Oct 12

Blood Pool – Reader Contributed Test Results

Note from Dave–

I’m so happy this work by Craig is finally going up on the site. There was an extraordinary amount of work put into this post, not just in the writing and visuals, but in the meticulous effort he has put forth in mining all the data throughout the site. Extra thanks to Matt’s amazing contribution as well in processing and developing the data set.


Readers of this blog often share the results of their test results in comments, tweets, and emails. I’ve been collecting and labeling these into a dataset.  This article presents a summary of the nearly 200 data points extracted from the comments through October 1st.

Special thanks to Matt Allington who put together the interactive visualizations for this post.  Matt is a Power BI reporting professional (and LCHF advocate) at http://exceleratorbi.com.au.

Lipid Scores

Looking through the comment history, I found the most consistently reported metrics were those from a basic lipid panel:

  • Total Cholesterol (TC),
  • Triglycerides (TG),
  • High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C)
  • Low-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C)

What’s great about this quartet is you can use the Friedwald equation to verify their consistency or to interpolate the missing fourth score, if not provided.

Units are also easy to detect and convert.  The most commonly used units are mg/dL in America and mmol/L in Europe.  I made a heuristic to guess the units based on their range, and converted everything to mg/dL for display purposes.

Other test results were much less common. These included particle counts (HDL-p, LDL-p), glucose, HbA1C. See my previous post for recommendations on the best tests to get.

The Data


I recommend reading any study or presentation of health data with a grain of salt. In this case, take two:

1. Bias – These data were self-reported, not scientifically sampled. I would suspect that most readers found this site after switching their diet to LCHF, and probably after getting a high cholesterol score.

2. Accuracy – This data is not independently verified. In very few cases have I actually seen the corresponding Labcorp/Quest report. Contributors may also have misremembered or made a typographic error when submitting their comment.


Here’s are the results:



































Commenters on CholesterolCode.com reported an increase of 95 mg/dL LDL-C on LCHF compared to a standard diet. This makes intuitive sense, since the primary job of the lipid system is to deliver TG energy, and LCHF uses more energy from fat, so you’d expect more “boats” in the blood.

However, due to increased HDL and decreased TG, their reported TG/HDL ratio decreased by 0.8. Although most doctors will panic about 100 points of LDL-C, TG/HDL is a much better metric. So just judging from this data, on average LCHF dieters are at lower risk of CVD than standard dieters.

HDL versus LDL

Here’s the scatterplot of LDL and HDL, interactive link here.

In this chart you can clearly see the increased LDL for LCHF (black dots) compared to Standard (red dots). The gain in HDL is visible too, but less obvious. Although there are only 3 data points, Zerocarb (yellow dots) stands out for having among the highest LDL.

HDL versus TG

Here’s the scatterplot of HDL and TG, interactive link here.

In this chart, you see the LMHR cluster (LCHF in black) in the <100 TG, >100 HDL zone. I’d be most concerned about the health of the cluster of in the 200 TG, <50 HDL zone (mostly Standard diet in red).

How to Contribute

Want to have your data included in the next version of this post? Glad to have you onboard, citizen scientist!

The easiest way is to post a comment to this blog (on this or any article).  In the content, include the 4 numbers of TC, TG, HDL, and LDL keeping the same units. Also, include whatever context is relevant, but be sure to include your diet.  Here’s a sample:

I’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for the past 12 months.  Here are the results from my most recent labs from September 2017.

TC 350

TG 100

HDL 80

LDL 250

If you also happen to have results from your previous diet, we’re excited to see the change. Just include the old numbers and context in a second block, similar to the first.

The Nitty Gritty


I used the context of the comment thread to try to assign labels to each data point. I wanted to know the the diet, lifestyle, exercise, date, and any other commonly-reported factors that might influence the results.

The primary label I consistently applied is the diet.  Here, I assigned to one of 4 mutually exclusive categories.

Standard – Broad category of diets that follow the food pyramid’s advice to emphasize “fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy”. Typically <30% of calories from fat.

LCHF – Broad category of diets that limit carbs and embrace fat. Typically >50% of calories from fat.

Zerocarb – All-animal product carnivorous diet.

Fasting – Any fast of 3 or more days leading up to the test.


I noted other labels, but their reporting was more ad hoc:

Duration – When available, I added a duration as a qualifier to their primary diet.

Exercise – Anything from endurance, strength, high-intensity intervals, to vigorous walking.

IF – Intermittent fasting. Any form of time-restricted eating including 16:8, one-meal-a-day, alternate day, etc.

Test <X> – To distinguish multiple tests in a simple post.  Typically X will be a year.

Losing Weight – If the contributor reported a period of weight loss during this test.

Lowcal – The contributor reported lower-than-usual eating leading up to the test, as per the Feldman protocol.

Highcal – The contributor reported higher-than-usual eating leading up to the test, as per the Feldman protocol.

Non-fasted – If there was any reported eating in the 12-hour window before the test. These points are excluded from calculations.

Duplicate – If the contributor posted the same test result in multiple comments. These points are excluded from calculations.


I downloaded the raw comment database and wrote a script to process the data.  The script worked over a csv data file with the lipid scores, lifestyle tags, and thread context.  It generated an updated version of the data file with standardized units and an html page with the scores highlighted.  It could also generate rows for candidate comments that looked like they might have a data point. In the end, I still had to type numbers into a sheet, but I had some nice tools to validate my work.


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  1. Bill W

    I’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for 48 months. My most recent labs:
    TC 259
    TG 80
    HDL 64
    LDL 179

    1. Craig

      Looking good, thanks!

  2. Phil

    Happy to share regular multi year data pre and post 12 mo LCHF . Please advise email address for data .

    1. Cherry

      I can do multi year too – for me it shows the progression to diabetes and recovery back to normal

      I’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet (60%) for the past 12 months. since diagnosis.  Here are the results from my most recent labs from AUG 2017. WAS on standard ( actually low fat ) since forever before that . Hba1c 90=> 42 in same period 30kg down.

