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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Blood markers with LCHF diet

Blood markers after more than one year with low-carb-high-fat diet (LCHF) compared to the same markers taken 3 years earlier


In this post I am to discuss the blood test result of mine. For the time of the blood test discussed below I had been on no gluten low-carb-high-fat (LCHF) diet for more than one year, the last 4 months additionally with no dairy products. I am 31 years old, male. For the time of the blood test I had been liberal in LCHF – it means I consumed legumes freely (lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas which are not recommended to consume without caution as they are rather high in carbohydrates).

Perceived effects

To be honest the diet has been a struggle in relation to experiencing tiredness and headaches (though in time all the struggle has come less and I am feeling better and better). At one point I had to stop consuming any dairy products because I got a vicious fungus between toes and skin rush (eczema) on elbows and arms which showed instant improvement on no dairy diet. Already years ago I noticed  that milk was bad for skin causing pimples and I stopped milk consumption. The LCHF diet actually warns against more than moderate consumption of cheese and other milk products, I did not follow the instruction as I liked cheese and it was an easy food option.

Now a year after the outbreak of eczema, non-itchy sparse small bumps have remained on my elbow; skin nourishing coconut oil keeps it fine. Skin rash – keto rash – is a known phenomenon with LCHF. Even though keto rash is not the problem I have been experiencing (frankly, I have not found an analogy to my symptoms in LCHF online literature), there may be in the hypothesised reasons for keto rush also some hints for the condition I am experiencing (

Nevertheless, from the other hand, I did perceive positive changes in the function of my body: eating less and usually only twice a day; having very few gases; going to toilet only once a day; having the elevated lymph nodes (elevated since I remember) gone down to a great extent; having no pimples. When I ate the "ordinary" way (except i did not consume milk) I still got some pimples when my body become exhausted, for example when I skipped a night. Not anymore.

Thus I think dieting has been good, at least ok to my body. Though I let my blood tested to have figures to compare with a four-year earlier test, to see what the effects of the diet have been in” the language of blood”. The previous blood test was given in 2014 (and the recent one 2017) when I was eating in a common but healthy way, though I had incorporated a few ideas from LCHF already (like eating fattier and avoiding refined vegetable oils).

 Vegan LCHF does exits as well

Comments on the blood test results

2014 blood test you can find here
2017 blood test you can find here

Positive effects

According to both tests I am an absolutely healthy person with only few figures slightly out of the reference range which is considered normal and calls for no attention. Most numbers have remained more-or-less the same. Though there are a few figures worth a remark.

Cholesterol levels were very good 2 years ago and now are excellent. More important than total cholesterol is the ratio between HDL and LDL. "For HDL … the higher the better. So though it would excellent to have an HDL level that’s higher than the LDL, this is frequently not possible. Shooting for as low and LDL level and possible and a high an HDL level as possible are the goals (".

As cholesterol is a controversial topic and continues to be a concern for many people I give a notion here that my total cholesterol is normal 5.1 mmol/L (slightly less than 200 mg/dl if to convert) as its considered normal as generally anything up to 5,2 is considered normal. In this relation it must be noted that in the light of new evidence (contrary to old understanding that the lower the better) very low levels are health damaging. There is the why the mainstream view over cholesterol is rejected by many: and and

Bloods sugar is very good. The fasting sugar level is good. Even though it shows a better result 2 years ago for fasting glucose, much more important figure HbA1c (it gives an overall picture of what the average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months) has improved.

C-creative protein (CRP – is a substance produced by the liver that increases in the presence of inflammation in the body) level has been very good. Thou it has improved in time.

The level of lymphocytes was slightly elevated in my blood in previous test. Elevated levels are normal with an illness in the body, though I was not ill at that time. Thus the reason must have been different, coherently I have been experiencing elevated lymph nodes since I remember. For now, the nodes have gone down significantly along with the amount and proportion of lymphocytes present in the blood (may be connected).

The level of neutrophils (white blood cells what protect your body from bacterial infections) which has been slightly under the limit has recovered.

Triglyceride level, which was low, has improved. Though high triglycerides levels are associated with many diseases, including diabetes and risk for heart disease, "…very low triglyceride levels can signal problems. Diets that don’t contain enough fat, for example, can cause triglyceride levels to dip dangerously low… There are also some medical problems that can cause abnormally low triglycerides, such as an inability to absorb fats or hyperthyroidism. But a triglyceride level of 40 mg/dL (mine is 34 if to convert from mmol/L) is considered perfectly normal - ideal, in fact (".

The homocysteine level, which places in the upper part of the normal range, has slightly improved in time. A high level is a risk factor for heart disease. It's associated with low levels or absorption problem of vitamins B6, B12 and folate.

Negative effects

The only result worsened in my test is eosinofils – a type of white blood cells which become active when one has certain allergic diseases (including food allergies), infections, and other medical conditions – which have risen slightly out of the norm, having been fine previous time. The reason is unknown but it may be connected to the intolerance I have noticed for dairy and the skin condition. Furthermore, at the time of giving the test I was recovering from another outbreak of skin rush (eczema) caused of eating greater amounts of sour cream many days in a row. Though now with no milk product I am still experiencing very mild eczema on my elbow, as mentioned above.

Juice - bad carbs
Alcohol - good carbs
No cocktails, just hard and straight

100% purjus - apelsinimahl käib ikka viinaga, aga enam mitte

External Links – Here are presented and commented the blood test results of a doctor from Sweden who is a leading propagator of the diet. Some of the measured figures there overlap (of course) with the ones I let to test. – It has been claimed to be the most thorough study (and published in one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals) showing the health benefits of LCHF diet. – It is the most recent study, published in a respected peer-reviewed medical journal, which caused a turmoil with its findings (stating the health benefits of animal fats (and other fats) and claiming the harmfulness of higher carbohydrate intake) and its call for a radical change in nutritional recommendations. The study made headlines, then received an angry rejection and we will see where the debate leads. – The most thorough page about LCHF and this particular subsection about the mission and doings of LCHF community in Sweden where the breakthrough in understanding is happening. – LCHF diet and veganism are not incompatible as it may seem from a first glance. One can find a few pages online dedicated to Vegan LCHF or Vegan Keto. Here is one of these pages which is highly informative.


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