May 22

START HERE (Pinned)

  • If you’re wanting a video version of my research:
    • The most current presentation is from Breckenridge in this last February.
    • (Coming soon) A new one will be up eventually from the Low-Carb Cruise that brings the research up to the date of this post.
  • If you have seen your cholesterol rise considerably on a low-carb high-fat diet (like myself):
    • You may want to first visit the FAQ.
    • I would strongly encourage you to read through this blog and my own journey revealing the Inversion Pattern. Key moments were the Identical Diet experiment and the Extreme Cholesterol Drop experiment that I wrapped around the first presentation of my data for the Ketogains Seminar.
    • And finally, you may be interested in my recent discovery with regard to controlled carb swapping. (But note it is very preliminary)

Jun 22

Ketofest Cholesterol Experiment – Sign Up

 

I’m pleased to announce there is a study being organized around Ketofest! We’re partnering with PTS Diagnostics, who is graciously providing the supplies and service to support this study.

Volunteers for the study will be following the Cholesterol Drop Protocol (“Feldman Protocol”) and will get free cholesterol blood tests and results.

To qualify, all volunteers must meet these requirements:

  • Have been on a Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diet for at least three months prior to Ketofest.
  • Be present on the morning of Friday the 14th and morning of Monday the 17th.

Schedule and instructions

schedule

  1. Low-Calorie Phase
    • You must be either fasting or eating low calorie (but still LCHF) for a three-day span on July 11th, 12th, and 13th — the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before Ketofest. (see timeline).
  2. Fast before 1st blood test
    • You must fast for 12-14 hours between the last meal on the evening of the 13th and the following morning blood test on the 14th.
  3. High-Calorie Phase
    • You must eat very high calories (but still LCHF) for the following three-day span on July 14th, 15th, and 16th — the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Ketofest. (see timeline).
  4. Fast before 2nd blood test
    • You must fast for 12-14 hours between the last meal on the evening of the 16th and the following morning blood test on the 17th.

Interest List

If interested in participating, please fill out the entry form below:

Jun 21

Interview on Biohackers Lab

I’ve been a bit busy lately, but not so busy I couldn’t take a little time to chat it up with Gary at Biohackers Lab.

We covered a wide range and I enjoyed getting in a bit deeper to the core concepts and why I have so many doubts about the lipid hypothesis as it stands.

And without question, Gary has the most comprehensive show notes I’ve seen for any podcast I’ve been on. Really impressive work!

Jun 09

The Fasting Disaster Part II

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I’ve been getting pinged by a lot of follows this week who noticed I was being talked about at toward the end of the most recent episode of Fasting Talk with Jimmy Moore & Dr. Jason Fung, episode 22. They were discussing my blog post The Fasting Disaster from last April (starts around 49:20) . Apparently, some people were concerned I was claiming fasting was generally deleterious to health in general and with regard to cholesterol specifically.

Now before responding, let me deflate any expectations you might have of a back-and-forth beatdown (as some of you have suggested) — as I actually have enormous respect for Dr. Fung and agreed with quite a few things he was saying regarding cholesterol. A few have mentioned he got “personal” with some of the comments, but honestly, I was laughing throughout. You just have to know the guy, he’s actually very entertaining. (Side note: he’s a lot like Ivor Cummins in they both get very colorful with their language and some take this very personally, but they shouldn’t.)

Cholesterol Jump with Fasting (And Why I Don’t Believe It’s Bad)

One of his early statements I liked enough to transcribe personally:

The question is, do these short term manipulations of your cholesterol make any difference to heart attacks and strokes, and the answer is, nobody knows. There is zero data out there that says, oh if it goes up really high due to — whatever — what you ate or if you fasted or whatever. Is that bad? I don’t know. Is that good? I don’t know. I have no idea, so why do we care about short term movements of cholesterol?

To be sure, if you’re a long time reader of this blog, you know I’m extremely obsessed about the movements of cholesterol! Which is why I know his larger point is well taken. This short term shift was of little relevance to me in terms of overall health because I knew what was going on and fully expected the result.

