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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 11:33
Kate in AZ Kate in AZ is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
Stats: 190/160/135 Female 5'4"
BF:
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Default How long before diet changes affect cholesterol test?

Hi everyone, I'm new here as a member, but I've been lurking for quite some time. I'm impressed with all the information available here and how supportive everyone is!

I've been eating LCHF for well over a year and lost 30 lbs., although I plateaued in the last couple of months, despite being strict. Recently I had an NMR lipoprofile test, which showed me that I am in that subset of people whose LDL-C and LDL-P skyrocket.

I recently instituted some changes similar to those made by the terrific poster here, Ken, and Frankiska Spritzer, the "Low-Carb Dietician."

That is to say, I reduced saturated fat quite a bit and significantly increased monounsaturated fat and, to a lesser degree, polyunsaturated fat. I've discovered that I really love avocados and raw nuts, lol. And I've upped my fiber intake considerably. My net carbs are still lowish, relatively speaking (between 40 and 50g). Fat is still 69% of my consumed calories.

I just started these modifications within the last week. What I want to know is if anyone can tell me how long it takes for these dietary changes to make a difference in the next blood test.

I visit my doctor tomorrow. I'm keeping my NMR results to myself for now, because she would absolutely freak out. She will most likely want me to have another cholesterol test as a matter of course, and I want to tell her about my dietary changes and ask her to wait until the changes take effect.

Anyone know how long that will take?

Thanks in advance!

Kate
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  #2   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 13:21
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Posts: 8,742
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/183/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 54%
Location: Texas
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Hi Kate and Welcome!

This is an interesting bit of info I found last year while reading up on Cholesterol.
I found it quite interesting.

Quote:
Cholesterol's Bad Rap

Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, studies how the different kinds of fat in food affect our health.

Teter said scientists wrongly blamed cholesterol for heart disease when they saw high levels of it at a damaged blood vessel. Teter believes the body put the cholesterol there to fix the problem, which was actually caused by inflammation.

"It's the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion," she explained. "The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage."

Research also shows cholesterol can protect against respiratory and gastrointestinal problems, and helps create vitamin D. People with higher cholesterol live longer.

Teter said that's a scientific fact that she can vouch for personally.

"I come from a family that has, my mother's side, had naturally high cholesterol. Her cholesterol was between 380 and 420 when I started watching her medical records, and she died at 97," she said. "So I don't think that cholesterol was too bad for her."

Inflammation Producers

Cholesterol is especially important in the brain, which contains more cholesterol than any other organ and needs it in order for a message to get passed from one brain cell to another.

Therefore, Teter said when it comes to food choices, don't worry if it raises your cholesterol. Focus your attention instead on whether it reduces inflammation.

When choosing which fats to eat, pick the ones that are high in Omega 3 fats and also choose natural saturated fats. On the other hand, stay away from the fats that lead to inflammation, such as trans fats and Omega 6 fats.

How to you tell the healthy Omega 3s from the unhealthy Omega 6 fats? Vegetable oils and mayonnaise contain Omega 6 fats, so be careful with how much you consume.

Ideally, Omega 6 fats are healthy but only when consumed in the same amount as Omega 3 fats. The typical American, however, consumes 15 times more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3s. This imbalance creates inflammation.

So cut back on the Omega 6s and increase your consumption of Omega 3s. These are in foods like olive oil and avocados.

Cold water fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 fat, particularly DHA, which is a super brain booster. One great way to make sure you're getting enough Omega 3, specifically DHA, is by taking a fish oil supplement. Doctors recommend one that contains at least 750 mg of DHA daily.

Butter is Better

At one time dieticians considered margarine, which is a trans fat, heart healthy. Doctors now say a better choice is butter.

In the last 20 years, trans fats have become the ingredient of choice for almost all processed foods. You can tell something contains trans fat if you see the word "hydrogenated" in the list of ingredients.

Saturated fats have really gotten a bad reputation over the last couple of decades. But they are not as bad as they have been made out to be. In fact, doctors recommend eating some saturated fats every day, such as coconut oil.

This saturated fat fights colds and the flu and has even reversed the symptoms of Alzheimers, ALS and Parkinson's Disease in some people.

Say 'No' to Inflammation

You should also remember those non-fat foods that make us fat and increase inflammation contain sugar and refined carbohydrates. Anything containing high fructose corn syrup or other sugars leads to inflammation.

So do grains, especially refined grains such as white bread, pasta, rice, and so on.

