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    Can a calorie surplus alone increase LDL?

    So since about May this year, I've been eating in a slightly higher surplus than I was before, still a modest/reasonable one... but higher than earlier in the year. I'd say maybe 300 daily surplus based on weight changes.

    In May, my lipids looked like this:

    LDL - 86
    Triglycerides - 85
    HDL - 64


    As of yesterday, however, they look like this:

    LDL - 102
    Triglycerides - 84
    HDL - 76


    So, the HDL/Total ratio remained the same... basically 2.6 (which apparently is great since it's under 5).

    I'm just not sure why my LDL went up.

    I haven't been eating any more Sat Fats, sugar, or anything else that would have caused it from diet that I can see. I still eat a lot of fiber (50+ grams a day) and on average my Satfats are usually between 8 and 15 grams a day...

    I take a Omega supplement as well... and i'm still just as physically active as always.

    I'm wondering if the calorie surplus alone would cause this... just not sure of another possibility.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    So since about May this year, I've been eating in a slightly higher surplus than I was before, still a modest/reasonable one... but higher than earlier in the year. I'd say maybe 300 daily surplus based on weight changes.

    In May, my lipids looked like this:

    LDL - 86
    Triglycerides - 85
    HDL - 64


    As of yesterday, however, they look like this:

    LDL - 102
    Triglycerides - 84
    HDL - 76


    So, the HDL/Total ratio remained the same... basically 2.6 (which apparently is great since it's under 5).

    I'm just not sure why my LDL went up.

    I haven't been eating any more Sat Fats, sugar, or anything else that would have caused it from diet that I can see. I still eat a lot of fiber (50+ grams a day) and on average my Satfats are usually between 8 and 15 grams a day...

    I take a Omega supplement as well... and i'm still just as physically active as always.

    I'm wondering if the calorie surplus alone would cause this... just not sure of another possibility.
    Just a statistical point; These are just two measurements and there may not be any systematic change in your LDL cholesterol if there is some "random" (unpredictable) variation in that variable from day to day. From googling I found this which suggests that may be the case:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2383160/

    "This study documents significant day-to-day variability of serum lipids and suggests that patients near the National Cholesterol Education Program cutoff points may require repeated measurements to assign risk accurately."

    Maybe take another measurement and see if this one was just a fluke before speculating about potential causes?
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Just a statistical point; These are just two measurements and there may not be any systematic change in your LDL cholesterol if there is some "random" (unpredictable) variation in that variable from day to day. From googling I found this which suggests that may be the case:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2383160/

    "This study documents significant day-to-day variability of serum lipids and suggests that patients near the National Cholesterol Education Program cutoff points may require repeated measurements to assign risk accurately."

    Maybe take another measurement and see if this one was just a fluke before speculating about potential causes?

    Yeah thats the problem with comparing two tests. SOOO many variables. Could be gime of day, how long since last meal, how many meals before test, how much water you drank, Jupiters alignment with Pluto. I have gone to donate blood before and gotten turned down due to low hemocrit, the. Go back the next day and its well over the minimum.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    Yeah thats the problem with comparing two tests. SOOO many variables. Could be gime of day, how long since last meal, how many meals before test, how much water you drank, Jupiters alignment with Pluto. I have gone to donate blood before and gotten turned down due to low hemocrit, the. Go back the next day and its well over the minimum.
    I mean I was fasted for the same timeframe... taken same time of day... morning after fasting for 13-14 hours...

    Diet was not changed on average except for a small increase in the surplus. Hydration and everything was normal... I made sure to not cause issues with other factors so as to not waste my time.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    I mean I was fasted for the same timeframe... taken same time of day... morning after fasting for 13-14 hours...

    Diet was not changed on average except for a small increase in the surplus. Hydration and everything was normal... I made sure to not cause issues with other factors so as to not waste my time.
    What you did will reduce the variation but probably not eliminate it completely. There will still be some random/unpredictable variation that you cannot control. Taking repeated measurements is a way of knowing if the change is systematic or random.
    Last edited by EiFit91; 12-14-2021 at 11:08 AM.
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    It does bring up an interesting point though. As you mention you were already in a surplus and now you are in a bigger surplus. Could be that increased sloth leads to decline in health. Kind of goes hand in hand with the world’s oldest people pretty much are always in CR.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    It does bring up an interesting point though. As you mention you were already in a surplus and now you are in a bigger surplus. Could be that increased sloth leads to decline in health. Kind of goes hand in hand with the world’s oldest people pretty much are always in CR.
    Im no less active tho, that's the thing
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Im no less active tho, that's the thing
    I didn’t mention activity at all. I meant gluttony, not sloth, lol! Moses is rolling over in his grave now
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    I've had that much variation in my LDL with all other things being equal (amount of time fasting, hydration, overall diet, etc.) & my diet is VERY consistent over time. You definitely shouldn't read into things like this too much. Take it from me, I've spent plenty of time obsessing over the minutia in my bloodwork, only to get later bloodwork that's completely normal, only to obsess over the other variables that are slightly different, only to see those change next time around too. My diet has essentially nothing to do with it aside from eggs raising my cholesterol if I eat a lot. It's taken me a long time to realize that my bloodwork isn't a report card on how good of a job I'm doing LMAO

    As to why you in particular have higher LDL on a given day, it's probably due to stress: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370130/
    Stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) are theorized to acutely increase total cholesterol. This is presumably because the structural "skeleton" of the precursors (Inb4 VGHPS) of all these hormones are identical.