      TC 166 216

      TG 71 238

      HDL 61 40

      LDL 212 297

  3. Jake

    Here are my most recent lab results (taken in August 2017) after approximately 3.5 months of LCHF (or more specifically macros from the ketogains calculator). During that 3.5 months of LCHF I lost 18 pounds body weight. 49 y.o. male, 6′ tall, 185 lbs

    TC – 411
    TG – 74
    HDL – 72
    LDL – 324

    other #s
    hs-CRP – .6
    HbA1c – 5.1

    In mid-august I switched to ZC, and will be getting bloodworm done in November to see what (if any) change occurs in those numbers. I’d be happy to add those when I get them done.

    1. Craig

      Those number’s look great, thanks for sharing! You’re just a few HDL points away from Dave’s LMHR. Are you still losing weight? How about exercise?

      1. Jake

        Sorry for the delay in replying, Craig! To answer your questions: 1. My weight dropped a few pounds since switching to ZC been pretty steady at 181(+/-1.5) for the last few weeks. Oddly enough, when I was eating “keto” I was very concerned on my total calorie consumption. Since switching to ZC, I simply eat when I am hungry. 2. On the exercise front, I do strength training 5 times per week (short sessions [30 minutes or so} as outlined in “Easy Strength” by Dan John and Pavel)

  4. Alex

    Numbers 2 years ago
    Total cholesterol 197
    Triglycerides 72
    HDL 61
    LDL 122
    VLDL 14
    Number from last week after 2.5 months on keto
    Total cholesterol 250
    Triglycerides 54
    HDL 68
    LDL 171
    VLDL 11

    Hyper responder range? Not sure, but seems I’m trebding that way. Started keto for the long term health benefits. Right now really lean ~10% BF started out ~18% BF. Work out every other day with weights and work an active job ~12 hours a day. Also doing IF 16/8 since I’m just not hungry since starting keto. I eat 2x a day. Trying to gain weight back that I lost so around 3000 cals a Day net carbs ~20g, ~240g fat and ~115g protein. blood glucose fasting ~80 and ketones .5 – .9
    What don’t u guys think?

    1. Craig

      That’s a pretty typical before and after numbers. Looking very healthy, congrats on the great progress!

      I’m also “thinner than my doc wants”, but I’m the same as I was in college. I think I just have a low set point on weight. I might try active muscle bulking next year.

    2. Al

      Hi Alex

      Looks like you’re similar to me. I’m 6% body fat and exercise a lot, getting enough animal protein is key (fat will naturally increase too). This is what I’d do… You don’t give your weight/age but consider taking your protein up to about 140g if you’re around 70kgs. 115g looks too low to maintain solid muscle. Also make sure you get 40-50g protein per meal – could try going back to 3 meals per day. Add more meat, fish, cheese and eggs… and less veg.

      Just get your protein level right. More protein on non-exercise days too, interestingly enough.

      Hope this helps

      1. Alex

        Age 42. I’m 6-2 and 145 lol. All muscle, probably below 10% bf.
        Yea I’ve upped the protein the last 2-3 weeks. Up around the 140g range. Thinking I’ll have to keep upping calories until I hit my range to gain weight. Hopefully I’m not one of those that needs 4-5000 cals to gain. Back in college I lifted also and played and needed 3600 to gain. Was hoping with the 20 years m metabolism wound oh slowed a bit but not looking like it. Not looking forward to 2000 cals a meal.

  5. Sam

    Been on Primal/Paleo 2010-2013.
    After that ZERO processed food, Moderate Carb/Moderate protein/Moderate Fat (mostly saturated). Don’t really count anymore.
    Age 60 years – Activity level :- 1 Hour of walk everyday, otherwise sedentary.

    Latest Bloodwork:

    TC – 201
    TG – 85
    HDL – 47
    LDL – 142

    Doctor is pushing Statins as LDL and TC “Beyond Range”

    1. Craig

      Thank you for sharing, and congrats on cutting the processed food. IMO that alone is 100x more effective at improving your health than anything in the pharmacy.

      If your doc might listen to reason, I’d offer to get some additional tests as a “second opinion”. I’d expect you’d do pretty well. Here’s the article I wrote up on that http://cholesterolcode.com/lab-testing/

      e.g. If the doc thinks a) LDL -> b) inflammation of arteries -> c) atherosclerosis -> d) heart attack, then show him/her b) hsCRP, c) CAC score. If those 2 are ideal, then their logic is either wrong, very slow to manifest, or doesn’t apply to you.

  6. bill

    I’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for about 7 years. Here are the results from my most recent labs from August 2017 I’m 63 years old and I exercise at low impact 2-3 days a week.

    TC 407 mg/dL

    TG 103 mg/dL

    HDL 51 mg/dL

    LDL 335 mg/dL

    The following is my full lab report. Ted Naiman is my doctor. It didn’t format well, sorry.


    Result Name



    Ref Range

    08/19/2017 10:40

    White Blood Cell Count

    4.4 x10(9)/L

    (3.5 – 11.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Red Blood Cell Count

    4.59 x10(12)/L

    (4.27 – 5.57)

    08/19/2017 10:40


    13.5 g/dL

    (13.4 – 17.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40


    41 %

    (39 – 50)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Mean Corpuscular Volume

    90 fL

    (80 – 100)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Mean Corpuscular HGB

    29 pg

    (28 – 34)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Mean Corpuscular HGB Concentrn

    33 g/dL

    (33 – 36)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    RBC Distribution Width

    12.6 %

    (12.0 – 16.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Platelet Count

    199 x10(9)/L

    (150 – 400)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Sedimentation Rate (ESR), Automated


    42 mm/hr

    (0 – 31)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Lymphocytes Percent

    28 %

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Monocytes Percent

    8 %

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes Percent

    62 %

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Eosinophils Percent

    2 %

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Lymphocytes Absolute Count

    1.23 x10(9)/L

    (1.00 – 4.50)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Monocytes Absolute Count

