Last week I discovered that WellnessFX would test my blood for free. No credit card required, no bs. It appeared that Tim Ferriss and Dave Asprey had something to do with the organization, and coupled with a LabCorp facility ~60 seconds from my house — literally within walking distance — I figured why not retest?
It was a no brainer, and damn, was there a quick turn around time. From watching blood get sucked out of my arm to seeing the results up, live, on WellnessFx, took less than 36 hours — on the weekend.
I was stunned at how fast the turn around was. (Disclaimer : I have no idea if that is normal for them or not).
So, what were the results? You can see for yourself in a PDF here. And if you download it, I think the little “quote bubbles” will actually work. What they say is
- 1) LDL in Feb 2012 was originally reported by LabCorp as 164. I believe this is inaccurate so when I posted my previous test results into WellnessFx, I entered in what I believed was the accurate assessment : 144.
- 2) Similarly, I believe 139 is also inaccurate, and that 119 is the accurate count.
The real LDL change then being 144 –> 119.
A 25 point drop any way you slice it.
I have also emailed WellnessFX to verify that 139 is a calculation, not a direct measurement, with the testing I got.
Edit : got a response from WFX. Here is is.
Thanks for your question. I inquired with our Medical Director on this one, and here was his response,
“Great question! Yes, the lab measures the LDL using the Friedewald equation as this is still currently the standard and usually accurate, and direct LDL measurements costs over 20 times the entire lipid panel. it is true that in certain cases the Friedewald equation might be inaccurate, fortunately the LDL is likely accurate here. The Friedewald equation tends to mis-estimate LDL when the Triglycerides are very high (>400mg/dl) and/or the LDL is very low (<70mg/dl), neither of which are the case with this profile, so based on the research this calculation of LDL is likely very accurate.
Hope this helps, Murdoc
Murdoc Khaleghi MD FACEP FAAEM
Medical Director, WellnessFX”
I hope this information helps. If you have any additional questions, please let us know.
WellnessFX Care Team
So it’s clear, I believe the “direct” language on the WellnessFX dashboard is semantics with the free test I had done. They are simply reporting what LabCorp is giving them, and I do not think it is an actual measurement of my LDL — it’s a calculation based on everything else.
You can read more about the number crunching here.
Now, why would the LDL drop so sharply? Well assuming that the drop was primarily, if not entirely a decrease in the “bad LDL”, which I’m guessing it is, I suspect it is due to three factors that were not present last year.
- Enormous drop in chronic stress (no 2013 conferences)
- Iodine supplementation
- More sleep
Diet has not changed much; more grass fed butter and grass fed whey, if anything in the past year. Exercise habits are almost identical as well.
The real changes are those three : dramatically less chronic stress, more iodine (from kelp), and more sleep; perhaps an extra hour per night, on average — my sleep may also be of higher quality, now that I’m not bleeding cortisol 24/7.
I’ve added some other supplements and extracts into the mix as well : krill oil, Vitamin C, rose hips, curcumin, magnesium, etc. But my hunch is, if any “pill” had a significant effect, it was the iodine/kelp.
My only sources before the kelp were raw egg yolks, and “iodized sea salt”. Now that my girlfriend does most of the cooking, I only average a few raw yolks per week, at best, and I’m not convinced the sea salt is a great source of iodine.
(During my single life I would regularly eat 12-30 eggs a week in various combinations, because you know, that’s about all I knew how to cook haha).
What Does it All Mean?
Probably nothing. I’m not pulling my hair out of my head this year, 19 hours a day, 8 days a week, so my “numbers” improved even further. As far as everything else in the report, no comment from me, other than that it all looks pretty being 100% green.
In the future I’d like to do more advanced testing with WellnessFX, if for nothing else than to get a gauge on my real Vitamin D levels. If you want to help make that happen sign up using the link in this post (I get credit with them for future tests when you do).
I started taking 1-2 tbsp a day of Bulletproof MCT Oil about 10 days ago, either straight, or in my BulletProof Coffee. If and when I ever get my HDL tested again, I suspect it will be even higher than it is here. Dave Asprey reported his HDL at a sky high 89 if I remember correctly. It’d be fun to beat him =D.