Poor Cholesterol Numbers

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  • 3 Post By John.in.France
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Poor Cholesterol Numbers

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Old 09-18-2014, 19:54   #1
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Default Poor Cholesterol Numbers

So, I am about 7 months into my new low carb WOE and it has been a very positive change for me. My A1C is slowly coming down, I've lost 50 pounds and my nerve pain has slightly improved. So imagine my surprise when I went in for a full blood work-up and physical and my doc told me I have VERY high cholesterol!

I am aware of the assertion that weight loss can free up fatty acids which enter the bloodstream and temporarily raise cholesterol. I'm also aware of the fact that TC and LDL numbers are poor indicators of cardiovascular risk. However, I've been low carb a while and any temporary increase should have subsided by now. Also, I had an ApoB test which is a much better indicator of cardio risk and my score was 118, definitely high risk. Perhaps if I had not had the ApoB I would be less concerned, as ApoB measures the small more dangerous particles.

For camparison my numbers 12 months ago (before low carb):
TC: 154
Tri: 81
HDL: 50
LDL: 88
VLDL: 16

And now:
TC: 244
Tri: 69
HDL: 56
LDL: 188
VLDL: 14
APoB: 118

I will try to improve my gut flora with pre and pro-biotics because this may help clear cholesterol from the blood, but if this doesn't work I am stumped. Any suggestions to strike a balance between lowering glucose and maintain a lower cholesterol level?

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Old 09-18-2014, 20:04   #2
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Are you still losing weight? If you are that will distort your cholesterol numbers.

But - let's look at the important numbers.
  • HDL - that has gone up. Good!
  • Triglycerides - that has gone down. Good!
The LDL number is a calculation based on a 1970s sample of folk with very high triglycerides and heart disease. Do you fit that population?

As you know the significance of total cholesterol as indicative of heart disease doesn't really have much supporting evidence (real evidence that is!), so I would not be particularly concerned with your numbers that don't look that different to mine.

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Old 09-18-2014, 20:21   #3
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Seven months is not long enough. It took me two years for my cholesterol to improve overall and for the large fluffy particles to emerge. I wouldn't put much store in the APoB number so early in the game.

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Old 09-18-2014, 20:31   #4
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I don't see anything to worry about. Tg:Hdl ratio is a bit over 1. Less than 2 is ideal. With Hdl over 60 you're great. Losing weight skews Lipids anyway Sent from my iPhone

Edit: oops. Was backwards on values, but 59 is close enough to 60 right? Lol
You're still good.

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Last edited by David Burke; 09-18-2014 at 20:39.
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Old 09-18-2014, 20:49   #5
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It looks fine to me too. i'd say you are in transition and that sort of profile is to be expected. And, it did take a couple of years for mine to settle down.

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Old 09-18-2014, 22:49   #6
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Your numbers do not look bad, HDL/trig ratio is good. The recommended numbers have been lowered over the year for cholesterol, BP, and probably for other things checked too. Is the reason because it improves health or profit margin?

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Think I've had this since 2003. Told I was Type 2 lean on 2/13/12.
a1c 8.8 (8/2011) 5.2 (02/2020)
TC 183 LDL 102 HDL 65 TG 52 (02/20/2020)
Supplemental vitamins and electrolytes
65 YY Love the LCHF diet. The cheese goes well with my whine

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Old 09-19-2014, 00:23   #7
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Give it more time, you are still early on with this. Just don't let the dr scare you into a statin!

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Old 09-19-2014, 07:55   #8
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Thanks for responding, I agree that I am still fairly "new" to this WOE and I believe my body is going through some serous changes and adjustments. I hope that if I give it time my numbers will come back to normal. However, heart disease runs in my family and I cannot help but be nervous about the ApoB number. Every low carb source I can find (Dr Attia, Chris Kessler, etc) say a high ApoB is a real problem. So, I think I will try the Berberine my doc suggested for my blood sugar. Ironically it has been shown to seriously lower cholesterol as well as blood sugar. I've avoided it because of Jenny Ruhls blog. But since I only intend to use it in the short term I believe it's worth trying. Don't worry I never intend to take a statin!

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Old 09-19-2014, 08:21   #9
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Originally Posted by alylocarb View Post
Any suggestions to strike a balance between lowering glucose and maintain a lower cholesterol level?
Your numbers look quite OK to me as all the others have said.
Also time is important. Be patient. The lipids take a longer time to respond to LCHF.

If you are overtly concerned about LDL clearance. That happens in the liver and the thyroid hormones play an important role in that process. If your thyroids are normal, hang on. If not think of hormonal therapy. Another substance that helps is Vitamin E. It helps in reducing the oxidation as far as the fats are concerned.

Finally, your ApoB number is within range (55-140). It is pertinent to remember that each non-HDL particle (so called bad Chol) carries 4-5 ApoB proteins. With the increase in LDL that increase in ApoB is to be expected. But if the LDL is large, fluffy, buoyant & therefore benign, there is nothing to worry about.
Conversely, each HDL particle carries a single ApoA1 protein. So if that has also increased your ApoB/ApoA1 ratio would have come down. And that is good news. Keep it under 1.0 but the lower the better (safer).

Keep up with the LCHF and let the body's wisdom decide what it wants to keep low or high.

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Last edited by skb; 09-19-2014 at 14:18.
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