    0.35 x10(9)/L

    (0.10 – 0.90)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Polymorphonuclear Leuk Absolute Count

    2.73 x10(9)/L

    (2.00 – 7.50)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Eosinophils Absolute Count

    0.09 x10(9)/L

    (0.00 – 0.50)

    08/19/2017 10:40



    08/19/2017 10:40

    Sodium Level

    140 mmol/L

    (136 – 146)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Potassium Level

    3.9 mmol/L

    (3.5 – 5.3)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Chloride Level

    107 mmol/L

    (100 – 112)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Carbon Dioxide Content (CO2)

    24 mmol/L

    (22 – 31)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Anion Gap, Blood

    9 mmol/L

    (6 – 14)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Creatinine, Serum

    0.98 mg/dL

    (0.72 – 1.25)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    eGFR (NonAfrican-American)

    >60 mL/min/1.73m²

    (>=60 – )

    08/19/2017 10:40

    eGFR (African-American)

    >60 mL/min/1.73m²

    (>=60 – )

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Urea Nitrogen

    21 mg/dL

    (9 – 25)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Total Protein Plasma

    6.3 g/dL

    (6.1 – 8.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Albumin Level

    4.3 g/dL

    (3.4 – 4.8)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Calcium Level

    9.2 mg/dL

    (8.7 – 10.4)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Alkaline Phosphatase

    71 U/L

    (40 – 150)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    ALT (SGPT)

    29 U/L

    ( – <=55)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    AST (SGOT)

    34 U/L

    (10 – 40)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Bilirubin Total Level

    1.1 mg/dL

    (0.2 – 1.2)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase

    18 U/L

    (12 – 64)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Uric Acid Level

    5.7 mg/dL

    (3.5 – 8.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Glucose Random

    86 mg/dL

    (75 – 139)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)

    5.1 %

    (4.0 – 6.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Estimated Average Glucose


    08/19/2017 10:40

    Cholesterol Random


    407 mg/dL

    ( – <=200)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Triglyceride Random

    103 mg/dL

    08/19/2017 10:40

    High Density Lipoprotein Random

    51 mg/dL

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Cholesterol LDL Random Calc

    335 mg/dL

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Cholesterol/HDL Ratio Random



    08/19/2017 10:40

    Non-HDL Random Calc

    356 mg/dL

    08/19/2017 10:40


    2.3 mg/L

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

    3.69 mIU/L

    (0.35 – 4.94)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Thyroxine (T4) Free

    1.01 ng/dL

    (0.70 – 1.48)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Free T3

    2.4 pg/mL

    (1.7 – 3.7)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Cyanocobalamin, Vitamin B12

    405 pg/mL

    (300 – 816)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Vitamin D 25-OH, Total

    67.3 ng/mL

    (30.0 – 60.0)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    PSA – Total

    0.45 ng/mL

    ( – <=4.00)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Rheumatoid Factor Serum

    <15 IU/mL

    ( – <=29)

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Thyroglobulin Ab, Serum

    <1.8 IU/mL

    (<4.0 – )

    08/19/2017 10:40

    Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody

    7.5 IU/mL

    ( – <=8.9)

    08/19/2017 13:05

    pH, Urine


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Specific Gravity, Urine


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Protein, Urine


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Glucose, Qualitative Urine


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Ketones, Urine


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Blood, Urine


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Urine Leukocyte Esterase


    08/19/2017 13:05

    Urine Nitrite


  7. Sam

    Thanks Craig,

    The hsCRP is 1.8 in the same report – CAC was not examined.

    However, I have a few markers that are off:

    Ferritin – 168
    Red blood cell count – 5.99
    Hematocrit – 51.7
    Estradiol – 43

    My guess is that these are pointing to excess iron. I went to donate blood, but they wouldn’t take it as I had a recent trip to South Asia – Apparently one has to wait 2 years after a trip to that region before they consider your blood safe from undetectable parasites. Any advise on any other strategy to reduce iron.

    1. Dianne Thomason

      Sam – I believe your doctor can write an order to have have blood drawn. Your blood would not then be used for donations.

  8. Manu

    I’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF) for the past 18 months. 12 months ketegenic (<50g carbs), 6 months low carb (<100g carbs) Here are the results from my most recent lab test from July 2017.
    TC 289
    TG 58
    HDL 66
    LDL 215

    Baseline while following a Standard diet (July 2014)
    TC 235
    TG 131
    HDL 65
    LDL 143

    1. Craig

      Thanks for the contribution!

  9. Louise

    I’ve been on a low-carb, high-fat diet for the past 6 months. Here are the results from my most recent labs from October 2017.

    TC 8.6

    TG 0.6

    HDL 2.1

    LDL 6.1

    BMI 19. Run 1 mile 1/wk, sometimes 3 miles. Yoga 1/week. Walk kids to local school daily and back. HbA1c 5.3.

    1. Craig

      Looking great! I bet have the energy to do more exercise if you just had the time – it’s tough with kids. 🙂

  10. C

    Standard junk food diet, July 1988:
    Total Chol: 191
    Trigs: 151
    No other lipid details, unfortunately.

    LCHF June 2016, Labcorp:
    Total Chol: 296
    Trigs: 63
    LDL (Calc): 216
    HDL: 67

    Zerocarb + Intermittent Fasting, Feb 2017, Labcorp:
    Total Chol: 314
    Trigs: 81
    LDL (direct): 239
    HDL: 59
    LDL-P: 3389
    HDL-P: 25.7
    Small LDL-P: 1457

    1. Craig

      Thanks for the contribution! It’s exciting to have another zerocarb result!

    2. Mark

      So, the high LDL-P isn’t a CVD risk given the low Trig, High HDL? My numbers are similar while off statin, and lipidologist wants me back on a statin + ezetimibe.

