T Nation

LDL Down, Triglycerides Up?

Hey gang,

My girlfriend just got a cholesterol test back and I’m confused about the outcome. So I figured what better place to discuss genuine health issues than the internet. Yay.

So, her recent values compared to her last test about 6 months ago were as follows:

Total Cholesterol
previous: 224
current: 189

HDL
previous: 51
current: 56

LDL
previous: 156
current: 108

Triglycerides
previous: 83
current: 127

?!?
LDL dropped 48 points, but triglycerides increased 44? I know triglycerides are generally considered more “important” a deciding factor of heart disease, so she and I were a bit upset.

Her diet, nutrition, and exercise program hasn’t changed. She’s on blood pressure medication, but it’s not new. She’s been on for almost a year. The only factor we can think of is an increase of general stress from her work. But I’m not sure that would have any profound effect on these levels. So I’m stumped.

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edit: Been thinking things over. We did add in about 1.5 grams of lecithin (one softgel a day) about 2 months ago, after a co-worker told her he had very positive results with it for high cholesterol. That’s the only addition to her supplement plan we’ve made, as far as I can remember.

Something to read:

http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/benefits_cholest.html

http://www.thincs.org/

Maybe a t-vixen would be in a better position to answer this, but can’t triglyceride levels change during a woman’s menstrual cycle?

Thanks for those link Gx. I pretty much agree with the cholesterol myth info (that is, I believe it’s mostly a myth.) I’m just going to look for more info on the elevated Triglycerides. She does have a family history of heart disease (her mother’s mother had 4 or 5 heart attacks, her father’s mother had a stroke), so she’s just concerned, as am I.

[quote]t-ha wrote:
Maybe a t-vixen would be in a better position to answer this, but can’t triglyceride levels change during a woman’s menstrual cycle? [/quote]

She had a hysterectomy last May, so menstruation is a thing of the past. (Don’t ya love how there’s no such thing as too-much-information?) When I told her about what you said though, she did tell me that at the time of the recent test, she was in what would’ve been about mid-cycle. So there may be something to that. Thanks.

Fish oil caps, take three BEFORE each major meal for a total of 9 per day. Do this until her next test and see what happens.

Cholesterol is NOT the problem. Inflamation is. Reduce inflamation via fish oil. Try it and see.

[quote]derek wrote:
Fish oil caps, take three BEFORE each major meal for a total of 9 per day. Do this until her next test and see what happens.

Cholesterol is NOT the problem. Inflamation is. Reduce inflamation via fish oil. Try it and see.[/quote]

I do have her on 1-2 Flameout twice a day (with breakfast and either lunch or dinner). I’ve been trying to get her to bump those up, but she doesn’t dig the fish burps. I’ll make sure she increases it now, no doubt. Thanks.

Minor point - You’re suggesting BEFORE, as opposed to during? So, maybe a half hour or so before meals?

Is she overweight? What is her body composition? Sure, her nutrition has stayed the same, but what is her nutrition?

-Cloth

[quote]Cloth wrote:
Is she overweight? What is her body composition? Sure, her nutrition has stayed the same, but what is her nutrition?

-Cloth[/quote]

Not overweight at all, but not ripped either. I haven’t checked her bodyfat percentage in quite a while, but since the surgery, she is a bit more predisposed to abdominal fat.

Current nutrition is nothing fancy at all:

  • Oatmeal, 1-2 egg whites, 1/2 scoop protein powder in 1% milk for breakfast.

  • Either a Metabolic Drive bar, yogurt and a piece of fruit, or carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers w/ fat-free dressing as mid-day snack.

  • Lunch is usually a dark green salad with homemade olive oil-based dressing, plus leftover dinner from a previous night. Generally a chicken or fish and vegetable.

  • Dinner is whatever I’m sweet-talked into cooking. I usually shoot for lean pork, chicken, fish, or steak with one or two veggies as a side, plus brown rice or some kind of potato. Once a week might be pasta with olive oil and chicken.

