Why are my triglycerides going up on carnivore?

(Shannon) #1

I’ve only been getting labs done for 7 years, and at the beginning of that my trigs were sky high. The first reading was over 1000. My TSH was also over 40, so I think that had something to do with why they were so high. The next time they had come down to 500, and over the years they’ve ranged anywhere from the high 200s to the low 400s.

Then I went keto 16 months ago and they started going down. The last lab I had while keto they were normal at 147 for the first time in the 7 years I’d been having them tested. I was thrilled! Then I went carnivore. I had my first lab a month after going carnivore and my trigs were 226. I just had them again, 6 months later, and they’re up to 261.

I expected my total and LDL to go up, at least at first, which they did, but only a small amount. Far less than I expected. But I’m truly puzzled as to why my trigs would go up. Does anyone have any idea?

(Robin) #2

Good question. And lots of folks on here that understand how these things work… they’ll chime in soon.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #3

What has your HDL been doing? What kinds of fat are you eating? Are you one of Dave Feldman’s lean-mass hyperresponders?

(Shannon) #4

The last two labs while keto they were 50 and 41. The next two after going carnivore they were 34 and 47. So not great. I have a knee issue that keeps me from exercising much, and I feel like they would be better if I could exercise more.

Butter and beef fat, plus mostly fatty cuts of meat.

I don’t know. My Total and LDL haven’t changed much. They slowly went down on keto but have never been normal. Last two Total for keto was 392 and 309, then 343 and 353 on carnivore. For LDL it was keto, 300 and 240, carnivore, 261 and 251. So actually my LDL went down. And as you can see, they’ve never skyrocketed. So I don’t think that would categorize me as a hyperresponder, but I don’t know enough about it to be sure.

I’ll say I did hear from one person that said their trigs went up to 500 when they went carnivore, but after a few months they normalized. But I read a lot of comments on videos and such and they’re the only person to ever mention raised trigs on carnivore. Maybe it’s just a freak thing and will normalize after a while, but I figured I would ask here in case there was someone else who had experienced this or heard of it.

(Shannon) #5

I’m wondering if lack of exercise and movement could be partly to blame? My knee was somehow injured again and for a good while I had trouble just walking around my house. Of course that wouldn’t explain why they were higher on the first post-carnivore lab. I’m just still puzzling over here because it seems so odd to have my triglycerides go up on a zero carb diet.

Although, I do have mustard here and there. More than I did when I was keto. I don’t see how that would be it, but I’ll research the ingredients just to be sure.

(Bob M) #6

Do you drink coffee?

This does NOT happen with me, but it does happen with some.

I’m not sure about exercise. When I fast, trigs go way up, so I think the body is using these as an energy source. If you’re exercising, would this cause trigs to go down or up? I’m not sure.

I do know Dave Feldman says trigs are his noisiest measurement.

(Shannon) #7

No coffee. I quit it because I over-consume it, plus I can’t drink it without a lot of sweetener and HWC. Every time I try and just have a cup here and there it turns into an all day, every day event. It’s been a few months since I’ve had any.

That’s interesting. I was obviously fasted, and for even longer than usual, since I go to bed early and my appointment wasn’t until the afternoon. If they’re still up on the next lab maybe the lab after that I’ll eat before going and see what happens. In the mean time I’ll try and kick up my exercise and activity, because I honestly don’t know what else I can do to help it.

(Bob M) #8

Yes, try to ensure there’s a 12-14 hour fast, but not much longer. Also, if you do any longer fasts (multiple days), make sure you don’t do any within about 5 days of a test.

My fasts were 4.5 days, and that tripled my trigs. I’m not sure what happens in say 20 hours. I’ve never tried that test.

(Shannon) #9

Oh, my fast was just about 16 or 17 hours. I’ve never done an extended fast. But next time I’m going to make sure they order my labs so I can do them first thing in the morning, and I’ll eat right before bed, and see how a shorter fast goes. Time before this they were high (about a month after going carnivore) and I was fasted right about 12 or 13 hours, so I’m going to go for closer to 10 just to see what happens.

(Bob M) #10

It’s tricky. Your trigs will go up after eating, it’s just how much time do you need for them to normalize?

I would say what you did is probably fine, and I doubt you would get much of a change between 12 hours and 20 hours of fasting.

I think you might have higher trigs, though why, I can’t say.

See also this:

It’s a weird scale, but it shows the more fat (going from low at the top to high at the bottom) Dave ate, the lower his trigs were.

That’s another avenue to examine.

Edit: 344 grams of fat per day is about 3,100 calories…of fat.

(Shannon) #11

I have wondered if I should maybe lower my protein a little and up my fat. I eat almost exclusively fatty meat, and almost always add more fat to it, like around 3 tbs of butter per meal, but maybe I could tweak it a bit more.

But I’ve also wondered if it’s just an adjustment phase. I know some people have said that other things went wonky for up to the first year. But it’s hard for me to just be laid back about it, as it seems like high triglycerides are usually bad news. Plus I’m just confused about it, because on keto they normalized, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to go high again from switching to carnivore. And it’s frustrating that I have to wait another 6 months to get them rechecked. I’m probably going to have to make myself stop obsessing about it. Exercise, eat more fat, and just chill about it, yep.

