T Nation



My cholesterol numbers are reasonable for a 45 year old guy if you ask me. And, as you may know, I?m not much into the Lipid Hypotheses to say the least. But I'm posting number here are my numbers from this year:

Chol: 149, Tri: 100, HDL: 35, LDL: 94.

Last year my numbers were
Chol: 134, Tri: 124, HDL: 30, LDL: 79.

And the year before:
Chol: 152, Tri: 72, HDL: 40

What I?m wondering about is my HDL numbers. The normal range on the sheet is 40-59 and yet I am always way below that. Should I be concerned?

I?ve always been a health eater compared to most everyone around me, so this kind of baffles me?


with an almost 1:1 ratio of total chol to LDL, no, do not be too worried. Low HDL is a risk factor for heart disease, but just one of many (your other is that your are a male). Have your LDL subtypes tested to see what pattern you are (A or B) and post the results. The pattern often is a better indicator of heart disease risk because it describes your LDL.


What do you mean by 1:1 ratio? Wouldn't it be 2:1?

And what do you mean by pattern of A or B? I don't see tha on the lab results I don't think...


your Total cholesterol to LDL ratio, as long as it is <4, you are at reduced risk for heart disease. My math was off.

LDL pattern is not normally done unless your doc does it as a spcial test. Your main concern is or should be your relatively low HDL. You need to think about doing a few times per week of intense cardio and discuss with your doctor the use of nicotinic acid to raise the HDL. When examining LDL pattern or to learn more about it, google Berkeley Heart Lab and their data will explain it all.


Thx - I'll check it out!


It took me awhile but I remembered that nic. acid was just niacin. Sounds like you have to be careful:

"How much is usually taken?
In part because it is added to white flour, most people generally get enough vitamin B3 from their diets to prevent a deficiency. However, 10?25 mg of the vitamin can be taken as part of a B-complex or multivitamin supplement. Larger amounts are used for the treatment of various health conditions.

Are there any side effects or interactions?
Niacinamide is almost always safe to take, though rare liver problems have occurred at amounts in excess of 1,000 mg per day. Niacin, in amounts as low as 50?100 mg, may cause flushing, headache, and stomachache in some people. Doctors sometimes prescribe very high amounts of niacin (as much as 3,000 mg per day or more) for certain health problems. These large amounts can cause liver damage, diabetes, gastritis, damage to eyes, and elevated blood levels of uric acid (which can cause gout). Symptoms caused by niacin supplements, such as flushing, have been reduced with sustained-release (also called ?time-release?) niacin products. However, sustained-release forms of niacin have caused significant liver toxicity and, rarely, liver failure.1 2 3 4 5 One partial time-release (intermediate-release) niacin product has demonstrated clinical efficacy without flushing, and also without the liver function abnormalities typically associated with sustained-release niacin formulations.6 However, this form of niacin is available by prescription only.

In a controlled clinical trial, 1,000 mg or more per day of niacin raised blood levels of homocysteine, a substance associated with increased risk of heart disease.7 Since other actions of niacin lower heart disease risk,8 9 the importance of this finding is unclear. Nonetheless, for all of the reasons discussed above, large amounts of niacin should never be taken without consulting a doctor.

The inositol hexaniacinate form of niacin has not been linked with the side effects associated with niacin supplementation. In a group of people being treated alternatively with niacin and inositol hexaniacinate for skin problems, niacin supplementation (50?100 mg per day) was associated with numerous side effects, including skin flushing, nausea, vomiting and agitation.10 In contrast, people taking inositol hexaniacinate experienced no complaints whatsoever, even at amounts two to five times higher than the previously used amounts of niacin. However, the amount of research studying the safety of inositol hexaniacinate remains quite limited. Therefore, people taking this supplement in large amounts (2,000 mg or more per day) should be under the care of a doctor.


I find this topic very near and dear to me. I am 46yrs olds and have the same problem, low HDL. I have been reading about everything under the sun to elevate my HDL, but nothing has worked for me.

Working with my doctor I was taking 2000MG of niacin daily, did nothing. I take fish oil, eat nothing but grass-fed/organic meat, drink raw goat/cow milk. I eat very, very clean. I drink red wine several days a week, eat 70% or higher cocoa content dark chocolate, lots of avacodas, lots of olive oil, lift like a mad man in the gym, but nothing has elevated my HDL. At my last bloodwork I had the following stats:

10/07/2005 - Total Cholesterol - 130 - HDL - 29 - LDL 89 - TRIG 58 - BDY WGTH - 219

For the past six months I have started taking policosonal, since several reports have indicated in can raise HDL.

I refuse to take Lipitor or any other cholesterol drugs. I will keep fighting with diet and exercise, plus natural herbs


What's your diet like? Almonds, walnuts, monounsaturates, EPA and DHA should all be incorporated and can help lower LDL and raise HDL. Exercise also improves as I'm sure you know. Do some aerobic and interval work. Don't know if you would want to do this, but nolva also helps raise HDL, I believe. You could do a low-dose, stand-alone cycle of nolva for a short time.



Similar boat. My HDL has ranged 47 (highest) to 35 (recent low).

I too eat really well, take fish-caps (now FLAMEOUT), eat good oils blah blah blah and exercise regularly and with high to very high intensity.

I'm getting to the point where I just don't believe the hype about HDL/LDL and all-that - I refuse to believe that my heart and cardiovascular health is as bad as a slug who eats shite and exercises only with the finger for TV channel surfing. I don't care what the numbers say in that context! :slight_smile:

I suspect in a few short years, we'll see more and more evidence to show that high LDL is only bad if you follow the traditional American (now Western world) way of eating badly and doing nothing: I suspect for those that do differently, LDL/HDL will become an increasingly less important health-indicator.

However, until that time comes, I am indeed going to keep my eye on it and do what I can to influence it. Like you-too, I will not take any drugs to improve my figures (which are already much better than when I used to be a slug).




You're probably right - cholesterol only really becomes dangerous when there are microtears in the blood vessels for it to become lodged in. Chronic high blood pressure tends to be a big cause here. If everything else is in order and you're not genetically predisposed, cholesterol numbers don't mean a whole lot; most centurians have high cholesterol after all. Not to say having a higher HDL isn't helpful of course.

Good stance to take.

Just as a point of interest for those trying to raise HDL, the highest HDL levels I've found are in women who perform interval-style work multiple times a day, every day. Obviously can't become a woman short of hormonal therapy, but the frequent interval work does seem to boost it.



Thx for the post guys.

I'm wondering if we're eating too good? Maybe our cholesterol is actually too low? Some of the articles I've read make me think that low cholesterol is just as bad as high. And I wonder if you raised the tot chol # a little if that would in turn raise the HDL number. But that doesn't make sense cuzz it would raise the LDL # as well. I don't know...

I don't know - I'm with you guys: I'd rather throw my hat in with the pholks who believe that eating right and exercising gives me better odds than clinical studies that deal with an average population eating a generally deadly western diet.