May 11

The Oxidized LDL Experiment

For quite a while I’ve been wanting to test a theory I’ve had regarding the blood test for oxidized LDL (oxLDL). The test has some research behind it suggesting a correlation with heart disease, which makes sense given this association of oxLDL in the artery walls and atherogenesis.

There’s an assumption that oxLDL will track with oxidative stress in the body. But I’ve long had the hypothesis oxLDL will track with LDL particle count (LDL-P). For example:

Deeper Mechanistic Reasons

In a previous draft of this blog post I go into my lengthy reasons for why this makes sense to me, but I think I’ll save that for later as some of it is a bit controversial.

But I’ll tease part of the answer can be suggested by this tweet:

Designing the Experiment

So is there a way to increase LDL-P while keeping oxidative stress roughly the same or even lower? Why yes, we use the Inversion Pattern.

  1. Eat baseline diet for five days, wide spectrum test + oxLDL
  2. Eat 1/2 baseline diet for five days, wide spectrum test + oxLDL
  3. Eat 2X baseline diet for five days, wide spectrum test + oxLDL

The hypothesis: oxLDL will track with LDL-P. It will go up with LDL-P goes up and drop when LDL-P drops. If oxLDL has little to no movement or tracks inversely, this would be clear evidence against it.

In other words, if LDL-P increases from phase 1 to 2, and drops from phase 2 to 3, we should see similar movements with oxLDL.

Unexpected Amendment at Phase 3

While I did caveat in advance I might not be able to hit the Phase 3 goal of doing twice my baseline diet, I quickly found out my fear was met. Pretty quickly I realized I couldn’t consume that much food that quickly.

See my video on this as it happened here:

Thus, I compensated the difference with some Keto Chow shakes which allowed me to move up my levels a lot faster. (Full disclosure, Keto Chow provides us product support for experiments, but we draw no financial compensation from the company or have an agreement with it of any kind)

There were also additional circumstantial stressors in that last phase unrelated to the experiment, so I made note of this too and how it may be a confounder as well.

Process Woes

As an aside, getting this testing was both expensive and extra cumbersome. The lab I was getting by regular tests through didn’t allow for Boston Heart blood to be taken, so I had to make other arrangements to get the blood drawn and spun separately on that test. Then I had to pack it in ice myself and take it to FedEx to ship immediately afterward.

As experiments go, this one has a lot of planning and footwork to pull off by comparison.

The Thrill of Anticipation

The first test rolled in and these results would now serve as baseline.

Okay, 88 it is.

While waiting for the second test, I happened to be in the area of the clinic I was getting these labs through and dropped by. “Hey, any chance you got that second oxLDL test?”

“Actually, we got the email notification this morning. We’ll print it out.” Said the administrative assistant.

“Great!” I felt a wave of excitement hit me. “Before I see it,” I began, staring at the printer, “I predict the number will be higher than the test on the 12th before it.”

The sheet finally popped out and the assistant handed it to me. “YES!” I shouted, and then suddenly dialed it back, self-consciously remembering I’m in a doctor’s office. “Sorry.”

Certainly 128 was an incredible change for a five day difference. The effect size was more than I could have hoped for to test the hypothesis.

I was already out of town at the moment the last test came in. When I let the admin know I wanted her to send it over via email, she said, “Awww, we were hoping you’d see it in person here for the reaction.” We both chuckled.

Wow! 75 at the low. And again, this is just five days from the prior phase endpoint at 128.

Now again, I have to be intellectually honest. That last phase could have been confounded by the unexpected stressors and my having to add on Keto Chow to reach the caloric surplus. It could be posited one or both of these further impacted the outcome. Probably a stretch, but worth the mention.

Findings

Unsurprisingly, this is the tightest regression line I’ve ever posted.

To be sure, there were many runner ups that had less correlation, yet still in the 90s. Here’s the big rundown of both the diet and blood markers:

Final Thoughts

Needless to say, I was quite happy to finally have this experiment completed and ecstatic at the outcome data. While the correlation with LDL-P was something I’ve predicted for some time, I’ll concede it was far tighter than I was imagining.

I have many other thoughts on oxLDL which I’ll save for another time. But the biggest takeaway is how clearly dynamic this marker is, along with just about every other lipid that is central to the research of this site.

Apr 29

Low Carb Salt Lake – Presentation on Cholesterol and Risk

The conference was certainly in Utah was surprisingly excellent. I was glad to finally do a long form presentation on cholesterol and risk, albeit a little sleep deprived. Linked here is the slide deck.

You can download the PDF of my slides here.

Apr 07

This is Not a Drill…

Apr 05

Dr Drew Appearance & The Impasse

I enjoyed chatting it up with Dr Drew on his podcast with some added color via Vinnie Tortorich. (Be sure to listen to the end for some extra blue humor Vinnie!)

And this ultimately led to an interesting back-and-forth conversation I had with Dr Ethan Weiss, which led to my wanting to throw together a video on a key challenge in discussing cholesterol and risk.

Here I riff on this experience and why Lean Mass Hyper-responders (LMHR) may hold the key to everything.

Mar 29

Would YOU Join a Feldman Protocol in San Diego?

A Proposal

Ben Bikman, Doug Reynolds, and I are exploring an idea I’m calling Project Groundswell.

We’re considering an experiment that would be held at Low Carb USA in San Diego this July 25-28. We’d have many of those attending the conference participate in the Feldman Protocol for a study by Bikman and his team. And we’re incredibly fortunate that Doug and his conference will be sponsoring this project if enough people are interested.

Here’s the timeline and how it would work:

  1. Participants would register for the experiment through the Low Carb USA website.
  2. On Thursday morning, the 25th, they’d get an advanced blood test. This will likely include a lipid panel, insulin, glucagon, Lp(a), GGT, Ferritin, and many others.
  3. Participants will then consume excess calories while remaining on a low carb high fat diet for all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. (See the protocol page for more on this)
  4. On Sunday morning, the 28th, participants will get a second blood test to capture lipids, insulin and glucagon.

And that’s the experiment in a nutshell. The data collected will be anonymized to the research team, but you’ll be able to retrieve your own bloodwork through a unique ID provided to you during the experiment.

Low Carb USA to Potentially Sponsor this Experiment

To our surprise, Doug is offering to have Low Carb USA pick up the tab on the bloodwork and phlebotomy for every participant. The only requirement is that this only applies for tickets sold for at least the current (non-Early Bird) price of $499. In other words:

  1. If you were to register today, whether for the Basic ($499) or VIP ticket ($724) — there would be no extra charge.
  2. If you already got better than today’s pricing, you’d need to make up the difference to reach at least $499.

So in short, everyone would get both a ticket to the conference, free advanced bloodwork, and a chance to join this experiment with Ben and I for the base cost of a ticket today. (Really gotta hand it to Doug for considering this.)

Are YOU In?

IMPORTANT — this is not official yet. We need to first gauge the REAL INTEREST out there for those who would be serious about joining this experiment were it offered. This is a trial balloon. So please respond only if YOU are serious and would commit to this if it were offered. Comment down below or use the hashtag, #InForGroundswell on social media. We’ll try to decide over the next week based on the response.

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