So when it comes to your health, inflammation beats out cholesterol as the new enemy. Take it on by saying "yes" to foods like fish and coconut oil, and "no" to sugar and carbohydrates, and dangerous trans fats.

*Originally aired February 1, 2013.
That old link is broken. Try this link to the video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwkBB2Z6914

Last edited by Meme#1 : Tue, Apr-17-18 at 13:44.
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 14:46
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,683
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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Good question. I don't know if you saw Post #252 on THIS page of my journal, but I recently went VLC/Keto again and my LDL-C shot up (again). My doctor didn't freak out about it, but she was concerned enough to suggest that I "work on it" and I come in for quarterly cholesterol tests until I get the number back into a range that she likes. The more I learn about this the less concerned about it I become. All of my other cholesterol numbers are still awesome. But I'm happy to try and keep my doctor happy. I want to keep the statin issue at bay. So I've returned to eating my high fiber, slightly lower fat diet. I too am curious to know how long it will take to return to a doctor pleasing LDL-C.

My doctor seems to think that it is a slow process; that it will take all year to creep back down. From what I've seen with my results, I don't think that it will take long at all. In December 2016 I had a cholesterol test shortly after ending a multiple day fast. My LDC-C was 142. 3 months later my LDL-C was 57 at my annual checkup labs. That's a pretty fast drop. IMO. I'm currently eating like I was when I got those stellar labs. In June I'll have labs taken again. I'm thinking that my LDL-C will drop from last month's 170 back to below 100 again. All I can do is to be consistent with my eating regimen between now and June.

Last edited by khrussva : Wed, Apr-18-18 at 06:26.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 18:00
Kate in AZ Kate in AZ is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
Stats: 190/160/135 Female 5'4"
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Default How long before diet changes affect cholesterol test

Thanks, Meme#1, for the welcome! And thank you for providing the information. I'm pretty familiar with those points, but it was good to read about it again.

Ken, thank you for your detailed response! I checked out the link to your journal, and it was very interesting. Do I google to find out what the Feldman protocol is or is it located here on lowcarber.org? (Guess I can go look for myself, eh? lol)

I want cholesterol test results like you had in March 2017! First off, I want to squelch any mention of statins by the doc, and secondly, I want to ease my mind the way the Low-Carb Dietitician wanted to lower her CVD risk. I also read interesting information here:

http://bjjcaveman.com/2014/11/17/ke...omas-dayspring/

You probably know all about Thomas Dayspring already, but I read his main article and it struck me as common sense, as much as I wanted to ignore my numbers totally. It's particularly the LDL-P number which concerns me, at 2146!

I am keeping dairy down to a minimum (1.5 tablespoons of HWC total in my 3 cups of tea). Every morning i'm having steel-cut oats with almond milk and stevia. Somewhere I saw a comment that Dayspring is not keen on oats, but I haven't been able to find out why. Do you know?

Avocados are currently my friend. So are black beans and raw pecans. My fiber is high, which means my net carbs are still low. To my happy surprise, the Ketostix are still turning color.

What I want to do is delay the next cholesterol test until the new version of a low carb diet has a chance to change my LDL-C (currently 177) to something that will keep peace in my doc's office and keep peace in my mind.

Thanks for listening!
Kate
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 18:08
Kate in AZ Kate in AZ is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
Stats: 190/160/135 Female 5'4"
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One more quick question: does anybody know the effect of fish oil supplementation on LDL? I've seen some commentary that it can raise LDL, but others have said that only happens for people with high triglycerides. My trigs are virtually in the basement.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 19:49
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,683
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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You can read more than you want to know about the Feldman Protocol and Dave Feldman's experiments on his website cholesterolcode.com. The direct link to his protocol blog post is http://cholesterolcode.com/extreme-...rop-experiment/. If you'd rather watch videos take a look at Dietdoctor.com or search Dave Feldman on youtube. Dave is also a "hyperresponder" and nobody had done more N=1 experiments on the subject. HERE is one of Dave's youtube videos that specifically shows how fast LDL-C can change.

Last edited by khrussva : Tue, Apr-17-18 at 19:57.
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 23:35
Kate in AZ Kate in AZ is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
Stats: 190/160/135 Female 5'4"
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Default Thanks so much!

Thanks, Ken, for the links! I'll follow up and read and view some videos.

Meanwhile, I'll get to bed early, since I've got the doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon, and I'll make my notes, get my ducks in a row in the morning.