      1. Craig

        There is a healthy debate going on about whether high LDL-P is a causal element.

        Even if you assume it is, its still reasonable to try to evaluate your overall risk based on all the factors, including TG/HDL, inflammation, etc. If the result of that (based on your personal assessment and any professional advise) is that your risk is higher, then you need to consider the tradeoffs of quality of life, energy level, focus, hunger, etc.

        If you are >40 years old, the ultimate risk assessment for CVD is CAC. If you have a low score there, you have significant leeway to choose the lifestyle where you feel best, and wait for the research to figure out the details.

  11. Cathy

    I have been low carb for a couple of years and fasting daily (14 – 20 hrs) for about 11 months. During the 4/20/17 blood draw, I ate 2x/d on workout days, at once a day on non workout days, ate 10-12 egg yolks daily (choline), I lifted weights 5x/wk and I was limiting my protein to 50-60g/d. Today I still eat 2x/day, eat about 100g/d of protein, 4 whole eggs daily and workout 6x/wk. I am 146lbs and recently started leisurely walking for cardio. Lab results below:

    1/23/17 Results
    Total Cholesterol = 296(mg/dL)
    Triglycerides = 38(mg/dL)
    HDL Cholesterol = 107(mg/dL)
    LDL Cholesterol Calc = 181(mg/dL)
    Cholesterol/hdl Ratio = 2.8 Calc
    Non-hdl Cholesterol = 189(mg/dL)

    4/20/17 Results
    Total Cholesterol = 713(mg/dL)
    Triglycerides = 57(mg/dL)
    HDL Cholesterol = 115(mg/dL)
    LDL Cholesterol Calc =587(mg/dL)
    Cholesterol/hdl Ratio = 6.2 Calc
    Non-hdl Cholesterol = 598(mg/dL)

    1. Craig

      Thanks for the contribution. Looks like a classic LMHR profile.

    2. Bill G

      I have been LCHF since 3/2014. I had “normal” lipid values before the swich (was high carb previously).

      My numbers have looked pretty much like your last lab results ever since. The only thing to note is after ~3.5 years of this, I have developed xanthelasmas under my eyes. Be observant of any changes like this as I don’t know/understand what this could mean.

  12. Brian Wiley

    TC 260
    TG 76
    HDL 60
    LDL 192


    1. Craig

      Awesome, thanks!

  13. BobM

    Here are my results. I started low carb on January 2, 2014. I’m currently eating near zero carb. For instance, yesterday I ate basically all meat and some olives. However, I still eat some vegetables.

    06/25/14 175 119 37 113 3.05
    06/02/15 202 129 49 120 2.45
    09/18/15 224 152 40 158 3.95
    02/29/16 168 103 52 65 1.25
    03/04/16 188 121 36 157 4.36
    10/31/16 195 112 54 147 2.72
    11/14/16 163 96 55 58 1.05

    These were all 12+ hours fasting, except that the 9/18/15 and 3/4/16 were after 4.5 days fasting. The test on 9/18/15 caused my doctor to freak, and at the time I took the test after 4.5 days fasting because I thought that would make the numbers better…which I now know to be a mistake. So, I tested to see what would happen if I took a 12 hour fasting sample (2/29/16) and a sample later in the same week after 4.5 days fasting (3/4/16).

    In this time period, I’ve lost 50+ pounds. I also started intermittent fasting in about March of 2015, and I’ve used various IF schemes. I’m currently fasting 36-40 hours twice per week and one 20-24 hour fasting per week, with skipping breakfast most days. I take breaks though of 1+ weeks duration to give my body a rest.

    You can see that these are all over the map, even if you cut out the two outliers caused by fasting 4.5 days. The only thing consistent (assuming the outliers are cut out) is HDL keeps improving.

    I plan on doing Dave’s 10 day test and segueing into a test of Ted Naiman’s higher protein low carb diet to see what happens, but I’m waiting for a continuous glucose monitor to arrive. That should be here within a few weeks. I’ll report back once those tests are taken.

    1. Craig

      Great data set! Thank you.

  14. Jon Wright

    Date Total g/l HDL g/l LDL g/l Trig g/l
    10/24/2007 2.49 0.39 1.83 1.37 Paying no attention to diet, lots of junk food, ~89kg
    02/18/2011 2.34 0.47 1.69 0.92 Efforts to eat less/better + exercise, ~83 kg
    06/20/2015 2.11 0.46 1.46 0.96 Efforts to eat less/better + exercise, ~86 kg
    09/20/2017 2.68 0.68 1.84 0.81 LCHF for about 14 months, little or no exercise, ~75kg

    The doctor expressed concern about the increased total and LDL values from the last one but didn’t suggest any intervention.

    1. Craig

      Great sequence of before and after, thanks!

  15. Dorian

    Dave, really enjoyed watching your video from Low Carb Down Under.

    Here are my results. I started moving away from sugar, low-fat, and high-omega-6 oils after the August 2008 reading. After many baby steps, I was mostly primal/LCHF by 2012 and have been since. Have been cycling 3-5x per week 30 mins 80% of the rides — other rides range from 1-5 hours — plus 1 hour/week with personal trainer workout. No IF or fasting (yet?). Lost 20 pounds from August 2008 over 12 months. The LDL below is calculated — if I had Direct LDL, I mention in Notes.

    Date TC LDL TGs HDL TG/HDL Notes
    10/31/89 229 158 105 50 2.10
    08/15/08 263 173 90 72 1.25
    12/10/08 264 170 58 82 0.71
    08/05/09 245 158 31 81 0.38
    06/28/12 280 168 81 96 0.84 Direct LDL = 154; LDL-P = 1693; sdLDL = 41 (NMR)
    08/01/12 271 153 76 103 0.74 Direct LDL = 139; LDL-P = 2482; sdLDL = 33 (NMR)
    12/08/15 294 199 136 68 2.00 Direct LDL = 201; LDL-P = 2774; sdLDL = 41 (NMR)
    09/27/17 313 199 137 87 1.57

    Also had a CAC Score of 0 on 01/08/2013.

