My Lipid Profile Improvement – 1 Month Experiment

Surprising Lipid Profile Improvement - 1 Month Experiment

Introduction

Ever since I started the ketogenic lifestyle, I wanted to have a quantified version of my self. So, the first thing that I started doing in my n=1 experiment was to have more blood work done. I focused on the lipid profile and its biomarkers. I also did DXA scans over the past couple of months. Below you’ll see how part of my lipid profile looked like at the beginning of May 2014.

The Change

If you’ve been reading in my recent title Ketone Power, you know about the positive changes in my lipid profile (+fasting glucose) over the past few months. Here’s what it looks like when I plug-in the values from May 6, 2014.

Test Name

Value 19.09.13

Value 12.12.13

Value

1.4.14

Value

6.5.14

Unit

Reference

Glucose (serum)

67*

71

86

76

mg/dL

70-115

Total Calcium

9.64

9.15

8.96

8.65

mg/dL

8.8 – 10.2

Triglycerides

40

74

106

52

mg/dL

< 150

Total Cholesterol

162

217

198

184

mg/dL

< 200

HDL

-*

77.7

84.36

89.18

mg/dL

> 35

LDL

-*

124

92.4

85

mg/dL

< 130

* – possible explanations for the lower blood glucose can be attributed to the PAGG stack (policosanol-ALA-green tea extract-garlic extract).

The Context

So what I’d been doing starting April 1st?

I increased the intake of fat from ~70% of the total calories to more ~85% of the total calories. I also increased caloric intake and protein intake. There have been a couple of days when I ate ~5000kcals. That was not easy as most of it was fat.

I managed to stay in ketosis during these days probably because of the intake of MCTs from coconut oil. Those days I ate 150g-250g protein. Without MCTs, I would have been kicked-out of ketosis.

I also did some days of total fasting, which I will discuss about later.

In terms of food, I started eating Brazilian nuts, more eggs, more coconut oil, more dark chocolate, more peanut butter and more peanuts, more pork, and more heavy cream.

L.E.: Huge players in boosting T levels.

I’ve also started experimenting with potato starch. It doesn’t kick me out of ketosis and the vivid dreams that I get from consuming it are pretty cool. The nightmares are damn scary though!

I’d also been drinking 1-2 glasses of dry red wine each evening for ~2 weeks (because of the resveratrol content and its anti-oxidative properties). Can’t lie myself, it tastes great!

In terms of supplementation, I took: 1 multivitamin and mineral pill each day, 1 omega 3 fatty acid pill each day, and 1 ALA pill (Alpha-Lipoic Acid). More about supplements in Ketone Power.

I kept following my CT protocol (thanks Jack Kruse) and been doing 2 cold showers/day, 10 minutes each. I need to stay longer under the shower to get into shivering mode.

My gym workouts have improved (I do weight lifting). I went to the gym once or (sometimes) twice a week.

I’ve been talking about the fascinatingly high levels of energy that I have while being in ketosis.

I never thought it can get even higher. But it did. I usually get up after 4 or 5 hours of sleep and I feel super-pumped. Sometimes I force myself to sleep 7 to 8 hours at night so that I wont cause any hormonal imbalance.

Personal Interpretation

At this point I believe I’m quite keto-adapted because the higher intake of peanuts and peanut butter does not seem to negatively impact the lipid profile. Many folks think that the higher intake of omega 6 (which is in vegetable fat) can lead to increased TAG and LDL and, ultimately, inflammation.

You can notice how Total Cholesterol has increased in Dec. 2013 compared to Sep. 2013 (before I started the ketogenic lifestyle). I attribute it to the higher intake of sunflower oil which is PUFA rich and to the fact that I wasn’t keto-adapted.

I did a lot of tweaks to my eating patterns, to my workout, and to supplementation so I’m not sure which to attribute to which. I find it amazing how Total Cholesterol has decreased and how HDL is higher than LDL. Remember that HDL’s purpose is to take cholesterol from tissues and return it to the liver for excretion through bile salts. HDL can also trade cholesterol for TAG with VLDL, LDL, and IDL. Here’s a better view:

Surprising Lipid Profile Improvement - 1 Month Experiment

I would not like to see my TC decrease even further because maintaining it in a range of good values is important for good health. Cholesterol is part of almost all cells of the human body.

You can notice that TAGs (triglycerides) are half than they were one month ago, which is good.

What you don’t see in the table is CRP, which is a marker of inflammation. CRP was well under the lower limit ( < 6) for all my blood works. A better inflammation marker is HS-CRP but it’s pretty expensive over here and I find it not important as long as CRP stays in a good range.

At this point I do not worry about calcium levels, but if they continue decreasing, I will start researching to determine the cause of the issue.

Conclusion

Here’s a meal example from the past month. The purpose of this short post was to emphasize that high-fat nutrition for keto-adapted individuals and for people who drastically reduce carbohydrate intake may not be detrimental but beneficial to health and general well being.

Any thoughts you may have, please share them in either of the comment sections below.

L.E.: A more recent blood work from Nov. 2014 is here.

Photos: here and here

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