=1. I think my problem will turn out to be a genetic one. However since only a relatively small numer of genes have yet been identified which indicate the likelihood of FH it will probably be a while before I find out. I tested with 23andme and, with the current information, am likely to have "slightly" higher than "normal" LDL and HDL.
Prior to me discovering the changes brought on by increasing cholesterol my LDL readings were taken weekly :LDL 247,239,227,216,247,237,251,241 (8 weeks prior). Since increasing my dietary cholesterol intake LDL:171,174,170,184,163 (most recent).
The CardiochekPA is often used in drugstores and for testing by GP's in their practices. In the UK is is recommended by the NHS. I've found that it ties in fairly accurately with lab test results even at the extremes of the ranges i.e. TC:400. My results were from test strips in two different batches.
I've eaten only 400mg of cholesterol today - I'll run a test in the morning and post the results tomorrow to see how they compare with today's.
Thanks for you input - it's much appreciated!
on May 30, 2012
at 04:47 PM
I didn't realize how sensitive the cholesterol tests were to daily fluctuations in food intake.
Have you been following the cholesterol series on Attia's site? Enig's explanation doesnt sit too well with my current understanding of cholesterol synthesis, absorption and trafficking in serum. Are there any references for Enig's statement? I'm interested, because I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject lately.
My current understanding based in part on reading background materials provided on Attia's blog (lecturepad.org is a good resource). Increasing dietary cholesterol intake typically has very modest impact on serum cholesterol. The primary reason is that only a small fraction of dietary cholesterol can be absorbed in the gut because it needs to be free cholesterol and the vast majority of cholesterol in food is esterified; and even then, this dietary cholesterol competes with endogenous pools of cholesterol that are put into the gut via bile acids during digestion. But assuming that you are a hyperabsorber (there is significant population variation), this would in fact increase the sterol content of the liver.
So if you absorbed more dietary cholesterol, your liver might not need to produce as much. But since the half life of LDL particle is approx 3 days; it seems like it would take longer than overnight to have serum LDL-C concentrations be impacted by a dietary change.
But since you are a frequent tester, perhaps you know a lot better. I'm curious... how much weekly variation are you seeing in your LDL (289, 177, 220?) and is this something related to real measurements or the testing kit that you use?
on May 07, 2012
at 07:40 AM
It seems like following a consistent diet would be a better test...
on May 31, 2012
at 06:51 AM
Eat less meat. Meat is only source of dietary cholesterol. You are risking heart disease. I suggest your read "engine 2 diet" . By rip esseystyn. The meat is giving you high cholesterol. Im not a vegan but I reduced cholesterol by eating less meat and more plants. A lean chicken breast has same amount cholesterol as steak.