Oct 27

Dropping My Cholesterol at Record Speeds – Part I

The Prediction

“This is the very first public presentation of my data,” I began, “and I’m excited because I get to start it off with a bang.”

I was standing before the Ketogains Seminar audience on October 9th, 2016 in Las Vegas, and I planned to make that day just a little extra special. The first slide I showed included a picture of me smiling as my blood was taken, with the heading, “October 7th, 2016 – Two days ago”. I then explained I expect my cholesterol on that day will be very high.

I follow with a second slide. It has the same picture but I’m a silhouette with a question mark inside. The heading reads, “October 10th, 2016 – Tomorrow

Finally, I present a third slide that includes both images and my predictions together, the second reading plainly, “Cholesterol Plummets in 3 Days”.


“How am I doing this?” I asked. “A super powerful statin? High dose of Niacin? Some new, special exercise?… No… just food.”

I’d be lying if I didn’t confess at this point that my heart was pounding. I’m no stranger to public speaking, with one of my very first jobs being the M.C. of a dive show and working my way through college as a D.J. No, my nervousness stemmed from the fact that I was trusting all my research to date and taking this to the next level of publicly predicting an outcome. And not just any outcome… the outcome a thirty billion dollar prescription industry tries to provide.

The Results

So what happened? Quite a lot actually. Let me break it down into small pieces…


Sure enough, my Total Cholesterol dropped 66 points. But the real star of the show is LDL-C, the so called “Bad Cholesterol” which dropped a whopping 73 points in just three days — that’s nearly a 30% drop!!!

If I could put these results in a drug, I’d be a multibillionaire right now. Bayer and Pfizer would be pounding down my door offering a slice of the world to package this magic in a bottle.

But what about the actual LDL particles which show on the NMR labs as LDL-P? Or for that matter, the “Small” LDL-P that gets the credit as being the most dangerous of all?



LDL-P is nearly cut in half! This was even more impact than I had predicted. While it is true my LDL-P continued to drop into the 5th day (to be covered in an upcoming post), the shift in just 72 hours was really impressive.

Even more strikingly, Small LDL-P drops from 442 into the unreadably small “<90” range. Like LDL-P above, this runs very counter to the endless articles I’ve read about clearance with LDL receptors, which has been one of the chief suspects as to why LDL gets “backed up” in the bloodstream. Over and over, my data keeps providing a very different story.

HDL-C and Triglycerides both shifted in different directions, each one considered more favorable.


HDL-C bumped up 18 to 68, which is likewise consistent with my data.

Triglycerides are still a little more mysterious to me as they have the lowest correlation of the bunch over my research span, but are still negatively correlated with dietary fat. In this case, I was excited to see it dropped to nearly half of its earlier reading.

Food. Just Food

Unless you’re just now joining us, you already know how I pulled this off. More fat.

On one hand, if this is the first blog post of mine you’ve ever read, you might think I mistyped the above sentence. I most certainly didn’t. As with the last eleven months of my life, I carefully logged my food in MyFitnessPal to track it closely. I likewise took pictures of everything I ate. Everything.


On the five days prior to the Oct 7th blood test that gave me the high cholesterol, I had brought my total diet down to an average of 748 calories per day. This wasn’t pleasant given I’m a 6’3 male who gets semi-regular exercise. (Not to be confused with “athletic”)

Moreover, I didn’t want to stay too low on the calories for very long given I’m also very lean and would actually prefer to weigh a little more. I know this has me on the other side of most people in a low carb lifestyle, but actually aligned well with many at Ketogains.

By the time Friday was rolling around, I was excited to finally move to the next phase and ramp up the total food to full throttle. But unlike my Intentional Outlier experiment that I describe in Part I, I planned to exceed everything and shoot for the gold: 5,000 calories per day for five days.


high_foodThe first day was pretty easy, most likely due to having been so low cal for the previous five. Each meal I had to double or even triple my portions. But eventually I figured out it was just better to spread it out over the day. By the last day I could barely stand it. It’s incredibly difficult to eat very high calories on such a satiating diet. I kept telling my wife, “ugh, I can’t ever do this again,” to which she rolled her eyes knowing my variety of experiments before it and said, “yeah, we’ll see.”

