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  • paleoii
    started a topic LDLC of 8.9 mmol/L. Should I be concerned?

    LDLC of 8.9 mmol/L. Should I be concerned?

    Hello everyone.

    I've been doing low-carb/paleo for about a year, although not consistently until about 6 months ago.

    I eat lots of meat, some vegetables, and lots of saturated/mono fats (coconut, butter, olive oil, duck fat, etc.) and recently incorporated intermittent fasting into my routine, which was actually surprisingly effective. I also eat a ton of eggs, anywhere from 3 to 6 per day. I do not eat PUFAs unless I'm at a social event and don't really have a choice (besides not eating anything).

    To be honest, I feel terrific. Energy levels, mood, libido all working well with no complaints. And I'm actually able to fit back into my old clothes which had been getting a bit tight.

    However, at the behest of my family, I recently got my cholestoral levels checked and the LDLC came back at a whopping 8.9 mmol/L, well above the normal limit of 3.5. I have no idea if this is the "fluffy" type of LDL or small "bullet" type. HDLC at 1.35 mmol/L.

    Do I have reason to be concerned?

  • WestCoastFire
    replied
    If hypothyroidism is linked to CVD, then I wonder how that places into both D3 and K2. One cannot have atherosclerosis if there is no hardening of material in the arterial walls. Calcium is what causes all the junk to harden together, and the reason calcium ends up in the arterial walls is because it's not being deposited in the appropriate places (bones and teeth), and this is something that K2 does. K2 also pulls it from the places it shouldn't be like arteries.

    So I'm curious then, is there a direct correlation between hypothyroidism and a deficiency in K2? It's estimated that most of the population is deficient in K2 (though I'm not sure how researchers assume this considering K2 isn't realistically testable in humans). K2 is also primarily found in fatty foods, and there is no real evidence that K1 (found in plants) converts to K2 in the liver as all tests on that have been done on animals which have very different gut flora and enzymes.

    I'm just spit balling here, but we do know 2 things at least: The general population is still under the impression that calorie restriction is "good", and people still think they should avoid fat. So we have a perfect storm here of slowing down the thyroid (calorie restriction), and K2 deficiency (avoiding fat). You can still fix hypothyroidism by eating a ton of carbs w/ low fat, but that doesn't fix the possible K2 deficiency by avoiding fat.

    Now the problem trying to find studies on this, is one will always find conflicting studies on whether HCLF causes CVD or HFLC causes CVD. But here is one from NCBI about dietary intake of K2 and it's effects on arterial calcification: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566462/

    The study is long I know, so I'll just highlight a couple of points in there:

    "Adequate intake of vitamin K2 has been shown to lower the risk of vascular damage because it activates MGP, which inhibits calcium from depositing in the vessel walls. Hence, calcium is available for multiple other roles in the body, leaving the arteries healthy and flexible"

    "However, vitamin K deficiency results in inadequate activation of MGP, which greatly impairs the process of calcium removal and increases the risk of calcification of the blood vessels"

    "The population-based Rotterdam study studied 4807 healthy men and women older than age 55 years, evaluating the relationship between dietary intake of vitamin K and aortic calcification, heart disease, and all-cause mortality.10 The study revealed that high dietary intake of vitamin K2—at least 32 mcg per day, with no intake of vitamin K1, was associated with a 50% reduction in death from cardiovascular issues related to arterial calcification and a 25% reduction in all-cause mortality."

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  • Elliot
    replied
    Originally posted by sharperhawk View Post

    Can you point me to an overview of the theory?
    I think Broda Barnes said it best. You can find at least one of his books, in its entirety, online. That being said, here are some of the highlights:

    In animal experiments, things that affect thyroid hormones affect atherosclerosis.
    Hypothyroidism raises cholesterol, which explains the classic correlation.
    Hypothyroidism also weakens the immune system. In a society without antibiotics, hypothyroid people tend to die of infection before heart disease has a chance to kill them, which explains why heart disease is not a killer in "older" societies. Antibiotics indirectly allow heart disease.
    Diabetes causes hypothyroidism, which explains why diabetes causes heart disease.
    The method of diagnosing hypothyroidism was changed, such that only about 5% of people now qualify, while previously as much as 40% of the population might have been hypothyroid. This explains why heart disease is so much more common than hypothyroidism officially is.
    Broda Barnes essentially eliminated heart disease among his patients by prescribing thyroid hormones.

