Cholesterol Update from May 2015: What did taking anti-inflammatory supplements and increasing my carbs do?

Cholesterol May 2015

When I saw my blood panel from March 2015, I wasn’t entirely sure what to feel.  I felt better that my LDL-P, LDL-C, and total cholesterol were coming down, but was a little worried at the elevation of my small LDL-P to it’s highest level.

While I was assured that my overall inflammation was low because of my CRP of 0.7, I didn’t know what to make of the state of my vascular inflammation because my Lp-PLA2 was high.  The high ferritin also seemed to point to possible underlying inflammation (or hemochromatosis).

I reasoned if there was any inflammation going on, perhaps taking some anti-inflammatory supplements would have an effect.

I also wondered what would happen to my small LDL-P if I increased my carbs a bit more and cut back on my saturated fat.

Here are the anti-inflammatory supplements I took regularly from March to May:

  • Athletic Greens – This is Tim Ferriss’s favorite supplement and one that helped me tremendously when I was doing shift work (here’s my review).  It has a ton of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants.  I hadn’t been taking this as regularly because I’ve been feeling fantastic, but for these couple of weeks, I made sure to take 1-2 servings of this religiously.
  • Thorne Curcumin – A lot of research has been done showing the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, which is the active antioxidant component of turmeric.
  • Thorne Omega 3, Lemon Berry – While definitely not cheap, this was by far the best tasting fish oil supplement I’ve ever used AND it doesn’t have a fishy after taste.  When I burped, all I tasted was the pleasant lemon berry flavor.  I used 2-3 tsp of this.
  • T3 Fuel – Kiefer’s thyroid supplement/mitochondrial enhancer.  I figured I’d take this to continue optimizing my thyroid since I had stopped using this regularly.

Along with the anti-inflammatory supplements I also:

  • Continued to train BJJ regularly 3-5 times per week and weight lifted 1-2 times per week
  • Increased my carbs from 100 gm to 120 gm.  These were mainly taken at night or post-workout.
  • Tried to decrease my saturated fat intake even more, but didn’t do a very good job of this.  I averaged 52 gm compared to 57 gm previously.
  • Continued to take Creatine Monohydrate, Magnesium Glycinate, and Upgraded Collagen to help with muscle recovery.  I hadn’t trained this much, this regularly in a long time and was constantly plagued with delayed onset muscle soreness.

If you want to see exactly what I ate during this time period you can check out my diary on MyFitnessPal here.

I exported the data as a tabulated excel spread sheet for easier viewing here.

These are my averaged daily macros from March 23, 2015 to May 6, 2015.

  • Calories: 2206
  • Carbs: 123 gm
  • Fat: 129 gm
  • Protein: 135 gm
  • Saturated Fat: 52 gm

I re-checked my NMR Lipoprofile and Lp-PLA2 on May 7, 2015 and here are the results:

BJJ Caveman Cholesterol May 2015 1

BJJ Caveman Cholesterol May 2015 2

BJJ Caveman Cholesterol May 2015 3

Cholesterol and Lp-PLA2

Here is my  data in a tabulated format including all of my historic values.  You can click on it to make it bigger:

BJJ Caveman Cholesterol May 2015

 

There was a slight bump in my Total Cholesterol, LDL-C, and LDL-P, which may just be from statistical variation.

My small LDL-P dropped significantly to from it’s highest point ever to it’s lowest, 1264 –> 837.  I can’t say if this was due to the additional carbs, all the supplements, the negligible reduction in saturated fat, a combination of the above, or something else entirely, but I’m just glad it came down.

It’s interesting to see that despite increasing my carbs by another 20 gm on average per day, my triglycerides actually came down.  Again, while this may be statistical variation, it’s something to take note of.

It all looked pretty rosy, until I got to my Lp-PLA2.  That sucker actually went up!

I still don’t know enough about this test to understand what this means, especially since it’s still pretty new, but if it really IS specific to vascular inflammation, then my high levels are worrisome.  It doesn’t look like all the anti-inflammatories I took had any effect on this.

Have they done tests on non-diabetics?  On people in my age range?  People who eat lower carb?  People who are active?

Definitely need to dig more into this.

*Image found here

8 Responses to Cholesterol Update from May 2015: What did taking anti-inflammatory supplements and increasing my carbs do?

  1. Hemming says:

    Although there will always be some natural fluctuations it just goes to shows that things are not as simple as some would like them to be. There are no cookie cutter diets/method that work for everyone.

  2. Charles Grashow says:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2747394/
    Lipoprotein ratios: Physiological significance and clinical usefulness in cardiovascular prevention

    Conclusions and recommendations
    LDL cholesterol concentration has been the prime index of cardiovascular disease risk and the main target for therapy. However, data now suggest that total/HDL cholesterol and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios are risk indicators with greater predictive value than isolated parameters used independently, particularly the former. These two indices can be regarded as similar; since two thirds of plasma cholesterol are found in LDL, total and LDL cholesterol are closely correlated. The predictive capacity of these ratios is supported by data suggesting that an increase in HDL cholesterol is more prevalently associated with plaque regression, while a decrease in LDL cholesterol would slow down progression. Both predict greater cardiovascular risk for a wide range of cholesterol concentrations. However, when there is no reliable determination of LDL cholesterol, as in cases of hypertriglyceridemia, it is preferable to use the total/HDL cholesterol ratio. This may be particularly interesting in patients with features of the metabolic syndrome.

    ApoB constitutes most of the protein content of LDL, as does apoA-I for HDL, even as parameters subject to less variation. Therefore, the apoB/apoAI ratio is also of great value for detecting atherogenic risk and often better than the total/HDL and LDL/HDL cholesterol ratios.’

    http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=752318
    Total Cholesterol/HDL Cholesterol Ratio vs LDL Cholesterol/HDL Cholesterol Ratio as Indices of Ischemic Heart Disease Risk in Men
    The Quebec Cardiovascular Study

    http://www.naturalhealthadvisory.com/daily/cholesterol-control/cholesterol-ratio%E2%80%94more-important-than-total-cholesterol-or-ldl-cholesterol/

  3. Charles Grashow says:

    http://www.nofructose.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Understanding_the_Entire_Lipid_Profile.pdf

    Understanding the Entire Lipid profile
    Thomas Dayspring MD, FACP

  4. Liam says:

    Hey Mate. Your lipids are really off base due to your lowish carb diet or even a high saturated fat diet which is low in certain fibres. Dayspring and peter attia’s much lauded blog posts seem pretty certain that High LDL-p is the primarly problem considering that plaque gets deposited via the LDL particle.

    If your int bbj, shart witha more sensible diet

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Yeah, I can definitely add more fiber into my diet.

      What else did you have min mind when you mention sensible diet? Upping my carbs more?

  5. Charles Grashow says:

    You might be interested in this Re LP-PLA2

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4374099/
    STABILITY and SOLID-TIMI 52: Lipoprotein associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) as a biomarker or risk factor for cardiovascular diseases

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Thanks for the link!

      “These data suggest that Lp-PLA2 may be a biomarker of vascular inflammation rather than a causal pathway of cardiovascular (CV) diseases.”

      That was my understanding of LP-PLA2 as well. It turns out there are other factors that can cause an elevation besides vascular inflammation… which I plan on touching on in a future post.

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