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Jimmy Moore’s Random Fall 2013 Health Test Results

One of the best parts of becoming a student of your own body when you make the decision to finally take back control of your own health is just how fascinating it is to take regular assessments of where you stand with various aspects of your health. As many of you know, I’ve been actively engaged in a purposeful and constant state of nutritional ketosis for the past 18 months and I’ve never been this lean and healthy in my entire adult life. Yes, I still have more work left to be done but I’m headed in the right direction.

While the thought of consuming a very low-carb, moderate protein, very high-fat diet may make most doctors and dietitians shudder in fear for my health, the fact is I’m doing just fine eating this way thank you very much. In case you are wondering, I am still testing my blood sugar and blood ketone levels twice daily just to keep an eye on things so that I stay on track. It certainly keeps me honest about my progress and is providing me some outstanding added information that I may choose to include in my next book Keto Clarity: Unleash The Health Benefits Of A Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet coming Summer 2014.

I’ve had a few random health tests run recently and thought you might want to see how things are going for me. Check it out:

Carotid artery and other heart health tests

Through a company I found online called Life Line Screening, my wife Christine and I were able to have a series of various non-invasive heart health assessments done without needing to go see a doctor. They measured for carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, osteoporosis, and the obligatory BMI. As you can see from the results above, I’m doing pretty good. This coincides well with my CT Heart Calcium Score of “0″ earlier this year. WOO HOO!

Basic food allergy test

When I was looking at some blood tests to have run online, I came across this one from Private MD Labs that tests for food allergies to various things, including cow’s milk, wheat, corn, peanut, soybean, pork, beef, fish/shellfish, whole eggs and chocolate/cocoa. Thankfully none of them came back as a positive result. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and celebrate eating a bunch of wheat, soy, corn and peanuts, but I’m happy to know at least on a basic level that I’m not allergic to any of these foods. One of these days I’m going to find a way to get an ALCAT Food Allergy Test run–widely considered the “gold standard” in food allergy testing. I need a naturopathic physician or other holistic health professional to help me get that one run.

Resting energy expenditure (REE) test

An Exercise and Nutrition PhD student at Clemson (SC) University named Collin Popp contacted me recently stating he’s a “big fan” of my podcast and has been an ardent follower of Paleo for the past four years. Since I only live about an hour away from his campus, he invited me to visit his lab to have my resting energy expenditure (REE) measured to determine the number and kind of calories used from fat or carbohydrates/protein at rest. Knowing that I eat a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, Collin was curious about my results. I did this test last week and here’s a picture of me in the space apparatus getting tested:

Having a plastic dome encased over your face for a half-hour is not very much fun and I was a little bit dizzy when I tried to stand up afterwards. But the results were pretty amazing–my energy requirements at rest requires 2,093 calories to maintain and I’m burning (not surprisingly!) 63% of my calories in the form of fat. NICE! While the remaining 37% of the calories are described as “carbohydrate” calories, I asked them if this would also include the gluconeogenesis from protein. The response: “That’s probably what most of it is from.” Fascinating! I guess you can conclude that I’m pretty well fat-adapted (keto-adapted) using fat at my primary fuel source. It’s interesting to note that I’m not burning just fat, but predominantly fat. Robb Wolf said as much on my Ketogenic Diet & Performance panel at the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta back in August.

DXA scan for fat/muscle mass, bone density, lumbar spine

While I was at Clemson, they also ran a DXA scan on me using a state-of-the-art $100,000 machine they just started using. Unlike the other DXA scans I have done in the past which had an arm that starts at your head and works like a fax machine taking images of your body working its way down to your feet measuring for body fat mass, lean muscle mass and bone mineral density. Additionally, the third test above is of my lumbar spine looking further at the bone structure. Technically, I’m still considered between overweight and obese, but certainly in a lot better position than I was at my last DXA scan in November 2012. I’m in the 85th percentile for total body fat percentage for men my age–but I’m determined to improve on this even more! They said my bone density and lumbar spine test results were just fine. AWESOME!