    Leave a comment:


  • sharperhawk
    replied
    Originally posted by Elliot View Post
    I think hypothyroidism is the primary cause of CVD and this model explains the evidence very well
    Can you point me to an overview of the theory?

    Leave a comment:


  • Elliot
    replied
    I think hypothyroidism is the primary cause of CVD and this model explains the evidence very well

    Leave a comment:


  • Neckhammer
    replied
    Originally posted by sharperhawk View Post
    As a point of reference, below are total cholesterol averages from modern hunter-gatherers and other peoples that eat traditional diets. TC isn't very useful, but note that these TC values are lower than what many people here report for their LDL-C. The OP's LDL-C (8.9 mmol/l = 344 mg/dl) is triple the TC of some of these tribes.

    From Eaton SB, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49. [Download full paper.]
    Ah, but when I said I look at healthy societies, I look at how they live.....not their cholesterol levels. I don't consider an RCT or an epidemiological study with "cholesterol levels" as end point even remotely useful. Mortality and quality of life are what interest me.

    Some of those super low values have been attributed to poor collection and storage, some to poor health and parasitic infection, and NONE are due to putting statins in the water supply . Of those tribes with more normal values you must understand that you are still only looking at the mean number, which means there are quite likely some individuals within that society with cholesterol as high as our op. I'd like to see a mortality breakdown of these tribal peoples plotted against cholesterol level for fun and see if it matches our own higher cholesterol = lower mortality charts.

    I did find a bit of useful information regarding these HG values here though http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/07...ter-gatherers/

    For instance the bushman collections they note

    In all cases the samples were stored for weeks or months before being measured far from the place they were drawn – a thousand miles away in Cape Town in the case of Truswell & Hansen. Because the region lacked electricity, it was impossible to keep the samples frozen and difficult to keep them cool. In Miller’s case, the method is described as “difficult.”

    We concluded from the study of Eskimos by Corcoran and Rabinowitch 1937 (Serum Cholesterol Among the Eskimos and Inuit, July 1) that stale samples preserved for a long journey and then measured by the method of Abell can produce false, low cholesterol readings. That may have happened also in the case of the three San investigators.

    By the 1990s, sample and measurement techniques were greatly improved. Here are the methods used in a 1992 paper by Tichelaar et al [26]:

    The Tichelaar sample of Bushmen had an average age of 29. Their plasma fatty acids were relatively good: omega-6 fatty acid levels were far below those of South African whites (9.3% vs 24.4%), and they had the highest EPA:AA ratio among the African groups. However, they drank 2 to 4 liters per day of home-brewed beer, and “vegetable and fruit consumption is little to none at all.” [26] No specific health statistics are given, but Tichelaar indicate that the infectious disease burden was high:


    I only quoted a couple of items, but a couple things are quite relevant to me. One is that collection and storage techniques where not advanced enough to produce reliable results. By the time they where these tribes are much in transition and not eating in accordance with their heritage any longer.
    Mean age of person collected is 29. That will certainly make the resultant numbers different than a higher mean age.
    Infectious disease burden high.....well....parasitic and other infectious processes certainly may be at play.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 02-05-2017, 09:04 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • sharperhawk
    replied
    As a point of reference, below are total cholesterol averages from modern hunter-gatherers and other peoples that eat traditional diets. TC isn't very useful, but note that these TC values are lower than what many people here report for their LDL-C. The OP's LDL-C (8.9 mmol/l = 344 mg/dl) is triple the TC of some of these tribes.



    From Eaton SB, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49. [Download full paper.]

    Leave a comment:


  • Neckhammer
    replied
    Originally posted by paleoii View Post

    So he says, "Statins are not only among the most effective drugs ever created (have saved more lives than anything but antibiotics and vaccines) but are also among the safest."

