The Wife Unit: The Lipid Panel That Keeps Going and Going

This is what my cooking can do for you

I’ve done posts in the past about both my wife’s and my blood work; our lipid panels. Interesting to me is how they’re so similar while our genetic lineage is so different. I’m northern Europe and she, hispanic.

So here’s the news.

Beas Lipid Panel
Beas Lipid Panel

Now, of course, I really don’t think that cholesterol is a problem to be managed. Rather, your diet of Real Foods is what you manage. You manage your activity, your sleep and stress, and a healthy sex life. That’s what you manage and let the numbers be what they are.

Still, is is refreshing—or, in your face—to get the news that what you’re doing makes for a lipid panel that ought to be considered awesome by all but the stupidest of lipophobes who think no level of cholesterol is safe, and will focus on questionable studies and anecdotes that a total under 150 mg/dL is optimal for heart disease—ignoring that higher cholesterol equates to greater longevity from all causes of mortality, especially in women and the elderly.

Here’s the history from 2007, around the time I began cooking more Pleoish and lower carb. You can click both of these images for larger versions.

From 2007 to Present
From 2007 to Present

So total and LDL have pretty much stayed constant while the HDL trend is up and the triglyceride trend is down, just what you want.

My previous reports here, here and here.

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  1. VW on January 15, 2012 at 18:26

    I don’t give TOO much of a shit, but my LDL has exploded since eating this way. Total cholesterol has gone from around 170 to 312 at last testing. So it goes.

  2. Razwell on January 15, 2012 at 18:26

    Hi, Richard.

    Hasve you heard that it is more about HDL flux and function than the actual level itself ? The Tarahumara have HDL’s of only 25 , and LDL’s of about 100 or slightly more but almost no coronary artery disease. There are other examples like this also. The average cardiologist would immediately pull out the statin drug prescription pa, yet these people have fine cardiovascular health.

    It supposedly is about how well HDL functions. Dr. Daniel Radar is researching this. There also was work with the Apo A 1 Milano substance where 8 % of plaque volume was erased inonly 5 weeks. (Dr. Steven Nissen)

    I have not looked into this aspect that well. However, I am not a fan of the lipid hypothesis. It’s not because I am biased, it’s because it has been a failure. Most people in the coronary care units have normal LDL lipoprotein levels

    Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, (Harvard’s head of cardiovascular epidemiology) has a podcast I featured on my blog and he says that LDL levels themselves is a poor biomarker for coronary artery disease risk. It’s been overblow and is only one risk factor among MANY, MANY risk factors.

    Here is the link:

    Your readers can here him say also that the science is much better today and we got it REALLY wrong about saturated fats. I applaud the guy for publicly admitting this. He is honest. It’s a great podcast. I recommend it.

    Poor nitric oxide levels are a prime candidate as far as I am concerned for coronary artery disease. And guess what depletes this? Smoking. Smoking is also one of the biggest risk factors for arterial damage.

  3. Razwell on January 15, 2012 at 18:33

    I also wanted to say that:

    I suppose it is *possible* that HDL flux/function and its ABILITY , and LDL particle sizes might be closer to the truth.

    The cholesterol hypothesis as devloped in the 1950’s is wrong. This we know. The mean levels of HDL and LDL and the total cholesterol is not that predictive. But, science is like peeling an onion. I suppose it is possible the above HDL function/LDL particle size scenario is where the truth MIGHT be, bu then again perhaps not.

    I am not completely tossing out all things lipoprotein related, just rejecting Ancel Keys’ outdated version, as well as common health organizations. We know better now.

    But how much do these tests cost which delve into the matter in great detail I do not even think an HDL flux/function test currently exists but could be wrong. It might be in the making etc.

  4. Neal Matheson on January 15, 2012 at 23:42

    Fantastic news, haven;t other studies shown that low carb (high fat) eating has similar effects on blood levels? I think we are only a few years away from seeing the prevailing scientific paradigm from changing.
    @VW I think LDL does spike at first on a HFLC diet but you are probably right just not to care
    “your cholesterol will only kill you if you worry about it”

  5. Ned Kock on January 16, 2012 at 06:53

    Hey Richard. Cholesterol is supposed to be a proxy for cardiovascular disease; the higher, the more disease. We know this rests on flawed assumptions. But the flawed cholesterol-CVD connection is why we talk about cholesterol levels.

    Systemic inflammation is better assessed through other measures. Cholesterol levels are a poor indicator. Moreover, cholesterol levels are diet markers, tending to be uniformly higher in high fat diets.

    What I find interesting is that people still rely on cholesterol tests when they can measure CVD progression more directly, reliably, and even cheaply. One way to do that is through a 5-minute intima-media thickness test:

  6. Razwell on January 16, 2012 at 07:21

    Hi, Ned

    I hope all is well.

    This is for Richard , too. If he doesn’t mind I’d like to link both of you ( as well as readers) to a fantastic lecture by Dr. Steven Nissen about accurate coronary plaque detection .

    Science now has recently discovered coronary artery disease is not a disease of the vessel lumen. Rather, it is a disease of the vessel WALL.

