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Relative importance of the cholesterol ratio?

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Had an exam for a life insurance renewal and just got back the results and I'm a little concerned. I've boned up on most everything in the Forum about cholesterol, but I'm still not sure what the bottom line is. 


So my total cholesterol came back: 252


HDL: 72

LDL: 156

Triglycerides: 116

Cholesterol ratio: 3.5


That latter number is somewhat encouraging, according to what I'm reading, but I'm concerned about the LDL in particular although this test was not LDL particle specific. 


I did my W30 back in January and since have been about 80% compliant on average, although the sugar dragon is venturing out of cave more and more. Still no grains, some dairy, g/f beef, can't find anything like g/f or sustainable pork, organic chicken and eggs. I lost almost 20 lbs. thanks to W30, down to about 10-15 over my ultimate goal. My blood pressure is excellent. I exercise frequently and can pretty much climb out of bed, onto my bike and ride 60-100 miles with no problem. 


The only logical cause might be the ambient stress that comes from being self-employed in a creative field in a depressed economy. My wife and I have had our own design business for 12 years but everyone in our field has taken a massive hit over the past year or so. I have read that stress has been linked to high LDL (fascinating studies done with college students whose levels actually can rise 30% before finals). Ironic that now that I'm worrying about my high LDL my LDL is probably going up. Crap. 


Anyway...I DO NOT want to go on statins for many reasons not the least of which is the expense and my lousy, private, struck-by-a-meteor health insurance plan. Oh yeah...had my gall bladder out in 2009 (but have no problems digesting fat or anything). And there is a history of atherosclerosis in one side of the family. 


So my question is probably obvious...should I worry? Nevermind...I'm already worried. Maybe it oughta be is there some science out there (that isn't sponsored by drug companies) that I can rely on to put these numbers in perspective? 


Thanks in advance guys. 






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My latest blood work gives the levels for optimal, intermediate, and high risk. Optimal HDL is 40 or higher, optimal triglycerides is less than 150, and optimal LDL is less than 100. The high risk range for LDL is 130 or higher. So you are optimal on 2 of 3.


I can't find my notes, but I recall my doctor saying that she wanted someone my age - 55 - to have total cholesterol under 250. I can't do that without meds. I did not want to be on statins, so my doctor put me on Antara, a fibrate drug that is a bit different than statins. It is as cheap as Lipitor was with my insurance, but I don't know what it really costs.


If I were more of a scientist, I might say that I don't care about my cholesterol numbers and not take any meds. My reading suggests that cholesterol is not the danger that conventional medicine says it is. However, I am an amateur evaluating science and I am not ready to ignore my LDL levels. Mine were 139 at my last blood test. HDL was 58 and triglycerides 60 for an overall 203 on Antara. Without meds I was at 300. It turns out I have a genetic predisposition towards high cholesterol.


You may have seen me post these links before, but I will post them again just in case. My favorite site for keeping up with cholesterol issues is Dr. Briffa's blog...



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  • 2 months later...

Thank you, Tom for the links.  I will check them out.  I have high cholesterol and do not take statins but take Niacin 1500 mg per day.  I was concerned with eating so many eggs and meat in regards to my cholesterol.  My high cholesterol is also genetic.  Sucks!


Thanks again!

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Your HDL is great. You want a ratio of HDL to Triglycerides of less than 2. Triglycerides are a result of extra glucose being stored as a fatty acid, so getting that sugar dragon under control is key.


With your diet and exercise regimen,  I'm not sure your LDL is that bad. There is a lot of information now that there are many layers to the LDL and a simple count isn't that important. I'm sure that is covered in the links Tom put up.

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