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Sugarlvr 08-19-2003 09:32 AM

cholesterol has gotten bad since Atkins
I'm very upset , prior to starting Atkins a year ago my cholesterol was normal. I just got the results from my blood work taken a week ago and my cholesterol is 289, ldl 214, hdl 63, tri 61 and ratio was 4.6 :( The doctor was puzzled as to why it had gone from being very good to very bad while on Atkins.. he usually puts people on Atkins for high cholesterol. He's puzzled, Im upset.. do I quit? My body may not like this woe? I am not on ANY meds and wHEN I went in a week ago it was to have my thyroid checked and he decided to run a series of tests on hormones, thyroid, cortisol, chem panel etc etc... everything came back normal except for the cholesterol levels.. his biggest concern was the ldl and the ratio... I just want to give up :(

Dana114 08-19-2003 09:35 AM

Sugarlvr, how much weight have you lost on Atkins? Have often have you cheated on Atkins? What was your ratio before Atkins?

mariepk 08-19-2003 09:36 AM

How long have you been on Atkins. I am not an expert but I think the blood work wont show good effects for at least 6 months?

LooksLikePaul 08-19-2003 09:50 AM

Don't be discouraged. There's a lot more to that number than most people realize.

You say your cholesterol was normal last year. What were the numbers? Normal at 200? Or at 240? The numbers keep changing and apparently it's due more to $$ for the statin manufacturers than any legitimate health concern. I'm just saying that a bump from 240 to 289 is not a big deal, especially since our TG's are only 61.

The other thing is that you haven't been tested since last year. When did you start Atkins? To be really fair, you nee to be tested right before you start Atkins. Additionally, sometimes it takes 6 months or longer to get the LDL down on Atkins. An initial increase in the first few months is not unusual.

Also, there are two types of LDL, type A (good) and type B (bad). Unless your test breaks down the LDL then you have no way of knowing whether it's a good thing or not. There's a national company that advertizes a "VAP" test that does this breakdown:


My bet would be that if you've been on Atkins and not cheating with sugary snacks, then your LDL is predominantly type A.

Your HDL is awesome, as are your TG's.

Finally, there is no study I'm aware of that shows that a female with a cholesterol level of 200, 240 or even 289 has an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Unless your Dr. can show you one, then stop worrying about that number.

Oh, and labs that do cholesterol testing are notorious for making mistakes.

My cholesterol went from an all-time high of 210 down to 162. There are so many others here with similar results.

Hang in there. I know you'll be happy that you did.

Sugarlvr 08-19-2003 09:55 AM

I've gone from 204 to 163 since last September.. In the past year I've probably had 1-2 cheat meals per month and it wasnt usually the "whole" meal, just a tortilla w/ dinner or chips and salsa at a mexican restaraunt. My weight loss has been slow, thats why I wanted my thyroid tested. Also, I dont exersize, not at all... when I had it checked last year I was alot more active.. now, I sit around most of the day. I've also been eating ALOT of red meat, almost twice a day and sometimes three.... could that be it?

Sugarlvr 08-19-2003 10:04 AM


I had my cholesterol checked (w/ a bunch of other tests) about 2 months prior to starting Atkins last year after having my gallbladder removed. My total cholesterol was 180 , ldl 119 and hdl 30. Thanks for your post, it has given me some great info and reasured me a little. My doctor believes in Atkins, and actually recomends it to his patients who have high cholesterol. I just dont understand why my ratio would go up like that... :confused: I have to have it re-checked in 2 months and I am praying it was a lab error

LooksLikePaul 08-19-2003 10:04 AM

So you've lost 41 pounds in about 11 months. That's great!

Short answer on the red meat: No.

But, you can do better by trading in fish once or twice a week.

Exercise is great for lowering LDL and raising HDL. Can you do something at home or join a gym nearby?

Fish oil or flax seed oil helps, too. I prefer Carlson's lemon flavored cod liver oil to get my Omega 3's. Fresh ground flax seeds on a salad is good for the fiber, lignons and omega 3's, too.

LooksLikePaul 08-19-2003 10:12 AM


Originally posted by Sugarlvr

I had my cholesterol checked (w/ a bunch of other tests) about 2 months prior to starting Atkins last year after having my gallbladder removed. My total cholesterol was 180 , ldl 119 and hdl 30. Thanks for your post, it has given me some great info and reasured me a little. My doctor believes in Atkins, and actually recomends it to his patients who have high cholesterol. I just dont understand why my ratio would go up like that... :confused: I have to have it re-checked in 2 months and I am praying it was a lab error

So this tells me you have actually had some great improvements.

By the above numbers I know that your TG's used to be 155. Now your TG's are 61. Tremendous!