  • Dessert is usually fat-free ice cream. Her only real indulgence which is totally a no-compromise issue.

Supplements include Flameout, garlic, lecithin, an anti-oxidant blend, B-complex, a multi, and C. Medications are for hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.

[quote]Colucci wrote:
derek wrote:
Fish oil caps, take three BEFORE each major meal for a total of 9 per day. Do this until her next test and see what happens.

Cholesterol is NOT the problem. Inflamation is. Reduce inflamation via fish oil. Try it and see.

I do have her on 1-2 Flameout twice a day (with breakfast and either lunch or dinner). I’ve been trying to get her to bump those up, but she doesn’t dig the fish burps. I’ll make sure she increases it now, no doubt. Thanks.

Minor point - You’re suggesting BEFORE, as opposed to during? So, maybe a half hour or so before meals?
[/quote]

Before as in “just before” should do it (reduce the insulin response therefore reduce the inflamation, therefore reduce cholesterol buildup)

[quote]Colucci wrote:
Cloth wrote:
Is she overweight? What is her body composition? Sure, her nutrition has stayed the same, but what is her nutrition?

-Cloth

Not overweight at all, but not ripped either. I haven’t checked her bodyfat percentage in quite a while, but since the surgery, she is a bit more predisposed to abdominal fat.

Current nutrition is nothing fancy at all:

  • Oatmeal, 1-2 egg whites, 1/2 scoop protein powder in 1% milk for breakfast.

  • Either a Metabolic Drive bar, yogurt and a piece of fruit, or carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers w/ fat-free dressing as mid-day snack.

  • Lunch is usually leftover dinner from a previous night. Generally a chicken or fish and veggie I made.

  • Dinner is whatever I’m sweet-talked into cooking. I usually shoot for lean pork, chicken, fish, or steak with one or two veggies as a side, plus brown rice or some kind of potato. Once a week might be pasta with olive oil and chicken.

  • Dessert is usually fat-free ice cream. Her only real indulgence which is totally a no-compromise issue.

Supplements include Flameout, garlic, lecithin, an anti-oxidant blend, B-complex, a multi, and C. Medications are for hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.[/quote]

Looks like she needs to ADD healthy fats/oils to her diet. Maybe cut out the potato and a bit of the carbby stuff like the frozen yogurt too.

Her diet seems good. Well done on that.

Moderate cardiovascular exercise gives many benefits to the cardiovascular system. It would definitely be worthwhile for someone who has a genetic predisposition towards cardio. disease to invest time into this. I would definitely suggest steady state cardio training, not interval.

As she’s a girl I doubt she’ll care much about the catabolism and all that, and it is the method of training used in most of the studies.

Aside from this, hypothyroidism can muck around with alot of physiological markers. It’d probably be worthwhile to get in contact with the physician who is monitoring her thyroid condition and ensure that the treatment is effective.

-Cloth

[quote]Cloth wrote:
Aside from this, hypothyroidism can muck around with alot of physiological markers. It’d probably be worthwhile to get in contact with the physician who is monitoring her thyroid condition and ensure that the treatment is effective.

-Cloth[/quote]

Turns out she actually missed a few doses of her hypothyroid medication in the week leading up to the cholesterol test, so that could’ve very well skewed the results.

In any case, I appreciate all the advice, fellas. I’ve already started implementing it.

And Derek, if you’d like to call here and explain to her that she needs to cut back on the ice cream, you’re more than welcome to. You’re a few states away, so you should be pretty safe. :wink:

[quote]derek wrote:
Colucci wrote:
Cloth wrote:
Is she overweight? What is her body composition? Sure, her nutrition has stayed the same, but what is her nutrition?

-Cloth

Not overweight at all, but not ripped either. I haven’t checked her bodyfat percentage in quite a while, but since the surgery, she is a bit more predisposed to abdominal fat.

Current nutrition is nothing fancy at all:

  • Oatmeal, 1-2 egg whites, 1/2 scoop protein powder in 1% milk for breakfast.

