Start Here (Pinned)

Welcome to This site serves as an information and research hub for emerging data on cholesterol. particularly in the context of a low carbohydrate lifestyle.

If you know little to nothing about cholesterol ->

If you’re wanting to learn more about why cholesterol could be higher, particularly on a low carb diet, we present the Lipid Energy Model (LEM) ->

  • Our recently released full paper on the LEM published in Metabolites
  • You can watch our video abstract for this paper here (5 min):

If you’re looking to better understand the risk associated with high cholesterol on a low carb diet->

  • Note we are still recruiting for our LMHR study through the Lundquist Institute. Check out our official recruitment page at to find out if YOU qualify!
  • While several articles on this site present a more “cautiously optimistic” perspective on cholesterol in the context of fat adaptation, we strongly encourage everyone to consider the conventional view as well. Consider reading The Case for Lower LDL on Low Carb by our colleague and co-investigator, Spencer Nadolsky.

If looking to understand the “Lean Mass Hyper-responder” profile ->

If you’d like to understand possible relevance of cholesterol and the immune system, you can read Siobhan’s overview article on the topic here or watch her presentation here

If you’d like to learn more about lipoprotein(a), you can watch Siobhan’s presentation on it here

Lastly — you can always just ask us anything our Questions Page. (Just be aware our site does not constitute medical advice and we always recommend consulting with your doctor.)

One Year Since Publication of the Lipid Energy Model

On this day last year, May 20th, 2022, we published the Lipid Energy Model in Metabolites.

To say this was a milestone in my unlikely journey into research would be an understatement. The Lipid Energy Model (LEM) started as a simple idea around why I suspected my LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) would rise substantially on a low carb, ketogenic diet. I kept doing self experiments (N=1) and writing about it here, back when this was just a simple blog.

Over half a decade later, we have a rapidly evolving, published model that proposes core concepts surrounding this phenomenon and likewise makes bold, testable predictions. If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend giving it a read. But if you’re pressed for time, I also put in quite a bit of work on its video abstract here (below).

Dream Team of Authors

A big game changer that made this all possible was our slate of coauthors who each had uniquely valuable contributions, Adrian Soto-Mota, Bob Kaplan, David S. Ludwig, and Matthew Budoff. I was incredibly humbled to have the great Anatol Kontush co-senior authoring it with me given his prior work was foundational to LEM. But I want to give an extra large shoutout to my good friend and LEM collaborator, Nick Norwitz. I’m certain we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have without his considerable talent and drive.

Overall Reception

The paper has performed surprisingly well in spite of its specific niche.

Our overall Altmetric score is currently a whopping 339. (Over 20 alone is exceptional)

The paper also performed “higher than 99% of its contemporaries” in all four categories: All Research Outputs, Outputs from Metabolites, Outputs of a Similar Age, and Outputs of a Similar Age from Metabolites.

Challenges to the LEM?

Both Nick and I were quite certain our inboxes would be filled with challenges to the LEM once it had gotten published. However, to date the publisher hasn’t received a single Letter to the Editor. Moreover, we’ve actively corresponded with many senior lipidologists and cardiologists seeking critical feedback wherever possible.

The only challenge generally proposed via social media was the suggestion the LMHR phenotype can be mostly explained by the consumption of saturated fat. However, we’ve now published on this phenomenon extensively in papers prior to, and following, the LEM publication. Nick even wrote an extensive guest post on the topic here. (We also have some very powerful data on this topic dropping very soon.)

Coming LMHR Studies on Risk

Naturally, there is a degree of skepticism about whether this phenomenon is both physiological and poses minimal risk, underlining the significance of our direct investigation via the LMHR Study conducted at Lundquist at UCLA. We are pleased to share that participant recruitment concluded in February, followed by a brief presentation of an initial overview at Low Carb Denver. The findings thus far have been quite compelling, and we anticipate publishing them soon.

Moreover, these initial data have sparked further discussion for a companion study that we’re currently working on. I should have more updates on this in coming posts here and at

Click to enlarge

LMHR Study Recruitment Complete

We’re beyond excited to announce the Lean Mass Hyper-Responder has completed enrollment. Needless to say, this has been a long awaited milestone.

We’ve updated the recruitment page at CSF to let everyone know we are no longer taking participants for the study.

Again, each of our 100 participants will make a total of two trips to the Lundquist Institute. The first will provide the baseline scan, then they will return a year later for their second scan. Once all participants have completed both scans, we’ll move ahead with the final analysis.

We’re still in the process of completing our funding for this study as travel costs have proven more challenging in the current economic environment. Again, thanks to everyone for all their support!

The New Cholesterol Code – Less Comments, More Research

Hello everyone!

You may have noticed we’ve been posting less frequently here at (CC). This isn’t for lack of interesting things to share and update you on – it’s because Siobhan and I are now fully entrenched in both formal research through the and expanding our blood testing service,

A Quick Recap

Here’s a brief rundown of everything Dave been doing over the last year:

  • Four papers published on the Lipid Energy Model and the Lean Mass Hyper-Responder phenotype, including one first authored
  • Produced video abstracts on two of these papers (here and here)
  • Four presentations and eleven interviews
  • And, of course, extensive ongoing work with the LMHR Study out of UCLA

Here’s a brief rundown of everything Siobhan been doing over the last year:

The Developments We Hoped For

We’ve long used CC as a means to stay close to the community and help promote the research we would like to see happen. But each of these circumstances have changed –– in a good way.

Before, the community was small and it was uncertain how prevalent things like the LMHR phenotype were. Now, as of this writing, the LMHR Facebook group and its sister CholesterolCode Facebook group boast over 9,000 members each(!), and it’s very active in knowledge sharing.

Also, we previously wrote emails and visited NLA conferences in the hopes we could get researchers to help advance this science. Now we’re working directly with researchers on the endeavors we dreamed of, both in the publication of papers and running studies directly.

To put it simply, we’ve replaced our responsibilities in pitching these projects with actually doing them.

What’s Next for CC?

We’re going to continue to be an information hub for our research, such as hosting an active published papers page.

  • We’ll also continue to post major announcements here.
  • However, we don’t have the bandwidth we once did for actively responding to all comments. Thus, we’re going to be retiring the Questions Page, and will not be actively responding to comments on CC.
  • More of the key questions folks are looking for will be answered in our current and ongoing published research, such as the LMHR study. For other questions, consider reaching out to us on social media via Twitter (@realDaveFeldman, @siobhan_huggins), or tagging us in the Facebook groups.

Again, we can’t thank everyone enough for their continued support at getting our research where it’s at — there’s so much more to come!

Heading to Florida with Some New Pins in Hand (Get Yours Here)

I’m excited to announce I’ll be heading to the Keto Orlando Summit this weekend.

I’m also excited to announce we made some commemorative magnetic pins for this occasion to help fundraise for the Citizen Science Foundation. If you donate $25 or more (see below), we’ll ship you the pin directly, or I’ll actually hand it to you if you’re attending the conference since I’ll have them on hand there.

For more on the details, visit the official page for this drop at CSF