Last time I posted about my blood tests was in November 2014. I’ve taken a few other samples ever since, but not much has changed until now. So, let’s see what’s been going on.
And here’s a comparison with previous values from the past two years:
Looking over my current results, I would say that my lipid profile has improved very much due to the interventions that I took.
**I have to mention that I measured total cholesterol (TC) and TAG levels a couple of days before measuring HDL, LDL, TAG (for the second time) and the rest of the markers. Hence, the latter total cholesterol, if calculated using the TC formula, would be:
TC = HDL+LDL+TAG/5
TC = 107+94+35/5
TC = 208 mg/dL
I measured TAGs on both days. On the day I measured TC and TAGs alone, TAGs were 34 mg/dL. On the day when I did the rest of the blood work, TAGs were 35 mg/dL. So, they were quite consistent which makes me think that the latter TC would show lower values had I directly measured it.
HDL and LDL have improved since my last assessment, while magnesium levels have dropped; paradoxically, I’ve been consuming more greens and plant based foods than ever. I’ve also been supplementing with elemental magnesium (from organic sources) 150% RDA. I could also be using more magnesium due to my recent extensive heavy workout routine. Here’s a very insightful paper on Mg as the micronutrient involved in thousands of chemical reactions within the human body.
My Highly Sensitive CRP (hs-CRP) is way below the worrying point.
My HbA1C is probably at its best value. I don’t want to see it drop further or go over 5.9%.
Testosterone is maintaining high, even though I have a low body fat percentage and I consume the same low-calorie-low-carb-moderate-to-low-protein-ketogenic diet. In my case, low-calorie (as long as it includes plenty of healthy fats and cholesterol consumption) does not seem to correlate with the historical “Low calorie => Low T” message. I follow the protocol that I’ve written about in my Testosterone book.
The rest of the markers seem to fall into their normal ranges. So, there’s nothing interesting to point out. As for my CBC, all markers are in their range, except for: HCT, neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophiles, which are slightly below their normal range. I suspect this is due to my long-term adherence to a ketogenic nutritional protocol (constant ketosis for almost two years); I’ve seen similar CBC values in some studies on people adhering to ketogenic diets over the long term and I will not worry about it as long as everything else looks good.
My low-calorie ketogenic diet includes 65-75% of calories coming from fat. I also consume plenty of plant foods to optimize for micronutrient intake as well as to promote microbiota diversity. As for protein, I usually eat less than 1g/kg of total body weight (usually 50-70g of protein/day); my gym performance has never been better.
This is a very different approach compared to the poorly nutritious (80%-90% fat) keto diet promoted out there. A diet so high in fat (and, often times, very hypercaloric) should only be followed by folks with severe medical conditions.
The low-calorie approach + daily intermittent fasting (18-20 hours of fasting, 4-6 hours of feeding – two meals) + daily cold thermogenesis help me recover faster and train more often with heavier weights (high-intensity-strength-training). See Ellington Darden’s similar findings in his book.
I also engage in longer fasts (30+ hours) almost every week. It’s very convenient for me.
As I’ve written in Periodic Fasting, I hate routines and habitual stuff. There are a few basics that I like to stick to (daily IF + ketosis + CT), but to most of what I do I like to apply randomness, to increase my antifragility. If you’re not familiar with Nassim Taleb’s ideas, you may not understand the concept of antifragility.
That’s why I sometimes have 3,000-5,000+kcals (ketogenic) feast days followed by extended fasts. Sometimes I binge on nuts (including lots of peanuts), cheese and very dark chocolate, and some red dry wine. I don’t care that peanuts are legumes; I have no problem tolerating/binging on them.
Sometimes I train heavy for a couple of days in a row, while some other times I rest for an entire week. This makes everything less boring and much more enjoyable. Here’s a recent photo:
I’d measure many more biomarkers if I could afford to pay for it. In Romania there are private labs where you can go and pay for any test you want, without having to go through your doctor’s office. You can do this in other countries as well and, from what I know, if you’re in the U.S. there may be some limitations and the costs are much higher than here.
I also have to highlight that these interventions (diet + exercise) make up for only a very small part of an optimal life protocol. Reducing EMF exposure, fixing the circadian clock, reducing the exposure to artificial light at night, improving redox potential, fasting, CT, hormesis (beneficial stressors), and smart supplementation are extremely important as well; if you focus on diet + exercise alone you may never achieve optimal results.
I do not imply that what I do is something that anyone else should follow to get the same results. My studies of epigenetics and genomics tell me that we’re all different, we live in different environments, and we’re exposed to different stimuli everyday. So, it would be rational to approach health optimization in a similar fashion.
1. de Baaij, J. H., Hoenderop, J. G., & Bindels, R. J. (2015). Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiological reviews, 95(1), 1-46.
2. Ellington Darden – The Body Fat Breakthrough
3. Nassim Taleb – Things that Gain from Disorder