Blast small LDL to oblivion

Here's a graphic demonstration of the power of wheat elimination to reduce small LDL particles, now the number one cause for heart disease in the U.S.

Lee had suffered a stroke due to an atherosclerotic plaque in a brain artery. She also had plenty of coronary plaque with a heart scan score of 322.

Lee began with an LDL particle number (the "gold standard" for measuring LDL, far superior to conventional calculated LDL) of 2234 nmol/L. This is exceptionally high, the equivalent of an LDL cholesterol of 223 mg/dl (drop the last digit). Of this 2234 nmol/L, 90% were abnormally small, with 1998 nmol/L of small LDL particles.

Lee eliminated wheat products from her diet, as well as cutting out sugars and cornstarch. Six months later, her results:

LDL particle number: 1082 nmol/L--a 52% reduction from the starting value and equivalent to an LDL of 108 mg/dl. Small LDL: zero--yes, zero.

In other words, 100% of Lee's LDL particles had shifted to the more benign large LDL simply with elimination of these foods---NO statin drug. (In addition to wheat elimination, she was also taking vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids at our recommended doses.)

While not everybody responds quite so vigorously due to genetic variation, nor does everyone try as hard as Lee did to eliminate the foods that trigger small LDL, her case provides a great illustration of the power of this strategy.

Comments (21) -

  • Steve K

    4/5/2009 3:33:00 PM |

    while i believe in this strategy with improvement in my own situation,probably due to genetics i have not experience any change in particle size although there has been a reduction in small particles from 1805 to 1305according to NMR with size at 18.7  Since trigs were only 20 and HDL was 54 up from 41 VitD only 38. Working to raise it.  Taking Lipitor at Doc request due to strong family history.  Only male in family not to have a coronary event. Would like not to take statin,but not sure there is an alternative. Any thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    4/6/2009 12:31:00 AM |

    I normally ead very little wheat anyway, but you've piqued my curiousity

    you wrote this:
    >>> eliminate the foods that trigger small LDL

    the interesting word here is "trigger"  - does it mean that only a small amount of wheat will cause lots of small LDL particles - that is, wheat changes the way you create LDL, and so a small amount of wheat turns a lot of LDL into small particles?


    is there a dose dependent response?  A small amount of wheat leads to low levels of small LDL particles, and more wheat leads to higher levels, and lots of wheat creates high levels.

    Sam in Toronto

  • pooti

    4/6/2009 12:50:00 AM |

    Steve, how many carbs per day are you eating and what is your percentage and type of fat you are eating? Are you eating any PUFAs? Do you consume much fructose (i.e. honey, agave nectar, fructans from sorbitol, xylitol and any poly-ol)? Do you eat pre-packaged or pre-prepared foods? How much and what are your protein sources each day?

    Just wondering because I don't know that Dr. Davis is always able to answer personal questions?

    Also, what form of Vitamin D are you taking and how much of it? How long supplementing?

  • bolderbob

    4/6/2009 3:46:00 AM |

    Given my travel etc, I have been able to reduce but not totally eliminate wheat from my diet.  Dr. Davis, I think I have eliminated about 70% of wheat.  Does that help?  Also, is whole grain wheat OK or is it all wheat?    Thanks!!!

  • toddhargrove

    4/6/2009 6:37:00 AM |

    Very impressive.  What is your opinion about the likely mechanism for the LDL improvement related to wheat?  Less carbs?  Removal of possible immune response to gluten?  Removal of gluten intolerance?  All of the above?  Which factor is most important in your mind?  Are there others?  Thanks.

  • Steve K

    4/6/2009 7:13:00 PM |

    Pooti: In response to your inquiry.

    i eat no sugar except in greek yougurt(2%) or in fruit which is limited to an apple or some berries. Rest of diet is fish beef, turkey,chicken, eggs(sometimes whites only,sometimes the whole egg)  No grains except tsp of metamuciel(psylium). Only use olive oil for salad, and eat no fried food at all.  i take fish oil.  Kinda think it is genetics but open to advise.

  • wccaguy

    4/6/2009 10:51:00 PM |

    pooti wrote:

    >>> Just wondering because I don't know that Dr. Davis is always able to answer personal questions?

    Dr. Davis always answers personal questions at the Track Your Plaque forum.  But given his patient load and responsibilities for the Track Your Plaque program, he is not able to answer questions often here at the Heart Scan Blog.

  • Scott09

    4/7/2009 7:03:00 PM |

    How do you know it was the wheat that did it? What about the sugar or starch. Don't you have to isolate your variables?

  • xenolith_pm

    4/7/2009 8:02:00 PM |

    Steve K,

    You may be extraordinarily insulin sensitive to grains and sugars.

    Are you using the drink or wafer forms of Metamucil?

    Just one tablespoon of the original drink form of Metamucil has 9 grams of sugar (sucrose).

    The "sugar free" drink versions of Metamucil will still give you a good dose of aspartame and maltodextrin.  Small amounts of chronic doses may result in unfavorable insulin resistance/response with some people.

    The wafer form of Metamucil is even worse.  Each serving contains 6 grams of sugar, corn starch, fructose, and wheat.

    Try to get a brand that only contains psyllium husk, like Konsyl.  Each serving has only 0.5 grams of available complex carbohydrates. It can be found at Walmart.

