It was over a year ago when I started the Carnivore Diet and I think it is a tremendously powerful tool for a lot of individuals who are suffering from anxiety, gut issues, and autoimmune disease. I myself was suffering from gut issues and anxiety and I really didn’t know what to do until I learned how to get optimized through the Carnivore Diet.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
The Carnivore Diet is the elimination of most common foods such as fruits and vegetables. It is a diet constructed purely of animal foods.
Yes, you read that right. Carnivore Diet means eating only meat and other animal-derived foods such as fish, dairy and eggs.
Many individuals who are interested in this diet may have concerns that it is unhealthy and incomplete. For those concerned, I've pulled my bloodwork to show you how it affects my body and how the biomarkers have evolved after being carnivore for over a year.
If you are as skeptical as I was of the Carnivore diet and the risks of removing fruits and vegetables in order to get complete nutrition then this article may help by sharing more specifics, my lab results and their interpretation with Dr. Paul Saladino (CarnivoreMD)
Carnivore Diet Result: 12 Months Bloodworks
Before digging into my lab results, let’s first dive into understanding some of the most common markers you may want to check.
High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP)
It is used to detect an increase in protein in the blood. High CRP is a non-specific inflammatory marker that the liver produces in response to inflammation the body is reacting to.
hs-CRP Reference Range: Optimal: less than 1.0 mg/L Moderate: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L High: above 3.0 mg/L
I did a lab test back in June 2019 and my CRP was higher. It was borderline 2.9. At the time I was likely training too often and my sleep was not well regulated.
After a few months making these adjustments, it went down to <0.3 in my labs in October 2019. This is a valuable test as inflammation is likely a large culprit to many of the modern health issues we see in people today.
Lab test October 2019
Lab test June 2019
Lipids are referred to as fats and oil. These are molecules that make up the building blocks of the structure and functions of living cells. A standard lipid panel includes total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TG.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid that is considered by many to be harmful at higher levels but it actually plays an important function in our body. It is a fat-like substance made by your liver and also comes from foods you intake. It is a molecule for building hormones, making vitamin D3, and making a substance that helps you digest food called bile. In addition, the brain requires a large amount of cholesterol it makes locally in order to thrive.
There are two types of Cholesterol:
HDL (High-density lipoprotein) = referred to as Good cholesterol
LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) = referred to as Bad cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is also referred to as the "good" cholesterol because it returns excess cholesterol to your liver which helps remove other forms of cholesterol from your bloodstream thus it may lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
Because the Carnivore diet is exclusively animal foods, there are more fats. For decades epidemiologists have demonized saturated fats. Seeing individuals who have higher levels of health issues also have higher levels of cholesterol.
The ”bad” cholesterol #s and on a traditional higher carb diet would see elevated levels of lipids when their bodies were stress. With the influx and success of high-fat diets in more recent years, many recent studies have challenged the idea of linking that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. The evidence supporting the link between higher lipid #'s and a higher risk of heart disease is extremely shaky. In fact, new research is coming out showing the opposite.
Based on my research, doctors have focused myopically on these #’s and thrown the baby out with the bath water. Diets higher in fats require more lipids because fats cannot travel in blood on their own, they are like oil in water and require cholesterol to be properly moved around the human body. Fat molecules bind to these lipoproteins that function as transport vehicles carrying different types of fats such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids. It only means that cholesterol is just only one of the many components of lipoproteins to consider.
Triglycerides are another type of lipids. These are likely energy boats of extra calories. Triglycerides are released between meals to produce energy into your bloodstream. Individuals with higher fasted triglycerides may have metabolic dysfunction, it is a strong indicator of metabolic dysfunction and CVD. 
When a healthy individual completes a fasted blood draw there should be lower levels of fat molecules circulating around transporting energy. The energy is supposed to be stored efficiently but is not when triglycerides are elevated. When you see people with metabolic syndrome, prediabetic, their fasted triglycerides are often elevated. They have higher levels of triglycerides circulating in their body and it's a sign that their body isn’t as efficient at utilizing and storing energy.
Now we look into my lab result in the image below (Lab test October 2019), my total cholesterol is above the range at 303 however this is no uncommon on an animal-based diet with higher levels of fats. My LDL is 209 and my HDL is 77 and the fasted triglycerides shows 61. Somewhat valuable is the triglyceride to HDL ratio. My lab showed my TG/HDL-C of 0.8. The ideal TG/HDL-C ratio is below 2.0 while above 3 indicates a significant risk of heart attack and stroke.
