T Nation

Triglycerides/Cholesterol High?


My roommate had a cholesterol test at work today. They told him his triglycerides were well above normal levels. His diet is basically high protein/low carb with plenty of fresh fruits/vegetables. His supplementation includes whey, fish oil, creatine, and a multiv. Does anyone have any suggestions on what specifically can cause this and whether or not this is out of the ordinary for someone with this type of diet?

We are also curious to the degree this is affected by genetics as opposed to diet.



that is odd for a person on that type of diet. generally speaking low carb and high triglycerides don't go together.... how were his glucose numbers? what is his training like?


could be genetics...


What are the numbers? Last time I had mine checked I had a 255 total cholesterol with a 155 LDL and a 100 HDL. That 155 was considered high, but the 100 HDL is off the charts--I haven't worried a day in my life about it.


I actually have low triglicerides, really hi ldl, and low hdl. Not a good combination. Most of a persons cholesterol is produced by the liver (not from your diet), genetics are probably the biggest factor. Diet and exercise only does so much.

The only thing (other than medication) thatâ??s had a huge impact on my numbers is alcohol consumption. If heâ??s are out drinking a lot and often he may want to try to cut back.


yeah i am pretty much in the same boat as you. once i switched to lower carb my triglycerides cut in half. but my cholesterol is 227 or so and my hdl is just barely over the healthy threshold. ldl is higher than it should be. hopefully once i get my glusocse back under control my liver will go back to normal. fixed it once i can do it again.


It there really a high HDL number. I have never heard of an upper range for HDL. I am under the impression that anything above 60 is considered very beneficial in protecting against heart desease.


sorry. mixed up my lipids there for a second....


yes this is odd, triglycerides are usually low with a low carb diet and especially when combined with fish oil. Can be genetic but more often due to illness such as diabetes, obesity or poor diet.

cholesterol however for some can not be lowered enough by diet and lifestyle

may want to consider Niacin

I like Niamax from Swanson, it is the same as Niaspan but much, much cheaper. I take 2000mg every night. At a dose this high you may want to consider checking your liver enzymes, but a lower dose than this may not change your values significantly. I have not had my levels checked since taking. I get comprehensive labs every couple of years.

I used to have mildly high LDL and mildly low HDL with mildly high triglycerides By a healthy lifestyle my triglycerides are now very, very low, my LDL is in middle of normal range, and my HDL is still mildly low. I mainly started taking Niacin for my HDL, but it can help with LDL too.

Also you need to remeber that even some people with normal cholesterol have high risk for heart disease, some of which would be discovered by looking at the LDL subparticles. Also some people with high cholesterol values do not seem to develop heart disease, but I belive they are the exceptions.


Just remember if you start taking niacin, don't be surprised if your whole body turns bright red and starts tingling. Taking asprin with the dose can help, but it's not fun. Niaspan has made me flush dozens of times.


well i am still hopeful i can lower it through diet and lifestyle. i have some training and diet tweaking i would like to try first. thanks for the info, just hope it doesn't get to that point. already taking meds for glucose, and i would like to get off of those as well. did it before; just got a little too comfortable after having it under control for over a year.


I had my roommate post this for me at the time of our discussion. I certainly appreciate all of the feedback on the topic. We both came to the concussion we know very little about cholesterol levels and we were curious how they may play into training/quality of life/etc.

To elaborate on the topic: HDL-32 LDL-162 Trigly-265 BP-110/60 (24 y/o, 6'1", 194lbs, 12% Body fat). I had the test taken on a Tuesday morning before inhaling my first shake with flax for the day. I must admit I did drink on Saturday but I figured it would have been pretty well out of my system after hitting one of the biggest legs days in weeks. I usually only drink 1 night a week . . . so I would hope that is not the prime contributor. I have a strict enough diet to have my co-works mocking me and I train on average 4.5 times a week. My focus for the last 4 weeks has been to keep my heart rate in the 80% zone by dropping the weight to increase quality reps, with minimal rest. I have not been doing any structured cardo after these high intensity sessions because lets face it I am beat after 50 minutes of doing pretty much whatever it takes to keep my heart rate up.

