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Old 05-11-2012, 03:44 PM   #161
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I am on 20mg of simvastatin for cholesterol, however, also taking 1200 mg of fish oil 2x/day has been helpful at getting my #s lower. YMMV
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:33 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by braumeister

Don, you seem to be doing very well, so keep it up.

My understanding is that HDL below 40 and Triglycerides above 120 are factors associated with small LDL particle size.
Your old trig value was worrying, but your current numbers seem to indicate that your LDL particles are the nice big fluffy kind.
So will low carb bring up HDL numbers? I read that meds like lipitor only address the LDL and ratio, not improve actual HDL. The reason Im asking is this. Here are my totals compared the past 3 years.
2009- LDL 121. Trig. 125. HDL 42

2010- LDL 114 Trig. 149 HDL 41

2012- LDL 102. Trig. 83. HDL 39

In 2000 when was 35 I had HDL of 53 and lived off of junk food even though I had a 6 pack stomach. This past year I have ate religiously better and take fish oil. My weight is essentially the same as it was a dozen years ago but I eat better, but dont physically train hard like I used to. Why would the HDLs keep slipping and my other numbers are improving dramatically? I assume by my better eating habits (though they are still carb based like oatmeal, wheat bread, and bananas) are improving the other 2 numbers but the HDL number is slipping into the abyss of heart attack range.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:51 PM   #163
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I just looked at my #'s for the same years. I turned 63 last month.

2009 LDL 90 HDL 30 Trig. 128

2010 LDL 103 HDL 39 Trig. 114

2011 LDL 102 HDL 34 Trig. 91

For some reason I can't get the HDL to go up over 39. My Dr. said more exercise and I work hard at it at least 1 hour 7 days a week but can't move the #. Maybe I have to work harder at losing some weight.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #164
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Don, those are good numbers. Your LDL is wrong, because it was calculated based on a formula that doesn't work with low triglycerides. I'll calculate it when I get to my computer.

Yes LCHF increases HDL.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #165
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I just looked at my #'s for the same years. I turned 63 last month.

2009 LDL 90 HDL 30 Trig. 128

2010 LDL 103 HDL 39 Trig. 114

2011 LDL 102 HDL 34 Trig. 91

For some reason I can't get the HDL to go up over 39. My Dr. said more exercise and I work hard at it at least 1 hour 7 days a week but can't move the #. Maybe I have to work harder at losing some weight.
So he didn't mention anything specifically about diet? I have read exercise can improve HDL. When I was in my 30s I was very active even though I ate poorly, I had excellent numbers. I still exercise daily between hour and 90 min., but not with the intensity. I have had no weight gain, but I started last week to make myself more active even if its just to move for movements sake. I will get one of those fit things shortly also to monitor movement. If this doesn't work, I don't know, as I have little weight to lose and I eat basically grains and fruit and some chicken. I might try the low carb thing if there is a link to improving HDL.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:13 PM   #166
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I recalculated your LDL with a better formula (see this paper), and it isn't much lower: 134.2 instead of 137. That's what you'd expect to see if your LDL was measured directly instead of calculated.

If your triglycerides go down more, it will be even lower.

I'm sure you've seen this:

The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Low-carbohydrate diets increase LDL: debunking the myth

My calculations (please check them):

Don Yesterday:
Total Cholesterol 241
HDL ...................86
LDL ..................137
Triglycerides .......91


Using the Friedewald calculation:

LDL = TC – HDL – (TG / 5)

LDL = 241 - 86 - (91/5) = 136.8 Check. Indicates use of the above formula.

Better formula for those with TG < 100:

LDL = TC/1.19 + TG/1.9 – HDL/1.1 – 38

LDL = 241/1.19 + 91/1.9 - 86/1.1 - 38 = 202.5 + 47.9 - 78.2 -38

LDL = 202.5+47.9-78.2-38

LDL = 134.2


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Old 05-11-2012, 06:14 PM   #167
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I think my weight is the problem. I don't smoke or use alcohol. I'm 6'4" and 278. I've always been heavy but I like to say I'm big boned. (heh) Since I've been holding off on SS I need to get my weight down so I can get at least to the break even point.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #168
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I have read exercise can improve HDL.
When I discussed my number with my (former) doc, I mentioned how my HDL was high because of the low carbing. He said, "Oh, no that's all from your exercising." But I hadn't changed my exercise at all. So I think that doctors are not aware of a lot of this stuff (even though my former doc was a low carber himself).

