Hacking Cholesterol Levels For Fun (And To Prove A Point)

I have a desire to demonstrate to someone how much cholesterol levels can fluctuate from test to test... to help them understand that a single high test number is such an incomplete snapshot of cardiovascular health. I think I can persuasively use either total cholesterol or LDL numbers...


 


I think my best approach is to do a test with my normal diet (maybe have a few beers and extra carbs for a few days before the test to boost the total cholesterol numbers), then use some hacks to lower the numbers as much as possible.


 


RequestATest.com will give me a standard, basic lipid profile for $29. I can run a couple tests before it gets too expensive... and I'm only willing to be a guinnea pig a short while to help make this argument.


 


While I am silly, I also don't want to do anything too crazy or risky for my health... e.g., I don't want to drink a bottle of corn oil before a test to see what happens... but I am willing to have some almond butter for a few days if a higher omega-6 load will lower the LDL number.


 


On that topic, I think loading omega-6 fats will lower my LDL (and probably the HDL too) - any idea how long I would need to do that to see an effect?


 


Some things seem that lower LDL more appropriately (according to quick searching): sleeping more than 6 hours a night, b3 (niacin), tryptophan, lysine, magnesium, potassium, turmeric, garlic, activated charcoal...


 


The activated charcoal had the most interesting article on pubmed - taking 32 grams a day (!) apparently lowers cholesterol by a significant amount...


 


As for increasing LDL - the best I can come up with is losing weight rapidly (Jimmy Moore's interview on the podcast, he says losing weight causes your cholesterol to "go all wack-a-doodle"). While I'm curious, I'm not curious enough to put on weight just to lose it rapidly...


 


Any suggestions?


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Comments

  • Sounds like an interesting experiment, but I don't know if you're gonna see the huge fluctuations you're hoping for. A lot of folks here have inadvertently raised their LDL seemingly just by eating the bulletproof macro ratios, skipping meals, and drinking bulletproof coffee brewed using a metal filter. Of course it will vary from person to person though.


    I thought that it was more likely the monounsaturated fat than the omega 6s that lower LDL, so to bring it down you could switch your bulletproof saturated fats for tons of avocado, stop skipping meals, and cut back on saturated fat. This is pretty much what I've done, and have a pretty long thread here about it...too busy to dig up the link right now cause I'm on mobile...
  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭

    Thanks for your input - looks like you've been digging deep on this one for a while... I'll post my results here for information when I've got something to share.


     


    One thing I read a while back... with intermittent fasting - it can cause a rise in triglycerides for several days afterwards. This is a good thing because TG are released from stored body fat. (Cholesterol Clarity)


     


    TG and LDL aren't the same, but close enough that the time frame is probably similar.


     


    The pubmed article I linked to previously about activated charcoal had subjects doing week-long interventions...


     


    So I'll probably forgo IF for a week or so... and have enough veggies to make sure I'm not in ketosis.


     


    Other notes - alcohol has an effect on triglycerides and lipids for 24+ hours after consumption.


     


    Calcium D-Glucarate can lower LDL. I'm not sure how long it takes for the effect.


     


    One thing that might be problematic... for some ApoE types, lipoproteins from grains or sugars can persist in the bloodstream for prolonged periods, up to several weeks. (Cholesterol Clarity again). I'm not sure what my ApoE type is, but if I want to clear out any sugar I've eaten (mostly from fruit) I might need to wait a few weeks.


     


    The paper coffee filter is an interesting idea. â€‹I'll have to dig deeper on that and the omega-6 vs monounsaturated fats...


  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited June 2015


    I have a desire to demonstrate to someone how much cholesterol levels can fluctuate from test to test... to help them understand that a single high test number is such an incomplete snapshot of cardiovascular health. I think I can persuasively use either total cholesterol or LDL numbers...


     


    I think my best approach is to do a test with my normal diet (maybe have a few beers and extra carbs for a few days before the test to boost the total cholesterol numbers), then use some hacks to lower the numbers as much as possible.




     


    your experiment reminds me a bit of an old doco i saw, with two UK twins (both medical doctors i think); Chris and Xand van Tulleken.  


    the particular episode i'm thinking of is where;


    "The doctors travel to eastern Siberia to find out why the Chukchi people, surviving on 'the ultimate sea-mammal Atkins diet'..." (edit: quote source)


     


    One ate the traditional diet, the other a western type diet, & they compared cholesterol before & after (from finger prick samples). 


    I can't remember how long the experiment lasted for, but i don't think it was long...one week rings a bell. 