Thus, many at the Ketogains Seminar noticed I was constantly pulling food out of my backpack in various forms: Adapt bars, peanut butter, and hot dogs I kept in a small cooler to name a few. This was especially annoying given the conference was catered with several amazing Keto-friendly buffet delights. But I couldn’t partake, given I needed to be certain of the exact macros and general ingredients I was consuming.

One particularly funny moment happened near the end of Sunday where I was sitting with other presenters at a Q&A and I realized I was still 1,200 calories short for my 5k goal which I had to meet by 7PM in order to have the proper 14 hour gap for the blood test at 9PM the following morning. I left my chair to go get a block of cheese and munched on it for the remaining 15 minutes of discussion.

Having said all that, let’s revisit our final version of the chart where we’ll include the food as well:


Final Thoughts

I’ll concede I’m still pretty awestruck. Even as I write these words and post this data, I keep rereading the labs and checking back over my logs. But there’s no doubting it now – the experiment delivered. The Dietary Inversion is very much real and yet almost no one knows about it.

Maybe this will move that needle just a little more.

This Part I is meant to be more layman, less geeky. In Part II I’ll be expanding on the data including the test before Oct 7 and after Oct 10th and how all of it compares to my current correlation timeline.


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59 Comments on "Dropping My Cholesterol at Record Speeds – Part I"

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Thanks for sharing, Dave! This is really cool and I can’t wait for Part II!


Thanks for the update! Did you gain weight during the experiment?

Bryan AKA Jack

Awesome results, Dave! I’ve been waiting for these results and it absolutely didn’t disappoint. Glad we met at the KG conference. I’m still curious to know about your liver panel results. We need to have some discussions about that because I know we briefly touched on it back then. But keep up the great work and I hope you can continue your daunting task of experiments! Lol.


Great experiment Dave. Probably opens up more questions and answers. So with the results you have now do you expect to eat 5000 calories a day, day in and day out to maintain those numbers and I suppose I wonder what would those numbers do if you ate your nornal regular fat intake.

Chad Nordstrom

This is fantastic. What unique insights we are gaining via your experiences. Can’t wait for part two!!

Matt Klein

What are your thoughts on the effects of protein?

Jeff Cyr

Wonderful, Dave. I would also be very interested in your ALT and AST measurements, thank you.


I have read all of your blog posts. I am confused about the diet soda. Can you explain more? My real question is can I drink it ? yes or no?

Christine Kostrubala
Many thanks for your lifesaving blog for it has given me hope on that I can take control over my life. Right now, I want to join a team of those who are like us on learning how to take care of ourselves without the need to resort to medicine. I might just have to but I want to try several things to find what tinkers best for me. I don’t have full panel in front of me because I gave blood work readings to the last doctor that I saw. He simply told me outright that he treats my… Read more »
Hi Christine, I can’t add to the great feedback already given, and it sounds like you’ve already got the exactly the right attitude of understanding the causes and then how to manipulate the inputs, rather than just trying to squash symptoms. I’d say your doctor should be more like that, but he’s just a product of the medical education just now, and I think it’s hard to find anything different (at least that’s been my experience). Hope you can find time to keep going on Zwift – we can get an LCHF ride going over there! I’m in the UK,… Read more »
Christine Kostrubala

Zwift is my true life saver. I look forward to seeing you there if you are there!


Hi Christine.
I just wanted to comment and let you know that my numbers are just as high and I am not worried the least bit. I also research this stuff extensively and work in this field an an RN CDE.


Christine Kostrubala

Thank you, Nicole….it is scary but I need to be around people who are familiar with this type of study and see what we can do about it. Thank you…


Hi, picked up your podcast on SHR.. awesome thanks

I’m definitely in the hyper zone.. about to explore Keto, do you have any thoughts consuming high fat when the gallbladder is removed? can’t seem to find much or any regarding it?

Regards Scott


Hey Dave,

I was wondering if, rather than cramming down massive amounts of calories, you could have just taken tablespoons of MCT or Coconut oil and got the same effect (with potentially less weight gain).

