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Old 03-29-2013, 03:39 PM   #1
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help me naturally improve my lipid profile

So... I had some tests done maybe six weeks ago that didn't turn out well at all. The thing that I want to work on is my lipids because I would really rather not go on statins and I'm not sure I have the confidence to fight my doctor on this given my other health issues (if I were not a type I and if I didn't have some measure of kidney damage already, I'd probably just tell him that I wasn't afraid of a little cholesterol, but I am really unsure of whether I believe that cholesterol is a friend to my kidneys). The doc did say that he thinks it's reasonable to let this go a while and see if it gets better after having continued with HF/LC for a while.

So these were my numbers:
-- LDL 134 (used to always be low, docs want it below 70)
-- HDL 43 (used to always be high, like 85, WTH???)
-- triglycerides 87 (so, fine, which is good bc this is probably the most important number imo)

I'm having blood tests again in about 3 1/2 months. Since these labs were done, I have started taking fish oil (kirkland brand, 4 a day for a total of 1200 mg omega-3s) and fermented cod liver oil (1/2 t/day of greener pastures blue ice). I've also been eating a whole avocado almost every day (and I DO NOT ENJOY avocados! lol) and salmon several days a week. And most days I have some almonds. I have also started walking just about every day.

I was regularly eating kerrygold butter and nutiva coconut oil, but I'm a little scared to now. But I'm also scared to not eat them bc I do believe they're healthy foods. What do you all think???

Is there anything that you'd add? Does anyone have advice regarding the fish oil brand? I just picked up the stuff from costco bc it was easy, but maybe there's a better brand?

Does anyone know about taking niacin? It's supposed to bring LDL down, but I think it can be toxic. Maybe it's something to look into.

Also, I am actively losing and I know that that can cause your HDL to go down, not sure how it affects LDL. Does anyone know? Has anyone had their cholesterol wacky only to right itself again after reaching goal?
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
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Can you request an NMR test? The VAP test and the normal lipid test only counts cholesterol numbers, not lipoprotein numbers, which it estimates from the total cholesterol and can be way off. It might give you a better idea of your risk.

There was just a paper on a big study out in I think NEJM that showed that niacin does not do anything for heart disease or heart attack prevention.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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Just to share from my own experience.

I used to take fish oil, and I'd read the Carlson's brand is the 'purest.' I also take their Vit. D3. Did you have the D3 checked? Most people are low, and low D3 can negatively affect your lipids.

My own experience with coconut oil may be unique, but it's something to consider. I'm hypothyroid, and when my endo checks my hormone level every 4 months, he always includes a lipid panel and some other lab values as well.

Several years ago, I began using coconut oil (mainly because of the hype about its wonders), substituting it for my usual EVOO. I happened to have begun using it right after one of my check ups. Four months later, my LDL was up 50 points, and my endo asked if I'd made any dietary changes. I thought immediately of the coconut oil, and he advised me to stop using it. I did--and 4 months later, my LDL was down those exact 50 points, so it obviously was the coconut oil.

When I told my cardiologist about this, he told me to stay away from CO because any specific food that can affect my lipids that dramatically should be avoided.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
I was regularly eating kerrygold butter and nutiva coconut oil, but I'm a little scared to now. But I'm also scared to not eat them bc I do believe they're healthy foods. What do you all think???
my doc also believes triglycerides number is most important.

For me.... I completely stopped taking the coconut oil. I increased my fiber, and my LDL went from 183 to 114....doc wants it under 100....

Along with taking other supplements, I also added two raw cloves of minced garlic to my evening meal. Husband complains about it
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:32 PM   #5
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triglycerides typically go down when LDL-C goes up, this is because as your LDL carries more cholesterol, it carries less triglycerides. Triglycerides are very large molecules. However, there isn't really a direct connection between the amount of LDL particles and the number of triglycerides. When you have more smaller/denser LDL particles, they carry less cholesterol because they are smaller, so your LDL-c (ldl cholesterol) actually goes DOWN even though your LDL-p (particle number, number of lipoproteins) goes UP. The number of lipoproteins is more significant because the more LDL lipoproteins you have in your serum, the more likely it is for them to become lodged into knicks in your arteries, cause inflammation response, and hardening, and then cause clots that lead to infarction (heart attack). The LDL-c number really isn't very telling, and this is becoming more and more apparent as more and more people with seemingly LOW LDL-c are dropping dead from heart attacks, including a very dear cousin of mine who had PERFECT cholesterol numbers, was fit, but ate a lot of carbs. He was at very low to no risk for a heart attack according to the standard numbers. When you are on a low carb/high fat diet, it tends to shift your total cholesterol numbers and their correlation to actual LDL particles because it lowers the number of LDL particles and raises the number of cholesterol. So the standard calculations to estimate LDL particles from the number of cholesterol is innacurate, up to 75% or so, I can't remember exactly.