I sure am glad I found a place here where other folks are also wrestling with the same sorts of questions. There's so much more for me to learn! These are complex topics, but I'm eager to understand the variables involved.

Kate
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 23:48
Grav Grav is offline
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Posts: 770
 
Plan: Banting
Stats: 302/187/190 Male 175cm
BF:
Progress: 103%
Location: New Zealand
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Advanced lipid testing such as NMRs etc aren't so easily available here in New Zealand, so I'm pretty much stuck with the basics, although a reasonable amount can even be implied by the basic stuff. For example, Dave Feldman gave an interesting talk at Low Carb Breckenridge 2018 about remnant cholesterol, which seems to correlate roughly with triglyceride levels. Then there's LDL-P, which has a striking inverse relationship with TG:HDL ratio (source).

As far as how long things take to change, I remember reading somewhere (possibly Grant Schofield's blog again but not 100% sure) that trigs can correct in a matter of weeks on LCHF, while HDL tends to improve more slowly over a period of months. I can't really offer anything on LDL-C beyond what you will have already picked up from Ken.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Apr-18-18, 06:57
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Good advice form all the posters on this thread so far. I'd add only that some of us have noticed that our blood lipid numbers tend to be higher during and just after a weight loss, particularly those of us on a ketogenic approach where we burn fat as a primary energy source. Like Ken, I had lipid numbers very high when I had a blood draw on the last day of a 4-day fast (it was my own form of experiment just to see what my numbers would be). My triglycerides were still very low, around 46, and my IR score (insulin resistance) was so low, it indicated zero insulin resistance, all good, but the high LDL-C made sense for those who are fat burners. We've often said that a blood lipid interpretation must be changed to allow for those who are following a ketogenic protocol. This settles once one achieves a reasonable weight and is not in weight losing mode. My follow-up NMR Lipid panel when I didn't play games with fasting after the one in question was one that made the doctor say, "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it."

After reading Dave Feldman's findings, reading Marty Kendall and other experts, and discussing our experiences with colleagues on this forum, it all makes sense. There is still a lot to learn about blood lipids and heart health that we don't know today. However, as Ken states, one can achieve a result that is in the window considered healthy simply by dietary protocol. Feldman is a great resource for this.

The questions still remain until further research is done: Are total cholesterol and LDL-C valid health markers? Do their numbers indicate a healthy or unhealthy state for an individual? How can interpretations be adjusted to allow for those following very low carb? Today, most doctors still take them seriously to the point where they'll prescribe statins at the drop of a hat. I believe cholesterol and LDL-C are not valid health markers and higher numbers are healthier as we age. Good luck with your follow-up visit.
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, Apr-19-18, 17:32
Kate in AZ Kate in AZ is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
Stats: 190/160/135 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress:
Smile

Thanks to Grav and Rob for your contributions to this helpful discussion!

The appointment went well, although my blood pressure was high at 138/98. She knows I suffer from "white coat syndrome" and I tell her what my typical home reading is (135/85) and she accepts that.

She was very pleased (of course!) when I told her what changes I've just made to my diet (switch to mostly monunsaturated fat, considerable addition of fiber, dramatic lowering of dairy), and said that she thinks I should get my next blood test in 6-8 weeks. I'll definitely make it 8 weeks. It also helped to keep her away from the statin discussion to tell her how I used the ASCVD (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) risk evaluator on the website of the American College of Cardiology and that accordingly, my 10-year risk of a cardiac event is 5.7% (optimal is supposedly 2.9%). According to the doc, the guidelines have changed and she doesn't want to prescribe statins unless the 10-year risk is 10% or above.

I'm happy to still be low carb. My fat macro is between 72-75% of calories consumed and thanks to all the fiber I eat, the net carbs are quite low. I'll see how my weight loss goes on this particular version of LCHF.

I had reached a plateau in my weight loss when I was eating very, very low carb and high saturated fat with lowish-moderate protein. Why I stopped losing is a mystery to me. I don't cheat. I'm hoping that the changes I've made will somehow kick-start loss again.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Apr-19-18, 20:10
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,683
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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It sounds like we are eating much the same way. I've only been back to eating this version of my diet for the past few weeks after a stint of VLC. Frankly, I'm liking this better than VLC. I can have a heaping serving of LC veggies with my dinner, I'm eating less, snacking less, and feeling more satisfied with my meals. So the carbs and fiber went up and the calories are coming down.

