Health · Nutrition

Pre-Keto Stats

Every good science experiment requires baseline measurements. So for my n=1 experiment of a ketogenic diet, I collected information on how my body has been functioning before making any dietary changes. My goal is to determine whether or not adherence to a ketogenic diet shows benefit or drawback to my cardiovascular health, glucose tolerance and body composition.

Here are my stats along with some information about each test:

1. LDL-C: 67 mg/dL

LDL-C stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. LDL-C is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to the blood vessels, drops it off, and contributes to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). In clinical care, LDL-C is most commonly measured to assess one’s risk of heart-disease risk. However, newer research is showing that it is not the best test to use though. More on this fact, below.

My LDL-C value of 67 is considered “optimal” at less than

2. LDL-P: 518 nmol/L

LDL-P is measure of the number of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) in the blood. A high number has been associated with heart disease. LDL-P has been found to be a more accurate predictor of heart disease risk in comparison to LDL-C.

According to my lab work reference range, an LDL-P of less than 1000 nmol/L is recommended. My value of 518 nmol/L is considered “low”.

3. HDL-C: 55 mg/dL

HDL-C is a measure of the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. HDL-C is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol because it acts to move cholesterol from the blood to the liver where it will be processed for removal from the body. Thus, the higher the HDL-C, the less chance of cholesterol finding home in the body’s blood vessels.

An HDL-C of 39 and above is recommended. My value of 55 is considered good.

4. Triglycerides: 46 mg/DL

Triglycerides are a form of fat found in the blood. After you eat a meal, any fats not used for immediate energy are formed into triglycerides and stored for later use.

My value of 46 is within normal range.

5. Small LDL-P: 234 nmol/L

Small LDL-P is a measure of the small LDL particles in the blood. A high number of these small particles is considered a risk factor for heart disease.

My value of 234 places me in the ‘low risk’ category.

6. LDL Size: 20.3 nm

The size of LDL particles has been shown to be important in determining risk of heart disease. Large LDL particles are beneficial and associated with normal levels of LDL-C, HDL-C and triglycerides. Large LDL particles are also referred to as Pattern A LDL.

On the other hand, are small LDL particles, also known as Pattern B. Small LDL particles are thought to be harmful for at least two reasons: 1) They are small enough to slip through tiny gaps in blood vessels and become lodged, and 2) They are more easily oxidized.

The tendency for one LDL particle size or the other is primarily genetic based, so you can blame your parents.

My LDL particle size is representative of small Pattern B LDL (oh no!!)

In doing some research, I have found that LDL pattern can be somewhat influenced by lifestyle modifications, specially a low-carb diet and exercise. I’m especially curious as to whether or not a ketogenic diet will have any influence on my LDL particle size. I’m hoping to increase my LDL particle size to 20.6 nm or greater.

7. Fasting blood sugar: 82 mg/dL

Fasting blood sugar is a measure of how much sugar/glucose is in the blood after at least 8 hours of going without food. Fasting blood sugar is used to determine if the body is utilizing sugar properly. Fasting blood sugar is directly influenced by the amount of carbohydrates consumed and the body’s ability to manage the carbs via insulin.

8. LP-IR Score: <25

Lipoprotein insulin resistance score measures ones’ risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The score is calculated based on the 7 blood tests above (LDL-C, LDL-P, triglycerides, LDL size, HDL-C, and Small LDL-P and fasting blood glucose)

The above tests are components of the NMR LioProfile.

9. Hgb A1c: 4.6%

Glycolysated hemoglobin (Hgb A1c) is a measure of average blood sugars over the past three months. It is used in part to measure blood sugar control and in diagnosing diabetes.

My value of 4.6% is within normal range. As a point of reference, diabetes is diagnosed when Hgb A1c is 6.5% or greater.


Baseline Measure

October 2016

LDL-C 67
LDL-P 518
HDL-C 55
Triglycerides 46
Small LDL-P 234
LDL Size 20.3
Fasting blood sugar 82
A1c 4.6
LP-IR Score 25


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