Feb 13

Low Carb Cholesterol Challenge – One Year Later

It’s hard to believe it was just one year ago. It feels like much longer.

Here’s the tweet that started it all:

When I wrote it, I genuinely had no idea how many studies would find their way through the door, which is why I was asking for the “best study” in particular. I imagined a flood of studies I hadn’t yet seen piling into my inbox… yet nothing came.

I already had two studies that showed the opposite — people with high LDL, high HDL, and low triglycerides having low heart disease. This included the Framingham Offspring study and the Jeppesen Study as well. So I wanted to ensure I wasn’t just skimming over other studies that would show high HDL and low TG as irrelevant to heart disease. The best way to eliminate your own confirmation bias is to reach out to those with a different opinion and data that substantiates it.

I then respectfully pinged a number of lipid-lowering experts on this as I was curious what evidence existed. I did get one attempt with Brian Edwards, but he didn’t meet the challenge criteria, though I really want to give him props for giving it a shot.

Then after six months, I decided to add some money to the mix with a new #LDLBounty. I offered $300 for any study that met the challenge.

Now the #LCCholesterolChallenge is a full year old today.

It’s really imperative that I double-check there is indeed no study that even shows above average CVD/CHD with high LDL when matched with high HDL and low triglycerides as there are so many low carbers who have this profile. So I’ve decided to up both my total budget to $3,000 and be prepared to give away $1,000 to any study that can meet the original criteria.

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#LCCholesterolChallenge Six Month Update » Cholesterol Code

[…] UPDATE: The total budget has been increased at the one year anniversary to $3,000 at $1,000 per […]


You might have already seen this one, but I am going to try my best to find studies confirming or refuting your hypothesis. Here is a study showing low triglycerides, high HDL and low ischemic heart disease regardless of high LDL, hypertension, low physical activity, or smoking. BTW, I’m not doing this for the money, just for fun. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11176761