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Old 03-24-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Why did my LDL go up?!

My Blood test done in January of 2011:

Canadian Results
HDL Cholesterol 1.08 MMOL/L
Cholesterol: 3.17
Triglycerides 0.44
LDL Cholesterol: 1.89
Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: 2.94

My Recent blood test from last week (March 2012)

HDL Cholesterol 1.12MMOL/L
Triglycerides: 0.88
LDL Cholesterol: 2.80


My LDL is still within the healthy range, but it went up an entire point and Im trying to figure out why. I havent done anything different except add virgin coconut oil to my diet, and also avocados and butter.

Did these 3 things raise my LDL by a point in just 1.5 years?!
I thought coconut oil was supposed to lower LDL and raise HDL... doesnt seem to have done much for me
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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I can only share my experience. Coconut oil raised my LDL significantly within 4 months. That's how often I get a lipid panel because I'm hypothyroid, and my endo checks me every 4 months.

A few years ago, I began using coconut oil as my major fat (for cooking, etc.) right after one of my regular blood tests. Four months later, my LDL (which had been stable for some time) was up 40 points. My endo immediately asked me if I had made any dietary changes, and I remembered the coconut oil. He told me to stop using it. Four months later, my LDL was back down those 40 points.

Everyone may not react the way I did, but it was clear that the coconut oil was the problem for me.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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Good to know Im not alone!

Was it virgin coconut oil you were using? Thats what Ive been using!
All my research online indicates that its supposed to be raising HDL and LOWERING LDL. It seems to have done the direct opposite?!
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Yes, I was using Nutiva virgin coconut oil.

I suspect that a lot of the 'hype' about coconut oil is promoted by its vendors. Whenever people here quote its great benefits, I notice that they are often quoting from some site that promotes it rather than a true medical or scientific site.

It's become a fad among the weigh-loss crowd--but apart from raising my LDL, I noticed no other benefits during the 4 months I used it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Leo,
just curious, but when you tested your LDL, did it tell you small vs large particle size?

Is is possible your particle size was the fat, fluffy kind?

This conversation has piqued my curiosity
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:59 AM   #6
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My LDL was tested a year later with the VAP, and I have 100% the large, fluffy kind--Pattern A. [It was not measured at the time I was using CO.]

However, despite that fact, which people here refer to as 'good,' both my endo and my cardiologist say that the LDL [even Pattern A] should always be within range, and anything that elevates LDL is bad for you.

My HDL is typically 90-110, so I'm not worried about my cholesterol, but any food item that so instantly and dramatically raises my LDL is something I choose to avoid.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Thanks Leo.
HDL is awesome

What LDL number did the endo and cardio doc say was ideal? I believe Dr W. Davis said 60.

I noticed my LDL was up about 20 points last lipid panel; just the regular test. I had a lot of coconut oil prior.

Will be interesting my next test as I did a VAP and cut out a lot of Coconut oil myself.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:11 AM   #8
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They don't have an 'ideal' LDL number--they just want it within the lab range.

My endo's lab uses a range of 60-100 for LDL, but labs differ in their ranges, so I doubt that there's a universal number.

I understand that for diabetics, they want the LDL even lower, but I'm not sure by how much. I'm not diabetic.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:21 AM   #9
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Thanks Leo. I appreciate you sharing.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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Leo,
I just rcvd my VAP. My LDL dropped 44 points. But my HDL dropped along with it.
Seems like I cannot win for losing!

I didn't give up coconut oil as a whole but cut way back. Maybe there were remnants in my blood even at testing. I wonder how long it takes to get it out of the system.

I also tried something as an experiment. I gave up almost all my supplements of fish oil, vit D and niacin. Well some of the numbers were a smidge out of 'range" so perhaps there is something to the pills. I think I will go back on them for a year and see what next year brings.

I go see my doc in a couple of weeks but she is not VAP savvy. I think she will look at the standard main stream numbers like total cholesterol, Trigs, LDL and HDL. All of them fine. At least I won't have to hear here say "comeback and test in 3 months" like last time. I didn't test however. lol


S

PS: Most important ratio is LDL into HDL...at least I think so. lol - Mine was 2.3 - Anything under 4.4 is ideal. Phew!~

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:04 AM   #11
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I found fish oil very helpful and Vit D3 supplementation is essential for me; I don't know why you stopped them.

I've always had a very high HDL, and my doctors all say that's a good genetic inheritance (I guess to counteract the slow metabolism that's also genetic:-)

When I had my VAP test, my endo said that he wasn't surprised that my LDL is 100% Pattern A (the good kind) because in his experience, patients with a high HDL (mine is consistently 90-110) and low trigs (always <60) will have Pattern A LDL.

