I had normal cholesterol, went low carb, and then ketogenic, and saw that my cholesterol started to go crazy. I tried a host of things to bring it down including raising my carbs and taking various supplements to no effect. I finally saw a lipidologist, did some more research, and came up with a 12 point gameplan which surprisingly worked!
I’m now in the process of peeling away parts of my gameplan to see what changes, if any happen to my cholesterol levels.
Most recently I stopped taking Bergamot and saw that my LDL-P and Small LDL-P both bumped up.
My next step was to stop taking Grace Liu PhD’s special fiber combination that she calls Bionic Fiber:
- Inulin FOS Powder – 1 tbsp
- Acacia Fiber – 1 tbsp
- Psyllium Husk Powder – 1 tbsp
- Raw Reserve High ORAC Green Powder Berry Flavor – 1 tbsp
Rotating in the following:
I plan to write a separate post on my Bionic Fiber experiences so I won’t go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say, I was eager to stop taking it.
Oh yeah, I also started drinking coffee again. Just couldn’t resist the siren song of a warm cup of joe in the morning. I know I shouldn’t be changing more than one variable at a time, and this is really making for poor science… but it is what it is.
What Happened to my Cholesterol?
Here is the tabulated data including all of my prior tests (the BJJ Cavewife likes to make fun of my love for spreadsheets). You can click on the table to make it bigger in case the font is too small:
LDL-P: It came back down to 1611 from 1817, for a drop in 207 points. It’s also at the second lowest level it’s been since I started measuring.
Small LDL-P: This dropped to 547 from 886, for a total loss of 339 points. This is the absolute lowest it’s been since I’ve been measuring AND is only 20 points above the normal range!
LDL-C: This paradoxically went up to 143 from 135.
Triglycerides: Slight elevation to 86 from 69, suggesting that I may have increased my carb intake a tad bit more compared to prior.
HDL-C: Minimal decrease to 50 from 56, still within the range of where it’s been for the past 5 years.
Vitamin D: This is still low at 35.2 and didn’t really change from my most recent measurement in July 2015 when it measured 31. While I’ve been supplementing regularly with 2000-4000 IU with Exos Vitamin D + K, this tells me that it’s not enough. In order to get it to the optimal range of 50-90 recommended by my lipidologist, I’ll probably need to double the dose.
So, here’s what we know so far. Doing all 12 things brought my cholesterol down. Removing the bergamot made it go back up a bit. And now stopping the bionic fiber and adding in a cup of coffee per day brought it back down again.
I don’t think we can conclude that that bergamot and coffee are good while bionic fiber is bad.
Maybe taking all of that bionic fiber and probiotics have changed my gut biome for the better and the changes persist despite removing the bionic fiber?
Maybe it’s all within the range of normal variation?
Maybe it’s all due to a prolonged reduction in saturated fat given my Apo E 3/4 status?
Maybe it’s all due to my improved oral hygiene? We already know that there is a relationship between oral hygiene and cholesterol, and we know that my oral biome is colonized by high risk bacteria. Perhaps I was able to eradicate all the baddies in my mouth.
At this point, I’m not entirely sure that I care about why! I’m just happy that things are normalizing. Besides, I think that what I’m doing is much easier than Jimmy Moore’s 17 day fasting protocol.
- Reduce saturated fat intake
- Eat more beans
- Eat low carb but not ketogenic
- Probiotics including VSL#3, Prescript Assist, and Primadophilus Reuteri.
- Omega 3
- Vitamins and Minerals (Athletic Greens, Vitamins D+K, Magnesium Threonate)
- Optimize Oral Hygiene
- Maintain exercise (BJJ 4-5x per week, weight lift 1-2x per week).
I’ll do another blood test in a month or so and see what happens.