Your HDL used to be only 30. That's terrible. Now your HDL is 69! Fantastic!

I'm not a Dr. But good things are happening with your body, imo. My lay opinion is:

Insist on that VAP test.

Start exercising 4-6 times a week. Cardio and some weights.

Substitute fresh, wild fish 1-2 times a week.

Add in 1-2 Tbs. a day of cod liver oil or flax seed oil with your vitamins.

Sugarlvr 08-19-2003 10:16 AM


Great idea about the flaxseed/omega-3's. I have no excuse for not working out.. Im just lazy , but I feel that may be part of the problem here so I will just have to push myself to do it. I dont think I will even need to "push" myself because I am so scared right now. I'm going to sit down tonight and plan my food for the week so I can get more fish and vegetables in. I hope all this works..

08-19-2003 10:17 AM

It is very likely the red meat that has taken your HDL from 30 to 63. That's a good thing. But, like anything, food choices can be overdone from time to time. Try mixing up your protein a bit. Instead of red meat two or three times a day, cut it back to once (if that) and eat chicken, eggs, cheese, and fish, too.

The fact that your cholesterol was lower when you were "more active" compared to now when you aren't oughta tell you something -- you need to get your rear in gear!!

If I were you, I would exhaust every "non-drug" possibility before allowing them to put you on statins. Your triglycerides and HDL are just fine.

Sugarlvr 08-19-2003 10:23 AM

Lookslikepaul and Rebecca,

Thanks for the info and reasurance, I needed to hear that.. I am going to try what you suggested and stop worrying. Like you said Rebecca, I think the lack of exersize has alot to do with it and my big 'ole rear will definately be getting in gear :)

Thanks again :)

KastaDiva 08-19-2003 10:46 AM


I'm going to cut and paste a compilation of cholesterol info I've posted over a period of time. It's long, because there's no way it can be short on a topic like this!

I have been focusing my research on dietary fat and blood fat. What I've been reading lately really has opened my eyes a lot! I've recently read Know Your Fats, by Mary Enig, PhD; The Cholesterol Myths, by Uffe Ravnskov, MD; The Cholesterol Controversy (pub 1973), by Robert Pinckney, MD; The Cholesterol Conspiracy (pub 1991 and 1993), by Russell L. Smith, PhD.

There are NO CONCLUSIVE studies that show animal fat causes heart disease. There are NO CONCLUSIVE studies that show elevated cholesterol causes heart disease. All the hype has it's beginnings in the food industry....margarine and shortening manufacturers wanted people to start using their products, and so they began an advertising campaign to scare people about butter, tallow and lard. The lies were repeated so often they took on the facade of truth. And, in the late 60s, early 70s, a senate hearing decided on the issue using junk science as it's basis, and under pressure from food lobbyists.

And also, even if a health condition that is a "marker" for health disease, such as elevated cholesterol or high triglycerides, a marker is not causal...a marker is not necessarily the cause
of the disease. It is often seen in conjunction with a disease, but not necessarily the cause of the disease. This is another area the "health experts" get it messed up. I urge you to get these books from your local library:

Know Your Fats, by Mary G. Enig, PhD

The Cholesterol Myths, by Uffe Ravnskov, MD

The Cholesterol Controversy, by Edward Pinckney, MD

The Cholesterol Conspiracy, by Russell Smith, PhD

Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, by Broda O. Barnes, MD

Here are some web sites you might find interesting:

http://www.westonaprice.org/know_yo..._your_fats.html (Mary Enig's report, The Oiling of
America is especially interesting, but read all the articles listed here.)

The Cholesterol Myths

The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics

What if it's all been a big fat lie?

The soft science of dietary fat


MALCOLM KENDRICK, MD November 28, 2002


Find A Long-Term Study Showing That A High Cholesterol Or Saturated Fat Diet Has Any Impact

On Blood Cholesterol Levels In A Normal Healthy Population - Or Any Effect Whatsoever On The Rate Of Death From Coronary Heart Disease (The above URL is the first one in a 5 part series.)

Read about trans fats and it's danger to heart disease. Trans fats are found in margarines and shortening.

Egg yoke is a good source of lecithin. Lecithin lowers LDL and raises HDL...if one is still worried about cholesterol. Egg yokes are a good source of vit A and others I can't remember right now.

Saturated fatty acids, unlike polyunsaturated acids, have amazing properties. The caprylic acid in saturated fat kills yeast. The lauric acid in saturated fat kills viruses and bacteria.

Saturated fat is acts as a natural antioxidant. Polyunsaturated fat, on the other hand increases our need for antioxidants, because it causes free radicals by peroxidation. Polyunsaturated fats
cause our cells and tissue to age rapidly. There's just too much to say about this. I guess that's why there are books written on the subject.

