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