    1. Craig

      Wow! That might be our first lipid panel from the 80’s. 🙂 Congrats on the 0 CAC.

      I’m curious about your training, have you tried the Maffetone method of low heart rate training? Your TG have stayed persistently high, and I wonder if it wouldn’t help to build up some fat-burning mitochondria.

      1. Dorian

        Hi Craig,

        Thanks for the reply — glad I circled back here! My work with a personal trainer has been a combination of approaches: core, mat, pilates, TRX, kettle bells, resistance, Cybex. I hadn’t heard of Maffetone, so I looked it up — looks like running, but I haven’t dug in too much yet — I stopped running after an ACL reconstruction and meniscus removal, but I do cycle a lot.

        One followup question — either here in the comments or private message — I will be doing an NMR test in a couple of weeks, and I’d like to try the Feldman Protocol. Somewhere I read that for those of us like me who’d like to try it, to reach out for more specific details to do it better. Would very enjoy getting the details.

        Many thanks.

  16. Ali

    Hi. Just discovered you through a podcast – so interesting!
    So I’ve got a life insurance medical exam coming up and want to reduce my total cholesterol.
    According to my tests last year my doc said I should consider a statin (I never followed up on this and do not take any medication)
    Last year my #s were: total (237), hdl (69) triglycerides (53).
    I’m 38 yo female, not overweight.
    I don’t eat exclusively LCHF, though I lean that direction for sure. I’m probably closest to paleo more than anything else though i do eat occasional GF grains & raw or goat dairy.
    Would you recommend this 3 day high calories high fat approach for myself & this situation?
    Also how do I determine ‘high calorie’?
    And must the blood test be in the AM on the 4th day?

    Thanks for your help – greatly appreciate it & look forward to leaning more!

    1. Craig


      Yes, if your only goal is to game a single test for low TC, the high calorie Feldman Protocol is the way to go.

      The high-calorie days before the test, you can generally stick to your normal diet — just increase the quantity. Paleo can be very satiating, so it might be easiest to add some fatty cuts of meat, or some extra olive oil on your vegetables.

      The test needs to be after a 12-14 hour fast, so it’s much better to do that in the morning. If you waited until the afternoon, your fast would be ranging up to 20 hours, and that will typically increase TC.


  17. Monique Lloyd

    My lipid numbers in 2011 when I was eating lowish (50-100) net carbs:
    TC 169
    LDL 87
    HDL 63
    Trig 97

    In 2017 after eating keto for a year:
    TC 166
    LDL 41
    HDL 117
    Trig 39

    And the above numbers are correct. I did not mix up LDL and HDL. And I don’t drink alcohol so that’s not the reason for the high HDL. I don’t know why they are at these levels but my doctor says I’m pretty much heart attack proof. I am a 67 year old female. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the past two years and am now at normal weight (BMI 23.7). I exercise (yoga, HIIT, walking, and strength training) for 1-2 hours per day. I eat less than 20 net carbs, about 50 gms protein and 80-100 gms fat totaling about 1100-1200 calories a day. I do 16:8 hour fasts daily. I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes seven years ago with an A1C of 13.6. My last one was 5.4. I was taking the max dose of two high bp meds and my bp was still around 140/90. Now I take none and it’s around 115/55. I sleep well. I’m happy. I’m not hungry.

    1. Craig

      Thanks for the contribution! Congrats on reversing T2DM! It sounds like you are doing great now.

  18. Ann Gardner

    Please advise. I need to get another blood test soon. My last one was high and Dr wants to put me on statins which I resist. I am 5’6, 8st 11, 74 years old, fit and in good health. My cholesterol has always been high ish but has jumped from 7 to 9.5 on LCHF diet.
    You suggest eating high fat for 3 days prior to blood test. But should this be a fasting blood test? When should the last food be consumed before the test?
    Thank you

    1. Craig

      You have at least 2 options.

      Option 1, is to get more/better tests, so you can make an informed decision without being stuck on LDL-C.

      Option 2 is to use Feldman Protocol to game the short-term variability of LDL-C to get your Doc off your back.

      Or you can just looked the effectiveness and consequences of whatever is being suggested and decide based on that. Keep an eye out NNT (number needed to treat) and NNH (number needed to harm).

  19. Robert

    My numbers on LCHF (in mmol/l):

    HDL 1.49

    LDL 3.81

    TG 1.51

    TC 5.1

    1. Craig

      Thanks Robert!

  20. Tookie Gill

    2011 2013 2014 2016 – 1 mth lchf 2017 – 1 year lchf/keto
    Total C 7.5 7.8 8.4 14 10
    Trig 2.4 2.9 4.8 2.3 1.2
    HDL 1.7 1.6 1.9 1.9
    LDL 4.7 4.9 10.8. 7.5
    VLDL 1.1 1.3  
    Non HDL 11.9. 8.1
    Trig/HDL 1.41. 1.81   1.21 0.63

    These are my profiles going back to 2011 and as you can see I have always had high C which gets me into trouble with my doctors every year. I have been on statins off and on, mostly off, but none the past 2 years or so. When we began lchf in July 2016 I had a test in August and my doctor nearly died! She said she has never seen a total C so high in someone still alive and referred me to a cardiologist. I didn’t go. I’ve changed doctors who I am ‘educating’ and shared my delight in my Trig/HDL and explained how that worked. I have an appt for a CAC scan next week and I have already sent her info. She is ultimately really supportive.

    My other stats: 59 year old female, 157 cm, 55 kgs, waist 76, BP, BMI and other within normal, healthy range 🙂 I’ve lost nearly 10 kgs since Aug 2016, go to the gym at least twice a week and am fit and active.

  21. Jim

    Been eating LCHF and recently ZC for past 13 months. Age 58, male
    During this time I’ve lost 170 pounds, used intermittent fasting, and also endurance running.

