Dr. Shawn Baker's Bloodwork

(Chris) #1

Day is here, finally. Actually I think they posted it a few days ago.


So Robb Wolf went piece by piece through the labs with the good Doc. Myself as a mostly-layperson didn’t get much from it aside from more questions.

Total cholesterol was high, trigs were low.

Fasting glucose and A1C were in the T2D range, HOWEVER, fasting insulin was low as fuck. I believe this is due to his athleticism.

Now on to the fun part, someone more knowledgable about this, and someone you probably have heard of, Dave Feldman, has provided HIS thoughts on it, which put it into perspective for me at least. I think we still have questions, but definitely not some of the same old questions.

Enjoy. Also, my labs were just taken yesterday, hoping to have that writeup soon. I didn’t get fasting insulin, but I bet my glucose is going to be in the 100s range so my doctor may call for it. I won’t be getting on any meds any time soon, and I’m fully prepared, though I like the guy, to drop him and switch if need be.

(Bunny) #2

What would determine positive and negative variables?

My question in the “real-time experiment” would be very specific to types of meats consumed daily, weekly, monthly from nose-to-tail and would those choices determine different long-term or short-term outcomes?

Surely a true carnivore would not be limited to a modern dietary standard of lean cuts of meats?

Final Thoughts
”…Baker, O’Hearn, and the many other “carnivores” are certainly conducting a very interesting, real-time experiment. I’m excited to see how this new data will manifest and what positives and/or negatives will be revealed. …More


Are Organ Meats Healthy?

They are particularly rich in B-vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and folate. They are also rich in minerals, including iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc, and important fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K.

The most common types of organ meat include:

Liver: Liver is the detox organ. It’s also the nutritional powerhouse of organ meats and sometimes referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.”

Tongue: Tongue is actually more of a muscle. It’s a tender and tasty cut of meat due to its high fat content.
Heart: The role of the heart is to pump blood around the body. It may not look edible, but it’s actually lean and tasty.

Kidneys: Like humans, mammals have two kidneys. Their role is to filter waste and toxins out of the blood.

Brain: Brain is considered a delicacy in many cultures, and it’s a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Sweetbreads: Sweetbreads have a deceiving name, as they are neither sweet nor a type of bread. They are made from the thymus gland and pancreas.

Tripe: Tripe is the lining of animal stomach. Most tripe is from cattle and can have a very chewy texture.

Benefits of Adding Organ Meats to Your Diet

Eating organ meats has several benefits:

Excellent source of iron: Meat contains heme iron, which is highly bioavailable, so it’s better absorbed by the body than non-heme iron from plant foods (3, 4).

Keeps you fuller for longer: Many studies have shown that high-protein diets can reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness. They may also promote weight loss by increasing your metabolic rate (5, 6, 7).

May help retain muscle mass: Organ meats are a source of high-quality protein, which is important for building and retaining muscle mass (8, 9, 10).

Great source of choline: Organ meats are among the world’s best sources of choline, which is an essential nutrient for brain, muscle and liver health that many people don’t get enough of (11, 12).

Cheaper cuts and reduced waste: Organ meats are not a popular cut of meat, so you can often get them at a cheap price. Eating these parts of the animal also reduces food waste.

As stated by the Weston A. Price Foundation:15

“The vital roles of these fat-soluble vitamins and the high levels found in the diets of healthy traditional peoples confirm the importance of pasture-feeding livestock. If domestic animals are not consuming green grass, vitamins A and K will be largely missing from their fat, organ meats, butterfat and egg yolks; if the animals are not raised in the sunlight, vitamin D will be largely missing from these foods.”

The Discovery of 'Fat-Soluble Activators’

One of Dr. Price’s most significant contributions to nutrition science was the concept of fat-soluble activators, which serve as potent catalysts for mineral absorption. Without them, minerals cannot by used by your body, no matter how plentiful they may be in your diet. Dr. Price was quite ahead of his time—modern research has since validated most of his findings.

Dr. Price identified three primary fat-soluble activators: vitamins A and D, and one he called “Activator X,” because he didn’t know exactly what it was, only that it was present in certain fatty parts of animals (especially the organ meats) that fed on young green growing plants or microorganisms, as well as in oily fish and shellfish. This powerful nutrient is now believed to be vitamin K2, a nutrient that is far more important than most people realize.12, 13 …More

Anyone care to debunk this? Or is it true and all ketoers are doomed?
Do I really need to eat organic meat + dairy?
What makes for a good cooking oil? Science, please!

I have no issue with eating liver. I do have an issue with brain. Mad cow disease to be precise (which can affect any type of bovine including pigs, sheep and cows).

While it is possible to get this by eating the muscle meat of a diseased animal, the brain is where the disease is

(Bunny) #4

Surely spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is of grave concern!

