The last time I checked my cholesterol in September 2016 it showed a slight improvement in my LDL-P, LDL-C, and total cholesterol simply by following the Whole 30 diet for 2 weeks. Despite these improvements, my small LDL-P remained elevated at 984 which was concerning.
As you can see with my cholesterol charts, I’ve been living with a high LDL-P for almost 4 years now which is far too long.
When the new year rolled around, I resolved to make 2017 the year that I finally get to the bottom of my cholesterol issues and lay things to rest like I did with my HbA1c.
I’ve decided that by the end of the year I’ll get both a coronary calcium scan AND a carotid intimal media thickness test to assess what damage, if any, is manifesting in my vessels.
If I still can’t get my cholesterol under control it’s probably time for me to consider taking statins… which is something I desperately want to avoid.
I’m still hopeful I can avoid them because I stumbled on to a winning formula in 2015, but it was a shot gun approach with multiple components. While it worked… it left me with questions like:
Which components had the greatest effects? Which had the least? Which of them could I strip away? Do they all need to be taken together in concert?
I initially wanted to test each of these things but my plans went awry due to various life events, like changes in my job and a move across the country.
Here are links to what I’ve tried so far:
In which I try to dissect the components…
- I Stopped Taking Bergamot And Here’s What Happened To My Cholesterol
- Cholesterol Update After Stopping Bionic Fiber
- Cholesterol Update January 2016: How I Bollixed My Experiment
- Cholesterol Update March 2016: What happens after 6 weeks of VSL#3 Probiotics?
Now that my life has settled down a bit I can get back to testing regularly.
Another obstacle I now realize that made things difficult for me was my testing interval. I generally liked to test for 30 days in order to give my body a full month to adjust to whatever changes were made… but this length of time made it too easy to fall off the wagon. LIFE inevitably gets in the way and interferes with what I’m trying to do.
I’m going to try shortening my testing period to 2 weeks. It’s a short enough period of time to easily stick with an experiment while long enough to give the body time to adjust. My body might not adjust fully… but a trend should emerge which will still be helpful.
What did I decide to try next? Berberine
We saw in the links above that bionic fiber and VSL#3 probiotics by themselves didn’t have much of an effect on my cholesterol, so the next reasonable item to test was Berberine.
I took the same type of Berberine as before: Thorne Research Berberine. At the same dose: 500 mg twice a day.
My diet remained Whole 30-ish and I continued a similar regimen of supplements including:
And for historical context:
LDL-P: Dropped to 1804 from 1974 for a loss of 9%
Small LDL-P: Dropped to 770 from 984, for a loss 22%
LDL-C: Dropped to 153 from 161, for a loss of 5%
Triglycerides: Still under control at 71, slightly down 84
HDL-C: Up to 49 from 40
Total Cholesterol: Stable at 216
It looks like things are moving in the right direction with an almost 10% improvement in my LDL-P and a significant improvement in my Small LDL-P of more than 20%.
I wonder what will happen if I increase my dose of Berberine to 500 mg three times a day…
Let’s see in two weeks!
*Image found here