    Lipid results (mg/dl) from this week
    Total C 308
    HDL 59
    TRI 112
    LDL 224

  22. KenM

    Here’s my lab results.

    I’m on what some of you might call a “zero-carb” diet.

    I eat meat and vegetables (mainly salad of chard, carrots, cucumber and celery). The carrots and cucumber are pretty sweet. I also eat about a pound of bacon a day and it has brown sugar in it. I’m pretty sure I’m not in ketosis but don’t know.

    I’d like to add more fat and trim the protein but find it difficult.

    Sept 19, 2017 in mmol/L
    TC 17.11
    TG 0.72
    HDL 2.23
    LDL 14.55

    October 12, 2017 in mmol/L
    TC 15.13
    TG 0.94
    HDL 2.01
    LDL 12.69

    I can’t tell you why the difference in a month, but I will keep better track now.

    I also had “bad” kidney function results of GFR=51 and GFR=53 on Sept 19 and Oct 12 respectively.

    I’m 56 years old. I feel like I’m in great health. I’m very strong and lean. I’m more worried about the kidneys and less worried about the LDL even though it is super high.

    Thank you for this work Dave and thank you to everyone else involved.

  23. Annie

    Hi there, I messaged Dave on twitter and he said he’d look at my results somewhere on his blog so I think this is where I need to post. I’m currently doing Dr Shawn Baker nequalsmany carnivore study and got bloods done the day before I started, 14 August 2017. Up until then I had been doing LCHF since November 2014. I’m in Australia so my blood work results come in mmol/L units. I understand I’m obviously a hyper-responder but any insights would be highly valued and I’m happy to offer myself up as a test guinea pig should it help with any science. I’m due for a another round of bloodwork at the end of the carnivore study in about 20 days.

    The results on 14 August 2017 were:
    Cholesterol 11.8mmol/L
    Triglycerides 1.0
    HDL 1.67
    LDL 9.7
    Chol/HDL ratio 7.1

    Previous results (before lchf):
    4 July 2012
    Cholesterol 7.5mmol/L
    Triglycerides 2.9
    HDL 1.1
    LDL 5.1
    Chol/HDL ratio 6.8

    12 September 2011
    Cholesterol 6.8mmol/L
    Triglycerides 3.2
    HDL 1.3
    LDL 4.0
    Chol/HDL ratio 5.2

    At the same time in August I had other bloodwork done – not sure if you’d want those results too or not, just let me know.

    Thank you for all you do. We’re signing up as a Patreon too, which can’t be much unfortunately but every little bit helps I hope.
    Thank you

  24. LeRoy

    I’ve been eating LCHF for about 18 months. Here are my most recent lab results, taken September 2017.
    TC. 213
    TG. 69
    HDL. 59
    LDL. 140

  25. Patrick Slaughter

    Has anyone tracked their bloodwork from day one of keto? It seems like most people check it 6-8 months after starting and their TRIGS have decreased. I have been doing intermittent keto, 5 days keto & 2 off, for 9 months and am in great shape doing this (6’3” 180lb, 15% BF). I just started an extended strict keto test to see how my Lipid Panel would change. My TRIGs have been steadily increasing in weeks 1-3 so far (150 > 225 > 300). Has anyone else seen this? Is this just a keto adaption period where my body is producing TRIGs for energy, but my cells haven’t adapted to absorbing them yet leading to high serum levels? My ketone levels are 2.0-3.0 mmol/L for all the bloodwork, so I am in Ketosis.

  26. Robert

    LCHF past 4 months:

    TC 6.6 (255 mg/dl)
    TG 0.9 (80 mg/dl)
    HDL 1.7 (66 (mg/dl)
    LDL 4.5 (174 mg/dl)

    mCRP 0.4


  27. Keith

    LCHF over a year. Prone to sugar binges. Lost 40 pounds in 15 months. Numbers are pre-LCHF (12/14), soon after starting LCHF (6/2016), to now (10/17).

    TC 174–>203—>173
    TG 417—>260—>236
    HDL 33—>38—>34
    LDL (not readable due to high triglycerides)—>113—>92

  28. Simon Hunter

    LCHF, Primal 3 years

    TEST 2015_1
    TC 231
    TG 81
    HDL 83
    LDL 132

    TEST 2015_2
    TC 265
    TG 110
    HDL 68
    LDL 175

    TEST 2016_1
    TC 229
    TG 72
    HDL 62
    LDL 153

    TEST 2016_2
    TC 269
    TG 57
    HDL 86
    LDL 172

    TEST 2017_1
    TC 251
    TG 54
    HDL 80
    LDL 160

    TEST 2017_2
    TC 244
    TG 65
    HDL 88
    LDL 140

    1. Craig

      Nice! Looking at that trend over time, your TG are dropping nicely – likely indicating better insulin sensitivity. You also managed to use the same TEST format as I do behind the scenes. 🙂

  29. Calimero

    Hi, here’s MOAR DATA! 🙂
    My LCHF and weight loss (+ exercising!) journey.

    Constants: Male, Height: 183cm
    IF: I skip breakfast and hence “fast” 13-15hrs on most days. Some 24-36hrs fasts here and there but not consistently.

