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Old 10-03-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
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Cholesterol levels with a low carb diet

Has anyone found that their cholesterol levels increased or decreased after following a low carb diet?

I assume that as I lose weight, my cholesterol levels will come down, since my cholesterol seems to be due to my genetics, not my diet.

Just wondering what other people's experiences with this are.

Jodie
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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I haven't had mine checked before/after a loss so I can't add anything personal, but you may find this article very helpful for what happens to your numbers during a weight loss process. They will improve as your weight settles though.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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My dh has high cholesterol as does everyone in his family, even the really skinny ones. He just had his cholesterol checked after doing lc for 2 months and his total cholesterol was 171. He has never been this low in his adult life. It is really working for him.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:36 AM   #4
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Thanks Clabbergirl and joelle. Interesting article Clabbergirl.

Jodie
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:25 PM   #5
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Mine went up... total was below 200 prior to LC. After LC it's been as high as 260, but I had it checked last week and it's currently 243. My HDL is 102 though, so though the total is high, my Doc says I'm fine (based on the ratio of HDL/Total cholesterol).
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #6
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I just posted a similar question at the other board "cholesterpl and heart" I've just been diagnosed with high cholesterol. I always thought(read) that if you stick to the low carb diet that it would lower your cholesterol levels.

I'm going to try the fish oil supplement first. But, next to changing my low carb diet, which I don't want to do, is there anything that I can do to lower my levels??
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:31 PM   #7
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Jodieleigh, I'm going to assume you're female from your photo and your name. Bear in mind that high cholesterol has only been linked with heart disease in men. High cholesterol in women has a neutral or even protective effect on our health outcomes in every study that has been done comparing genders, including the Framingham Heart Study. Our doctors have been told that cholesterol is a concern for everyone and that everyone should lower their cholesterol; this is in fact simply not true.

If a woman has very very high cholesterol and she's not eating a lot of sugars and starches, I would look at her family (is it a familial thing?) or her liver health as high cholesterol like that could be an indication of something wrong with the liver.

There's more. Cholesterol is treated as though it in itself was a disease. Instead, cholesterol is an indicator of disease status. If it is excessively high or excessively low, it is an indicator that something else is wrong in the body. This can be corroborated if you look at the effects of statins. In clinical trial after clinical trial it has been demonstrated (to the point where ALL statins are marketed with the disclaimer that they will not necessarily prevent a heart attack) that lowering your cholesterol levels is not associated with a decrease in heart attacks and that statin users have higher rates of death from all causes than non-statin users with similar cholesterol levels. The statins improve their cholesterol numbers on paper, but they don't correct the underlying problem which is causing cholesterol levels to rise in the first place.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #8
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I can only speak from my personal experience. In 2008, prior to starting LC, my numbers were as follows:

Total Cholesterol -- 191
Triglycerides -- 289
HDL -- 27
LDL Calc -- 106

In August of this year, after eating LC for 2 years, my numbers were:

Total Cholesterol -- 165
Triglycerides -- 54
HDL -- 54
LDL Calc -- 100

My HDL -- the good cholesterol -- DOUBLED.

My triglycerides decreased by more than 500%.

With the exception of a couple of handfuls of planned cheats over the course of two years, I have not consumed grain, starch or sugar at all and have significantly increased my intake of Omega 3s through use of pastured butter, cod liver oil, flax and chia seeds.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:49 PM   #9
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Errihu - very informative. Thank you. It does seem to run in my family, and combined with my type 2 diabetes, it's something my doctor is monitoring fairly closely.

LAGirl - that triglyceride drop is amazing!
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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My numbers have never been "bad". Right in the middle of losing 60lbs I was tested my numbers were even better and ratio perfect I thought numbers would be high. After 20 more lbs gone my numbers are EVEN BETTER!
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #11
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The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr. Kendrick is an excellent book on the subject.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #12
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Just to chime in, the most important thing to have tested is your C-Reactive Protein. This is your true indicator of disease. The cholesterol is just a repair mechanism.

HDL notoriously raises with low carb and believe it or not, it's the saturated fat doing this. Reducing the carbohydrate reduces the triglycerides naturally.

Every single person should be taking fish oil supplements particularly if your diet is not 100% grass fed, pastured and wild caught. Your omega 3:6 fatty acid balance is related to all of this conversation.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:13 AM   #13
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After losing 20+ plus lbs I increased my fat intake by introducing hwc & coconut oil to my diet. My cholesterol went up 80 points. I think you have to moderate your diet according to what works for you. I'm hoping moderating the fat somewhat will bring my numbers back down.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:04 AM   #14
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Mine is awesome! I hadn't had it checked for about 10 years and then it was high, the bad one.
Now the good one is above average and the bad one is very low. The drs love it!
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:19 AM   #15
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Before beginning LC, my total cholesterol was borderline high. My LDL & triglycerides were both high. My HDL was low.

After being on LC for about 2 months, the numbers were even worse. My total went from about 200 to 257. All the others rose also, even the HDL.

Another 2 months, total cholesterol was 201, triglycerides were 150 (both borderline high). LDL was still high, but not as high as before. HDL rose some, but still low.

Haven't had tests done since then, but it is going in the right direction.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:47 AM   #16
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Keep in mind when you're low carbing, you're burning fat.

"Energy stored as fat, especially from visceral fat stores, is mobilized into the bloodstream. It floods the bloodstream as fatty acids and triglycerides.

Increased triglycerides–An increase in triglycerides, for instance, from 90 mg/dl to 200 mg/dl in the midst of weight loss is common.

Reduced HDL–The flood of triglycerides leads to increased degradation of HDL, thus a drop. A drop in HDL from, say, 40 mg/dl to 27 mg/dl–very frightening to people–is exceptionally common."

And lastly...

"So why don’t doctors often recognize these patterns when a patient loses weight? Because they rarely see it. Most of my colleagues are accustomed to having patients come back with weight gain, getting heavier and heavier each time." - Dr. William Davis
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