So without a VAP test, you can see if you fit the pattern.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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I stopped my vits too see my real walking around numbers. My pattern size has been pattern A for years. But I have been low carbing for years.lol

I am glad for your HDL! After I stopped the coconut oil, my HDL and LDL dropped.

Do you have any experience with MCT oil?

I have an appt with a real low carb advocate doc next month. I am excited too see what he says.

Another supplement I took and am now back to is the niacin. I think the combo works. But I wanted to see for myself.

I also had my calcium heart score scan according to Dr W. Davis at Track Your Plaque and happy to have a zero score.

Well wishes!
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #13
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"Another supplement I took and am now back to is the niacin."

I just bought some non flush Niacin and reading last night I find that may not be helpful in lowering LDL/Trigs - taking it back to exchange for the regular. What doseage are you starting with if I may ask?
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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"Another supplement I took and am now back to is the niacin."

I just bought some non flush Niacin and reading last night I find that may not be helpful in lowering LDL/Trigs - taking it back to exchange for the regular. What doseage are you starting with if I may ask?
From what i have read - and of course there are some who do not agree - non flush is not effective. I also take slow niacin but will eventually go to the regular as it is supposed to better for your liver.

So I started out with 250 per day. A week later up to 500 a day. I was told to get to 1500 a day as I get older ( almost 49).
I read mostly Dr William Davis heartscan blog. I was a paid member for a long time and had some one on one communication with him. This was his recommendation.

Also, he suggested "oil based" vit D and a good dose of fish oil that has a high number of EPA/DHA at the end of the day

PS: I have taken the regular niacin and thought I was going to die of pain .lol - some serious stuff! It takes time to get used to it. Water was suggested with each pill.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:31 AM   #15
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Thanks for that great insight! I've just received my lab results and am SO happy with the lipid portion - 3.5 ratio (I read that was the perfect ratio - is that true? - not lower?) The HDL rose to 61 (from 50) - LDL is at 125 (UP - had been 93) and Triglyceride is 150 (from 225.) Those Tris have been as high as 288 before. The total cholesterol is now 216 (I have a VAP test scheduled) from 188 - but the ratio is better - had been 3.8 before, and that was better than the 4.3 or whatever before. So LC and CO is doing pretty well by me. The only issue now that trouble me is for the FIRST time EVER my glucose is 110 (A1c scheduled) I guess that may be due to age (56) BMI (too high) and inactivity - I'm worked on all three. I just wonder why now and not before in regard to the high glucose reading. Again thank you very much for the good Niacin and Vit D info!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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Wonderful improvement all around! As far as a perfect ratio, not sure, but a safe ratio for sure!

So lets talk about the glucose. That was in a fasting state?

I know Dr Davis more and more is encouraging people to test their numbers after each meal to see what effects them and to stay under a hundred ( I think, don't quote me.lol)

It may help to get the testers and keep a simple journal of what foods trigger what.

You are on a wonderful path!

PS: I go see a low carb doctor next month. I will post some of his replies to foods. I am curios about dairy - what is the limit for most. And of course, I want to eat more fats without the fear of a doctors ignorance and pushing statins. lol

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Old 04-17-2012, 02:03 PM   #17
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Wonderful improvement all around! As far as a perfect ratio, not sure, but a safe ratio for sure!

So lets talk about the glucose. That was in a fasting state?

I know Dr Davis more and more is encouraging people to test their numbers after each meal to see what effects them and to stay under a hundred ( I think, don't quote me.lol)

It may help to get the testers and keep a simple journal of what foods trigger what.

You are on a wonderful path!

PS: I go see a low carb doctor next month. I will post some of his replies to foods. I am curios about dairy - what is the limit for most. And of course, I want to eat more fats without the fear of a doctors ignorance and pushing statins. lol
"for the FIRST time EVER my glucose is 110 (A1c scheduled) I guess that may be due to age (56) BMI (too high) and inactivity - I'm worked on all three." LOL! I meant to say - working on two of those.

Thanks Stevie for the reply I'd be very curious about what you'll find out at your appt. How did you find a DR. onboard with the LC WOE? Mine mentioned that portion control over LC was the better way to go - but then that must be the ole 'company line' you know? He seemed pleased and sorta surprised at the lipids improvement - as I was actually (had big hope - but ya never know.)

Yes, it was after a 12 hour fast. Prior #s had been 95 in October last year. Soooo needless to say - I'm not happy on that front. My DR. says to get the heart rate up to 140 for 20 minutes a day and that should take care of it. Gonna try that.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Ugh on the portion control over low carb - low carb (as you know.lol) equates to mostly unprocessed foods, good fats, nuts, berries, animal proteins,limited high fat dairy. Moderation & portion control are usually what docs say with a low fat diet.