Randy Weir
Dave: Total C = 241 LDL-C 181 HDL-C 61 Triglycerides 73 Non HDL-C 180 LDL-P 2401 by NMR Small LDL-P 981 by NMR Lp-PLA2 >600 I’ve been on keto diet for six months or so. My doctor is concerned about the Lp-PLA2. Indicates high risk. Have you any information on that? I was particularly discouraged because the Keto diet has proven to prevent bonking and makes me feel great. I’m 72 and very active…daily hiking 1200 ft elevation mountain behind our house, interval train on staitionary cycle 3x a week & hunting in very rough terrain once a month. Just… Read more »
Randy Weir

Man, you are quick…much appreciated!

I started running, weight training etc. at age 17 and pretty much kept at it ever since.

Will follow up with those tests.

Thank you,


Glyn Wainwright

What happens is the lipid cycle starts to function again improving ldl clearance (out bound nutrients) and HDL increases (on the return side of the cycle). HbA1c will also improve and is a reasonable surrogate for sugar damage to LDL receptors. I have some refs in a .pdf downoad on this link http://bit.ly/1fkGYgb

Hi Dear Dave , I am 26,male,doctor(moderate activity) following lchf diet for 60 days and lost 14.2 Kgs.current BMI is 30.2 I think I am a hyper responder. Before. Lchf. 20days of cutting saturated fat replacing with MUFA/PUFA and ain’t fasting T.Chol 178. 198. 158 TGL. 65. 69. 60 Ldl. 147. 158. 124 HDL. 25. 26. 22 We don’t have NMR lipid profile in India Problem is my HDL is not rising even after starting Lchf diet. I am desperate. Shud I start heavy workouts or any diet modification??Pls help

Thanks a ton Dave

Dave Engles


Wow! I’m a little slow. How would I do the same thing to hack a life insurance test? 5 days of 750 calorie/day diet (ketogenic or what) followed by 3 days of 5,000 calories /day (again, whats the macronutirent breakdown?) and then the blood test?


Hi Dave! I have lots of personal data that likely will be helpful to you and every morsel of food has been reported to MFP. I have imp blood test this Friday and would love to talk to you ASAP. I have been part of major important research Project since 1998 and Lower LDL Results on Friday would blow them away. Please tell me how we can talk today so I can eat accordingly for next few days! Thanks!


How can we talk today? I have good data to share with you! Thanks!


Hi Dave. How can We talk? I have relevant information for you and want to speak today if possible. I have logged on My Fitness Pal for 6 months and my info will be useful. Thank you.


Hi Dave, I am trying to contact you to no avail. I have important and relevant data for your studies and have kept detailed precise tracking on My Fitness Pal. On Friday I have imp blood test and have been studied since 1998. I need to speak to you asap regarding food intake for next 3 days! Thanks!

Hey Dave, I tried to find a contact for you directly but couldn’t so I will leave this here and hope you respond. I had the “high LDL so you need statins” talk from my doc. I found your video and did the 3 day high calorie protocol. So I thought. I had a bullet proof coffee about 2 hours before the test. Oops. I did increase my fat intake up from 200g a day to 500g a day for the three days before however. Here is what happened: Triglycerides went from 1.5 to 0.71 mmol/L – fantastic HDL-c went… Read more »
Saw your video and have been fascinated by your work. I was reading on various aspects of apob100 and came across some literature which mentions the residence time of LDL in blood circulation is only 2-3 days with about 3/4 of particles removed by the liver and the remaining by extrahepatic tissues. In any case I would imagine this is why the 2-3 day fat moving average corresponds the highest with lipid testing. The increase in exogenous fat probably means your gut is providing more than enough chlymicrons, your liver gets a break and as a result the LDL count… Read more »
This is a very interesting study. I do question one aspect of it. It is pretty well known that fasting will increase cholesterol levels at least during the fast.. When you begin burning your body fat, isn’t it broken down into triglycerides and cholesterol? Didn’t you artificially increase your cholesterol with your extremely low-calorie diet before your gorging period? This may not apply if you are relatively lean, I am not certain about that. I am a very fat guy who has been on the keto diet around 3 weeks, and I have an appointment with my cardiologist in 2… Read more »

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