Quite simply, cholesterol from a blood test is likely higher in the short term due to getting more energy from fat in the body (adipose). In order to traffic that fat to your cells, your liver places them as cargo in boats known as lipoproteins. Those storage-based lipoproteins (VLDL – Very Low Density Lipoproteins) also carry cholesterol, but while most of the fat-based energy (Triglycerides) gets used from these boats, most of the cholesterol doesn’t. The vast majority of cholesterol ends up back at the liver for other possible fates like bile salts and hormones.

Fung effectively brings this point home as well:

Well, where is that cholesterol coming from? You didn’t put in your body by eating . You didn’t put it [in by] intravenous, you didn’t inject it into yourself. So that cholesterol had to be manufactured by your liver. It was in there anyway.

Which is why I don’t care that my cholesterol is going up or down in the short term because I know it’s a passenger, not a driver. But more importantly, I’d want everyone to know this as well given I’ve had many who have written to me after having done a fast for 2 or 3 days and, like me, saw their cholesterol skyrocket. I discuss one of them in my Breckenridge presentation (the story of Jill, near the very end).

In other words, my research doesn’t showcase why this jump in cholesterol from a 2-3 day fast is likely bad – it is demonstrating why it likely is not bad!

Was I Dehydrated?

Another interesting area Fung touched on was the likelihood I was dehydrated due to my hemoglobin going from 15.3 to 18.1. I’m fascinated by this possibility as it was probably the area I was trying to most guard against. The fasting friends who were giving me advice were very insistent I drink lots of water and to be sure I got plenty of electrolytes. One had handled the latter for the last several years by adding Himalayan pink salt and Morton’s lite salt to his water during fasting periods, which I did as well. (Lite Salt has 350mg potassium per 1/4 tsp).

Here’s what I had on Day 1:

day1

And here was Day 2:

day2

Each bottle of water was 500ml. Whenever salt is pictured with it, presume 1/2 tsp added. This makes it pretty easy to calculate.

Still Water Mineral Water Morton’s Lite Salt Himalayan Pink Salt Magnesium Malate Misc Supplements
Day 1 3500ml 1500ml 1 tsp 1 tsp 425mg K2,D3,C
Day 2 2500ml 2000ml 1 tsp 1/2 tsp 425mg K2,D3,C

Again, I freely concede my naivete on fasting, and outside of watching Fung’s 2016 lecture in person along with my friends’ advice on the subject, I wasn’t coming into the experiment with a ton of studying. Thus, I was exceeding a gallon of water for each day, which is why I was worried I might be overdoing it. But this being my first multi-day fast, I didn’t know for sure.

I Know Many Who Fast and Swear By It

While I might have had a negative experience of my own, I would definitely want to emphasize it doesn’t change my opinion of fasting in general. I know many people who both fast and insist it’s one of the best changes they’ve made in their lives.

Lighten Up, Everybody

On a final note, I’d love to encourage everyone to relax! 🙂

In both high school and college, I competed in forensic debate. (Am I nerdy enough now?) So I rarely if ever take anything personally. A few of you got rattled by this podcast and I can assure you there’s nothing to be rattled about. If anything, I’m ecstatic to get further expert feedback on my experiment and welcome more.

I consider Dr. Jason Fung is an asset to the low carb community and I look forward to every time I can watch his live presentations.

Jun 05

My First Study

success-1513746_1920

While I’m in the process of refilling the coffers and am pretty limited on time, I am starting to lay some groundwork for my first study. It is my hope I can conduct it in the fall of this year, but that’s still to be determined.

The study will need 12-20 volunteers who will be eating to a meal plan throughout 14 days while likewise taking many blood draws for cholesterol testing throughout. Moreover, they will be sequestered to a large house in Las Vegas that will serve as the staging area, where we will record all key activities associated with the experiment. (The large house has been volunteered by a friend for the use of this experiment)

One-half of the participants must be already on a ketogenic diet and will eat to a ketogenic meal plan. The other half must have already been on a carb-centric diet and will be eating to a carb-centric meal plan.