Here is something from Enig's book to give perspective about dietary fat and cholesterol: blood volume in a person is 5-7 liters (50-70 dL). There is on average about 200 mg/dl of circulating
cholesterol, which is the eqivalent to 10,000 to 14,000 mg of circulating cholesterol. If one eats 400 mg of cholesterol a day, and it is absorbed 50% (which is all that is absorbed from dietary cholesterol), there is only the equivalent of 200 mg of cholesterol into that 10,000 to 14,000 mg already circulating in the blood. It can then be calculated that the 200 mg of absorbed dietary cholesterol will only increase total cholesterol from 200 to 203-204. This amount is so small it
can't even be accurately measured.

So, it seems to me, how can anyone even worry about their random cholesterol results if accuracy is so variable?! How can any doctor base a decision to prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs based on a random cholesterol result?! To me, this is just another nail in the coffin of cholesterol lies.

I posted this in a thread started by Bluesmoke...cholesterol wars:

pp 96-97 in The Cholesterol Myths, paraphrased: "Just the same as cholesterol, high trigyceride levels have been found to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease. But, should this mean we should lower our triglycerides to avoid heart disease? To properly answer this question, careful reading and a long answer is required. But, if you also understand the error of
the cholesterol hypothesis, then it's easy to understand that you do not need to bother about triglycerides. Even the most dedicated pushers of medical intervention admit the evidence for high triglycerides causing atherosclerosis and CVD is weak, even weaker than the cholesterol link. Therefore, if it is weak or nonexistant, why bother about triglycerides? skipping down....
Also, testing for triglycerides is very inaccurate and even the normal fasting levels are highly variable. If a test came back as 200 mg/dl, the actual level may be anything between 100 and 300. So the question is, since several factors affect triglyceride level (weight, activity level, smoking, etc) when researchers say high TG can predict increased risk for heart disease, isn't the real question whether the risk is caused by lifestyle, smoking, obesity, diabetes, mental
stress or even a risk factor we don't even know about yet? Because TG levels always increase after we eat, and we eat 3 meals a day, what good is it doing a fasting triglyceride level when triglyceride levels are elevated most of the time anyway."

what's wrong with cholesterol tests. Here is what I found in the book, The Cholesterol Conspiracy, by Russell Smith, PhD:

Paraphrased-- "The Accuracy of Cholesterol Tests

In 1958, serum from the same blood sample was sent to 5 different reputable labs. This was done with 3 separate samples. Lab results from the first sample ranged from 311 to 598. Second sample varied from 183 to 296; third sample ranged from 172 to 312. So the question is raised...has testing become better since 1958. The answer is no. In 1985, the College of American Pathologists sent to 5004 hospitals and labs a cholesterol sample with a known value of 262.6. Results from all of these reputable labs varied from 101 to 524, which is greatly worse than what was found in the tests in '58. Another recent study compared two common cholesterol testing instruments with the equipment of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. 377 samples were tested, which resulted in 13.5% and 20% differences from the 2 instruments with the NHLBI instrument. And yet another study was done with the Center for
Disease Control showed that 52% of 130 labs varied unacceptably from the average. Few labs can accurately measure the HDL. Compare these sophisticated, expensive instruments with the finger stick instruments increasingly being found in doctor's offices, and the results are even
worse. The two methods of checking cholesterol are chemical and enzymatic. The chemical method is much more expensive and complicated. The enzymatic method is cheaper and more simple. Most labs use the enzymatic method, and it is also the most grossly inaccurate. The 1988 CAP survey showed that nearly half of the nation's 15,000 private labs regularly give out inaccurate cholesterol results. And just about everyone, except doctors and the public, know that cholesterol testing is very poor. Yet despite knowing how inaccurate cholesterol tests are, the Alliance (NHLBI, AHA, and another medical group I forgot which one....) still insists that everyone be screened for cholesterol, and to be put on cholesterol lowering drugs.

Several factors can affect cholesterol results. Stress...being afraid of getting blood drawn, will affect results. How long the tourniquet is on the arm will affect results. How long the serum sits
on the blood cells affects results, or if the serum sits overnight in the fridge, will affect results. If the blood tube wasn't filled all the way affects results. The technique and precision of the person testing the serum sample affects results. And last, but not least, the equipment itself affects results. (end)

This book was published 10 years ago, and I don't know if testing methods have improved since then. I quit working in the lab in 1986, and at that time, testing was still done by methods
described above. So, it seems we should find out what method is used, to see if methodology has changed in the last 10 years.

