As asked world-renowned bio-hacker Dave Feldman what he thought of the results of the experiment:
First, I have to really commend Chris for doing this experiment! As an extreme N=1er myself, I appreciate everyone who puts in the serious effort to collect good data. Bravo!
Chris has pretty good labs overall. Great general metrics found in his CMP and CBC, low inflammation and generally good lipids.
Naturally, I focused quite a bit on the lipids. So I was particularly fascinated at how consistent all of his numbers were with regard to LDL, HDL, and triglycerides — save one particular test, November 10th.
As he’s already shared, this was the one period of time where he was using Avocado oil instead of heavy whipping cream. Of course, this meant he was getting more of his fat from mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids as opposed to straight saturated.
Not too surprisingly, this resulted in significantly lower LDL of 65 from the 103 in the test just before. However, it also spiked his triglycerides substantially from 113 to 199!
But wait, it gets better…
While his total LDL particles had the lowest number yet at just 925, his *small* LDL-P jumped to a whopping 713!
Fortunately for us, Chris had the follow up experiment succeeding the 10th to confirm everything went back to baseline. All in all, this turned out to be an excellent experiment-within-the-experiment and I’m excited Chris plans to take it a step further next month. :)
So, as I said at the beginning: I didn’t die during the experiment. To the contrary, all indications are that my health significantly improved. The test also offered exciting insights into how my lipid system works as an energy delivery mechanism. Particularly telling were my week 3 results.
- My LDL-P (particle count) went down, below the 1000 threshold.
- My LDL-C number went WAY down, by 37% to be specific
- My HDL-C also went down a bit
- My small LDL skyrocketed from 326 to 713
- My Triglycerides went up nearly double from the previous test and more than double my initial test results – this was my highest triglycerides test since I started Keto over 3 years ago.
- My Glucose went down enough to get red flagged
- My fasting insulin level was all the way down to 2.7 uIU/ml
What changed week 3? This was the week I was traveling and didn’t have access to refrigeration, so instead of using heavy cream as my primary fat source, I was using avocado oil. It’s not as tasty as the heavy cream but it has 0g of carbs and doesn’t need refrigeration. The version of Keto Chow I was consuming had only 1.4g of net carbs in it per day which was my total each day – that’s an insanely low number, practically unprecedented and nearly impossible to achieve unless you’re doing “Zero Carb” where you only eat meat (and even then, there’s usually glycogen).
My body had hardly any external glucose, adequate protein, and really a lot of fat coming in (along with fat storage =). Nearly all of the energy I was using was coming from ketones, triglycerides in chylomicrons, or triglycerides in Low Density Lipoproteins. Let’s not forget that the main “job” of LDL doesn’t have anything to do with cholesterol; instead, its main purpose is to transport triglycerides from the liver out to cells for them burn or store. HDL does the opposite, brings it back to the liver.
So here’s my theory as to what was happening based on my limited understanding of the lipid system and what the blood tests show:
- My gut did its job and packaged up the incoming fats in chylomicrons – sent those off to my cells which are very nicely fat adapted and used to burning fat.
- My liver did its job and made VLDL to handle whatever remaining energy was needed.
- My cells did their thing by pulling triglycerides from chylomicrons and VLDL, the depleted VLDLs that become LDLs show up on my NMR test as LDL-P and small LDL-P, like deflated balloons waiting to be reinflated instead of the oxidized LDL that we worry about.
- Not sure what was going on with the HDL going lower, more experiments are likely needed to get a good theory on that.
- Heavy cream is mostly saturated and monounsaturated fat. Avocado oil still has a lot of saturated and monounsaturated but it also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, adding in the PUFA may have made my lipid system behave differently. Dave says “And overall, I’d prefer the other numbers with the high SFA over the PUFAs, myself.”
So where does this leave us? Well, my original hypothesis that I wouldn’t die was absolutely proven. That third test created some interesting questions that I’d like to figure out. I’m planning on doing another experiment in December 2017 where I do half of my fats as heavy cream and half as avocado oil and see if new blood tests show something in the middle, then another set of tests in January where I do week after week with different types of fats (high in monounsaturated, high in polyunsaturated, high in saturated, etc…). Should be interesting!