Lipoproteins . . . zero!

With the recent refinements in our approach to correction of the lipoprotein abnormalities that lead to coronary plaque and heart disease risk, I have been witnessing more and more people achieve:

Small LDL particles 0 nmol/L
Lipoprotein(a) 0 nmol/L

For instance, Ted, a 58-year old man I saw in the office today started with:

Small LDL 1673 nmol/L
Lipoprotein(a) 219 nmol/L

In other words, both small LDL particles and lipoprotein(a) are being knocked down to zero values.

Incidentally, the combination of lipoprotein(a) with small LDL is among the most atherogenic (atherosclerotic plaque-causing) patterns known. Despite his athletic, slender build and avoidance of unhealthy habits, Ted's heart scan score was 922--very high.

So Ted followed the diet I advocate, i.e., wheat elimination followed by elimination of cornstarch, oats, and sugars; high-dose fish oil (total daily EPA + DHA of 6000 mg/day); vitamin D supplementation sufficient to achieve a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml; iodine supplementation; and thyroid normalization which, in Ted's case, required supplementation with the T3 thyroid hormone, liothyronine, at a small dose.

The result:

Small LDL particles 0 nmol/L
Lipoprotein(a) 0 nmol/L

Not everybody, of course, is achieving these incredible--and previously impossible--results. But the numbers are growing. Ted is the third person to achieve zeroes all around, in fact, over the past 10 days.

Heart disease prevention is getting better and more powerful every day. And it ain't all about Lipitor and low-fat.

Comments (23) -

  • Bill Davis

    7/26/2011 11:25:38 PM |

    "high-dose fish oil (total daily EPA + DHA of 600 mg/day); "
    I am sure you mean 6000 mg/day of EPA + DHA.
    Maybe I can get zeros also. I'm trying.

  • Dr. William Davis

    7/27/2011 2:11:57 PM |

    Hi, Bill--

    Yes, 6000 mg per day. Thanks for catching that.

    Now corrected.

    Patience really pays with this strategy. I have been able to add more and more people to my list of great successes reducing Lp(a) with high-dose fish oil, although it may take 2 years or more to show its effects.

  • Galina L.

    7/27/2011 4:07:05 PM |

    I regularly eat  a tea-spoon of cod liver mixed with liver oil. Is it a valid substitute for a fish oil?

  • Gene K

    7/27/2011 5:42:10 PM |

    Dr. Davis,

    With a consistent improvement in the NMR indicators and lp(a) like you discuss here, is the change in the heart scan score still the final criterion based on which the heart disease risk should be assessed, or will a heart scan actually not add much to this risk assessment in this case?

  • Albert Lundy

    7/27/2011 6:12:30 PM |

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    We have great respect for your thoughts.
    We read about Quinoa a while back. It is a plant-based seed and related to leafy green vegetables such as spinach, chard, and beets. As it is naturally gluten-free, would that be a great substitute for Wheat? Would you have any concerns about Quinoa?


    Thanks much!
    Lundy family

  • Soul

    7/27/2011 6:13:56 PM |

    Congrats Dr. Davis!  For as long as I've been following the blog, finding answers for lowering LpA has been a tough nut to crack it seems.

  • Might-o'chondri-AL

    7/27/2011 6:33:40 PM |

    Zero small LDL may be unattainable for everyone but the implication of Doc's protocol involving fish oil has resonance with data from a 2008 analysis of  281 Japanese residing in Japan & 306 American  men in their 40's. The blood profile of the Japanese had fish oil n-3 levels = 9.2% vs the American's blood n-3 levels = 3.9%; broken down to:  Japan EPA = 2.5% vs. American EPA = 0.8% ... Japan DHA = 5.9% vs. American DHA = 2.4% ... Japan Arachidonic acid = 6.6% vs. American  Arachidonic acid 9.0 % .

    Results were: the studied Japanese had less coronary artery calcification and less severe vascular intima-media thickness than the Americans (see Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol 52, issue 6, 417-424) ; apparently the  blood fatty acid profile reflects in a matter of weeks what the tissue cells will come to show in months or years to come.

  • jaxrph

    7/27/2011 8:48:55 PM |

    Lp(a) reduction without niacin?  I guess there is hope for me.  I am on this plan now and will watch my numbers.

  • Buckaroo Banzai

    7/27/2011 11:00:16 PM |

    Is iodine supplementation only needed if thyroid values are abnormal?  What doses are we talking about?

  • Susan Clarke

    7/28/2011 12:04:24 AM |

    re: Iodine supplements, I tried Sea Kelp capsules a while back, but ended up with a sore throat and a sore neck after about a week to ten days.  Quit the capsules and it went away.  I figured it was conflicting with my Levoxyl, maybe causing an overdose.  Possible?

  • Steve Cooksey

    7/28/2011 4:37:02 PM |

    Awesome Dr. DAVIS!!!  
    Congrats to your and your patient's SUCCESS!!!

