On Friday at Low Carb Houston, I announced the launch of the Citizen Science Foundation, a vehicle for helping us privately raise funds for its central endeavor, the Lean Mass Hyper-responder Measurement Project.
The Lean Mass Hyper-responder (LMHR) phenotype is a strong profile to test the lipid hypothesis, which posits levels of cholesterol in the blood are linked to the development of heart disease. The cut point for LDL cholesterol starts as 200 mg/dL (5.17 mmol/L) and higher, with many having levels well into the 400s and 500s:
- LDL-C ≥ 200 mg/dL (5.17 mmolL)
- Typically LDL-P ≥ 2,000 nmol/L
Yet they commonly have very low cardiovascular risk markers across the board:
- High HDL cholesterol
- Low Triglycerides
- Low Insulin levels
- Low waist-to-hip ratio
- Low blood pressure
- Low Inflammatory Markers
- Low HOMA-IR
Moreover, most LMHRs who report having done their genetic testing have confirmed little to no connection with Familial Hypercholesterolemia. (For more on LMHRs, visit here)
Asking the Community to Help Us Advance Science
The Lean Mass Hyper-responder Measurement Project will help to match a portion of LMHRs with advanced testing they could otherwise get on their own through their doctor — but can be costly.
- Such metrics may include wide spectrum blood panels and cardiovascular testing such as CT Angiogram, Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT), and Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) score.
- For those who have little to no detectable atherosclerotic risk at baseline, we would seek to capture their data again in five years with the same tests for a comparison.
- LMHRs who participate are not in any way asked to take any treatment action now or in the future. And any medical decisions made are between themselves and their doctor.
- Note that participants will likely need to travel to the location where the initial baseline tests taken, and potentially again in five years. This ensures greater comparison between participants and negotiating a better price for the tests involved through bulk rates. The exact tests and host facilities are still being worked out and will depend on how much we raise.
Again, for emphasis — this wouldn’t be a study itself, it’s a project to help capture this data for LMHRs and provide the opportunity for them to share it for science. That said, it could set up future opportunities for retrospectives studies, and we are confident it would be of great interest to the general public, especially the low carb community.