One question you could ask your doctor...why didn't the farmers of a century and more ago die of heart attacks with their diet high in eggs, cream, bacon, ham, red meat, lard, tallow, etc. Heart attacks were unheard of until the early 1900s. You'll probably get some sort of answer
that people back then were harder workers, less sedentary, and they had less stress, cleaner air, etc. But, how can anyone say living in the 1700-1800s is less stressful than today? Disease was more rampant, life was uncertain, people were very poor, children died easily, there were
wars, starvation, etc. Life wasn't stressful back then?! How can one explain athletes in top form dying suddenly of heart attacks? People have smoked for centuries, but yet heart attacks only become common in the 1900s.

Recently, I found even more support against the cholesterol lies from an unexpected source....a book, Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, by Dr. Broda O. Barnes, MD. It was published in 1976. (Dr. Barnes is now dead...passed away in 1988, at age 82. Gosh, I sure wish he were still alive...I've got a ton of questions to ask him!) It was in the chapter titled Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease. I almost didn't read that chapter, and I'm glad I did. It was the best chapter in the book. I'll relay points I found interesting, but there's a lot more than I could write here.

You recall the Diet/Heart proponents say that death by heart attack has increased alot, and that during WWII, when people in Europe were forced to stop eating cholesterol/fat-rich foods,that the numbers of heart attack went down, but after the war was over, and people again started eating cholesterol/fat rich foods, death by heart attack once again started to rise. Because of this, it was "proof" that cholesterol and fat caused heart attacks. Well, Dr. Barnes, with another researcher, did a study of all causes of death, etc. What they found is that when death by tuberculosis went down after the advent of antibiotics, suddenly death by heart attack numbers rose. Before that, there were more deaths by tuberculosis, and it hit a lot of young people...people who didn't live long enough to develop heart disease. And also, during the
war, death by infectious diseases again rose. And just the fact that one ratio factor was lowered raised the ratio factor of another...tuberculosis and infectious diseases lowered, heart
attack raised. It had nothing to do with actual heart attacks being greater or reintroduction of "rich" foods again...just another cause of death being lowered. I hope this makes sense, how I report this.

Now about cholesterol. Cholesterol was discovered by a French chemist a couple of hundred years ago while studying gallstones. He named it cholesterol after the Greek word meaning "solid bile." We've learned that cholesterol is only found in animals and not plants. Altho some intermediate organisms might have cholesterol, such as the bacterium bacillus, a bacteria normally found in the intestines, bacteria, as a whole don't have cholesterol. This is important to note...that plants don't have cholesterol. In animals, cholesterol is not only found in cells,
but the cells actually have enzymes that synthesize cholesterol as needed. Like herbivore animals, people who eat a vegetarian diet get no cholesterol from food, but yet their bodies still
have serum cholesterol. If blood cholesterol gets too high, the body excretes it in bile. Any efforts in trying lower cholesterol will only be temporary, until cells manufacture it to restore the loss. He mentions an attempt to lower cholesterol by interfering with the synthesis of
cholesterol that resulted in blindness and death, but he doesn't identify the "study" or who was involved with this. It might be in the reference section, tho.

Here is where the cholesterol controversies start. In 1858, long before heart attacks were recognized, a Russian professor of pathology and father of current pathology, Rudolph Virchow, showed that when tissue degenerated, large amounts of cholesterol were released. Virchow clearly showed that cholesterol did not cause the damage but was instead released as a result of the damage. Dr. Enig also says this in her book, Know Your Fats.

Unfortunately, this knowledge was forgotten when another Russian scientist, N. Anitschkow, did an experiment on rabbits...feeding them high amounts of cholesterol, causing atherosclerotic lesions in the arteries. Remember above when I pointed out that plants do not have cholesterol. Rabbits are vegetarian, so cholesterol was not a natural part of their diet. They had no way of getting rid of cholesterol and so it built up in their bodies. Of course, at the time, objections were raised about Anitschkow's study. Other studies followed with animals in the lab being fed much greater amounts of cholesterol than they would eat in the wild (or outside of the lab.) Laboratory dogs had to have their blood cholesterol levels raised to 4000 and greater before atherosclerosis began to occur. Normal blood cholesterol in dogs is pretty close to that in humans. Atherosclerosis didn't occur in dogs with cholesterol levels 400 and below, which is closer to normal cholesterol levels.

Also, the formula (food) used to raise cholesterol in these lab animals was a bad choice. The formula was heat-dried egg yokes, and batches were made to last for weeks. (Eades said in PPLP that scrambling eggs is not a good way to eat eggs because of the heat and air damaging the fat
and cholesterol in the yoke.) The cholesterol was exposed to heat and air, which caused a chemical change to form other compounds, which were injurious to the arteries. The cholesterol found in normal food didn't cause this same problem. So, once again, it was discovered that cholesterol was released in response to an injury, but the injury occurred first, not the elevated cholesterol.