    Will be sharing widely! Smile


  • Steve Cooksey

    7/28/2011 4:38:57 PM |

    Just a quick suggestion... your new logo ... the 'skinless' human.... is scaring people. Smile

    Ok... it scares me. Smile

  • sharon

    7/28/2011 5:05:54 PM |

    i love the skinless human.

  • steve

    7/28/2011 6:02:58 PM |

    Dr Davis:
    Exceptional results!  How low a carb restricted diet was he on?  Was this achieved with zero statin or other medicines taken?  What was his total particle count, and HDL and LDL, and trig levels?  Did you determine his Apo E before diet recommendations


  • Dr. William Davis

    7/29/2011 12:33:02 AM |

    Hi, Gene--
    Yes, it is still helpful to obtain this cumulative end-result that shows the long-term effects of your program, i.e., a coronary calcium score.

  • Dr. William Davis

    7/29/2011 12:33:37 AM |

    Hi, Lundy's--
    I'll be discussing this and related issues in near-future.

    It all boils down to carb sensitivity.

  • Dr. William Davis

    7/29/2011 12:35:01 AM |

    Hi, Steve--
    Don't worry: He won't bite!

    Actually, I kind of like the little guy. In fact, I thought it might serve as a nice little avatar to use to guide people through our program. But maybe it's too scary for some people.

  • Dr. William Davis

    7/29/2011 12:36:48 AM |

    Buckaroo and Linda--
    Please see prior discussions about iodine.

    Iodine is essential for health, whether or not you have thyroid problems. It is no more dangerous than shaking the salt shaker a couple of times, provided excessive doses are not taken. For instance, I believe that iodine is among the most underappreciated means of reducing risk for fibrocystic breast disease and breast cancer. It can also serve as an oral anti-bacterial, since the salivary glands secrete iodine in saliva.

  • Albert Lundy

    7/30/2011 12:40:28 AM |

    Thanks Dr. Davis. Much appreciated!

  • Anyone

    8/5/2011 8:56:31 PM |

    If there’s voting, I vote for something else. It’s a strong gut reaction, in part to the concept, and in part to the style.

  • majkinetor

    8/15/2011 1:30:58 PM |

    Doc, what do you think, then, about Pauling/Rath hypothesis:

    See "A Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease"

    The metabolic level is characterized by the close connection of ascorbate with metabolic regulatory systems that determine the risk profile for CVD in clinical cardiology today. The most frequent mechanism is the deposition of lipoproteins, particularly lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)], in the vascular  wall. With sustained ascorbate deficiency, the result of insufficient  ascorbate uptake, these defense mechanisms overshoot and lead to the development of CVD

    If not all, perhaps subset of folks with high LP(a) would benefit from C megadoses.

  • LisaMichelle

    8/26/2011 4:24:02 PM |

    I'm a 44 yr old female who recently had a consultation w/ a cardiologist due to some strange symptoms I'd experience a few days prior.   At my consultation I was told that all of my blood work was "normal" and that I had a very low risk of heart attack.   The next day I requested a copy of my actual lab results be faxed to me, so I could see them for myself.

    I found out my Hgb a1c was at the high end of normal (something I would have liked to have been told, so that I was aware and could make appropriate diet/lifestyle changes to prevent developing diabetes in the future)

    I was never told that my Lp(a) was quite elevated.   My result was 55 (normal range here is 0-33).   Having no real knowledge of Lp(a), I did some reading up on it that night, which is how I came across this blog.    How is that considered "normal"?  Hardly.   I called back to the cardiologist's office yesterday to request to speak with the particular cardiologist who'd seen me, to further discuss what this really means, to put it into perspective.  I was told by the nurse who called me back (I'm an RN myself) that my result was 'just fine' and that Lp(a) is one that we want to be elevated, like HDL.   I politely but firmly told her that that wasn't the case based on what I'd read.    She was not backing down.   The best she could do was tell me that she'd have the head of the practice (head cardiologist) call me in a "couple of weeks" once he returned from vacation.   Ignorance abounds.   This is exactly why I'm a HUGE proponent of obtaining copies of one's lab results and asking questions, never just 'assume' that because a doctor tells you everything is fine, that it is.  Sure it may be, but sometimes lab values are trending up even if within the normal range.....and it's good to know this so that one can be proactive.

    I was also told that my LDL was just fine too.     Well, is within the normal range but it's at the HIGH end of the range (my result was 3.36 and high end of range is 3.4); up from 3.19 6 months prior.    

    Is an Lp(a) of 55 a real cause for concern?
    I have ordered some Nordic Naturals Ultimate Fish Oil and I've purchased some Niacin (to start out slowly).....thanks to this blog, and requesting my results...or I would have just went along thinking everything was just fine and I could continue with my current diet/lifestyle.

  • Mark

    1/18/2014 12:48:56 PM |


    Can anyone give me a list of places one can go in America and receive these battery of lipid tests . I am based in the UK and the provision here is woeful. You can get your Total, HDL and LDL measured but thats about it. If you mention particle size to a cardio or a doctor as I have done, they simply don't know what you are talking about.