    Date: 2016-07-30
    Age:33, Weight: 144kg
    1 month into LCHF
    No exercising

    Total Cholesterol: 3.11mmol/L (1.20g/L)
    HDL: 0.93mmol/L (0.36g/L)
    LDL: 1.58mmol/L (0.61g/L) – report says “Friedwald”, so I assume calculated and not measured
    Triglycerides: 1.28mmol/L (1.13g/L)
    Fasting Glucose: 5.38mmol/L (0.97g/L)

    Date: 2017-05-09
    Age:34, Weight: 93kg
    10 months into LCHF
    Weight training 2-3 times a week
    HIIT/Cardio 1-2 times a week

    Total Cholesterol: 5.00mmol/L (1.93g/L)
    HDL: 1.40mmol/L (0.54g/L)
    LDL: 3.03mmol/L (1.17g/L) – report says “Friedwald”, so I assume calculated and not measured
    Triglycerides: 1.25mmol/L (1.11g/L)
    HbA1c: 5.0%

    Age:34, Weight: 78kg
    Date: 2017-10-17
    15.5 months into LCHF
    Weight training 2-3 times a week
    HIIT/Cardio 1-2 times a week

    Total Cholesterol: 5.13mmol/L (1.98g/L)
    HDL: 2.20mmol/L (0.85g/L)
    LDL: 2.59mmol/L (1.00g/L) – report says “Friedwald”, so I assume calculated and not measured
    Triglycerides: 0.76mmol/L (0.67g/L)
    Fasting Glucose: 4.05mmol/L (0.73g/L)
    HbA1c: 5.2%
    Fasting insulin: 6.8 mUI/L (47.2 pmol/L)

    1. Craig


  30. Loz

    Strict keto for 7 months

    Trigs 38
    CRP- 0.5

    Had a CTCA that was perfectly normal!

    1. Craig

      HDL/TG > 2.0. 🙂

  31. Anne

    I’ve been on low carb/high fat/moderate protein for the past ten and a half years. Over the years my HDL has crept up as has my total and LDL, and trigs lowered. My lipids have been tested every six months, I have them all on a graph, but here I include my results from seven months ago and last month when I added extra, extra fat – I am very lean:

    March 2017
    TC: 7 (270)
    TG: 0.5 (44)
    HDL: 3.5 (135)
    LDL: 3.2 (124)

    Sept 2017
    TC: 5.5 (212)
    TG: 0.3 (26)
    HDL 3.5 (135)
    LDL 1.8 (70)

    There have been occasions over the years of low carb/ high fat when my TC was very high: 9.7 (375) and my HDL 3.9 (150) – I tell myself I’m trying to set a world record for HDL – I’ve never got it that high again – I wonder what was it was that raised it so.

    1. Craig

      Cool. Extra fat lowered LDL as per the InversionPattern. The HDL is nice!

  32. Samantha

    As per my conversations with Dave on Facebook, here are the results of my experiment with Zero Carb. I am a longtime low carber, focusing on protein as the most important macro.

    Results from October 2016 after 9 months on Zero Carb:
    Total Cholesterol: 493
    Trigs: 90
    HDL: 93
    VLDL: 18
    LDL-C: 382
    HbA1c: 5.5
    Fasting Insulin: 2.2
    Fasting Glucose: 81

    I stopped Zero Carb in Feb, 2017.

    2017 Results eating around 30-50 carbs a day, AND coming off of a 10 day vacation where bad choices were made .
    This IS an NMR PROFILE:
    Total Cholesterol: 303
    Trigs: 76
    HDL: 86
    LDL-C: 202
    HDL-P: 41.5
    Small LDL-P: 441
    LDL Particle Size: 21.6
    LP-IR Score: Less than 25 (not insulin resistant)
    HbA1c: 5.5
    Fasting insulin: 2.5
    Fasting Glucose: 85

    I’m 47 years old, 5’6″ and currently weight 145lbs. Lifting and exercise 4-5 days a week. *Macros stayed the same and weight stayed the same during this time. Macros were: 90-110g protein, 70-90g fat, 30-50g carbs (once I quit zero carb). I was also given a zero CAC score in 2013 with similar cholesterol numbers like the current 2017 panel. I also carry two genes that make me predisposed to higher HDL, which has always been the case for me, even when I was eating a standardized western diet high in carbs. My HDL has been as high as 100 in previous tests.

    Thanks for all the great work you guys are doing!

    1. Craig

      That’s for the data. 9 months is a serious commitment to an experiment!

  33. Steve

    Great work Dave,
    More citizen science data

    Test 1 LCHF (8 months)
    TC 6.6 (255)
    HDL 1.32 (51)
    LDL 4.8 (186)
    TG 1.1 (97)

    Test 2 ZeroCarb (90 days)
    TC 7.5 (290)
    HDL 1.37 (53)
    LDL 5.8 (224)
    TG 0.8 (71)

    1. Craig

      Great! Zero Carb does seem to push things more in the LMHR direction. TG down, LDL up, HDL up.

  34. Justin


    So, I think I am a hyperresponder. I have been doing modified keto (low carb, high protein, moderate fat) since the beginning of June 2017. I have been intermittent fasting (at least 16:8) daily since around July 2017. I don’t have lab work immediately prior to starting keto. My HgbA1C is great, fasting glucose is below 100, and my BP is consistently around 110-120/80s. I am about 5’9 and weight around 165. I lost about 40 pounds since starting keto.

    My last results prior to starting keto were from July 2015:
    Total Cholesterol: 212
    HDL: 58
    LDL-C: 127
    Non-HDL-C: 154
    Triglycerides: 134

    October 26 2017:
    Total Cholesterol: 472
    HDL: 56
    LDL-C: 375
    Non-HDL-C: 1416
    Triglycerides: 203

    November 9 2017:
    LDL-P: >3500
    LDL-C: 347
    HDL-C: 47
    T: 247
    Total Cholesterol: 443
    HDL-P: 20
    Small LDL-P: 822
    LDL size: 22.1
    Large VLDL-P: 1
    Large HDL-P: 5.6
    VLDL size: 37.3
    HDL size: 9.1
    LP-IR score: <25

    I plan on doing 23 & Me to see if I have the polymorphism.

    1. Craig

      Thanks for sharing the before/after. It’s actually closer to before/during since it sounds like you are actively losing weight. Since you were burning body fat, the energy available to your body is still low carb, high fat. Once you get to your ideal weight, you might feel the need to change your macros a bit.

  35. Robin Gilbert

    I am a 69 year old female, 133-Lb, 5′ 9″, moderate exercise, LCHF for 5 years, 2 meals/day, I fast 12-14 hours prior to all of my lab draws.