  • Either a Metabolic Drive bar, yogurt and a piece of fruit, or carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers w/ fat-free dressing as mid-day snack.

  • Lunch is usually leftover dinner from a previous night. Generally a chicken or fish and veggie I made.

  • Dinner is whatever I’m sweet-talked into cooking. I usually shoot for lean pork, chicken, fish, or steak with one or two veggies as a side, plus brown rice or some kind of potato. Once a week might be pasta with olive oil and chicken.

  • Dessert is usually fat-free ice cream. Her only real indulgence which is totally a no-compromise issue.

Supplements include Flameout, garlic, lecithin, an anti-oxidant blend, B-complex, a multi, and C. Medications are for hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.

Looks like she needs to ADD healthy fats/oils to her diet. Maybe cut out the potato and a bit of the carbby stuff like the frozen yogurt too.
[/quote]

I was going to say the same thing. More healthy fats. Olive Oil, walnutts, peanuts every day.

Cut the once a week pasta meal out. Same for the potato. All your doing is basically dumping sugar down your throat.

In animal studies resveratrol reduced inflammation. Nothing proven in humans yet, but by taking one pill a week your mimicking a diet high in resveratrol. And at one pill a week, costs are basically nothing.

Bump that fish oil to 4 caps a day. One thing I never understood is why people don’t take there fish oil right before bed, with a small protein meal like a shake. No worries about burps. Your sleeping :wink:

[quote]Colucci wrote:
Cloth wrote:
Is she overweight? What is her body composition? Sure, her nutrition has stayed the same, but what is her nutrition?

-Cloth

Not overweight at all, but not ripped either. I haven’t checked her bodyfat percentage in quite a while, but since the surgery, she is a bit more predisposed to abdominal fat.

Current nutrition is nothing fancy at all:

  • Oatmeal, 1-2 egg whites, 1/2 scoop protein powder in 1% milk for breakfast.

  • Either a Metabolic Drive bar, yogurt and a piece of fruit, or carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers w/ fat-free dressing as mid-day snack.

  • Lunch is usually a dark green salad with homemade olive oil-based dressing, plus leftover dinner from a previous night. Generally a chicken or fish and vegetable.

  • Dinner is whatever I’m sweet-talked into cooking. I usually shoot for lean pork, chicken, fish, or steak with one or two veggies as a side, plus brown rice or some kind of potato. Once a week might be pasta with olive oil and chicken.

  • Dessert is usually fat-free ice cream. Her only real indulgence which is totally a no-compromise issue.

Supplements include Flameout, garlic, lecithin, an anti-oxidant blend, B-complex, a multi, and C. Medications are for hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.[/quote]

Tri’s can vary by what you had to eat a day or two before. Mine did. I had it rechecked and were back to normal. They are usally around 110-140. They cam back at 350. Two weeks later back to 115.

Also does she drink? Even a few glasses of wine or beer will throw it off. I had a few glasses of wine two days before my test. Maybe 4 or so. That’s what the doc said may have skewed it.

[quote]derek wrote:
Colucci wrote:
derek wrote:
Fish oil caps, take three BEFORE each major meal for a total of 9 per day. Do this until her next test and see what happens.

Cholesterol is NOT the problem. Inflamation is. Reduce inflamation via fish oil. Try it and see.

I do have her on 1-2 Flameout twice a day (with breakfast and either lunch or dinner). I’ve been trying to get her to bump those up, but she doesn’t dig the fish burps. I’ll make sure she increases it now, no doubt. Thanks.

Minor point - You’re suggesting BEFORE, as opposed to during? So, maybe a half hour or so before meals?

Before as in “just before” should do it (reduce the insulin response therefore reduce the inflamation, therefore reduce cholesterol buildup)
[/quote]

Stay low carb, and you won’t have to worry about dragging around fish oil in your pocket all day to take before meals, and to remember to do so. Low carb = Low insulin response. Flameout + protein shake before bed = no burps, quality, slow digesting protein to stave of catabolism throughout night.