In normal tissue, cholesterol freely moves back and forth through the tissue lining. In damaged lining, cholesterol can move freely in to the lining, but not out through the lining, and this happens even when cholesterol values are normal.

In a recent (before 1976) experiment using heat-dried egg yoke, researchers noted injuries to the arteries just after only a few days of the animals eating the formula, well before serum cholesterol levels began to rise. So, it appears that it's not cholesterol that causes the cholesterol to rise, but rather damaged cholesterol that injures the arteries.

There is so much more, I can't possibly write it all here. He goes on to say that hypothyroidism is more likely the cause of heart attacks. He presents a very believable argument for this.

For all of you researcher types here on the board, get a copy of this book from the library.

Dr. Barnes also used low carb to treat the obesity in his thyroid patients. Not as low carb as say Atkins or Bernstein. His diet prevented ketosis, but he didn't believe ketosis was dangerous,
he wasn't opposed to ketosis, but he never says why he preferred to keep his patients out of ketosis. His chapter on obesity is very interesting, too. He demonstrates why a high protein diet is undesirable....it requires more thyroid hormone, which if one is already borderline low thyroid or undiagonsed hypothyroid, a high protein diet will make hypothyroidism worse. Because Barnes believed hypothyroidism is a cause of heart disease, anything that lowers thyroid hormone could contribute to heart disease. Instead, he had his patients do a high fat diet, and just enough carbs to prevent ketosis.

Excerpt from report:

"A team led by Antonio Gotto, past president of the American Heart Association, examined the 5-year histories of over 6,600 men and women between 45 and 73 years of age and found that blood levels of LDL cholesterol, according to Gotto, “didn’t predict MI risk at all.” Low HDL cholesterol levels which may be a better indicator of endothelial dysfunction, were found to be fairly good predictors of risk. 114 Seven years earlier, in 1993, in the same journal (Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association) Phillips et al. followed 335 patients with established atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. 140 Angiography was performed every two years over a four to six year period. Similar to Gotto’s findings, a decreased level of HDL was associated with progression of coronary atherosclerosis, but they found no such relation for the level of LDL. It should also be noted that LDL is not routinely measured but rather it is calculated using the Friedewald equation: LDL = total cholesterol _ HDL _ TG/5. From this you can see that as tryriglycerides (TG) drop, LDL automatically go up, but these are the larger, fluffy, buoyant, and the kind less likely to oxidize and cause problems. In fact, what is commonly regarded as LDL-cholesterol includes particles other than LDL. It is actually the sum of LDL plus Lp(a) and intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL). These are lipids plus protein molecules (lipoproteins) that some have associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis. Non-HDL cholesterol has been proposed to be a better predictor of CHD mortality especially in patients with type 2 diabetes. 141, 142"

Title: Cholesterol Levels Not Always Indicative Of Cardiac Health, Study Shows
URL: http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/18ABDA.htm
Doctor's Guide
March 3, 2000

From Diabetes in Control newsletter:


It is estimated that for every 1 mg/dl increase in HDL, the risk for a heart attack is reduced by 2% in man and at least 3% in women, regardless
of change in LDL cholesterol. It shows that even the slightest reduction in heart disease risk is worth the effort.

From my mom's recent cholesterol report: "HDL Cholesterol greater than or equal to 60 mg/dl is considered a "negative" risk factor, serving to remove one risk factor from the total count."

The New GI Tracts
For preventing heart disease, diets that control insulin are all the buzz

I think it was Dana114 that originally posted this:


The enclosed three paragraphs, which I wrote last week for the Weston A Price Foundation website to add to the "Oiling of America" article tells how the 200 mg/dl cutoff for serum cholesterol was decided back in 1984.

Mary Enig, PhD

Gary Taubes, a staff writer for Science wrote an article called "The Soft Science of Dietary Fat" for the 30 March 2001 issue of Science. He had reviewed all the available information on the demonization of dietary fat and the cholesterol issues and listened to the tapes of the 1984 Cholesterol Consensus Conference. He presented the graph which showed quite clearly that serum cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dl to 240 mg/dl were definitely in the normal cholesterol range for which there was no increased risk of heart mortality in males and even above 240 mg/dl there was a decrease in risk for women.