Statins may lower your total cholesterol and LDL lipoproteins, however, you actually need some of these for basic bodily functioning. Lipoproteins are vessels that are the only way your body has to transport hydrophobic molecules from one place to the other, ie, fatty acids and other important molecules that cannot go through the bloodstream, which is hydrophilic and mostly water. So, you need to have all lipoproteins. Even VLDL and chylomicrons have a function within the body as they transport cholesterol from the gut to the liver for reprocessing, so you don't want to get rid of all of them.

You might also have a very high LDL number and very low chance of heart disease because you just do not have as much corrosive material flowing through your vessels (ie, high blood glucose). The actual mechanism for how LDL gets lodged inside arterial walls is mostly UNKNOWN. The mechanism for the inflammatory response and hardening is not known very well, either. However, we do know that if you a) have high blood sugar and b) have a high inflammatory response (due to high insulin) and c) have high LDL-PARTICLES in your serum, you are at a high risk for artherosclerosis infarction. People still drop dead with excellent "numbers," which is why there is such a high need for a better biomarker and why many researchers are looking into alternative inflammatory markers in addition to LDL-p. And people live very long lives with "terrible" numbers and have no apparent heart disease.

In short, the NMR is the most accurate test as of today for predicting risk for heart attacks. Statins have never been shown to reduce the rate of heart disease among large populations.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:38 AM   #6
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I want to second what creseis said!! I will say regarding my lipids, I always test high for LDL's. However, the larger the particles, the better, from what I understand, and mine are large. In addition, I follow closely what my insulin level and CRP levels are as they are indicative of inflammation and I think inflammation (chronic and systemic) is what drives disease. If those levels are GOOD, then you need to be less worried, imo, about your cholesterol. I feel, based on what I've read, that cholesterol problems are a downstream issue meaning they are a reaction to another issue in the body that is causing inflammation...again, that word. I think the key is to fix the inflammation problem whether that be through diet/exercise or some other intervention. Sometimes, a body has been 'abused' for so long it can never be completely 'fixed'. Therefore, modern medicine can help as in the case of using Metformin for insulin resistance, thyroid meds for low/high thyroid, etc. It sounds as if you are doing many, many good things!! I would like to add that weight lifting can REALLY help decrease inflammation and possibly positively affect your lipids. Best wishes!!
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:01 AM   #7
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Actually the size of LDL doesn't matter, it's the total number--recently many studies have shown that size doesn't matter
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:04 AM   #8
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I strongly recommend reading Peter Attia's blog on cholesterol--it's long, but there are excellent and easy to understand descriptions of how artherosclerosis works and the common thoughts on cholesterol. He also posted a lecture he did at UCD that is great.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:07 PM   #9
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Creseis! Seriously??? I swear the info seems to change daily! I will go back and read Peter's blog...it has been awhile. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:17 PM   #10
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OMG, you guys! I thought I hadn't posted this post! lol Like I wrote it all out and maybe walked away from my computer w/o hitting post. I guess it got moved to this other subforum and then was off the first page of the lobby... well, you see what happened. Anyhow, I just saw it when I went to change my siggy, but haven't read it yet.... will come back after the kids are bathed and etc...
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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Creseis! Seriously??? I swear the info seems to change daily! I will go back and read Peter's blog...it has been awhile. Thanks!
I think the real answer is, "we don't know." !! The studies that have been done seem more inconclusive as to whether LDL particle size can be used as a biomarker, and the studies are all based on statistics. I guess the idea is that if the LDL you are creating is smaller and denser, you can be creating more of it or have a higher concentration of LDL particles, which will contribute more LDL cholesterol into the arterial walls once they are lodged in there. Also, the initial thinking was that the smaller LDL particles were more likely to become lodged, but statistically it doesn't seem to work that way. It seems as though the more studies that are done, the more the biomarkers appear to fall apart, but that is how science works
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:52 AM   #12
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I think the real answer is, "we don't know." !! The studies that have been done seem more inconclusive as to whether LDL particle size can be used as a biomarker, and the studies are all based on statistics. I guess the idea is that if the LDL you are creating is smaller and denser, you can be creating more of it or have a higher concentration of LDL particles, which will contribute more LDL cholesterol into the arterial walls once they are lodged in there. Also, the initial thinking was that the smaller LDL particles were more likely to become lodged, but statistically it doesn't seem to work that way. It seems as though the more studies that are done, the more the biomarkers appear to fall apart, but that is how science works
Thanks! I went back and read Peter's blog, and I came away still sort of confused....well, except the 'we don't know' part...maybe it's just that I don't like that answer! LOL! Anyway, my guess is that decreasing inflammation and insulin in the body (sort of goes hand in hand, I think) would go a long way towards 'fixing' cholesterol problems. I also think high cholesterol readings are more of an indicator that something ELSE is wrong in the body...a symptom, if you will. Additionally, I hypothesize that there isn't a one-size-fits-all number of correct cholesterol for every person. So, that's what I got from reading his blog! LOL!
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Old 04-07-2013, 05:18 AM   #13
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I am a simple soul To me, when this many tests have been run and produced this many contradictory answers. When the answers don't make sense, I suspect we are still asking the wrong questions.
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