December 24


016: Siobhan Huggins – Citizen Scientist Helping to Crack the Cholesterol Code (part 1)

December 24, 2020

Carnivore, Diabetes, Diet, Fasting, Food, Health, Intermittent Fasting, Keto, Ketogenic Diet, LCHF, Lifestyle, Low Carb, Nutrition, Podcasts, Real Food, Well Being

Siobhan Huggins

 is an independent researcher focused on the science of keto, carnivory, inflammation, insulin resistance and how they all interact with each other. Over the past four years she has lost 80 lbs (36kg or 5.5stone), put chronic depression into remission, and made numerous health improvements - all from going on a ketogenic (and eventually carnivorous) diet. She hopes to continue learning the science so she can share it with others, in the hopes of better understanding why ketogenic and carnivorous diets appear to work for improving so many conditions, and why people sometimes struggle even when implementing these dietary strategies and doing everything "right". She is on the board of The Citizen Science Foundation, and is a frequent contributor to where she posts on topics like lipids and immunity, heart disease, and inflammation, as well as the results of her self experiments with diet.

In this episode Siobhan explains how she improved her depression with a ketogenic diet. She tells us how she learned about lipids and got involved with Dave Feldman of after meeting him at the 2018 KetoFest in New London, Connecticut. We learn about some of her self-experiments, the results of medical tests and the importance of establishing a baseline. She talks about her relationship with her doctor and how she builds that trusting and respectful relationship.

Siobhan explains the lipid triangle.

We have a couple of corrections from Siobhan:

Two corrections on my part, though. Apparently Dr Attia only recommends Therapeutic Lipidology – looking over old blog posts on CholesterolCode, I do mention starting with this and then went on to read Clinical Lipidology right after, so that is correct. With that said, I’m not sure where I saw Clinical Lipidology recommended, but it wasn’t from Attia.


Additionally, the correct quote of what he says is “Anyone aspiring to be a lipid savant […] probably ought to get a copy.” From Part III of the straight dope on cholesterol series. Not “citizen lipidologist” as I stated.

Resources Mentioned

Clinical Lipidology: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease, 2e - Dr Christine Ballantyne

Therapeutic Lipidology (Contemporary Cardiology) -  Michael H. Davidson , Peter P. Toth , Kevin C. Maki



Lean mass hyper responder

Citizen Scientist Foundation

The Obesity Code - Dr Jason Fung

2KetoDudes podcast 

Fat Head movie with Tom Naughton

KetoFest (2018) in New London, CT 

Ketogenic Forums 

What is CIMT?

The carotid intima-media thickness test (CIMT) is a measure used to diagnose the extent of carotid atherosclerotic vascular disease.

What is Carotid doppler?

A carotid Doppler is an imaging test that uses ultrasound to examine the carotid arteries located in the neck. This test can show narrowing or possible blockages due to plaque buildup in the arteries due to coronary artery disease.

What is a CAC scan?

Quotes by Siobhan Huggins

“By the time I was 18, I was 240lb, I was very heavily depressed, I had social anxiety, I had skin issues, lots of acne, dandruff, eczema, Keratosis pilaris, a specific type of eczema that results in little rough bumps on arms which made my very self conscious. It’s just not great.”

“I had gone through multiple bouts of trying calorie restriction, over and over again. And every single time I would lose a little bit of weight but I would gain it all back. And so as a result I would feel like I am just not doing it hard enough. So I would then calorie restrict even more. And at one time I was eating 800 calories a day.”

“Severe calorie restriction would make me feel very shaky, very weak and would give me really bad mood swings, depressive mood swings. I would go from depressed to even more irritable and depressed, and then depressed again. It was really difficult..”

“It was the beginning of August 2016, I went into my mom’s office and I said that I would try calorie restriction thing again, which I had tried a number of times, but I knew I had to do something. She said, instead of that, why don’t you try this keto thing I have been looking into. Unbeknown to me she was already paleo and she had lost some weight. She said I’ve been looking into this keto thing and I think we should do it together.”

“I’m just going to do it really really strict for 2 months because I am not going to know it works unless I put effort into it. And if it works then I have to stick with it forever because going back to what I was doing is just going to result in the same problem. So I did it for 2 months, by the end of the 2 months, my depression was in remission, I had lost 20lb. I was like, I guess this is my life now.” 

“I researched for myself, both sides what people were talking about and I try to understand where my doctor was coming from, where the mainstream view was coming from. I then researched the other things like ‘cholesterol values in women’ and how they relate to risk.”

“When I’m working with a doctor, I am wanting a partnership. I give my doctor respect, and I ask that they respect my decision.”

“One thing I talk about is: baselines. Please get baselines.”

“People at work were asking are you on drugs? because I was losing weight so rapidly. No, I’m on keto.”

Connect with Siobhan Huggins on social media


Cholesterol Code Facebook Group

Lean Mass Hyperresponder Facebook Group

Siobhan's Blog

Support Siobhan on Patreon


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Music by Bob Collum

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016: Siobhan Huggins – Citizen Scientist Helping to Crack the Cholesterol Code (part 1)

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