    Simply put...DON'T STRESS ABOUT YOUR BLOODWORK!
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    I've had that much variation in my LDL with all other things being equal (amount of time fasting, hydration, overall diet, etc.) & my diet is VERY consistent over time. You definitely shouldn't read into things like this too much. Take it from me, I've spent plenty of time obsessing over the minutia in my bloodwork, only to get later bloodwork that's completely normal, only to obsess over the other variables that are slightly different, only to see those change next time around too. My diet has essentially nothing to do with it aside from eggs raising my cholesterol if I eat a lot. It's taken me a long time to realize that my bloodwork isn't a report card on how good of a job I'm doing LMAO

    As to why you in particular have higher LDL on a given day, it's probably due to stress: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370130/
    Stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) are theorized to acutely increase total cholesterol. This is presumably because the structural "skeleton" of the precursors (Inb4 VGHPS) of all these hormones are identical.

    Simply put...DON'T STRESS ABOUT YOUR BLOODWORK!

    Well, you were right, LOL

    I went back and had another panel done, and actually this time I even got my lP(a), and Apo A1 + Apo B done as well... So far I only got the usual items back, but they were now:

    Total Cholsterol: 178
    LDL: 88 (14 points lower)
    HDL: 74
    Triglycerides: 79


    That is actually the best Cholesterol/HDL ratio I've ever had.... so I guess that random increase in December was an anomaly
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Well, you were right, LOL

    I went back and had another panel done, and actually this time I even got my lP(a), and Apo A1 + Apo B done as well... So far I only got the usual items back, but they were now:

    Total Cholsterol: 178
    LDL: 88 (14 points lower)
    HDL: 74
    Triglycerides: 79


    That is actually the best Cholesterol/HDL ratio I've ever had.... so I guess that random increase in December was an anomaly
    LOL yea I've had a similar experience on many occasions. Actually, the only thing that reliably changes my bloodwork throughout time is egg yolks because I'm a high responder to dietary cholesterol. Like you, I've had times where it was randomly higher because I was under more stress than normal. Gaining weight actually improved my blood lipids over time also.
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    Originally Posted by Strawng View Post
    Gaining weight actually improved my blood lipids over time also.
    It's funny because so many of the KETO/low-carb people think that high carb diets are HORRIBLE for triglycerides, blood sugar, insulin, etc.

    Well, my hba1c when on this high carb style bulk... just last week... still 4.8... which is veeeerrrry low compared to most people even without the surplus. And my fasting insulin was actually very low... it was like 2.1

    I guess it just comes down to how your own biology learns to adapt to various substrates. I just do well on carbs!

    Side note: I also got my lp(a) tested, and thankfully I seem to have inherited a very good natural level of this... which I guess is a great thing for long-term heart risk.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    It's funny because so many of the KETO/low-carb people think that high carb diets are HORRIBLE for triglycerides, blood sugar, insulin, etc.

    Well, my hba1c when on this high carb style bulk... just last week... still 4.8... which is veeeerrrry low compared to most people even without the surplus. And my fasting insulin was actually very low... it was like 2.1

    I guess it just comes down to how your own biology learns to adapt to various substrates. I just do well on carbs!

    Side note: I also got my lp(a) tested, and thankfully I seem to have inherited a very good natural level of this... which I guess is a great thing for long-term heart risk.
    Yup, genetics is probably a big part of all this stuff. After my father went on keto, his LDL cholesterol actually dropped. He still eats mostly saturated fat and it's been over a decade. He is now convinced that carbs are the big enemy and it's impossible to convince him otherwise. I've tried saying that it's probably lucky genetic draw + the big, sustained weight loss that followed from the diet change.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Yup, genetics is probably a big part of all this stuff. After my father went on keto, his LDL cholesterol actually dropped. He still eats mostly saturated fat and it's been over a decade. He is now convinced that carbs are the big enemy and it's impossible to convince him otherwise. I've tried saying that it's probably lucky genetic draw + the big, sustained weight loss that followed from the diet change.
    The entrenched belief of many in exceptions to the zero sum rules of their bodyfat levels being a simple function of an energy equation over time legitimately surprises me.
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    Originally Posted by EiFit91 View Post
    Yup, genetics is probably a big part of all this stuff. After my father went on keto, his LDL cholesterol actually dropped. He still eats mostly saturated fat and it's been over a decade. He is now convinced that carbs are the big enemy and it's impossible to convince him otherwise. I've tried saying that it's probably lucky genetic draw + the big, sustained weight loss that followed from the diet change.
    Absolutely.

    That’s confirmation bias at its finest.

    I mean there’s people out there who maintain insanely low LDL regardless of what they consume while others can eat the healthiest diet on the planet and always have elevated levels.
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