Hi, this is Dr. Emily Parke. In today’s Functional Health Minute, I’m going to go over a case study of reversing high cholesterol with diet changes. This patient is a 66 year old female, and she had at least 10 years of high cholesterol before coming in to see me for her first functional medicine appointment. Let me give you her cholesterol numbers when she first came in. Her total cholesterol was 322, ideally it should be below 200. Her HDL, which is her good cholesterol is 116, above 60 is usually heart protective. Although there is some data to say that too high of HDL in the wrong type of HDL particles, can be harmful as well. Her LDL, which is typically the “bad” cholesterol, was high at 190. Now, below a hundred is considered more optimal. Her triglycerides were great at 65. For me, below a hundred is definitely where I want you, not 150 like the lab says. Her total cholesterol, 322, her LDL “bad” cholesterol, 190. Those are the two big numbers to focus on.
I did a 30 day paleo reset with her, and then we wanted to recheck labs right afterwards so she could actually see the diet changes. Without question, what did it look like before doing any food reintroductions. We did that, and her total cholesterol came down to 229, her HDL to 107, her LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, to 115 and her triglycerides to 36. This is with a simple 30 day paleo reset. Her total cholesterol dropped by 93 points, her LDL or bad cholesterol dropped by 75 points and her triglycerides dropped by 29 points.
In continuing to follow her, so what did she do after that? She wanted to reintroduce some foods into her diet so she did start eating some more gluten free grains and we wanted to recheck the cholesterol and find out what that was about five months later. It did float back up a little bit. Her total cholesterol went from 229 to 256 and her LDL cholesterol, bad cholesterol, went from 115 to 133, triglycerides from 36 to 48. So not bad, but did pop up a little bit. She made some further adjustments in her diet, including not having as many grains and decreasing alcohol intake even further. At an additional five months, we actually checked again and her total cholesterol down to 217, her HDL 90, her LDL 113 and her triglycerides were 49. This is a perfect example of how nutrition changes can impact the cholesterol panel.
Now, does it go this way for everyone with high cholesterol? Does a paleo type diet change everything and reset everything? Absolutely not. There isn’t one great diet for everyone. And you might look back at some previous videos I did on high cholesterol. There are some people that genetically don’t do well with high amounts of saturated fat in the diet and that is only saturated fat, not all fats. Some people have a genetic predisposition and do better with lower saturated fats. But for most people, lowering cholesterol has to do with carbohydrates, alcohols, and sugars in the diet and this case study does a beautiful job kind of showing how powerful a simple 30 day paleo reset can be. This is Dr. Emily Parke with your Functional Health Minute.