T Nation

Blood work

I finished researching past forum posts on Testosterone levels. Thanks to you guys I knew what questions to ask. I just got my results back today. I wanted to post them and get your opinions.

39 yrs old, BW 265 (Down from 283), Bf% 24 (Down 3%) Goal Fat loss (Bf% goal of 10%) - coming off 2 years of Power lifting and not watching my diet at all (Yeah Chris, I was a big fat strong guy, I hate when I get poked the forehead like that). Who needed a 6 pack when I have a Keg??

My Testosterone level 450 - Lab Range 400-1080 (20-39 yrs) 350-890 for (40-59 yrs).

Free T levels 75.8 Lab range 47-244

Thyroid Function lvl came back as normal.

Total Cholesterol 222 (thats a little high)

Triglycerides 71

HDL (good Cholesterol) 46

LDL (Bad Cholesteriol) 162 (High as well)

I wasn’t at all pleased with the numbers, the Test levels seem very low to me even at my age and I thought the Cholesterol would be much lower since I have been eating clean and doing Cardio since Oct. I had been using Tribex & M for about 1 week before the blood was drawn, been on it for three weeks now. I plan on getting a retest in 6 to 8 weeks. Thanks for any insights; I really do appreciate your efforts on this forum.

Oh and I ran the post through the “Pet Peeves” filter and it only had 5 hits so I thought it was safe to post it. Colin Wilson

Well, I aside from using Tribex/M and working out hard, I don’t have much to recommend in the way of boosting your T levels.

In regards to your cholesterol, I do have a few thoughts. It is not going to move any further unless you get the weight down. Your trigs are good and I'm assuming that your glucose was in order, so your diet is in control. Because you have too much body fat right now, you will see the biggest change - decreased total and LDL and increased HDL with fat loss.

Thanks Jason, that makes allot of sense. I couldn’t understand why the cholesterol numbers were just about the same as when I started watching my diet and adding the cardio.
I appreciate the response.

I’ve been thinking about the chol problem lately. Since one of the major dumping sources for chol is bile salts, wouldn’t comsuming large amounts of fibre with fat aid in the disposal of chol?

As long as the fats are being consumed in a low-calorie diet, there is little chance that they will be converted into chol. The fat would cause bile salts to be released and the fibre would trap them (to be disposed of).

I’m not talking a small amount of fibre either. I’m thinking that about a kilo of vegetable mixed with a fatty food (eggs) would be a way to do it.

I’m asking because I eat quite a few eggs - and I think that considering chol is a good idea.

lol nice one: "Who needed a 6 pack when I have a Keg?? "
Another one I used to used to justify my weight problem was “With a tool like mine you gotta put a shed over it”

Your body weight has little to do with why your cholesterol is high. I recently showed 20% LDL reduction in 3 weeks with very little weight loss using diet and exercise alone, in people very similar to you. What is your fasting insulin and glucose. From that I can calculate your HOMA-IR, which correlates well with hyperinsulinemic, euglycemic clamp measurements. My guess is your diet isn’t as clean as you think. Post it for us if you would.

Also, it would’ve been better to measure the T without the supplements, to get baseline readings.

I still think body fat loss is usually a significant stimulus to cause lipid changes. The primary reason is because one has to really clean up their diet and bump up the exercise to acheive this. While excess body fat may not be the root cause, it is an easy tool to keep track of and when it moves, lipids move with it.

So, I still think that losing fat would be the easiest mechanism for Colin to get his lipids down, especially since that is a goal for him.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

I looked at the lab sheet they sent back to me and there was no blood sugar work done. However I can get access to home stick kit and will post that tomorrow after I fast.

I pulled a typical day of diet from my Fitday.com log and it looks like this:

1st Meal Coffee 2 cups, Egg Beaters 1/2 cup

2nd Meal can tuna 6oz

3rd Meal Pre work out Protein shake

4th Meal Post work out MRB

5th Meal Chicken Breast

6th Meal Chicken Breast, carrots, dumpling

7th Meal 4oz Yoplait Whip

8th Meal 4oz Cottage cheese

Total cals daily around 2100- 2500, I figured my RMR to be about 2400 cals. This meal
broke down around 60% Protein, 30% fats, and 10% Carbs. I have been eating very low carb for about a month with Sat as a cheat day. The evening meal my wife prepare’s so I sometimes over indulge there. (That woman sure can cook)

I train 2 on-1 off-2 on. About 45-60 minutes of intense weights and 20 minutes of low impact cardio, target heart rate about 118 bpm.

Supplements: Tribex, M, T2, Glucosamine/chondritin, Fish Oils, Folic acid, a Multi, and I’m on 200mg Celebrex for tendonitis.

Having my T level checked was an after thought as I was seeing the Doctor about tendonitis. He was going to draw blood to check my Sed rate and Rheumatoid factor anyway, so I had him do the cholestrol and T level check.

I’m sorry this post got to be this long, I appreciate you takin the time to help me with this, thank you. Colin

Colin - you’ll notice right away you have no fruits and vegetables and hardly any fiber. I recommend 7 or more servings for someone in your situation. Throw in some oatmeal and brown rice for some fiber and vegetables (broccoli, green beans, cauliflower…I know, the good stuff). A good book is “What Color is your Diet” by David Heber MD, PhD.

Jason - Its not a “stimulus” generally, rather simply a “marker”. I acknowledge that most think its a cause, but really its the metabolism of the fat cell, if anything, opposed to the amount of fat. Regardless, lifestyle (diet) has the greatest impact by far. There are a few references here (http://www.thinkmuscle.com/articles/gaesser/obesity.htm). So yes, “one has to really clean up their diet and bump up the exercise to acheive this. While excess body fat may not be the root cause, it is an easy tool to keep track of and when it moves, lipids move with it”, and I am simply pointing out since its not the cause its probably better not to focus on that. Its common for a physician to see poor numbers and tell the patient to lose weight, when a diet and exercise intervention is all that is required (wt loss may be a side effect).


