We bring Dr Ann Childers in to give you the low-down on Cholesterol numbers. On this episode of the LCHF podcast we look deeper into what numbers mean; more specifically looking at what LDL and triglyceride levels tell you. How important is it for them to be fluffy and big?

Transcript

Welcome to another edition of the low carb healthy fat podcast, I’m Brad Brown, Doreen Phelps got in touch today and we’ve got Dr Ann Childers on the podcast. Doc, the last time we had you on we spoke a little bit about egg yolks and you mentioned about cholesterol. There’s a lot to be discussed around it and it’s interesting cause Doreen’s question has got to do with cholesterol.

She was saying, she gave us a few numbers and she just wanted some advice. She said her total cholesterol is 10.7, the LDL is 8.7 and HDL 1.5, the non HDL is 9.2. She said her doctor has put her back onto a statin and made an appointment for her to see a cardiologist through baseline tests.

Her question is this, does she really have to go back onto those statins. She’s been taking them for three days now and she doesn’t want to do another six months or so and retest to see if there’s been an improvement in her levels. It’s a difficult question to answer, it’s one that we don’t want to give direct medical advice, but as far as statins and what you should be looking for from cholesterol levels and that sort of thing. There’s a lot of info in here that people need to know.

Alcohol and carbohydrates affect triglyceride load

Ann Childers: First off, I don’t think that I have a clear idea of what her cholesterol panel shows because I did not hear about LDL particle size. I think that aspect of cholesterol is coming to the fore more recently. It turns out that if you get your triglycerides down low enough, your LDL particle size becomes favourable.

I think for most people, all you need to do is take a look at your triglycerides to know whether your LDL particle size is going to be favourable in terms of cardiovascular risk. The other part of this is that the degree of triglyceride loading in the blood system is actually promoted by a couple of major nutrients.

One is alcohol and the other is carbohydrate, especially refined carbohydrates. So when people get off of the refined carbohydrates, they tend to normalise their triglyceride load and this has a favourable association with LDL particle size.

I would probably ask my practitioner about LDL particle size and if the size is too small, because you really want a favourable, fluffy, big particle size, then I would not use statins initially to do this. But I would probably get on a low carbohydrate, high healthy fat diet.

BB: Doc, talking of those triglycerides, is it possible to, is there a baseline that you want to try and aim for on those triglyceride numbers?

AC: There is, but it’s in American units, so I’m not sure, I would say go to the tables online and you can make the conversion and it’s 70 or lower. Mine have been about 57 for years now and I have actually checked my LDL particle size and it’s large and fluffy. But just to be certain about it, I would say go ahead and get what we call in the States, it’s called NMR LipoProfile and I think that should tell the story. If those particles are small, try eating more saturated fat, for some reason saturated fat helps increase the particle size.

BB: Fantastic, Dr Ann Childers, thank you very much for that. I hope that helps, much appreciated, thanks for getting your question in and we look forward to hearing from you again. Good luck on the rest of your journey. From the two of us, until next time here on the LCHF podcast, it’s cheers.

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Transcript

Welcome to another edition of the low carb healthy fat podcast, I’m Brad Brown, Doreen Phelps got in touch today and we’ve got Dr Ann Childers on the podcast. Doc, the last time we had you on we spoke a little bit about egg yolks and you mentioned about cholesterol. There’s a lot to be discussed around it and it’s interesting cause Doreen’s question has got to do with cholesterol.

She was saying, she gave us a few numbers and she just wanted some advice. She said her total cholesterol is 10.7, the LDL is 8.7 and HDL 1.5, the non HDL is 9.2. She said her doctor has put her back onto a statin and made an appointment for her to see a cardiologist through baseline tests.

Her question is this, does she really have to go back onto those statins. She’s been taking them for three days now and she doesn’t want to do another six months or so and retest to see if there’s been an improvement in her levels. It’s a difficult question to answer, it’s one that we don’t want to give direct medical advice, but as far as statins and what you should be looking for from cholesterol levels and that sort of thing. There’s a lot of info in here that people need to know.

Alcohol and carbohydrates affect triglyceride load

Ann Childers: First off, I don’t think that I have a clear idea of what her cholesterol panel shows because I did not hear about LDL particle size. I think that aspect of cholesterol is coming to the fore more recently. It turns out that if you get your triglycerides down low enough, your LDL particle size becomes favourable.

I think for most people, all you need to do is take a look at your triglycerides to know whether your LDL particle size is going to be favourable in terms of cardiovascular risk. The other part of this is that the degree of triglyceride loading in the blood system is actually promoted by a couple of major nutrients.

One is alcohol and the other is carbohydrate, especially refined carbohydrates. So when people get off of the refined carbohydrates, they tend to normalise their triglyceride load and this has a favourable association with LDL particle size.

I would probably ask my practitioner about LDL particle size and if the size is too small, because you really want a favourable, fluffy, big particle size, then I would not use statins initially to do this. But I would probably get on a low carbohydrate, high healthy fat diet.

BB: Doc, talking of those triglycerides, is it possible to, is there a baseline that you want to try and aim for on those triglyceride numbers?

AC: There is, but it’s in American units, so I’m not sure, I would say go to the tables online and you can make the conversion and it’s 70 or lower. Mine have been about 57 for years now and I have actually checked my LDL particle size and it’s large and fluffy. But just to be certain about it, I would say go ahead and get what we call in the States, it’s called NMR LipoProfile and I think that should tell the story. If those particles are small, try eating more saturated fat, for some reason saturated fat helps increase the particle size.

BB: Fantastic, Dr Ann Childers, thank you very much for that. I hope that helps, much appreciated, thanks for getting your question in and we look forward to hearing from you again. Good luck on the rest of your journey. From the two of us, until next time here on the LCHF podcast, it’s cheers.
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