I do agree with getting your heart rate up - 3 to 6 days a week is a good place to start. Mini trampoline, walking, biking, lap swimming. And of course throw in some resistant training. Getting a bit of cardio burns the glucose storage


I found the doctor on Jimmy Moore's web site - livin la vida low carb.
Maybe there is one in your part of town. Mine is about an hour a way which is fine by me.

Will revert the nuts and bolts of what he says at my visit. I read a review that he has a lot of low carb posters in his office so i hope he is the real deal.

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Old 04-17-2012, 04:42 PM   #19
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Your doctor is actually partially right--portion control AND low carb are important in controlling blood sugar.]

My sister is a Type 2 diabetic, and she discovered this from her regular testing. She can eat very low carb, but if her portions are too large, she will still get a spike in blood sugar. The only way to keep it stable is low carb eating with frequent small meals.

If you are concerned, I'd recommend you check out Dr. Richard Bernstein's website Diabetes Solution (he also has books). He is himself a diabetic, and he provides valuable information on using diet to control blood sugar.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #20
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My LDL was tested a year later with the VAP, and I have 100% the large, fluffy kind--Pattern A. [It was not measured at the time I was using CO.]

However, despite that fact, which people here refer to as 'good,' both my endo and my cardiologist say that the LDL [even Pattern A] should always be within range, and anything that elevates LDL is bad for you.

My HDL is typically 90-110, so I'm not worried about my cholesterol, but any food item that so instantly and dramatically raises my LDL is something I choose to avoid.
You should redo the VAP testing after several months on coconut oil. If that test continues to show all of the particles are Pattern A, then what is the harm in that? Most studies show that the problem is LDL under 25.5nm diameter, which is Pattern B. You have no proof that you increased your Pattern B at all.

Remember Coconut Oil is not supposed to lower lipids. It should increase lipids, but increase the "good ones". In your case I guess it did not affect HDL at all, and the increase might have come in the IDL (large particle LDL Pattern A).

What happened to your blood pressure when you were on the coconut oil? After a year on coconut oil what I have noticed is that my blood pressure has crashed. Whereas before I was measuring 130 over 82, a year later I am reading 113 over 67 consistently on the right side and 123 over 67 on the left side (my cardiologist says a 10 point right/left side variation is normal). Common sense tells us that if your lipid intake is resulting in additional plaque accumulation that your blood pressure will either go up or remain stable, not crash.

It's important to stress that I am tightly controlling my carbo intake. I limit fruits to under 25 grams per day, and all whole fruits not juice. I strictly avoid all grains, all liquid sugars (fructose, HFCS, and sucrose). I make my own chocolate from 100% cacao and mix in Stevia and Erythritol to sweeten.

It's important when conducting a high lipid diet experiment to control the sugar intake. Because the evidence starts to point to the idea that it is high carb intake (particularly fructose) that creates the largest numbers of small LDL particles. If you simply increase lipids and don't tightly control carbohydrates, you are simply pushing up your calorie intake and making the problem of carbo conversion to LDL even worse.
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Old 06-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #21
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I found fish oil very helpful and Vit D3 supplementation is essential for me; I don't know why you stopped them.

I've always had a very high HDL, and my doctors all say that's a good genetic inheritance (I guess to counteract the slow metabolism that's also genetic:-)

When I had my VAP test, my endo said that he wasn't surprised that my LDL is 100% Pattern A (the good kind) because in his experience, patients with a high HDL (mine is consistently 90-110) and low trigs (always <60) will have Pattern A LDL.

So without a VAP test, you can see if you fit the pattern.
You might find this study on high fat meals interesting:

Lipids in Health and Disease | Full text | High-fat meal effect on LDL, HDL, and VLDL particle size and number in the Genetics of Lipid-Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN): An interventional study

What happened to most patients is that the NUMBER of VLDL particles decreased during a high fat meal while total cholesterol in VLDL increased. Most of this was attributable to large particle VLDL storing extra cholesterol. There were also increases in HDL-C, particularly large particle HDL-C.

Keep in mind that study derived most of the fat in the meal from whipping cream, which is pure dairy fat. You would expect that Coconut Oil would have a more benign profile.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:21 AM   #22
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As I tried to explain in my original post, both my endo and cardiologist say that the notion that any high LDL is 'good' is mistaken. Even if it's 100% Pattern A, it should be within the lab limits.

The concern with CO (and this may just be my own body's reaction) is that any substance that can so immediately and dramatically raise LDL is considered 'bad' for that person.

I follow my doctors more than advice from the Internet, and my labs are all optimum without CO, so I see no reason to use it.

