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Aug 08

Cholesterol Code – Part V : More Fat, Less Cholesterol… to The Second Power

For the short version with pictures, see below. For the long version, read on after…

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The Plan

A couple months ago I started talking to my sister about taking my data to the next level. But to do so, I’d need someone else’s help — to which she immediately volunteered. (Side note: my sister is uberawesome!)

In fact, my sister was perfect for what I wanted to test specifically. While her cholesterol numbers went up after going low carb last year, they didn’t rise nearly as much as mine. In fact, both her LDL-C and LDL-P were generally half of mine. Thus, we would have different starting points on our cholesterol when we ate, which is the goal.

Light Diet Day

Light Diet Day

I then started planning all our meals to be similar to my prior March week-long solo test. There would be the same day-by-day blood tests during one week. Only this time we’d add one test for the Friday before the week, and the trailing Monday that followed it, seven blood draws in all, each was an the advanced cholesterol test, NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance).

Once started, we had to eat the same food at exactly the same time, no exceptions. Both of us had to take pictures of everything we ate, along with weighing them when possible. Half of the time she was in her state, then flew to me in my state where I’d then on prep, weigh, and cook our duel meals personally.

Generally, I tried to keep our food mostly home-prepared and stay away from processed or fast food. But both before the meal plan and following we ate out a little more. Also, my sister likes Zipfizzes, so we agreed to have one a day through the planned days as well.

Heavy Diet Day

Heavy Diet Day

Overall, the plan worked beautifully! My sister stayed religious to the diet and timing and we didn’t have any sudden surprises that thew us off the rails. I have a few fun stories that I’ll save for in person talks later.

The Comparative Data

Beyond the Total Cholesterol hook above, it’s worth looking closely at the other markers as well.

Our LDL-C was an impressive 88.9% correlative with each other! Did I put only one exclamation mark there? I meant three — 88.9% correlative!!!

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And here’s a relative comparison to really see the match up:

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This was especially relevant to me given my general theory encompasses energy trafficking as being the primary driver of these LDL cholesterol payloads. If I’m losing you here a little, don’t worry, I’ll cover this in a future post.

Like my own data before this, HDL doesn’t often move too much, but typically tracks with three day dietary fat in a positive correlation. More fat, more HDL. Between the two of us, we correlated a solid 71%.

ID_HDL-C

This next piece of data is extremely relevant to me (which I’ll get into in the theory post). It also tends to have a high standard deviation relative to the other markers from my past tests. However — in this case it was remarkably close in comparison to each other’s at a 77%. Incredible!

ID_TRIGS

So here is where things get interesting. On both LDL-P and Small LDL-P, Darla and I track very closely with the exception of the very last data point (7/18). In fact, the metric is so off course as to be suspicious to me. Up to that test, we had been eating everything identically as with the others, so what happened?

I’m loathe to suggest a lab error, especially since the non-P metrics appear to line up correctly. But unfortunately, there’s no easy way to find out as I have no direct contact with the lab (as it should be). For now, I’ll list both the complete results and what the correlation is without it and you can judge for yourself.

ID_LDL-P

ID_smLDL-P

It’s hard to quantify in words how happy I am that we captured this data and confirmed the previous patterns I’ve observed to this point. Our next steps will a new N, Nicole Recine, a Ketogenic Practitioner who has graciously accepted being our #3. We’re currently in the planning phase and hope to set up the next capture in the coming weeks.

I couldn’t end this article without given a very sizable thanks to my sister, Darla, and her contribution to this science.

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50 Comments on "Cholesterol Code – Part V : More Fat, Less Cholesterol… to The Second Power"

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Bill Robinson
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Might 7/18 be hormonal?
Great work (three exclamation marks here)

Wenchypoo
Guest
I just got through listening to your podcast with Jimmy Moore, and wrote to say I had my own inverse episode with fat and cholesterol. Only doing NMRs yearly (with the physical),, I noticed that over the last 3 years (starting with 2016 and going backward), my LDL-C, LDL-P, VLDL, and trigs all went down when I started using a combination of fats (MCT, butter, coconut oil, lard, and avocado oil) made into fat bombs for cooking and blended into my salad oil. HDL rose from 70 to 99. When I quit using this mix of fats, my NMR went… Read more »
Tim H
Guest
My experience has been of my cholesterol increasing as the percentage of fat in my diet increased but over 3 years, not a few days. My recent total cholesterol is 323, LDL 238 and HDL 89 following a diet of around 85% fat calories, 2 or 3% carbs. The high cholesterol has not worried me unduly given research such as Ravnskov U, Diamond DM, Hama R, et al. Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010401. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010401. What has made me curious, however, is my GGT… Read more »
Ela
Guest
Hi Dave! Thank you so much for doing all this work and laying it out like this. I listened to your conversation with Jimmy Moore, and I’m struck by how much sense your picture makes (and how it vitiates many mainstream medical assumptions). I wanted to share some information that I think underscores the truth of your inverse correlation. I have a background history of extreme anorexia, probably developed to control my bipolar disorder, so I’m much happier now on a ketogenic diet (on the theory, which is borne out for me, that bipolar is a seizure disorder that responds… Read more »
Nick
Guest