CT scan of my pelvic region

Finally, I wanted to share these results from a CT scan of my pelvic region because I’ve been having some pain in my lower back, specifically to the right-hand side, that has persisted for the past few months. I had no idea what what causing this pain and I suspected I might have kidney stones. So I got this test run that showed all of my internal organs looked good. In fact, the radiologist said my kidneys were completely clear of any stones. However, he did notice on the images that I have significant degenerative disc disease in the L 4/5 and T 10/11 areas of my spine. When I called my mom about this, she said, “Oh yeah, son, I forgot to tell you that your mom and dad both have this.” Gee thanks! I’ve been to see a chiropractor friend to help with some of the pain and it’s something I’ll just have to deal with for the rest of my life. Lucky me, right?

Here are a few other blood tests I’ve had run:

  • C-Reactive Protein: 0.84
  • Hemoglobin A1c: 5.0
  • TSH: 3.67
  • Testosterone: 653
  • That’s about it for now. I’ll keep monitoring my health using strategic testing to keep an eye on my progress. How’s YOUR health?

    • marie

      Those are wonderful results! Just a quick question : since resting energy between meals is obtained mostly from body fat for anyone, do you know whether your REE breakdown differs from the energy expenditure distribution (fat:carbs) of someone who isn’t in ketosis? If you happen to know, that would be interesting. Thanks for all the great information sharing that you do : )

      • LLVLCBlog

        Honestly, I don’t know. But I can ask Collin. :) And anyone else who knows can chime in.

        • marie

          Thanks a lot! It’s something I’ve been curious about, since I go into fasted ketosis regularly :)

      • CynicalEng

        I’ve seen papers with the RQ at resting up above 0.9 but on the other hand those in http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/4/652/T3.expansion.html are around 0.76 so lower than Jimmy’s. Mine was measured at 0.75 indicating 74% fat, 11% carbs and the assumed 15% protein.

      • Collin Popp

        Marie, someone you is not in ketosis will have a different RQ. The average RQ is around 0.83-0.85 meaning that person is utilizing a blend of carbs and fats for energy at rest. An RQ closer to 1.0 means 100% carbs are being utilized at rest and an RQ at 0.7 means 100% fats are being utilized at rest for energy. To be honest I was a little surprised at Jimmy’s results of an RQ of around 0.81. But, he was only under the canopy for 30 minutes and I bet if he went for a whole hour we would see his RQ go down. Also, he could be converting some of his dietary protein into glucose which might also bring up his RQ value. Nonetheless, still valuable information to have!

    • Tamara Warren

      Very interesting. You make me want to run out and get a bunch of
      tests done! I could read blogs like this all day long. I seriously chose the
      wrong profession. :-) (www.nolapaleo.com New Orleans)

      • LLVLCBlog

        Pretty exciting to see what’s happening to YOU, right? :)

    • Raymund Edwards

      Jimmy your Carotid artery test does not appear to be a carotid intima-media thickness measure ( which is strongly associated with future atherosclerosis )

      What you seem to have had is just a carotid ultra sound looking for obvious plaque and measuring blood flow .. This test is no where near as valuable as a measure of risk or as an early warning.

      The results give no measure of cIMT and hence sub clinical risk factors

      • LLVLCBlog

        I asked for a CIMT. This is what they gave me. I have no health insurance, so navigating this maze ain’t easy.

    • Peggy Holloway

      My 71-year old partner had major lab work done last month. He is on Medicare so it was covered. (I’m getting a new policy in Jan. through the ACA and excited to have decent coverage myself for the first time in nearly 3 years, so I may have some lab done next year). His numbers for all the important things were great. Of course, total cholesterol and LDL were tagged as being “very high,” but we know how meaningless that is when he had a small particle count, mostly Type A particles and high HDL and low triglycerides and low C-reactive protein, insulin level, and fasting blood sugar.