It may be healthy for others, but it's not good for me; I am just sharing my own experience, which is all any of us can do.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:36 AM   #23
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LDL HDL and Trig all way up

Same thing with me. I am very low carb and have had high HDL, low LDL and low triglycerides for years now. My doctors were thrilled.

After 3 months of using coconut oil, my total cholesterol went up 78 points to 276, my HDL went down 25 points, my LDL went up 100 points and triglycerides went up 14 points.

Not good news to me at all. The good was down and the bad was up. My experience with raw, unrefined coconut oil has not been a good one. My doctor said that she has seen this twice before.

I am going off the oil and will retest in 90 days. This was the only dietary change that I had made so I am confident that my numbers will return to my normal good ones.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:00 AM   #24
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Same thing with me. I am very low carb and have had high HDL, low LDL and low triglycerides for years now. My doctors were thrilled.

After 3 months of using coconut oil, my total cholesterol went up 78 points to 276, my HDL went down 25 points, my LDL went up 100 points and triglycerides went up 14 points.

Not good news to me at all. The good was down and the bad was up. My experience with raw, unrefined coconut oil has not been a good one. My doctor said that she has seen this twice before.

I am going off the oil and will retest in 90 days. This was the only dietary change that I had made so I am confident that my numbers will return to my normal good ones.
What is your sugar intake? Are you ingesting a lot of refined products that have sugar added? Do you eat grains like wheat (e.g., bread, pasta).
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:49 AM   #25
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I eat zero sugar. I eat red and white meat, eggs and green veggies. Very low carb. No pasta, grains, none of that stuff and I do not go off the plan. I do have some cheeses. I do not eat any of the LC bars or treats.

My cholesterol really shocked me and this is the only time any of these numbers have changed like this in over 8 years. All I did differently was add in the extra virgin, organic coconut oil to my diet. I used 1 - 2 tspd a day in coffee and I used it to cook with instead of my usual EVOO.

I have always eaten other saturated fats such as butter and cream and what is in meat.

I am glad that I caught this after just a few months. I know that in my case it has to be the coconut oil and maybe I was just using too much.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #26
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I eat zero sugar. I eat red and white meat, eggs and green veggies. Very low carb. No pasta, grains, none of that stuff and I do not go off the plan. I do have some cheeses. I do not eat any of the LC bars or treats.

My cholesterol really shocked me and this is the only time any of these numbers have changed like this in over 8 years. All I did differently was add in the extra virgin, organic coconut oil to my diet. I used 1 - 2 tspd a day in coffee and I used it to cook with instead of my usual EVOO.

I have always eaten other saturated fats such as butter and cream and what is in meat.

I am glad that I caught this after just a few months. I know that in my case it has to be the coconut oil and maybe I was just using too much.
Seems very unusual to get this result and I can't explain it.

One thing to consider is that the coconut oil might have pushed your calories above your baseline. It might be you are putting more fat into the bloodstream that isn't used for immediate energy. The result I am confused by however is why did your HDL come down. That makes no sense at all.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:29 PM   #27
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Well for the most part I was substituting one fat for another. CO instead of cream in my coffee and using it in place of EVOO for cooking. Whatever the reason, the coconut oil is not a good thing for me. I have never had my HDL this low and my LDL this high and it has only been about 3 months of me doing the switch.

I think the coconut oil will just be used as a facial cleanser from here on out.

My doctor said that she has seen this twice before and is going to do some research on coconut oil before my next visit.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:47 PM   #28
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Well for the most part I was substituting one fat for another. CO instead of cream in my coffee and using it in place of EVOO for cooking. Whatever the reason, the coconut oil is not a good thing for me. I have never had my HDL this low and my LDL this high and it has only been about 3 months of me doing the switch.

I think the coconut oil will just be used as a facial cleanser from here on out.

My doctor said that she has seen this twice before and is going to do some research on coconut oil before my next visit.
Since you were substituting one fat for another, did you do an actual measurement of how much saturated fat you were removing versus adding? Is it possible that you may have actually reduced your overall saturated fat intake?
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:29 PM   #29
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Since you were substituting one fat for another, did you do an actual measurement of how much saturated fat you were removing versus adding? Is it possible that you may have actually reduced your overall saturated fat intake?
I would use the same amount of the coconut oil as I had used with other fats so I would have been getting more saturated fats since there is more in coconut oil than in olive oil or in butter, etc.

Thanks, I will look for that Chris Kresser blog.

Since that particular saturated fat did not produce positive results for me, it is really no big deal. I was fine eating low carb for many years without it and will just alleviate it from my diet and I am sure my good numbers will return.

I will post back in 90 days to let everyone know.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #30
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I'm not sure why but some people do seem to see higher cholesterol after adding coconut oil. It does not happen with most people.

I've used coconut oil for years and it has never caused an increase.
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