Will pass on brains (no brains for me)! :-1:

(Ethan) #5

And deer!

(L. Amber O'Hearn) #6

Why would anyone be afraid of mad cow in 2018?!

(Bunny) #7



I’ve always thought offal (organ meats) are a good idea - nutritious, delicious, cheap, interesting flavours, and respectful (eating the whole animal).

My personal taste buds reject brawn (brains) and tripe, but the rest are delicious.

Actually my biggest concern when going ZC was flavour-boredom, but I am delighted to say that this hasn’t happened. Beef, pork, lamb, duck, mackerel, herring, salmon, cheeses and other dairy, herbs, spices and offal, seem to give me delicious variety.

@Dread1840 sorry - that was rather off topic.

I am v interested in the article you quoted on those blood results. Thank you. Although I have to say it is less about his actual results (which are probably unusual because of his athleticism). They are not really comparable to my sedentary existence. But the fact that he is a top competitor, at his age, on such a diet is fascinating. I will do some more reading on him.

(Chris) #9

In my threads, all zc subjects are on-topic!

(Adam Kirby) #10

What is concerning is the extremely high fasting glucose, and if there are long term health consequences to that independent of fasting insulin. It’s possibly he could have some crazy high glucagon response from 5 lbs of meat a day, idk.

(Chris) #11

Did you see Feldman’s overview of it?

(Nicole Sawchuk) #12

I was surprised to see such high fasting glucose. There are many reasons this can occur, but it should not be easily dismissed. If anything, it proves that more work and research needs to be done. It also shows that people can thrive on a variety of diets. There are people who excel in a vegan environment and those on a carnivore diet. For the rest of us, it is something in the middle that requires a lot tweaking. But I am so glad Dr Baker did the bloodwork and hope we can continue to learn more!

(Adam Kirby) #13

Yes. While Dave gives a plausible mechanistic explanation for high fasting glucose it still doesn’t answer whether or not such high fasting glucose is healthy long-term. Now granted his blood sugar is nowhere near untreated T1D or anything.

This article gives a good counter-argument to the “no problem here” people. While I don’t share her level of certainty it’s worth considering that these weird numbers could be problematic.

I guess this is where we have to separate being super fit from long-term health. And if you have intense glycogen demands from exercise, is getting it from protein via gluconeogenesis the best way to achieve this, or would Baker literally be better served by ingesting some carbs for his glycolytic activities? I don’t have any answers, only questions.

(L. Amber O'Hearn) #14

It makes sense that it’s related to his activity. I haven’t had bloodwork in awhile but 3 years into carnivory my A1C was 5.1. I don’t eat as much as he does, but I think I was eating about 2 pound a day of meat.

(Chris) #15

Nice, I will give this a read.

(Adam Kirby) #16

Yeah that makes sense, I feel like this might be the natural result of trying to fuel crazy glycolytic activities with protein.


I think that taking an HbA1c as indication of anything much is questionable.

HbA1cs are a rough average of blood glucose levels over the last 2-3 months (weighted in favour of the last 2-3 weeks). So it is possible to have an HbA1c of 6.0 with wild fluctuations of blood glucose that average at 6. Or it is possible to get an HbA1c with a blood glucose that stays rock solid and steady.

In terms of diabetes and diabetic complications, there is evidence which I find very convincing, to suggest that blood glucose fluctuations are far more damaging that a steady level with minimal standard deviation.

Personally, I would rather have a higher HbA1c that is due to steady levels, than a lower HbA1c that is the result of blood glucose fluctuations.

Lots of info on this here

In light of this, and due to my extensive blood glucose monitoring since going ZC, I am going to hazard a guess that Dr Baker’s blood glucose as a carnivore is rock solid. Mine certainly has been. He won’t be carb loading, and the slow release nature of carnivory is going to make his energy levels consistent.

There may also, depending on his protein/fat ratios be a certain amount of physiological insulin resistance in the mix, but that is just speculation, because I am unsure how PIR would/will interact with his exercise levels, and he clearly has a very low fasting insulin, so PIR may not be a factor at all…

Personally, I don’t see his pre-diabetic HbA1c is likely to be an issue, in view of the other factors, including the athleticism.

(Chris) #18

Got my results back. Doc is probably not happy with my cholesterol readings and possibly creatinine/urea/nitrogen.

(Solomom A) #19

I listen to you a lot on podcasts. You seem to be on the higher fat end of the spectrum. Quite a number of the carnivore dieters are advocates of lean meats. This is an interesting experiment to keep an eye on. High fasting glucose and high A1C should be of concern to any one.

(CharleyD) #20

@Dread1840 May want to think about K2, MK-4 as well.