In this video, the researcher talks about how low carb changes the numbers (at 24:40).



I haven't found a study that looks specifically at this.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:12 PM   #169
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I just looked at my #'s for the same years. I turned 63 last month.

2009 LDL 90 HDL 30 Trig. 128

2010 LDL 103 HDL 39 Trig. 114

2011 LDL 102 HDL 34 Trig. 91

For some reason I can't get the HDL to go up over 39. My Dr. said more exercise and I work hard at it at least 1 hour 7 days a week but can't move the #. Maybe I have to work harder at losing some weight.
Niacin (vitamin B-3) can help quite a bit with HDL. You might find this article interesting: Using Niacin to Improve Cardiovascular Health - Life Extension
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:22 PM   #170
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When I discussed my number with my (former) doc, I mentioned how my HDL was high because of the low carbing. He said, "Oh, no that's all from your exercising." But I hadn't changed my exercise at all. So I think that doctors are not aware of a lot of this stuff (even though my former doc was a low carber himself).
My HDL went up 19 mg in the five weeks I have been on LCHF. If anything I have been slacking on exercise during much of that period. I did a lot of riding while in CA for two weeks but I have not done my normal mileage since I got back. So clearly for me at least, exercise is not responsible.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:55 PM   #171
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Those of you that have the low HDL counts might be interessted in this. I also have low HDL. I did a lot of research into what I could do about it. Exercise seemed to be the most recommended, but "they" said it could raise it as much as 5-10%. Well, when your HDL is 30, 10% isn't helping much. But I did some reading on Niacin, and started taking that after talking it over with my doc. My HDL went from ~30 to 45, and has stayed there, even though I'm not exercising and haven't lost much weight. There is a side effect, called a flush. It's like a mini hot flash, but it only lasts 5 minutes or so. Not enough of a discomfort for me to reject such a great improvement in HDL. There is a no-flush type of Niacin, but it supposedly doesn't give you the HDL increase. Just something for you to look into if you are interested in increasing your HDL levels.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:37 AM   #172
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Here is a very interesting Men's Health interview with Dr. Ronald Krauss, the inventor of one of the methods for characterizing lipoprotein particle size.

A quick and dirty summary would be, if you want to improve your HDL-C and your LDL particle size, lose the low fat diet. Also, put some cream on those strawberries!

Understanding Cholesterol and Heart Disease | Men's Health
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:51 AM   #173
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I'm in the low HDL camp and have tried niacin and also lift heavy, but neither will move my number to any significant degree. I suspect a lot of folks are just destined to have low HDL simply due to their genetics.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:09 AM   #174
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I'm in the low HDL camp and have tried niacin and also lift heavy, but neither will move my number to any significant degree. I suspect a lot of folks are just destined to have low HDL simply due to their genetics.
I am not certain I remember this correctly, but I think one of the Krauss papers stated that LDL pattern A (larger particles, and more health positive) can be converted to the negative small particle pattern B by a low fat, high carb diet. But it may be that a low carb diet tends not to change a person from negative pattern B to better pattern A.

Regarding exercise specifically, a paper by a different Dr. Kraus (William E Kraus, not Donald M Krauss), showed that 3 hours of aerobic exercise (usually 3 one hour sessions) did increase average HDL significantly over and above the controls. The participants jogged or rode exercycles at 65-80% of maximum heart rate.

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Old 05-12-2012, 12:10 PM   #175
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I am not certain I remember this correctly, but I think one of the Krauss papers stated that LDL pattern A (larger articles, and more health positive) can be converted to the negative small partile pattern B by a low fat, high carb diet. But it may be th tdiet tends not to change a person from negative pattern B to better pattern A.

