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    Old 02-24-2010, 09:50 AM   #1
    wolverinete
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    running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    quick question - one that i am more curious about than concerned. here is my cholesterol from 8 months ago: tri 120, ldl 106, hdl 57 = 187. not bad. i have borderline high blood pressure, so i cut out all caffeine, coffee, soda, alcohol, fat, meat, etc and began training for a marathon running 40 miles a week (used to run about 15). my chol now is: tri 49, ldl 74, hdl 51 = 135. impressive results obviously, but i was pretty furious that my hdl went down with all of the exercising that i have been doing. it just seems opposite of what should have happened.

    here is my question - with my tris and ldl falling so dramatically, is it possible that my body just doesn't have to produce as many hdls? why make the extra cholesterol to "carry away" the bads if there are essentially no bads at all? the elimination of alcohol could also be impacting that i'm sure.

    like i said - not worried...the ratios improved substantially, just curious if anyone has had this. i'm sure you are all laughing at me like i do on our blood pressure board when someone posts worried about 130/85.

    thanks.

     
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    Old 02-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    HDL 57 -> 51 = down 10.5%
    LDL 106 -> 74 = down 30.2%
    TG 120 -> 49 = down 59.2%

    All things considered, excellent improvement.

    What could have happened is that dietary changes and the like may have caused an overall decline, but the exercise kept the HDL from declining very much while the LDL and TG went down a lot.

    I have seen the same thing personally -- significantly increased exercise along with some dietary changes resulting in ~10% decline in HDL, but ~40% decline in LDL and ~20% decline in TG.

     
    Old 02-24-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    thanks for the reply. yeah that's a good point. i used to eat a ton of fast food/junk food and ldls were always around 115 and tris 140. i never thought that too bad because hdls were as high as 68 and always athletic (total 205 - 210). but in reality, i suppose lower cholesterol in general across the board is better than high, even if it means sacrificing a few hdls. just seems contradictory, but it really shouldn't...hdl is a component of total...so if total comes crashing down, hdl probably will fall some as well. as many on the board mention though, ratios are probably the most important.

     
    Old 02-24-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    To a degree, it's a double edged sword. Doctor's emphasize LDL and total cholesterol, yet (as we know) most MI's occurr in men and women with normal or below normal cholesterol levels. Yet HDL is touted by many Cardiolgists to significantly decrease the risk of MI by 2% for each HDL point increase.

     
    Old 02-24-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ACE28 View Post
    most MI's occurr in men and women with normal or below normal cholesterol levels.
    What is the definition of "normal cholesterol levels" in this context?

     
    Old 02-25-2010, 08:47 AM   #6
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjlhb View Post
    What is the definition of "normal cholesterol levels" in this context?
    Total Cholesterol levels of 200 or less. Primarily, patients whose cholesterol levels do not have to be treated according to medical guidelines. A total levels of below 160, does not show an increase in heart disease, but has shown a dramatic increase in most cancers. Also, poor memory function and attention span and for many sexual dysfunction.

     
    Old 02-25-2010, 08:55 AM   #7
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    yeah i've heard that...as with everything i'm sure you have to look at more than just the numbers. i would think you were much healthier with a total chol of 150 and hdl of 60 vs a total chol of 200 and an hdl of 30. i think that's why the ratios are important. most people with low cholesterol probably have low hdls as well or are malnourished.

     
    Old 02-25-2010, 11:44 AM   #8
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ACE28 View Post
    Total Cholesterol levels of 200 or less. Primarily, patients whose cholesterol levels do not have to be treated according to medical guidelines. A total levels of below 160, does not show an increase in heart disease, but has shown a dramatic increase in most cancers. Also, poor memory function and attention span and for many sexual dysfunction.
    Total cholesterol of 200 obscures the difference between:

    a. HDL 95, LDL 90, VLDL 15 (TG 75)
    b. HDL 20, LDL 160, VLDL 20 (TG 100)

    Regarding the increase in cancers, some recent studies are suggesting that low total cholesterol is more the result of cancer rather than a risk factor, and that high HDL in particular (rather than high total cholesterol) is protective against some cancers.

    Last edited by tjlhb; 02-25-2010 at 11:44 AM.

     
    Old 02-26-2010, 07:16 AM   #9
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjlhb View Post
    Total cholesterol of 200 obscures the difference between:

    a. HDL 95, LDL 90, VLDL 15 (TG 75)
    b. HDL 20, LDL 160, VLDL 20 (TG 100)

    Regarding the increase in cancers, some recent studies are suggesting that low total cholesterol is more the result of cancer rather than a risk factor, and that high HDL in particular (rather than high total cholesterol) is protective against some cancers.
    May all be speculation at this point. No hard facts either way....

     
    Old 02-26-2010, 07:29 AM   #10
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wolverinete View Post
    yeah i've heard that...as with everything i'm sure you have to look at more than just the numbers. i would think you were much healthier with a total chol of 150 and hdl of 60 vs a total chol of 200 and an hdl of 30. i think that's why the ratios are important. most people with low cholesterol probably have low hdls as well or are malnourished.
    Lets reverse that.. I think your healthier with a total chol. of 200 and an HDL of 60, as opposed to a total of 150 and an HDL of 30. Note: Ratios are important, but regardless, an HDL level under 40 for men, is considered sub-optimal or at un-healthy levels. The pioneers of the CT-SCAN, which measures Artery calcification, beleive that for Optimal heart health, the theory is "The Rule of 60". 60/60/60 for Cholesterol levels.

    That is: 60 - HDL, 60 - LDL, 60 - Triglycerides

    Note: I posted on this some months ago. These levels reduce plaque.. The miracle supplements (according to researchers) are Vitamin D and Niacin. Also diet and exercise.

     
    Old 02-26-2010, 08:17 AM   #11
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ACE28 View Post
    The pioneers of the CT-SCAN, which measures Artery calcification, beleive that for Optimal heart health, the theory is "The Rule of 60". 60/60/60 for Cholesterol levels.

    That is: 60 - HDL, 60 - LDL, 60 - Triglycerides
    Note that these levels give a total of 135 mg/dl (60 + 60 + 60/5) and a total / HDL ratio of 2.25.

    People in rural China reportedly have total cholesterol average around that range. Given their high level of physical exercise (manual labor doing farming and other work) and low levels of body fat, it would not be surprising if their HDL / LDL / VLDL breakdown were similar to the above listed ideal (although there does not seem to be publicly available information on this). Their heart disease rates are very low.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ACE28 View Post
    The miracle supplements (according to researchers) are Vitamin D and Niacin. Also diet and exercise.
    Hmmm, miracle supplements come and go, but diet and exercise are always available (and if you exercise outside like farmers in rural China, vitamin D is less likely to be an issue).

     
    Old 02-26-2010, 09:56 AM   #12
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    Re: running a marathon - HDL goes down??

    Many parts of Europe, mainly France, Italy, Russia and Greece, Cholestrerol levels are far from optimal, yet their are numerous centenarians. Some may be linked to a special gene which scientists are trying to re-produce. Aside from genetics,They attribute this strictly to mediterranean diets, mainly Olive oil, wine, fish, tomatoes, figs, nuts, fresh fruits etc. In France it's known as the French Paradox, due to the over-consumption of pastries and sweets, with almost no negative effects. Cholesterol doesn't mean a damn. Quality of life and diet is everything. I believe the foods mentioned target inflammation as part of their benefits, and benefit overall health in general.

     
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