But what Gary Taubes didn't know was that there was a political decision being made on the
floor of the NIH (Building 10) Mazur Auditorium that day in December 1984. The decision would allow the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to have yet another even more extensive long-term "trial" to work on. The NHLBI could not get more money from Congress for more large trials such as the MRFIT or LRC and they were developing the National Cholesterol Education Program. With the cutoff number at the lower end of the normal range (200 mg/dl), they could include all of the healthy normal citizens in the range that would need treatment with diet, and since the diet would never work to permanently lower those normal levels (eg, 200 mg/dl to 240 or 260 mg/dl) to below 200 mg/dl, they could recommend that all these people should go onto cholesterol-lowering medications.

The three men who were heading the NHLBI (Cleeman, Lenfant, and Rifkin) were standing together in the Mazur Auditorium just before the Cholesterol Consensus Conference began. They were discussing the cutoff level of serum cholesterol to put into the consensus report. One said to the other two, "but we can't have the cutoff at 240 [mg/dl]; it has to be at 200 [mg/dl] or we won't have enough people to test." Several of us from the University of Maryland Department of Chemistry Lipids Research Group were standing directly behind
them and within clear earshot. We looked at each other and of course were not surprised when the final numbers came out. This small chat did not get onto the tapes that Taubes reviewed.

And finally, in Know Your Fats, Mary Enig says that cholesterol isn't acutally found in animal fat tissue...as in eating animal fat. Cholesterol is found in the LEAN tissue, because cholesterol is incorporated in the lean tissue when new cells are made. So, if you want to eat more cholesterol, eat LEAN protein!

So, what do we really know about how dangerous cholesterol or triglycerides are?! Studies that "conclusively" proved a link between cholesterol and heart disease don't prove that at all. And now it seems the link between triglycerides and heart disease is even weaker than the cholesteorl link. There's a lot more I could say about the cholesterol issue,but I don't want to turn this post into a book! Personally, I'm not going to worry about cholesterol or triglycerides. The case hasn't been proven to me! ;-)


Kysos 08-19-2003 11:06 AM

It is all about ratio's, and your ratio's have improved quite alot.

Total Cholesterol / HDL (the smaller the better under 4.0 is best)

Before 180/30 = 6.0
After 289/63 = 4.6 getting there

LDL / HDL (the smaller the better under 3.0 is best)

Before 119/30 = 4.0
After 214/63 = 3.4 getting there too

Your TG's are excellent, way to go.

Your numbers are improving, more weightloss or excersise will help them to get even better.

KastaDiva 08-19-2003 11:32 AM


Kysos, this is what I posted in the above URL about cholesterol ratios.

"...cholesterol ratios really don't mean much. Let me give you an example.
Back in April, 2001, mom had a cardiac risk profile....cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. Her total cholesterol was 430! HDL was 117, LDL 309, and triglycerides 162. (Normally, mom's triglycerides are <70, but in diabetics, triglycerides follow blood sugar control more closely, and at that time, we were having problems with her sugar control because of bad insulin, and we were trying to troubleshoot the cause of her loss of sugar control.) And, as you can imagine, her doctor freaked, and wanted to put mom on a statin.

Because of my research, I insisted mom's blood be sent to a lab that does LDL particle differentiation, etc. (At that time, this procedure was experimental, and only research labs were doing this test. Now, this test is more widely available.) So, mom's blood was sent to the
Northwest Lipid Research Labs, at the Univ of Washington, in Seattle.

Not all LDL particles are "bad." Subclass A, or Pattern A is the "good" LDL. This particle is large, fluffy, and resists oxidation. Subclass B, or Pattern B, is the "bad" LDL. This particle is small, very dense, and is prone to oxidation. When we got mom's LDL particle test back, her LDL
pattern was Pattern A...the good LDL. According to the lab, mom's risk factor was <1.0. Mom's diet is mostly fat from animal origin, she hates olive oil, and I won't have vegetable oil in the house, so mom's HDL and good LDL is from her mostly animal fat diet. Dr. Bernstein's diabetes diet is very high fat, low protein and low carb.

Since mom's LDL was mostly the good LDL, what good is her ratio number? If most of mom's LDL is the good LDL, what is so significant about the ratio? The ratio doesn't reflect at all what her true risk of heart disease is. The ratio would have to be between the LDL Pattern B and the good HDL (I don't know too much yet about the different HDL particles), which are not routinely done in a lab. As you know, total cholesterol, total HDL and calculated LDL are the only tests commonly done in a lab, and from that, doctors are deciding whether or not people "need" statins. Plus as Lynn said, doctors get their cholesterol info from drug reps.... What is more important to know is what LDL particle is dominant, not the ratio. A ratio is only good if the LDL was all bad, but in the case of LDL, there are good forms and bad forms. Mom's form is the good form. Why does she need to be put on a statin when her HDL is 117, and her LDL is mostly the good LDL? The cholesterol issue is a false crisis.