Regarding exercise specifically, a paper by a different Dr. Kraus (William E Kraus, not Donald M Krauss), showed that at 3 hours of aerobic exercise (usually 3 one hour sessions) did increase average HDL significantly over and above the controls. The participants jogged or rode exercycles at 65-80% of maximum heart rate.

Ha
I am afraid your last paragraph is my problem. 12 years ago when I ate like potato chips, pizza, burgers and french fries were the 4 food groups, my cholesterol numbers and HDL was outstanding, but I would train long and hard. My back and knees now have no tolerance for running and my ligaments and tendons bark at any high level lifting, so now I am reduced to walking hills and maintenance lifting. I will try some more diet modifications, but maybe I should just start swallowing a baby aspirin each day since apparently my puffy particle days are behind me. I just dont get how the HDL numbers get worse even the diet is significantly better.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:20 PM   #176
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Regarding exercise specifically, a paper by a different Dr. Kraus (William E Kraus, not Donald M Krauss), showed that at 3 hours of aerobic exercise (usually 3 one hour sessions) did increase average HDL significantly over and above the controls. The participants jogged or rode exercycles at 65-80% of maximum heart rate.

Ha
I have seen some evidence of this in myself, cause when I was doing more cardio vs lifting I got my HDL up to 43, but now I've mostly eliminated cardio (except for warm up) and now I seem to be stuck at about 39. I had heard that lifting heavier weights would raise it, but so far nothing to show for it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #177
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It should not be a diet but a way of life.
Many years back I was a physical mess.
Starting reading everything I could. People being healed of major diseases.
Started eating mainly, fruits, vegetable, beans, nuts and seeds and
a few grains. If it's in a box or can, a try and avoid it. Do not count calories ever.
At 70 I have no physical problems, and do not take any medications.
The medical profession has no clue, they only want to fill you with drugs.
They do no care about healing diseases like cancer and heart disease. It's big business and big bucks for them.
You have to want to help yourself. The standard American diet will kill you.
I would be more than happy to share my knowledge with anyone interested.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:18 PM   #178
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Regarding exercise specifically, a paper by a different Dr. Kraus (William E Kraus, not Donald M Krauss), showed that 3 hours of aerobic exercise (usually 3 one hour sessions) did increase average HDL significantly over and above the controls. The participants jogged or rode exercycles at 65-80% of maximum heart rate.
This may be a dumb question, but is that 3 hours/day? Or 3 hours/week? I haven't done 3 hours of workout/day since I was playing college sports. I doubt the old ticker would take it thses days.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #179
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My HDL went up 19 mg in the five weeks I have been on LCHF. If anything I have been slacking on exercise during much of that period. I did a lot of riding while in CA for two weeks but I have not done my normal mileage since I got back. So clearly for me at least, exercise is not responsible.
My experience is similar to yours, Donheff. My HDL went from 58 to 69 in a year's time, after I switched to a primal/lower-carb diet. Exercise level during that period remained roughly the same. So, there is no doubt in my mind that the change in diet is responsible for the improvement in HDL. Also, my triglycerides during that time period decreased from 92 to 67......which I also attribute to diet.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:29 PM   #180
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The argument that the current advice just isn't working is a strong one. No matter what you think, we've been told to eat a low-fat diet for over 15 years, and the obesity epidemic gets dramatically worse.
T-Al, there may be good evidence that low-fat is not the way to go, but I don't think that this is an argument that you should use - it's really weak, and IMO undermines the point you are trying to make.

I could also say 'we've been told to put down the remote, get off the couch and get moving' for over 15 years, and the obesity epidemic gets dramatically worse. So therefore exercise/activity is the wrong approach?

Did the general public really reduce fat intake? And if so, did they just replace it with high calories? I think that is likely - we see big gulp sodas that are larger than what an entire family would drink years ago.

I'm not defending low-fat, I don't believe in it myself. I'm just saying that's not a good way to make the point.


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