Awesome stuff! But surely this can’t be “new science”. can it? You mention going to Vail, so did you talk to any doctors/researchers that had seen this type of data?

Also, I noticed someone pointed you to Ken Sikaris’ excellent video (actually he’s done two that talk about hyper-responders) and since you went to Vail you no doubt saw Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s presentation on this (for those who haven’t seen it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8jUmCe3zDs&list=PLrVWtWmYRR2BYjk-oQTlAtGCjnly3J7LB&index=5).

Are there any other videos on this you’d recommend?

Cheers,
Nick.

Bosse
Guest

Is it possible to get day-by-day data on dietary fat for the three day averages.

Fyi it’s not really correct to use averages for this kind of data. Especially without presenting deviation.

Also what’s going on at 7/15?

Eric
Guest

Look at doctor pandas work on time restricted feeding. The Salk institute has a free app to track time a d photo food intake. Eric

Dr. I
Guest
I am a 47 yr. old Family Physician, following initially a low carb, high protein, and low fat diet, now following a low carb, mod protein, high fat diet. I have lost 25 pounds to bring my body fat to 8 – 9 % and am as fit as ever. I have seen my Chol, HDL, HDL-P, LDL, LDL-P and LDL Size to increase significantly while my TG, TG/HDL ratio, small LDL-P to decrease significantly. I have read all of Peter Attia’s info and Ivor’s posts and video’s. Currently my HDL, TG, TG/HDL ratio, HDL-P, small LDL-P, LDL Size, and… Read more »
Nancy
Guest
So I went high fat and my LDL cholesterol shot through the roof, similar to your experience. I’ve read all your posts and listened to your interview with Jimmy Moore. It’s interesting data but I’m not sure how to apply this for my situation. My questions: 1) How dangerous is very high LDL? 2) Do we need to treat this with diet and statins? 3) If not dangerous, can you point me to further reading? For now, I’ve cut back on fat, especially saturated fat, have added a statin and have started using olive oil as my oil of choice.… Read more »
Bill Robinson
Guest

A woman taking a statin?

Why?

IanA
Guest

Really appreciate the work you are doing and yes, I have readings like yours (when converted into Aussie units). So many unanswered questions in this area.

Tim F
Guest
Hi Dave. Thanks very much for your efforts, they are incredible and really appreciated. I am very much looking forward to your lipoprotein system theory. In particular I will be looking for the following question answered: If dietary fat is inversely related to LDL-C/LDL-P cholesterol on a relatively short term basis is there anything that would explain the very large rise in cholesterol on a long term basis for us LCHF hyperresponders, which is a sizeable group. IE if fat is supplying 65-75% of energy needs why does the body need such higher cholesterol and why in only some people.… Read more »
Richard B Arnesen
Guest
Hi Dave, So glad I stumbled across this site. So much information! Also thanks for the link to the APOE4 forum (I am 3/4). Still not sure what the answer is but it is great to be part of the discussion. I’ve been LCHF for several years and keto off and on but in January of this year decided to get into keto again. I also finally convinced my doctor to give me the NMR test in March. Not great news as you would expect for a 3/4 (which i found about in February of this year). LDL-P was 1916,… Read more »
Richard B Arnesen
Guest
Thanks Dave! I will post my new numbers next week when get them. I too like my sat fat, and substantially all of it comes from pastured/grass fed sources. I just get a little freaked out being a 3/4 when i hear several sources (Steve Gundry and others) talk about eliminating most sat fat for 3/4 and 4/4s. I recently replaced bacon with sardines and salmon with my afternoon “breakfast”. Regarding my numbers the thing i am most concerned about is the small LDL. Of course your experiments call in to question the relative importance of all the lipid markers.… Read more »
Richard B Arnesen
Guest
New numbers from 10/27/16 TC: 267 LDL-P: 2069 Small LDL-p: 1028 HDL C: 56 TRIG: 101 hsCRP: 0.3 Ha1C: 5% So my HDL went up from 48 to 56 which is great, and my hsCRP is low. All the other numbers stayed the same or went up marginally. I should also point out that my BG which i check frequently, is almost always between 75-90 and my ketones are usually 1.0 – 3.5. Generally i feel good, I workout often and have bodyfat of around 10%. I think my step would be a CAC scan. My doctor of course wants… Read more »
Richard B Arnesen
Guest
Thanks again Dave! It is very frustrating not knowing what direction to go. I eat what i think is a very health keto diet. No sugars or grains of course, lots of leafy green veggies, all or substantially all animal fats and proteins are pasture raised etc. I have recently cut back on dairy (I am in Wisconsin so not easy to do) and added more olive oil but my numbers, with the exception of the HDL and Trigs look like i am on a SAD. I have a hard time believing that the answer is to go back to… Read more »
Leo Tat
Guest

