The OxLDL Replication Experiment – Findings – Part I

This experiment was conducted from August 30th to September 14th over three five day phases: a maintenance (weight stable calorie), hypocaloric (low calorie), and hypercaloric (high calorie).

See OxLDL Replication Experiment Design post for further information on setup.

Again, this experiment was executed with the intent replicate the prior OxLDL experiment in April of last year. As such, we have excellent comparison data as well.

But of special interest is the “OxPL-apoB” assay offered through Boston Heart Diagnostics. It was a key consideration given my interest in this metric long before it was even commercially available. (More on this in the next post)

General Observations

Overall, the experiment went very well. I was able to keep eating very close to schedule and exercise roughly equivalent as intended.

I did experience some calf and foot cramping in the late evenings and early mornings characteristic of electrolyte depletion. This took place two days into the Hypocaloric Phase and I responded by adding additional electrolyte supplements along with added salt dissolved in water (food log coming soon). These issues persisted until three days into the Hypercaloric Phase.

And sure enough, the bloodwork coming back after the experiment for both the hypo and hypercaloric phases showed below reference range for both Sodium and Chloride (see data).

Daily Metrics

Each morning within 20 minutes of having woken up I would test: Glucose (Keto Mojo), beta hydroxybutyrate [BHB -> ketones] (Keto Mojo), lipid panel of total/LDL/HDL/triglycerides (CardioChek), and body weight. A few days in I added Acetone (Biosense).

Note in all the graphs below that “v1” refers the first OxLDL experiment and “v2” refers to the replication experiment just completed.

Body weight will be very unsurprising, of course. In each experiment it generally maintained during baseline, dropped in hypocaloric, increased in hypercaloric.

Same with glucose…

LDL cholesterol levels were generally noisy, but did follow the inversion pattern overall, going higher in hypocaloric, lower in hypercaloric.

Now here is where it gets interesting. It’s entirely expected that ketones overall would rise as I went hypocaloric and would fall as I went hypercaloric. But note the largest spike wasn’t after the last full day of the low calorie phase — it was after the first full day of high calorie phase. (Remember these tests are taken the morning of the day listed)

We see this exact same surplus also reflected triglycerides. In fact, this is the most substantial change in all the data collected, and is demonstrated in both experiments, of course.

Lastly, I want to point out this becomes the corresponding nadir for HDL cholesterol.

These last three — BHB, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol are extremely central to the Lipid Energy Model. In fact, if we didn’t see these change for our controlled setting (thus, removing competing confounders), this it would have provided strong evidence against it.

The important takeaway beyond the general phase-specific patterns is that brief period where we can actually observe what appears to be the “traffic jam” of fuel transport (as reflected in BHB/TG) and turnover (as potentially reflected in HDL-C). Moreover, we have a spike of fat-based energy sources coming in from Chylomicrons that I believe will directly compete with VLDL binding/uptake.

In our coming Lipid Energy Model paper, we will have more supporting studies in particular that are relevant to the triglyceride and HDL-C relationship as it pertains to VLDL triglyceride turnover, but I won’t be going into that here.

End of Phase Bloodwork

After completing each five day day phase I had blood taken that went to two labs, Labcorp and Boston Heart Diagnostics. Siobhan and I already have lots of experience working with Labcorp for the last several years and it’s our primary provider for OwnYourLabs.com. Boston Heart is new for us, but it has definitely been a very positive experience thus far – both in testing and customer service.

I’ve combined the calorie and diet macros, the Labcorp tests from both experiments, and the Boston Heart Diagnostic tests for this experiment into one spreadsheet which you can download here:

Raw Data for Labs (version 0.7)

PLEASE NOTE: As of this writing, the raw data spreadsheet isn’t fully cleaned up with regard to reference range artifacts, etc. We hope to have that done in another pass soon and will update this page (and its version) accordingly.

Not surprisingly, we see many other blood markers in support of the energy model here:

Up Next – Digging Deeper into the Bloodwork

This post was primarily focused on reporting the data coming back and how it related to the Lipid Energy Model.

Next week we’ll dive into the many, many other amazing aspects of this robust dataset and what it can tell us about these markers.

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Martin
Martin
1 month ago

Interesting, but I would like to understand why your a1c is 5.5 doing keto and mine is around 4.9 doing 30% carbs. I always thought that the less carbs, the lower the a1c.

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