Category Archives: Nutritional Ketosis

The Effect of a Ketogenic Diet on Thyroid Hormone

ThyroidDuring my most recent cholesterol blood work, I also checked my thyroid hormone levels in an effort to figure out why my cholesterol has gotten so high while I’ve been in nutritional ketosis.

One of the possible explanations was that:

Chronic low carb -> Hypothyroidism (low T3) -> Decreased expression of LDL receptors in the liver -> Higher serum cholesterol

Background – Here is an oversimplified explanation of thyroid physiology

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – This is the hormone your brain sends out telling your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone.
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The Effect of a Ketogenic Diet on Cholesterol Part 3

Cholesterol Part 3
As you can see with my cholesterol numbers, despite cutting back on my saturated fats for 3 weeks by restricting the amount of coconut oil and grassfed butter that I typically eat, my LDL-C and Total Cholesterol have continued to go up!

Here is a brief summary of potential explanation as to why LDL and total cholesterol can be elevated in people who are in ketosis from Part 2:

  1. Increased consumption of saturated fats -> Increased liver production of fats -> High serums cholesterol
  2. Deficiency in certain micronutrients such as choline and copper -> Through some unknown mechanism -> High serum cholesterol
  3. Natural response of the body being in ketosis is to mobilize more fat for energy -> Higher serum cholesterol
  4. Chronic low carb -> Hypothyroidism (low T3) -> Decreased expression of LDL receptors in the liver -> Higher serum cholesterol

So it looks like I’ve eliminated #1 as a potential explanation.… Read More

Nutritional Ketosis and Testosterone

Man and his shadow #1One of my favorite blogs to follow is Mark’s Daily Apple, and when I came across this post, one of the letters really caught my attention.  One of his reader’s was wondering about his “gynoid” pattern of fat deposition.  A gynoid pattern is when there is increased fat in the hips, buttocks, and thighs as compared to an “android” pattern where the fat is increased in the chest and belly.  Here is part of Mark Sisson’s response:

“…For you, a male with a more “feminine” pattern of fat deposition, I would suspect low testosterone levels.

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90 Days of Nutritional Ketosis

Weight 90 Days

After 90 days of nutritional ketosis, I managed to reach a new low in weight, only to see it bounce back up.  I’m now only 1.6 lbs down from my starting weight of 180.0 lbs.  Seeing a graph like this really shows how variable daily weights can be!

Ketones 90 days

In the past 30 days, I spent 21 days over the minimal cut off of 0.5 mmol which I’m happy with.  This is a little worse compared to days 31-60 where I was in ketosis for 25 days.… Read More

The Effect of a Ketogenic Diet on Cholesterol Part 2

Cholesterol 1

Here are my cholesterol tests from the past couple of years along with my most recent results.  My initial results from 2010 when I was following the standard american diet actually look remarkably ideal, despite the diet, however I was running almost 3 miles a day during this period AND I was carrying around more weight and a greater body fat percentage.  So while my blood work looked ideal, my outside appearance didn’t really reflect it… and I was exhausted from all the running I was doing.… Read More

The Effect of a Ketogenic Diet on Cholesterol Part 1

Cholesterol PubmedBefore I go into what my lipid results were, I thought it would be a interesting to do a literature search to find what data there is in the academic literature looking into the effect of a ketogenic diet on cholesterol.

This is a pretty comprehensive list going back 15 years to 1998.  I limited it to papers that either provided enough information in their abstracts and those that I could actually access the entire paper for free.   I didn’t want to actually shell out money for papers that required payment since they typically cost around $30 per article!… Read More

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