For me, I’m less concerned with this ratio, but I am concerned with fasted tri’s and do believe high levels of HDL are protective[..]
TG/HDL-C ratio may be a strong marker to see the risk for the development of coronary disease. [..]
Given that my TG/HDL-C is quite low, having LDL off the range is not a pattern of metabolic dysfunction. It is a pattern of a ketogenic diet. Looking at my labs below from June 2019, we see my results.
Lab test October 2019
Lab test June 2019
Some lipid researchers feel strongly total lipids are less important than the specific particles and their specific sizes. I tend to agree with their hypotheses. That said, there just isn’t enough strong evidence to support what causes CVD and lipids are unlikely the cause.
Moving to the Metabolic results.
Glucose is another name of sugar that gives energy in our bodies in the form of carbohydrates.Foods high in glucose include fruits, veggies, and grains. Protein can also be used for energy, but the first job is to help with making hormones, muscle, and other proteins.Glucose is important but too much glucose can also cause problems. High level of glucose increased the risk of many diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure
My blood sugar is within range. I'm eating a fat heavy diet but my liver is still creating glucose and providing a supply.
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for allowing glucose to enter cells throughout your body. Insulin and glucose blood levels must be in balance.
Another highlighted number in my bloodwork result below is the TMAO (Trimethylamine N-oxide).
TMAO (Trimethylamine N-oxide) has more recently come out as a demonized molecule that is being considered a risk factor of cardiovascular disease. People like to link it to eating red meat but there the data is limited. Generally, it is produced by gut bacteria and can be found in meat, eggs, and fish and we know that fish consumption has been linked with positive outcomes of CVD..
Homocysteine is an amino acid present in your body which can be found from meat, fish, cheese and other dairy products. Insufficient level of vitamins B6, B12, and folate will elevate Homocysteine. Glycine from collagen and connective tissue can also help normalize levels. High level of Homocysteine may be linked to a higher risk cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk.
Coenzyme Q10(CoQ10) is an antioxidant in the human cell that provides protection and support for mitochondria. It plays an important role in the production of energy. High sources of dietary coenzyme Q10 include Organ meats: Heart, liver and kidney, some muscle meats: Pork, beef and chicken, Fatty fish: Trout, herring, mackerel and sardines.
Vit B12 (Cobolamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that supports the normal function of your nerve cells and red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, and DNA synthesis. Our body cannot produce Vit B12. Naturally, it is found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Animals not consuming other animals get it from soil and the feces and manure in the ground. In some cases species will even it their own waste to source it.
Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium. It also has a role in your nervous, muscle, and immune systems. Our body produces Vitamin D in response to sun exposure. It can also be found in a small number of foods.
My homocysteine, Co-Q10, vitamin D, and B12 were robust, especially Co-Q10. I typically see levels higher of other carnivores. Meat is a great source of Co-Q10, especially heart. My fatty acids results are all within healthy reference ranges as well.
The rest of the Non-Cardiometabolic results are fairly consistent with references
Another number to look at is my Ferritin. It was 417 which is quite high and this is likely due to increased consumption of heme animal form iron my body is hanging on to.. Ferritin measures the amount of stored iron in your body but it can also be a measure of inflammation and other factors. For Carnivores, especially males who may have a propensity to hold on to ferritin I would consider testing your levels and donating blood if you find them climbing. For Carnivores, especially males who may have a propensity to hold on to ferritin I would consider testing your levels and donating blood if you find them climbing. A side note to this is that I carry a genetic polymorphism for hemochromatosis which probably steers me to hold on to even more iron levels.
One thing I want to highlight here is my Testosterone. I was over 600 when I pulled it 6 months before I became a carnivore and after doing carnivore for 7.5 months it went down to 315 and that's a substantial decrease. My fat consumption was only 50%, it wasn't 70-80% and I was doing one meal a day fairly calorie-restricted to around 2,000 calories leading up to this panel. So I had an assumption that higher calories and fat intake would improve my Testosterone and I pulled my blood again later in July and you can see in the image below that it went up to over 900 and then again in October and it was over 700.
Lab test June 2019
Lab test July 2019
Lab test October 2019
The rest of the results were normal.
If you want to see my full review of this bloodwork video, you can check out my YouTube video below.