    Which makes IVUS the very best cutting edge detection system that science has currently to detect plaque. The outdated coronary angiogram is still used but sends home MANY patients who have extensive coronary disease. It misses A LOT ! However, it poses risks to patients and is VERY expensive. Hopefully, in the future this will be the standard of care for patients with coronary artery disease:

    Here it is

    • Craig on January 16, 2012 at 10:20

      I’d rather have a CT heart scan than have someone probe around in my arteries with an ultrasound catheter.

      • Razwell on January 16, 2012 at 11:37

        I hear you. It IS invasive, expensive and carries potential significant risk for the patient .

        But , if you were suspected of having the disease and you only had that procedure , you would miss a lot and not know the extent of your disease.

        IVUS is the most accurate and this is not at all controversial in science. Even back in 2007 ( and probably a little before that) , I believe, hospitals in California were using IVUS.

        It’s the future. No question.

  7. Razwell on January 16, 2012 at 08:02

    Ok, here is the link from YouTube, instead. This information is PROFOUNDLY important because coronary artery disease is not a disease of the vessel lumen. It is actually a disease of the vessel wall.

  8. realLife on January 16, 2012 at 20:25

    That’s the old meaningless test that has an error rate of 25%, meaning if good you can still be susceptible to heart disease as the error rate is 25%.
    you need the VAP lipoprotein advanced test for particle size and particle number that is the true indicator
    you did that sometime earlier and it was quite good.
    I think you are probably genotype ApO-3/3

    lineage is a very crude marker you need the genotype. ApO-2 or 3 or 4 and its subgroup I’m ApO- 3/4 European stock and not all that favorable for good lipids because of /4

    ohh triglycerides are dependent on carbohydrate load eaten before the test and even a high HDL can have few functional particles that do not participate in the reverse cholesterol transport system so also it is misleading in some cases.
    Also check your inflammatory factors LpA and HsCrp
    You are also lucky you are not one of the unfortunate people with hyperlipedia a genetic factor.

    Do a CAC score test, calcium scoring for arterial plaque. that is the best test. but the best zero score may still represent undetected soft plaque so the advanced lipoprotein tests are critical.

    Check your hormone levels while your at it, as one needs it good and high on free testosterone and low estroil the female metabolites and good DHEA, pregnolone etc. to clear out ones remaining visceral fat! Optimium thyroid levels are also crucial for fat loss and heart health.

    You are almost at the lean&mean stage so keep going man! If you can’t get down with higher activity levels just get into the fine tuning business after you check what you must.

    I’m no doctor but this is all freely available information par du jour.
    More info somewhere on Dr Davis Heartscan blog

  9. El Gourmet Espartano on January 17, 2012 at 04:40

    Last time (5 months ago) I checked I was 150 (total) so I guessed I was great, but I didn’t get speciffic meassures, so now I’m a bit worried about what you said, Richard, hehe… Anyway, I totally agree I preffer managing my sex life than numbers.
    And have fun as much as I can…
    Hey, you might want to check this video out, it’s a paleo recipe with salt, pepper and comedy:
    Hope you all like it!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 08:12

      That’s hilarious. Is that you? Do you have any more?

      • LeonRover on January 17, 2012 at 08:43


        He woks the talk


        talks to the wok!!!


      • El Gourmet Espartano on January 17, 2012 at 10:05

        Yeah, that’s me!!!!
        Hahaha, I can’t believe Mr. Richard Nikoley Himself saw it and liked it!!!! Hahaha! What an honour!
        It all began about 5 months ago, I made a video (Tuna Tataki with Gazpacho) for a contest at Mark’s Daily Apple, and I won! And I enjoyed making it, so Why noy doing it again?
        Here’s the link to the fisrt video:
        I have my own tinny little Paleoish blog, but it’s in Spanish, I’m afraid…
        Anyway, thank you, Richard, LeonRover and anyone watching the videos and I’m really glad you like it, and proud too, it’s not easy to make puns in other language!!!

      • Richard Nikoley on January 17, 2012 at 13:27


        Check my blog in an hour or so.

      • El Gourmet Espartano on January 18, 2012 at 01:36

        Hahaha… You gotta be fucking kidding me… Thank you man! I mean it!

      • Richard Nikoley on January 18, 2012 at 08:07

        “You gotta be fucking kidding me…”

        Do I really need to answer that? :)

      • El Gourmet Espartano on January 18, 2012 at 11:48

        Hahaha… Well in the next video you could perform “The Angry Motherfucker”, I bet you do it better than me, with this “Yes-ma-am-I-am-a-very-good-boy face” that I got …
        Thanks again, man!

  10. […] The Wife Unit: The Lipid Panel That Keeps Going and Going […]

  11. VW on October 12, 2012 at 09:06

    Got my full lipid panel (Dr’s office physical – the one you get with that) for the first time in two years. During the last two years, I’ve only had total cholesterol (the one you get when you donate blood) results.

    Two years ago, I was, by most anyone’s definition, low carb. My triglycerides were 57 and my HDL was 73.

    Today, I eat a fair amount of fruit, tubers and I’ll even eat white rice a few times/week. My triglycerides are 56 and my HDL is 75.

    I don’t know that these numbers mean a thing, but for what it’s worth, during my vegan years my triglycerides were in the 130 to 150 range and my HDL was always in the 35 to 40 range.

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