So, I still think that losing fat would be the easiest mechanism for Colin to get his lipids down, especially since that is a goal for him.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

I am going to be getting my blood work done soon as well. I am glad you posted this, now I will know what to ask for!

I am worried my T levels will be lower than I want them to be. If they are in the 400 range I will be surprised. I have been using Tribex and M for about a month now. My hands are always dry and my sex drive has not gone up, so we'll see.

Hopefully my cholesterol levels will be good though.

Thanks Prof, should I add the Veggies or swap them in? Dropping the BF% is my goal. I can probably force myself to choke down some oatmeal, but man I hate that stuff.

Thanks Jason, I still plan on losing the extra weight. It has to come off man.

Hey Chris, One thing I got from doing the forum search before the blood work was to make sure to ask for the normal ranges of the Lab doing the work.(Big Thanks to Bill Roberts) When I asked my Doc about that he kinda of squinted at me but got me the ranges they use.

Good news for you is that your cholesterol levels really aren’t very bad for someone in the age group and physical condition you are in. Your goal HDL should be > 50 and goal ldl < 150 IF you have never had any heart disease problems, diabetes, or other major risk factors such as family history of heart disease. You’re within spitting distance of that now, and simply by continuing on your current diet you will achieve those levels very easily. Increasing dietary fiber is theorhetically a good idea, and I can see where the professor is coming from. There are many studies showing increasing dietary fiber in relation to a normal diet is beneficial. They have never adequately studied the low-carbohydrate diet in this context however. I believe, in my professional opinion, it is the low calorie diet in general, and a decrease in carbohydrate consumption in particular which is the major causative factor in decreasing cholesterol biosynthesis. Most people focus on HMG Co-A reductase enzyme when looking at limiting cholesterol synthesis, but I believe if you just look a step farther back, to HMG Co-A Synthase, you will see what I mean. To start the process, you require basically 2 molecules of Acetyl Co-A. What if you don’t have the acetyl Co-A? No biosynthesis takes place! Where do you get acetyl CoA? From the macronutrients you eat, and in particular, preferentially the carbohydrates you ingest. So simply going on the low calorie diet will greatly affect your cholesterol levels. Get your levels taken again in a couple of months and I’ll bet you’ll be grinning ear to ear!

How will knowing the labs normal ranges help me? Also, did you fast before the blood test for any period? Thanks.

Hi Chris,

To borrow from a post that Bill Roberts wrote to Nate:

The normal range for free testosterone is what your lab says it is. I’m serious. Different labs use different testing methods (some of which are not really measuring free testosterone but also some weakly bound testosterone) and so “normal” is different at their lab than at another lab which uses a different method. end quote

Do a search on “free testosterone” and you can find the whole thread, I don’t want to steal Bill’s thunder :slight_smile: There is some great advice there.

I did fast from 9:00 pm until I had the test done at 9:00 am. I also did not take any Sup’s until after the appt. Hope this helps.

Here’s a radical cholesterol reducing recipe that my father-in-law “invented”. He is 46, and only gets excercise from yardwork and coaching his sons baseball and basketball teams. He’s not in terrible shape, but he can thank his active teen years for being where he is now. He got bloodwork back about a year ago and his cholesterol was at 225 and his hdl/ldl ratio was in the high risk range.

This freaked him out and he remembered hearing that olive oil was good fat, and that garlic and oatmeal could reduce cholesterol, sooo he started making plain oatmeal with a clove of garlic and a tablespoon or two of olive oil in it with an added splash of hot sauce on top of that for his breakfast every morning. As revolting as this may sound, he’s on to something. After 4 months of this he got his cholesterol checked and his hdl/ldl ratio was much better and his cholesterol level overall had dropped to about 170.

Just some “{food for thought” - pun intended.

Thanks Poman, awesome advice I feel better about it now. So I should continue on a low cal diet (2000 to 2100) and add the Veggies and Fiber and I should be Ok?

This forum has truly gifted folks. I really apprecaite the great advice.

Poman, I might be rememering my diagrams wrong, but isn’t acetyl CoA the main energy derivative of fat?

Doesn’t really matter. My question is what happens to the accumulated cholesterol even if the production is reduced? That where my idea of fat + fiber comes in. I was under the impression that bile salts were really the only way of shunting them out of the body.

Colin, I’m very happy that you’re taking responsibility for this. Most people I know who are diagnosed with high cholesterol just kinda listen to their doctor and then live their lives with no changes (“Oh, I can’t eat eggs, 'cause the doctor said so”). On guy at work was flabbergasted when he found out I ate 8 eggs a day - since he could only eat two a week. I offered to explain to him how my eating style allowed me to eat so many eggs, but he just dismissed me after half a minute and said “that’s not what my doctor says!”

Alright, got my appointment all set up for Tuesday at 8:30 am. Exciting times indeed :).

BTW Colin, I searched on free testosterone and found tons of good info to bring to my doc, so thanks for the tip!

Knowing that my test is Tuesday morning, how would alcohol consumption on Saturday night affect my results? My hockey team is having a XMas outing and surely there will be lots of beer. I was planning on having 2 beers max, unless it will affect the tests. Anyone have any insight on this? Thanks.

Swap the veggies for something else, rather than adding them. I can assure you that acetyl-CoA is not rate limiting for cholesterol biosynthesis. We are talking maybe 1-2 grams produced hepatically per day.