    This contradicts what I have regularly read in low-carb centric literature where other experts claim that statins are among the most dangerous drugs ever created.

    So which "expert" should I trust in this case?

    And then we have paleo-critics who advocate consumption of PUFAs for reduction of cholestoral, another no-no in low-carb/paleo circles.

    I believe our differences of opinion are based in how we weight the evidence and our personal health philosophy.

    Since I know myself best I'll use me as an example

    Weight of evidence: I very much appreciate a well done RCT with mortality as its end point, however these are quite rare. I am also very skeptical of most drug trials and "science" surrounding their proposed benefits. I'm not a conspiracy theorist.....just a realist....see here
    http://www.collective-evolution.com/...ture-is-false/
    So when I wheigh the evidence in diet I do it through an evolutionary lens. I look for heathy traditional societies and epidemiological data that is congruent with proposed biochemical mechanisms. I place those above many RCTs of dubious quality and even more questionable integrity in many instances.

    Health phylosophy: I believe that in general 90 plus percent of the population not born with an inherent hard wired genetic disorder where born to be vibrant and healthy as long as there is no interference to their innate capacity for health by either excess toxicity or insufficient substrate in physical, mental or chemical form. In other words...think, move, and eat in a matter congruent with your human status and you express health.

    I certainly disagree with Dr. Dayspring on the safety of statins and their supposed improvement in societal health. The numbers just don't match such claims....as posted earlier.

    Leave a comment:


  • paleoii
    replied
    Originally posted by JBean View Post
    Here's a discussion of just this issue by Thomas Dayspring, MD who is a researcher and clinical lipidologist (i.e. Not just some guy on the internet!!). You can skip down to page 12 for a summary and his recommendations:

    https://www.lecturepad.org/dayspring...icsCase291.pdf
    So he says, "Statins are not only among the most effective drugs ever created (have saved more lives than anything but antibiotics and vaccines) but are also among the safest."

    This contradicts what I have regularly read in low-carb centric literature where other experts claim that statins are among the most dangerous drugs ever created.

    So which "expert" should I trust in this case?

    And then we have paleo-critics who advocate consumption of PUFAs for reduction of cholestoral, another no-no in low-carb/paleo circles.

    Leave a comment:


  • Neckhammer
    replied
    Originally posted by Artbuc View Post
    Yes, I take a functional approach.....so it's not surprising to see the similarities.

    The report by Dr. Daysprings is interesting, and he does state repeatedly that there are circumstances for which there is insufficient trials of evidence to make a claim one way or another. One of those instances is low carb/high fat and high lipids with normal labs in all other areas. All we have here is epidemiology.

    Frankly, if you have the time and capacity to evaluate the current data points and you decide for yourself that you are uncomfortable with elevated ldl panel, then I much rather see someone reduce saturated fat than go on statins. I would highly recommend addressing the factors I already stated first though, as they are more likely to address root cause.

    Leave a comment:


  • Artbuc
    replied
    This is timely https://chriskresser.com/functional-...h-cholesterol/

    Leave a comment:


  • JBean
    replied
    Yes, admittedly, I am looking for reasons/excuses to continue my lifestyle/diet despite my high LDLC. I did state that I looked and felt amazing since doing paleo with IF. So why would I want to stop unless it was absolutely necessary.
    You can find individual studies that do or don't support your beliefs, but you have to look at the method of the study, weigh its conclusions vs. the bulk of remaining studies, think about trial endpoints, etc. That's not impossible for a non-subject matter expert, but it's not easy. Deciding that you can throw away forty or fifty years worth of work for one study of questionable quality that comes to the conclusion that you wanted, though, is probably not advisable.

    However Dr. Dayspring and Mr. Neckhammer share a point. If you aren't going to treat your cholesterol, then don't bother to test it.

    Leave a comment:


  • KimLean125byMar15
    replied
    Originally posted by JBean View Post
    Here's a discussion of just this issue by Thomas Dayspring, MD who is a researcher and clinical lipidologist (i.e. Not just some guy on the internet!!). You can skip down to page 12 for a summary and his recommendations:

    https://www.lecturepad.org/dayspring...icsCase291.pdf
    Yeah, that's an interesting case and discussion.