Mom had an appointment with her cardiologist in June. He made an interesting comment in response to my question about what he was taught in medical school about cholesterol subfractions. He said he wasn't taught about these subfractions in med school. He had a student with him that day, and he asked the student if he was taught about the subfractions, in which the reply was negative...he also wasn't taught about this. If I'd been on the ball, I should have asked them, well...where did you get your cholesterol education then...from drug companies?

We were talking about heart disease and cholesterol, and I told them I didn't believe cholesterol was a cause of heart disease, and why I didn't believe it. The cardiologist was basically speechless about what I was telling him. He kept asking me where and how I learned this stuff, and he told me I knew more about this issue than 90% of doctors. I'm not saying this to "toot
my own horn," but to show that doctors really don't have a clue about this. It's up to the patient to learn this stuff. Mom's total cholesterol is still high, but she's not on drugs to lower cholesterol.

High cholesterol in older women is showing to be protective against stroke and other diseases. If high cholesterol is showing to be beneficial in older women, why wouldn't it also be protective
in younger women? Why now is cholesterol only dangerous to certain populations of people?
The answer is, cholesterol is not dangerous to any segment of the population. And, this is finally, slowly, being told to the general public. Scientists have known this for a long time....but for some unknown reason...perhaps money? ....they've been keeping this info to themselves."

And now, considering what was said by Gotto: "In fact, what is commonly regarded as LDL-cholesterol includes particles other than LDL. It is actually the sum of LDL plus Lp(a) and intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL)," what good is the ratio?


Kysos 08-19-2003 11:57 AM

Your right KastaDiva, the more I read on Cholesterol the more I come to realize most doctors don't even understand it much at all. I think this whole emphasis on Cholesterol is a big giant scam by drug companies, and now they have turned thier sights on high blood pressure. They recently put a statement out that BP over 120/80 is now considered prehypertension. Most people will never be able to get there without drugs, talk about a way to get more and more people dependent on drugs.

LooksLikePaul 08-19-2003 12:04 PM

I agree about the cholesterol issue being manipulated by the drug companies, and about most Drs. knowing very little about it.

My BP ranged from 120/90 - 140/90 before Atkins and now it runs 110/70 during the day and even lower if I'm resting on the couch.

I firmly believe a healthy diet can take care of most "problems" all on its own.

manylayers 08-19-2003 01:08 PM

family history?
If you have a family history of high cholestorol...there may be nothing more than just genetics at work.

My dad has always maintained a perfect weight...had a good balance of foods, no smoking, no drinking..all that...but his "bad" cholesterols were so BAD that the doctor feared a heart attack!

maybe you'll need to medicate to keep in under control until you've finished your weight loss plan...check again and see???

Dana114 08-19-2003 01:54 PM

This thread is a must read! Thanks for the great info, KD, you are a goddess!

tiva 08-19-2003 02:37 PM

Sugrlvr--while most people who follow Atkins do see a decrease in LDL and total cholesterol, plenty of us who post on this board have seen an increase in LDL and total cholesterol (my total cholesterol went from 210 to 290 after 6 months on Atkins. But my triglycerides dropped dramatically from about 100 to about 70 and my HDL went up from 40something to 70 something.) So you're not alone in your increases--at least 30 of us have posted similar stories. I, for one, decided not to worry about it, after reading many of the references Kasta Diva listed. Another important point to remember: while very few, if any, good scientific studies have shown a strong correlation between HIGH cholesterol and adverse outcomes for women, literally THOUSANDS of studies have shown that LOW cholesterol can be deadly for women. There is no doubt whatsoever that low cholesterol increases the risk of strokes, dementia, suicide, depression, and hormonal problems.

Whatever the truth turns out to be about cholesterol, women, and heart disease, we know one thing for certain:
exercise is good for you! Not exercising may well be worse for you than smoking. Get moving, in any way shape or form. Exercise will probably uld lower your LDL, and even if that turns out not to matter, it will also have many other benefits for your heart, mind, mood, and body.

08-19-2003 02:48 PM


Originally posted by tiva
Another important point to remember: while very few, if any, good scientific studies have shown a strong correlation between HIGH cholesterol and adverse outcomes for women, literally THOUSANDS of studies have shown that LOW cholesterol can be deadly for women. There is no doubt whatsoever that low cholesterol increases the risk of strokes, dementia, suicide, depression, and hormonal problems.
Personal anecdote: When I was about three months into an intense weight training program last year, I had a physical -- including a cholesterol test. The results scared me -- I had dropped from a total cholesterol of 184 a year earlier to 142. My HDL had also dropped -- from 75 to 55 (the diet I was on was much higher in protein and lower in fat than my usual). I was on my second cold in four weeks (I got another one right after that), my skin was dry, and I was exhausted and cranky. In short -- I was not healthy. Shortly thereafter, I decided I'd had all the fun I could stand and went back to eating the right way.