For what it is worth, this is the way I was eating when I lost the last 20 or 30 pounds on my initial 250 pound weight loss journey. I did throw in some fasting at that time and I was setting calorie limits, but my basic diet is how I'm eating now. I managed to get the job done eating this way. I hope to do it again and lose this 20 pound regain.

I eat a little more protein than you and a little less fat in macro percentages. I'm at 15% carbs (more than half of that fiber), 25% protein, and 60% fat. I work out regularly, including resistance training, so this level of protein seems appropriate.

I wish you the best with your labs 8 weeks from now. Be sure to let us know how it turns out. I will likely be having labs done at about the same time. I'll report back here, too.
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Apr-20-18, 09:23
Kate in AZ Kate in AZ is offline
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Plan: Modified Atkins
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Ken, your story is so inspiring! And the fact that you lost the last 20-30 pounds eating in a similar way is very encouraging to me!

I'll be sure to post back here with my results and look forward to seeing yours. I will be fasting for at least 12 hours before the test. I don't trust this new-fangled notion of not fasting before the cholesterol test, do you?

I'll also be checking to see if others chime in here with their own information. I love it that there's a place here to discuss these complexities.
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Jun-19-18, 07:42
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 6,683
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/205/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 102%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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I had my blood drawn yesterday for a standard lipid test. Now I'm just waiting on the results. Since my March doctor visit I've reverted back to my high fiber, slightly higher net carb version of LCHF. Going VLC/Deep Keto over the winter shot my LDL back up to 170 -- alarming my doctor (again). She asked that I "work on it" and start doing quarterly cholesterol tests (again) to check on my progress. So I went back to eating the way I did when I was having the most success with getting doctor pleasing cholesterol numbers.

I did nothing special in prep for this test. I have been weight stable in recent weeks. I ate plenty this past weekend but I also worked out quite a bit. Approximate macros: 15% carbs, 27% protein, 58% fat. Net carbs around 40. 30 to 50g of daily fiber from flax/chia seed muffins, psyillium powder, and induction veggies. I did not do the Feldman protocol - so no loading up on fat in advance of the test. Because I didn't have the lab taken until 4pm, I fasted longer than normal before the blood draw (18 hours). I expect the results this afternoon.

I've done enough diet tweaking, testing, and N=1's on this subject to be fairly certain of this... my LDL & TC will be down from my March test. VLDL will be very low. Triglycerides will be slightly up, but still terrific. And finally, HDL will be stellar - as it has been for the past few years. That's my prediction.

FYI: Requestatest.com is having a 10% off on Men's Health testing. You don't have to be a man to get the discount. I chose to do a standard lipid and it cost < $27. An NMR is $99 -- $91 after the discount. That's the best price that I've seen for the comprehensive cholesterol test. If you have Labcorps nearby, then getting tests done this way is a cost effective option. Paying for an office visit at my doctor costs twice as much as what I paid doing the test myself.

HERE
is a list of all the Men's Health tests that fall under the promotion. Be sure to use the promo code MEN10 at checkout. It is quite a long list -- including a few of interest that I've never had done. I may consider another test or two before this promo ends on June 30.

http://requestatest.com/mens-health-testing

UPDATED: The lab results are in. Here are my latest results along with my prior results for comparison...

In March 2017 my numbers were:

Total Cholesterol: .. . . . . . 166
Triglycerides: . . . . . . . . . 65
HDL-C: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
LDL-C: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 <-
VLDL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
HDL to Trig Ratio . . . . . . . 0.7


My March 2018 results (eating VLC/Keto) were:

Total Cholesterol: .. . . . . . 262
Triglycerides: . . . . . . . . . 67
HDL-C: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
LDL-C: . . . . . . . . . . .. . 170 <-
VLDL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
HDL to Trig Ratio . . . . . . . 0.9


Today's Results after reverting back to a higher fiber, slightly higher carb version of LCHF:

Total Cholesterol: .. . . . . . 207
Triglycerides: . . . . . . . . . 47
HDL-C: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
LDL-C: . . . . . . . . . . .. . 119 <-
VLDL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
HDL to Trig Ratio . . . . . . . 0.6


There's nothing wrong with those new numbers. All of the "bad" scores went down. My doctor will be pleased. She's told me that she has never seen a VLDL score of less than 10. I guess now she has. Looks like I was wrong about one thing on my prediction... the triglyceride score was better than last time.

Last edited by khrussva : Tue, Jun-19-18 at 08:44. Reason: Added lab results to the original post
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