The cholesterol argument just wont go away. Is it relevant?, are we testing the right numbers? or is it all just a big Pharma con trick. I must confess that I am on the big particle, small particle side of the fence but nevertheless I am curious when my general cholesterol levels take a hike. Chris Masterjohn reckons that 80% of people are not susceptible to increases in cholesterol levels as a result of dietary cholesterol. So if you like your liver and eggs and you are in the 80% cohort then go for it. If you are in the 20% then it might at least be useful to be aware of it, so you can add some extra meaning to your personal readings.
I went for a test a few weeks ago and was startled to find my readings higher than they have ever been. My total came in at around 6.2 and my LDL was 4.0. This is higher than I have ever registered since my first test back in 2001. Although my ratios are all good due to the buoyant HDL of 2.2 I still wondered what had happened to cause such a spike. My readings generally during the past 18 months have been total = 4.6, LDL = 2.9. The best I could come up with was that during the previous 7 days I had switched from porridge at breakfast to two eggs daily. I had also had two evening meals of liver during the week as well. If Chris Masterjohn is correct and I happen to be in the 20% club then this could explain things. I decided to try and find out so I stuck with the egg breakfasts for a further two weeks but with no liver. Today I went for a reading and if the 20% rule held true then I was expecting to be high but not as high as previously as I reckoned that the liver was probably the main contributor. Today’s readings came in at total = 5.61 and LDL 3.9, in other words some where between the high reading of a few weeks ago and the usual lower readings I have had in the past. This suggests to me that I am one of those people who does not auto compensate for dietary cholesterol. Whether I need to be worried about these type of readings is another question but it probably is best to know what percentile you are in before reaching for the statins as their may be plenty you can do about your lipid levels without the use of drugs.
When it comes to Cholesterol however two large studies have shown that the Total cholesterol to HDL ratio is the best indicator of future heart disease when populations are studies, see one of these below