Hi Dave,

Back a few years in 2014 when I started a low carb high fat diet, I tested my blood after 4 months.

TG and HDL ratio is one of the best indicators of cardiovascular disease risk.

Heres mine:

TG/HDL = 70.88/69.66 = 1.05

My wife started at the same time as me, took the test too and got

TG/HDL = 70.74/69.66 = 1.15

These are pretty much perfect figures.

Dr. Trent Hippard
Guest
Hi Dave, I am a new to your research and work but fell upon it as I received my lipid panel and the numbers shocked me as I’ve never had elevated cholesterol levels (being fit and althetic for over 20 years). I’m also as I should mention a Doctor of Chiropractic that runs a pediatric and family wellness practice (lifestyle and environmental factors are huge focus in helping my members). I’m turning 33 in September and have been doing ketogenic diet for last 9 months in which it has been very helpful in my recovery process from workouts, work and… Read more »
Esther Loopstra
Guest
Hi Dave, Thank you so much for the work that you are doing. I just donated! I’ve been following you for a while but just watched your video The Dynamic Influence of a High Fat Diet on Cholesterol Variability’ and finally sort of put it all together. I have hypertryglicedemia (my mother and brother both nearly died of pancreatitis at age 40 and my mother died of pancreatic cancer) as well as hyperlipidemia. I’m currently age 41 and about 5 years ago, my trigs were about 750 – I happened to try an elimination diet to get rid of migraines… Read more »
Katrina
Guest
I am a 44 year old female that has been on a low carb diet for two years. I have lost 74 pounds but have had an increase in my cholesterol numbers. This is very disappointing to me because if I do not get it lowered, my insurance premium will go up and if I refuse meds, I will lose my insurance all together. My most recent results are as follows: Total cholesterol – 238 HDL – 53 TRI – 90 LDL 167 % HDL 22 I did try the three day experiment and went this morning for results. I… Read more »
Katrina
Guest
Received my lab results and I have to say I am very pleased. I was very doubtful and skeptical because of the struggle I have had to lower my numbers. The following results are after doing the three day experiment. Total cholesterol – 205; it was 238 HDL – 66; it was 53 TRI – 71; it was 90 LDL – 125; it was ; 167 % HDL Cholesterol 32 I could only eat a little over 2000 calories a day, mostly from fat. I want to try the experiment again and increase the calories to 3000 if possible. Any… Read more »
Craig
Admin

Katrina,

That’s awesome!

Unless you have a particular LDL or TC target (that your doc or insurance wants), it’s probably not worth the trouble to repeat the Feldman drop experiment again. It’s tough to overeat that much!

Random advice for a new low carber:
Eliminate the seed oils and learn to look out for contamination when eating out. Slow and steady on the weight loss. If you get stuck at a plateau, throw in some intermittent or extended fasting.

Craig

Katrina
Guest

Thank you so much for the advice. My insurance company wants my total cholesterol under 200. So, tell me, does it really not harm your body to have so much fat? Even on a regular daily basis of eating low carb, you have a higher fat intake. My husband is really getting on me about having so much fat. He is worried about a heart attack. What advice does anyone have concerning this issue? Over all, my main goal is that I want to be healthy.

Anderson
Guest

Unless I wasn’t paying attention, I seem to remember some studies suggesting that higher cholesterol was related to lower instances of CAD. Yet, we’re seeing high fat diets decreasing cholesterol…