The participants can make phone calls, work from computers, watch TV, play video games, etc. as they wish during this period. But food intake and blood draws will be taken on a prescribed schedule. While not scheduled, proper sleep patterns will likewise be expected. Unfortunately, working out or other forms of intensive exercise will be prohibited during the experiment period as they will likely impact the lipid data.

There is also a likelihood this will be captured by a camera crew for a documentary (more on that later).

If you’ve followed the work I do with myself and others, you know I’m extremely motivated to be as precise and transparent as possible. I expect the data from this experiment to by highly scrutinized given what it will be showing and thus, I’m very serious about keeping it well controlled.

My plan is to first secure a group of motivated volunteers before preparing a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the experiment. Requirements for volunteers:

  • As stated above, must be comfortable with 14-day sequestration, eating to meal plan times/quantities, and having several blood draws over the course of the experiment
  • Cannot be on any medications
  • No recent significant illness or injury
  • For Keto diet volunteers, you must have been on diet for 12 months or more

If you’re interested, feel free to comment as such below and I’ll add your name to the Interest List.

May 29

We Now Pause for this Commercial Break

pause

Well, I knew this would happen at some point. I’ve gotten through the last year and a half of research through funding from one primary provider: me. There’s a long story I may post on later as to how I had the savings to spend and why I did it. (In fact, it’s a pretty interesting side story.)

This changed somewhat in the last month when I put up a “Donate” button and many wonderful readers contributed directly. And to these amazing people: THANK YOU! With these added contributions, I was able to fund another few weeks and nearly all of the last experiment. And as it happens, that was one of the biggest I’ve yet to have.

However, the time has come for me to refill the coffers. I’ll be ramping up some contract work in app development for a while and plan to pack away the acorns for the next major stretch of research, which I hope to get started on soon. Indeed, as I’ve said many times before, I could just stick to this 24/7 if I had the means. But beyond just the costs of living, the bloodwork alone is my second biggest bill after the mortgage.

Whenever I mention this subject I get one of three common suggestions which I’ll pre-answer to save everyone time:

  • “You should charge for your information/research given it costs money to conduct.” – I intend to never charge for the information on this site. I started it precisely because there needs to be something available for fellow hyper-responders in their personal research and at that critical time they are first confronted with scary numbers. That’s what I was missing when it happened to me.
  • “You should get a research grant; it’s easy.” – I get this a lot from academics. But this is also an unfamiliar process to me that I’ve likewise heard can be time-consuming and very uncertain. Moreover, I’ve been told bluntly by a few conventional doctors that my research won’t likely be embraced by many of the entities writing the checks. (My favorite quote from an endocrinologist: “Your pursuit probably means a lot of money being lost in prescription drugs, not gained. I don’t think they will be anxious to help you out with that…”)
  • “You should get a corporate sponsor.” – I’ve been approached a couple times and I necessarily turn them down. For the time being it is very important that I maintain no corporate financial ties to my research. The integrity of my data is well preserved right now by being funded directly by my own money — and now those readers kind enough to contribute. (And let me again say, THANK YOU!)

From a cost-benefit standpoint, it just makes the most sense I spend my time with the contract work given I can get ahead of finances for the next major run. As options go, this is the most reliable and predictable.

Of course, the big downside is pausing the experiments and research temporarily, and drawing down on my total social media participation. This is especially frustrating given the most recent breakthrough cliffhanger and the next experiments I have planned for the queue to further this front. Moreover, I had a number of other projects I mean to get back to such as Part III of the Simple Series (no need to keep pinging me, I haven’t forgotten! :D). I’ve also wanted to do a series of short videos on frequently asked questions; more of a 101 on cholesterol from LCHF perspective in small bites.

Thus, this may be my last post for a while and I might be a bit less active than usual as much of my time will be filled writing code. But make no mistake, I’ll be anxiously working my way back to full operation here soon. 😀

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