    The change to the cholesterol numbers were quite large (for one of them anyway) & surprised me at the time how quickly the numbers could change. 


     


    To get the actual numbers & details, you would have to dig up the video.


    I did work out that the series was called "Medicine men go wild" & the episode was "Healthiest Hearts" ( = series 1 episode 3 ).


    but i could not find a transcript. 


    fake it till you make it

  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭

    Thanks daz - I'll look into it the documentary. Always good to get some historical support.


     


    Some more interesting notes...


     


    Look at most mainstream articles about cholesterol, they suggest fish oil (or krill oil) can help lower your risk. Fun fact - it typically helps to lower triglycerides and typically raises LDL.


     


    Krill oil is a good thing - the EPA helps clear oxidized LDL from circulation... but it raises LDL in the process.


     


    Lowering triglycerides is generally a good thing, as long as you aren't being too silly.


  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭

    Results are in!


     


    Test #1 - total cholesterol 328


     


    Test #2 - 6 days later, total cholesterol 260


     


    That's a 20% reduction in total cholesterol in less than a week.


     


    Both tests were done on basically the same diet - lots of grass fed red meat, veggies, butter, bulletproof coffee, etc.


     


    During the week in-between tests I only changed a few things: I did not do any intermittent fasting and purposely stayed out of ketosis (I added protein to my morning coffee), stopped taking krill oil, and added about 2g a day of activated charcoal (4 capsules of the coconut upgraded brand, taken all at once mid-day each day).


     


    Impressively, the HDL numbers were about the same on each test (64 and 62), the majority of the change was in triglycerides and LDL.


     


    And in case anyone is wondering - yes, my total cholesterol is high, as are my LDL and triglyceride levels. I lost a lot of weight recently (30 pounds) and, as I said before, that can cause your cholesterol levels to go all wack-a-doodle. My other markers are good (HDL is high, TG:HDL ratio is falling, etc.) and the trend in LDL and triglycerides is downward... just gotta give it more time to normalize.


     


    Now I need to go share the results with my friend... one thing everyone should learn - don't put too much emphasis on a single test. And things like cholesterol tests are only one way to look at health (and in my opinion, a flawed way at that).


  • jcg3jcg3 ✭✭
    edited June 2015

    And in case anyone is wondering... here's the formula.


     


    Total Cholesterol = HDL + LDL + VLDL


     


    And then:  VLDL = triglycerides / 5


     


    So total cholesterol = HDL + LDL + (triglycerides / 5)


     


    If HDL stays steady, LDL goes down, triglycerides go down...  total cholesterol goes down.


     


    And since higher HDL is supposed to be more healthy, looking at total cholesterol is a bit bullshit (that's a technical term).


  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited June 2015

    thought it may be of use/interest to some to post up a link to an LDL calculator.


    a lot of LDL lab tests are estimated, not calculated, probably the default is estimation (as it's cheaper), unless measured has been specifically requested.


    This calculator may give you an idea if your result was measured or estimated (if it was not made clear on the results). 


     


    LDL Cholesterol Calculator for mg/dl units & here for mmol/L units. You need to input your TC, HDL and Trigs for it to spit out your estimated LDL number.


     


    This calculator shows the LDL calculation for both the Friedewald Formula (default used by most/all labs) and the alternative "Iranian" Formula.


    fake it till you make it

  • dazdaz today is a good day ✭✭✭
    edited June 2015

    Suppversity just did a write up on the coffee filter thing here;


    If Coffee Increased Your Cholesterol & Triglycerides, You May Have Forgotten the Coffee Filter


    idk if there is anything new in it.


     


    edit: no mentions of cafestol (prev linked study for context)


    fake it till you make it

  • Hey guys, the best markers for heart disease if you are worried. is your Apo B and Lp(a).. After two years of heavy research and testing with so many different supplements.. I finally found a breakthrough and was able to lower my LDL 104 points in 11 days... this is amazing, and I am willing to help... my LDL was as high as 454.. most of it was oxidized due to loss of major fat being on a ketogenic...

  • Maurice, can you please share how you were able to do that? I was on a diet for 3 years to end it now with 283 total and 220 LDL and I am looking for a solution to that. Thanks.

  • I took vitamin C 3000mg four times a day with lysine and proline and creatine (1g total) also took 2000mg of omega 3 before sleep to lower sticky platelets... but keep an eye on your gallbladder after few month now my gallbladder is not cleaning out the cholesterol as much so doing a cleanse.

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