Thanks for all of the help. I appreciate it.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #12

Apparently, fasting too long or not long enough before the blood draw really skews the results, according to Dave Feldman. At the last Ketofest, a buddy and I were going to give Dave some blood, because we could get the timing of the fast he wanted, but we had to say no when we found out that Dave also didn’t want us to have coffee beforehand. Like that was gonna happen! :grin::rofl:


There are no TRUE ALL IN WHAT IS BEST ON trigs, overall chol. numbers and more when it comes to a Keto Plan eating only human, nor even worse without any trials, a zc eating plan :slight_smile:

You are not you on this test and what true overall chol. is giving you and PaulL hit on alot.

it isn’t hard to google zc and trigs raising and time line on changes, easily 6 mos but for many up to and past a year for ‘changes’ WE FEEL are ‘acceptable’ ON SOME antiquated testing done for carby eaters? so…

How do we ever know that higher trigs is what the body requires IF WE are all in carnivore.

we can’t pinpoint 1 number without considering a GAZILLION other factors ya know from what this life is today and testing starting, when? vs what is the real deal life science for the human body on this planet?

yea SO much sway here for full truths.

so there is tons of zc info out there with ZIOH and ZCH and Baker and Saladino and Mason and more all about carnivore and chol.

key being, while you walk this walk know that longer one is zc, as in years, we are a whole new us also and then can we even pretend to base our ‘testing’ against what testing is out there?

ok just carni food for thought LOL but recommendation is go and google carnivore and why trigs do this and that and overall chol. etc on ‘current human times’ vs. what was a ‘chol.’ test a million years ago and then we find we are ‘kinda in a massive gray zone’ here :slight_smile:

but IF every health marker is improving and your life is changing to only the better, what weight does this ‘1 scary number’ on testing right now in your journey become? that only you can draw conclusions.

(Bob M) #14

It doesn’t matter for most people. I got a cholesterol test done fasting 12+ hours, then chugged coffee and tea, and got a second cholesterol test done. No change in cholesterol values for me. (Those results are at home, though, and I’m at work, or else I’d put them here.)

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #15

You tell Dave that; I wouldn’t dare! :rofl::rofl:

(Joey) #16

Just thought I’d clarify for future readers …

My understanding of Feldman’s LMHR profile: While LDL spikes sharply, HDL rises too, but Triglycerides decline (not rise).

(Bob M) #17

I think that’s because “energy” is being transported from fat intake though a process that partially involves LDL, which means that fewer triglycerides are needed for energy transport. On the other hand, when you’re taking in low amounts of fat, you need to get energy from your own fat, meaning trigs go up, LDL down.

I think trigs are part of one energy pathway, while LDL is part of a different pathway. Different, but interrelated.

Of course, Dave is a highly insulin-sensitive person, who is (or was at the time) exercising a lot. It would be interesting to see what happens for those who aren’t as insulin sensitive. Say you can’t transport fat well from your fat storage. What happens then?

(Joey) #18

Are you sure serum triglycerides increase if you’re burning your own fat?

I was under the impression that the trigs got unbundled into glucose and individual fatty acids (no longer “tri”-glycerides), thereby lowering measured triglyceride count. Someone closer to the chemistry of this, please correct me!

In any event, here’s my n=1 when I went keto: My LDL shot way up, HDL rose to new heights well over 100, but my trigs plunged to new lows of around 50 mg/dL - all while losing 25 lbs, which suggest I was burning up my body’s excess fat deposits. This is what made me presume I’m an “LMHR” type.

Not wanting to hijack this thread from its original focus, just wanted to keep the LMHR profile clear, at least as I understand how Feldman describes it.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #19

As long as insulin is low, triglycerides in adipose tissue can be broken down (lipolysis) and escape the adipocyte. (I believe they get reintegrated into triglycerides for transport to where they are needed. People who are insulin-resistant simply have to eat less glucose (i.e., carbohydrate) to keep their insulin low enough for adipocytes to lipolyse their triglycerides.

Lipolysis involves the enzyme hormone-sensitive lipase, which is inhibited by high insulin levels (remember, when we eat lots of carbohydrate, we are trying to put on weight for the winter, so we don’t want fatty acids to escape storage at that time). As long as insulin is low enough to permit lipolysis, the fatty acids can pass through the walls of the adipocytes. But triglycerides are too large to pass through the adipocyte walls, so by inhibiting hormone-sensitive lipase, elevated insulin effectively traps fatty acids in the fat tissue.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #20

I don’t actually believe they do, but Dave Feldman has studied this in detail, so I’d go with whatever he says. My understanding, however, is that elevated triglycerides are caused by excessive carb intake, and it’s the chylomicrons that transport those triglycerides to the cells for storage (or use).

The VLDL is, if I’ve got this right, what transports triglycerides out of the fat cells (adipocytes) to wherever energy is needed. And if I understand Dave’s analogy correctly, the cholesterol is simply along for the ride, much as life preservers are “along for the ride” when boats transport passengers.

Please, someone, correct whatever I’ve got wrong, and I’ll amend this post.