The more I read up on the topic of high Triglycerides less I want to believe one source over another. The one piece of information that I did gather that may also help to explain my numbers is that I do drink ~2 gallons of milk a week. So I am really anxious to get some information from individuals who lead similar lifestyles to myself not a website that recommends 30 minutes of brisk walking for sufficient exercise.

Please let the comments continue and I hope this forum stay active for a while. Please feel free let it rip, I was a 1-AA punter for 4 years so if you think I need to be put in my place it has been about 2 years since the Linebackers coach called me a broke dick.


long as you were fasted for 8-12 hours before the blood work no worries. yeah that is a lot of milk, don't worry i used to do the same thing. then i read up a lot on all the stuff it wacks out in terms of insulin and blood glucose etc. those 2 gallons were 256g of sugar alone for the week. then depending on if it was whole, skim, etc you can calculate the fat from that. hell i probably drank more than you.

sorry i can't help with the cholesterol. still experimenting. i am sure part of my problem is the damage to my liver from having the elevated blood glucose levels for too long. i can't remember how my initial blood work compared to this years. i would like to know now that i think of it. going to try and cut out some saturated fat and see what happens. while i drink zero milk now, i probably do eat more cheese than i should; the only damn edible thing in the employee dining area sometimes. as i mentioned switching from god knows how many to less than 100g of carbs/day cut my tri's from over 300 to 140ish. i only have about 5 lbs and 1% more body fat on you.


phytosterols are supposed to compete with ldl in the degestive tract i don't know the health risks of phytosterols but alot are found in raw sunflower seeds like 750mg per cup and some healthy butter spreads and dressings. Just read 20 percent don't see any noticeable results with their cholesterol when using phytosterols. BUT another plus is that they lower cortisol (Here's the article http://www.thieme-connect.com/ejournals/abstract/sportsmed/doi/10.1055/s-2007-971127 ).


You have already been told and much of this is genetics so you may not be able to do what works for others and have same results.

You are lean. Good for you but not much else you can do here. Add some cardio it does not have to be high intensity.

Fish oil, at least 4,000mg a day or higher

Diet go low carb and avoid alcohol. Although you are so lean and many at you age with your body fat can actually handle a lot of carbs while staying lean and not affecting cholesterol and bodyfat as much as someone fat or with poor insulin sensitivity, you may be the exception.

Consider a form of Niacin. I believe in Niamax some like slo niacin. Some concern for liver and insulin sensitivity with this medication, but nothing relatively safe works so well for HDL and it is good for LDL also. You can give lifestyle a final try before this if you want, but I doubt you raise HDL above 40.

I would not consider going on prescription meds unless you have a horrbile family hisotry of heart disease. In that case I would check your subparticles of your cholesterol and consider seeing a cardiologist or at least an internist.

Or choose not to worry beacuse you are not lazy and fat like most americans and we will all eventually have to die no matter how healty we are, and stress kills. You numbers do not look good but with you low bodyfat and low blood pressure you have a lot going for you in those regards

Why even worry at all you ask? Very oversimplified but with high triglycerides and bad cholsterol, and low HDL you are at an increased risk for getting atherosclerosis and other problems. It can affect your entire body eventually, yes even your erections.

I ate worse than you and was much, much fatter than you with my before numbers

HDL 42 LDL 147 triglycerides 116

After going low carb, addding fish oil, lost gut, and doing cardio

HDL 38 yes it got worse LDL 101 triglycerides 40

I have not tested since taking Niacin and it is about time for me to do so again. My diet and cardio has not been as consistent lately but time to change that again because I am starting to get a gut again.

I obviously concluded I can control everything but my HDL with lifestyle so I could either live with it or take Niacin. I decided the few risks with Niacin was worth it for me but you must make your own choice because it is your body.


Actually last I read, moderate amounts alcohol is one of the few things to raise HDL (1-2 drinks a day for a male). More than that and it raises triglycerides. It's a double edged sword. Alcohol doesn't need to be entirely avoided.