    January 2015, still eating some whole grains and 2 fruits/day
    total cholesterol – 194
    trig – 77
    HDL – 65
    LDL – not done

    stopped all grains and decreased fruit to 0 to 1-/day, November 2016

    June 2017
    total cholesterol – 375
    trig – 91
    HDL – 85
    LDL – 272

    November 2017, test after three days of Feldman Protocol (3 days of very high fat)
    total cholesterol – 309
    trig – 99
    HDL – 75
    LDL – 214

  36. Jake

    In a post I made (above) on 12 Oct, I said I would give an update after my 90-day carnivore study was complete. Lab results just came in! Here they are…..this is after 90 days of meat and water…..and 5 days/week of strength training:

    TC – 321
    TG – 39
    HDL – 89
    LDL – 219

    other #s
    hs-CRP – .2
    HbA1c – 5.5

  37. Drew

    Hi guys. I was on a low carb, high-protein diet for about 5 days based on Dr. Eades’ Six Weeks book. On 11/16/17 my readings:
    TC – 259
    TG – 101
    HDL – 51
    LDL – 186

    Doctor told me I was borderline needing statins so I freaked, found this blog, and tried 3 days at 4000-5000 calories and very low carb, protein. Basically keto. Tested again on 11/21/17:
    TC – 245
    TG – 50
    HDL – 56
    LDL – 179

    So definitely better over that one week. My questions are 1) how do I hack this even more for my next doctors visit in 6 months and 2) do you guys recommend standard Keto for general health and longevity?



  38. Brian behn

    I have a lipid panel results plus calcium score. 43 year old male, and been on keto (less than 20 net carbs per day) for one year.
    Total chol: 272
    Triglycerides : 107
    Ldl: 170

    Calcium score after one year of keto …. 0. Yes, zero. While hypothyroid too.

    1. Craig

      Congrats on the 0 CAC! The numbers look pretty typical for someone on LCHF.

      Out of curiosity, are you currently losing weight?

  39. Bill G

    Was eating high carb before 3/2014

    Labs from 11/2013

    TC 150

    TG 96

    HDL 63

    LDL 68

    Went low carb (~30g total carbs (not net carbs)/day) 3/2014 to present

    Labs from 5/2014

    TC 419

    TG 86

    HDL 88

    LDL 314

    Latest labs 7/2017

    TC 687

    TG 145

    HDL 108

    LDL 442

    Have had multiple NMRs since 2014. LDL-P always >2000. sd-LDL <90.

    One interesting thing to report though… I seemed to have developed xanthelasmas under my eyes that I noticed recently… so that’s about 3.5 years after the switch.

    Also had a CACS of 22.3 on 6/2015. I chalked this finding due to being a poorly controlled type 1 diabetic for 30 years. Have another one scheduled for 6/2018. Hoping no change in score but with the observation of the xanthelasmas it’s concerning.

  40. Gökhan Göy

    I want a data set for cholesterol metrics(LDL,HDL,TC,TG). Do you guys know where I can find it ?

  41. Hew

    OK I am a bit of a nerd – I have kept all lab reports going back to 1989!

    I will show two of interest. The first one, below, was when I was eating ‘healthy whole-grains’, lots of carbs and low fat. After this result I was put onto Lipitor.

    October 2004

    TC 290

    TG 269

    HDL 44

    LDL 194

    Three years ago I switched to Paleo, very low Carbs and a lot more fat – basically LCHF – No Lipitor

    February 2017

    TC 259

    TG 88

    HDL 73

    LDL 156

    I have also been able to ditch BP medication 🙂

  42. Alex Romayev

    Hi Dave,

    As promised in the comments to your other blog post, here are my results over the years. Note, that starting in January 2015 I started to reduce carbs and by around June 2015 became consistently ketogenic. Prior to January 2015 I was also taking statins, which I stopped somewhere in Q1 2015. I have T1D, which is why you’ll see high HbA1c. Independent of the diet I’ve played soccer, tennis and stayed very active.

    Date HbA1c Ch. Total HDL LDL TG
    1/25/2011 7.2 174 73 87 68
    5/18/2011 6.9
    10/6/2011 6.3 216 85 119 60
    1/10/2012 6.9 234 103 122 44
    10/9/2012 6.4 223 98 115 52
    2/27/2013 6.5 255 100 145 49
    8/20/2013 6.7 226 95 119 61
    1/29/2015 6.8 242 71 134 71

    4/27/2015 6.3 470 101 352 87
    07/9/2015 5.6 492 111 354 112
    8/18/2015 5.8 534 105 389 199
    11/27/2015 6.1 588 122 453 66
    2/23/2016 5.3 506 122 363 104
    06/2/2016 6.2 447 123 304 100
    7/26/2016 6 484 118 356 50
    5/19/2017 5.9 440 101 314 125
    11/14/2017 5.4 471 124 331 54

    Thanks again for all your work. I’m a software developer and run a business building and selling iOS apps. Would be happy to help in my spare time if there is anything you need.

    1. Dave

      Yes — those are definitely the lipids of a Lean Mass Hyper-responder!

  43. Jayvee Chun


    Mine were draw today:

    TC: 294.3
    Trigs: 87
    HDL Direct: 58
    LDL Direct: 220
    VLDL: 17.4

    Been on keto for a year.
    I dont have baseline numbers to compare them to but seems like Im a hyperresponder

  44. Steve H

    Here is the latest numbers and my starting numbers.

    Date of draw 1/19/2018, 12 hr fasted. T2 diabetic.
    Keto for 12 months

    TC 248

    TG 170

    HDL 35

    LDL 179

    Original lipids at T2 diagnosis:

    TC 374

    TG 1987

    HDL 28

    LDL couldn’t calculate it as my tri’s were so high

    A1c was 13.3 at this point.

    I’ve never been able to raise my HDL above a 40 or so.

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