This year, my total was back up to 187 and my HDL was 79. I feel a lot better -- and I'm a lot more pleasant to be around, too.

valg 08-19-2003 02:49 PM

Another thought.....exactly what tests did he run for your thyroid, and did you acutally see your lab numbers? Sometimes high cholestral is a thyroid issue.

Sugarlvr 08-20-2003 07:32 AM


Another thought.....exactly what tests did he run for your thyroid, and did you acutally see your lab numbers? Sometimes high cholestral is a thyroid issue.
I have a copy of my lab results. The Thyroid tested as follows:
TSH 0.7
FREE T-4 index(T7) 3.3
FREE THYROXINE (direct) 1.4
antithyroid peroxidase AB 9.0
IGF-1 188.0

These results where all showing in normal range...

KastaDiva- Thank you for that amazing post! When I am retested in 2 months I will request LDL particle differentiation. I am also going to request the books you suggested so I can understand all of this better. It's unbelievable how much mis-information is out there! :eek:

TaDa! 08-20-2003 07:50 AM

heya Sugarlvr - I just want to say that as far as exercise, you don;t need to kill yourself! I started out by walking a half hour a day as fast as I could (sometimes rather slow) to where I was perspiring and breathing more quickly but could still talk. I even started out doing this in my street clothes out in a park or the woods where I could have some privacy.

I feel that this has helped me a lot! I do it between 5-6 times a week, but I believe as little as 3x a week is beneficial. I used to dread the thought of exercise too!!! I don;t even think of my walks as exercise. they are alone time for me to enjoy my surroundings.

Best of luck with the cholesterol issue! I think you have gotten a lot of great great advice here!!

{{{HUGS}}} I'm sure it will work out!

valg 08-20-2003 09:17 AM

Do you have the lab ranges for your thyroid tests? They all vary and without seeing what the lab ranges are, there's no way to tell where your numbers are falling. They didn't test for Free T3 either.

Perhaps you could get those figues (along with lab ranges) and make a seperate post (or PM) nonstickpam107 to give feedback on those.

nonstickpam107 08-20-2003 09:28 AM

PLEASE do NOT just accept the word "normal" as far as your thyroid tests!!! Please first read the following, and if you want more info, than pm me:


If your Doc ONLY did a TSH, or did that AND a T4, and is calling anything within their respective lab ranges, than you have a problem. The lab range for the TSH has CHANGED recently. If your TSH is over a 3 (most normal humans feel good at a 1 or under) and your T4 and T3 (NOT T3 uptake---that's really another T4 test in disguise) aren't in the above mid to upper lab range, than you need a better doctor.

People with hypothyroid have HIGH cholesterol, even on this WOE if the thyroid hormone isn't be replaced (if they are UN or UNDERtreated for their thyroid disease).




08-20-2003 09:51 AM

KD, that is one of the best posts I've ever read and I commend you for all the work that went into it. I've been posting links to Enig's "Oiling of America" here and there, but you did a more thorough job.


KastaDiva 08-20-2003 10:31 AM

Dana, thank's for the wonderful compliment....it takes one to know one.... ;-) I always enjoy reading your posts. ;-)

And Yaylocarber, thank you, as well. ;-) I could probably be called a compulsive researcher.

Tiva, I'm so glad the info has helped you. And Sugarlvr, I know you will find those books very interesting. I certainly did.

I'm with you, Pam, about the thyroid issue. Undiagnosed, undertreated hypothyroidism is a cause of heart disease, as is undiagnosed and untreated iron overload. Untreated iron overload is also a cause of hypothyroidism.

Below is a report from today's USA Today, which the researchers report once again that high cholesterol is a cause of heart disease, but they apparently never considered thyroid function, nor iron status:


Most heart attacks caused by unhealthy lifestyle
Wed Aug 20, 6:34 AM ET

By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY

Paraphrased: A long established "myth" that half of heart attacks are genetic or "bad luck" was refuted when two very large study results were released today.

These studies, comprising about 500,000 people of different populations show about 90% of people that have severe CAD have one or more of four traditionally accepted risk factors: smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

(skipping to last paragraph) A separate analysis refutes that the new kids on the block, C-Reactive Protein, Lp(a) and Homocysteine, have value in predicting heart disease over and above the four long-accepted risks of smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. (end)

Please click on the URL to read the entire story.


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