    Yes, Greek yogurt has less lactose (milk sugar) than regular yogurt.  But, even a modest eight ounce serving of plain Greek yogurt can contain as much as 9 grams of lactose.  And if you are consuming chronic amounts, it very well may be affecting your insulin.

    IMHO, investing in a glucose meter for home monitoring is not a bad idea for anyone who think they may be genetically sensitive to carbohydrates.

  • Steve K

    4/8/2009 2:00:00 AM |

    xenolith_pm :

    i am thin and fasting glucose last measured was 79 which i am told is lower end of normal.  Were i super sensitive this and trigs(20) would i suspect be higher.  Thanks for input from all.

  • Trinkwasser

    4/8/2009 6:59:00 PM |

    I'm jealous! Dropping the carbs decimated my trigs (literally) and doubled HDL. Initially my LDL *increased* but adding more sat fats seems to have reduced this back again. I wish I could get a proper test for the particle size, I have to guestimate from the trigs/HDL ratio.

    Maybe I should eliminate the small amount of wheat I still eat, see if there's a threshold effect.

  • Anonymous

    4/9/2009 8:41:00 AM |

    I am posting this here because I cannot, at this time, afford to join the forum so would appreciate anyone who could answer me.  I have avoided wheat for years because of its disastrous gastric effects but reading Mary Enig and Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions have been thinking about trying some sprouted wheat bread (Sunnyvale Organic).  Any opinions on this as the phytic acid is neutralised and the vits and mins are more bioavailable?


  • Anonymous

    4/9/2009 11:35:00 AM |

    I have asked for a proposed mechanism several times.  I do not dispute the reported results, it just helps if a mechanism is proposed so people can understand why wheat or any other food impacts the particle size of LDL.


  • Kiwi

    4/9/2009 10:45:00 PM |

    This study found that wheat was a problem compared to oats but they were unable to reach a conclusion as to why.

    "The reason for these unfavorable lipoprotein changes in the wheat group is not readily apparent; however, the mechanism by which these alterations are produced does not occur with increased oat consumption."

    The only grain I eat now is oats prepared using the Weston Price method.

  • Anonymous

    4/10/2009 3:17:00 PM |

    I think its hard to answer in detail allot of questions that come here, which is why we started the board as there were several of us just like you with all these questions.

    It was our idea for a small fee, not Dr D idea to make money, he makes nada off this and gives gives gives!

    ....and there had to be a small fee otherwise we would need advertisers like drug companies and we wanted it to remain free of that brain washing.

    The board is about $20 a few times a year and it has saved my life.

    Cheap investment.I think I am worth that.

    There is so much information there you would know that these blog posts are 110% backed up with good medical documentation.

    Or maybe go back to the beginning of this blog and read it all in detail and allot of your questions will be answered.

    I used to hang onto this blog for info as found it the most effective and so personal. Then we started the board and I can go there and read and educate myself from Dr D and hundreds of well educated folks like you and me who want to live longer and know traditional medicine is not helping us as much as it could with reversing our plague.

    Now I hardly ever come here as all the info is at my finger tips.

    Dr D makes no money from the board, it is to pay for band widths, web seminars etc.

    It is created by volunteers from this group and if approx.$5 a month isn't affordable let me know and I will help you find a way to raise some funds to take good care of yourself.

    I believe its our right to good health care info and thats what Dr D provides here and on the board.

    I am serious, don't let the small fee make you die younger.

  • Anonymous

    4/10/2009 5:43:00 PM |


    Sprouting the grains may eliminate the gastric issues you've experienced with wheat. However, those gastric issues may have been an indication of gluten intolerance and gastric issues may not be the only symptom, just the most obvious or visible one.

    Before adding wheat back to your diet in a large way, please research non-celiac gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance on the web and at the public library. and are good places to start.

    If you have questions re: gluten intolerance, there are several forums discussing this topic such as

  • Anonymous

    4/11/2009 4:32:00 PM |

    Thanks for that, I was just asking as the wheat issues raised in the blog and the main site probably refer to modern wheat refining and baking processes whereas sprouted grain bread is made to an ancient recipe and contains no dairy or yeast.  I will certainly check out all options before deciding.  Thanks again.


  • Trinkwasser

    4/12/2009 2:21:00 PM |

    Some diabetics can eat Ezekiel or similar sprouted grain breads, or breads made with wheat gluten and non-wheat flours, and I can handle other grains (in sufficiently small quantities) without the BG and presumably insulin spikes specific to wheat, but that's only one of the possible issues.

  • Anonymous

    4/16/2009 9:54:00 PM |

    hey thanks.  I don't have an issue with the fee, just and issue with putting my creditcarddetails into an unsecure webpage.  I wrote the TYP and pointed out they should use https.... when it is fixed, I will join. Even this blog is https

  • particle size reduction

    4/3/2010 3:17:59 PM |

    I think that the problem you are suffering through is insulin sensitivity. Well i am still researching on this topic but till now the point which has been cleared is this one only.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 7:00:57 PM |

    In other words, 100% of Lee's LDL particles had shifted to the more benign large LDL simply with elimination of these foods---NO statin drug. (In addition to wheat elimination, she was also taking vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids at our recommended doses.)