Cholesterol Update September 2016



It’s been about 6 months since I last checked my cholesterol and I’ve had a few readers ask me how my numbers look.  Before I jump into what the results are I thought it might be helpful, especially to new readers, to detail a little bit about where I’ve come from, and what I’ve been doing in the mean time.

I’ve written quite extensively on my cholesterol history and some of the research I’ve done on the subject throughout my blog.  Here’s a link to everything I’ve written on cholesterol thus far.

My History

Without going too in depth the brief summary of my history of high cholesterol goes something like this.  I had a normal which inexplicably started climbing higher and higher.  I experimented with the Slow Carb Diet from The 4 Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss, which got even worse when I experimented with Nutritional Ketosis, despite losing weight and improving my body composition.  I tried a cyclic ketogenic diet (Carb Nite) and then a targeted ketogenic diet (Carb Back-Loading) which didn’t seem to help at all.

I experimented with a few other various things here and there without any significant impact and finally got my act together and met with an expert, Dr. Dall a board certified lipidologist.  Here are some posts I wrote about my meetings with her:

I learned a lot from my meetings with her which helped me develop a plan of attack… which worked!

For a more detailed narrative of this history and a summary of the test results immediately following the implementation of my plan, you can go here:

Did My Anti-Cholesterol Gameplan Work?  YES!

The next step for me to do was to parse out which specific components of the plan had the strongest effects, which lead me down the next path of experimentation with these series of posts:

Which leads me to where I am now.

What I’m doing now

The BJJ Cavewife and I decided to join our Crossfit gym in doing the Whole 30, which is essentially a strict paleo diet.  After following this diet for 15 days I had my blood drawn.  If I planned things better I would have gotten the blood test after the full 30 days, but things just didn’t work out.

Here is my average daily macronutrient and caloric intake for this time period:

Calories: 1986
Carbs: 79
Protein: 142
Fat: 128
Sat Fat: 48

If you want to see what I ate in detail, I logged everything on MyFitnessPal.

I tested my blood ketones and saw that I was in low level ketosis for about half the time.

My activity consisted of 3-4 days of BJJ and 1-2 days of Crossfit.

Here are the supplements I took:

Athletic Greens
Thorne Research Lemon Berry Flavored Fish Oil
Thorne Research Curcumin
Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate

For more detail about what I did during this time period, take a look at this post: The Whole 30, Days 1-15.

10% OFF with code: bjjcaveman

What happened to my cholesterol?




And of course, like in all of my prior posts, I tabulated it all:


I know the text in the table is small so I just wanted to point out that you can click on it to bring up the larger image.

LDL-P: Dropped to 1974 from 2269 for a loss of more than 10%.

Small LDL-P: Now at 984 compared to 996, with no significant change.

LDL-C: Dropped to 161 from 180 for a loss of a little over 10%

Triglycerides: Still under control at 84, unchanged from before when it was 85.

HDL-C: Now at 40, the lowest it’s been in the past 6 years.

Total Cholesterol: Dropped to 218 from 255, for a loss of 14%

CRP: Still low at 0.61

Fasting Insulin: Still under control at 3.6

What does this mean?

It’s interesting to see the improvement in LDL-P, LDL-C, and Total Cholesterol without any probiotics, berberine, or bergamot.  Of course the unchanged Small LDL-P is still concerning.  I wonder how much of it is simply related to the reduced saturated fat intake (althought this didn’t seem to help much before) or the changes in the diet with increased fruit and vegetable intake.

While things still aren’t ideal, I think knowing that the changes brought on by the Whole 30 have this sort of effect, simply after 15 days is reassuring.

I still need to experiment with berberine on it’s own since I suspect that is the most powerful of the things that I’ve tried, but I’m getting used to this way of eating and so will also be interested to see how far this can go.

*Image found here

19 Responses to Cholesterol Update September 2016

  1. Paul says:

    It does not seem that Stict paleo is the best for your lipids. Your carb intake is high and pushing up your trigs. Why don’t you get a CAC scan done? If Zero then none of this really matters.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I think I might get both the CAC and a Carotid Intima US tests just to see where I’m at. I don’t anticipate seeing much there… but even though I don’t see anything doesn’t mean anything. I’d like to get my LDL-P under control to prevent the development of any plaque at all…

      I’m not sure why you think my trigs are getting pushed higher? They’ve been pretty consistently in the sub 100 range.

      I’m also not sure an average carb intake of 79 gm/day can be considered ‘high’ especially when taking into account my heavy activity level… if anything, it can be argued that it’s too low!

      The fasting insulin also confirms that my carb intake is definitely well under control.

  2. Mike says:

    Interesting results. Your triglycerides look good. Its strange that your HDL dropped so much. Maybe because of more carbs / less fat because of your APOe 3/4. I have heard from others that citrus bergamot and pantetheine work really well for LDL-P.

    I have been on a higher fat Whole 30 type diet for a while now and my cholesterol skyrocketed! I found out that I was APOe 3/4 and also MTHFR C677 homozygous. I have since cut down on saturated fats and increased “good” carbs some. I am also trying bergamot and pantetheine. I am interested to see what my NMR results will be.

  3. Paul says:

    I am also apoe3/4 and found that sat fat will really push up sm LDL-P especially cheese. If you are APOE3/4 watch Gundry’s video on optimal diet

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Thank you for the great resources. I’ve heard stuff from Dr. Gundry before and I remember one of his recommendations was to avoid dairy… which is a component I’m following with the Whole 30.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for the information Paul. Is there anymore literature regarding the diet he recommends for apoe3/4? Is this the same diet he writes about in the “Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution”? Are you following this type of diet and if so, what results are you seeing?

      • admin says:

        Mike, I only saw the video linked above but am doing a self test now of eliminating cheese and adding crab meat. Keeping everything else I do the same. In a month or so I’ll retest my sm LDL-P to see if it is helping. I have been eating a lot of cheese. Last my sm LDL P was 305 and that’s too high for my liking.

  4. Dustin says:

    My lipids had a similar reaction to eating paleo-style with similar macros and I’m not the apoe 3/4 genotype (I didn’t track them, but the only carbs I ate were fruit/veggies and potatoes and I didn’t go crazy on beef/bacon/butter)

    LDL-P up from 1663 to 2084
    HDL-P down from 20.1 to 18.3
    Trigs stayed around 100

    I decided to change to include much more fiber (Ezekiel cereal, oat bran, beans) and lower meat intake somewhat. Plan to re-test in a week or two, then perhaps add supplements.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Fantastic! Those fibers seem to be what was effective in this case presentation by Dr. Dayspring.

      • Dustin says:

        Update – I didn’t do an NMR this time around, because I haven’t shown a discordant LDL-C/P pattern. After 45-50 days of changing my diet, my LDL-C went down from 171 to 142, and my HDL-C went up from 39 to 41. My total cholesterol to HDL ratio is at 5.0 down from 5.9. That’s as low of an LDL as I’ve ever had, so I think it might be working!

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