    The patient's labs in a nutshell go from normal, to very high risk and then back to normal after making modifications.

    Before paleo -> During paleo -> Still paleo but with less fats

    TC: 196 -> 323 -> 178
    LDL-C: 105 -> 230 -> 92
    HDL-C: 75 -> 83 -> 82
    Triglycerides (TG): 78 -> 49 -> 21
    Total LDL-P: n/a -> 2643 -> 948


    The dietary advice was to cut back on saturated fat and use more MUFA and PUFA without increasing carbs. After doing just that for a few months the patient reports: “"The only modifications I've made because of my high lipids are eating steel cut oats regularly, adding chia seeds to my diet, and eating apples regularly (to increase fiber levels); cutting out most dairy; and watching my saturated fat intake a little more closely--all aimed at getting my high LDL-P down." Weight has remained stable.”

    So, no meds, just some simple changes to her diet with such great results. And a complete contradiction to strange statements such as this one:

    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
    My recommendation would be DO NOT put all your stock in cholesterol levels, even advanced panels. They tell you little and give zero data that is actionable. Steps taken JUST to lower cholesterol are useless at best and usually quite harmful.
    lol
    Last edited by KimLean125byMar15; 02-03-2017, 09:12 PM.

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  • paleoii
    replied
    Originally posted by Artbuc View Post

    I would describe Kim as being pro-health as opposed to anti-Paleo. What action, if any, do you suggest OP take to reduce cholesterol?
    I would suggest the majority of people on this forum are pro-health, but it still would be good to know one's position on Mark Sisson's lifestyle and diet choice to put their comments into context. But that's ok. I think in this case, we can read between the lines.

    Anyway, here is an article stating a recent study which apparently shows no correlation (and, in fact, an inverse correlation if anything) between LDLC and heart disease:
    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/06June/P...t-disease.aspx

    Yes, admittedly, I am looking for reasons/excuses to continue my lifestyle/diet despite my high LDLC. I did state that I looked and felt amazing since doing paleo with IF. So why would I want to stop unless it was absolutely necessary.
    Last edited by paleoii; 02-03-2017, 03:44 PM.

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  • WestCoastFire
    replied
    I've posted this before but I firmly believe now that CVD is not related to (or originated from) cholesterol or any other awry lipid panels. I think it has to do with the synergistic relationship between Calcium, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin K2.

    Calcium is regulated in a very narrow range in the blood which leads me to believe it's very difficult to be either calcium deficient or toxic on a blood test. Vitamin D3 we ultimately get from sunlight, but supplements are available for D3, I know I'm taking one right now. D3 pulls calcium in the blood and gets it ready for transport and helps with absorption. K2 is what delivers the calcium to the places it belongs (bones and teeth), but K2 also has another role, removing calcium from places it shouldn't be (arteries, kidney stones, gallstones).

    CVD is essentially the build up of crap in the arteries but ultimately it gets hardened by calcium that shouldn't be there. It's also believed that a large chunk of the population is K2 deficient. K2 comes primarily from fatty sources: Fatty meat, fatty fish, high fat dairy, eggs, cheese, etc.. things we are generally told to avoid. K2 is also found in Natto but that usually isn't an option for people due to the rancid smell and taste. Natto also happens to be the richest source. Some people believe K1 gets converted to K2 in the liver (which probably holds a bit of truth), K1 comes from plants, but then again, all studies showing that conversion have been done on animals which have very different gut flora and enzymes. There is also no way to really test K2 in humans efficiently, so we can't tell if the conversion of K1 to K2 even happens or if it happens at the scale we need it.

    This can be a by-product of a broken metabolism, because if your metabolism is broken, then likely you're vitamin/mineral deficient or out of balance, which means that one is likely lacking K2.

    Here are a few links on it:
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...r-disease.aspx
    http://vitamink2.org/?benefit=vitamin-k2-heart-health
    http://vitamink2.org/cardiologists-n...t-bone-health/

    OP, maybe simply adding a K2 supplement to the diet may level out things?

    Leave a comment:

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