Bio-HACK-ing Chronicles Ep.1: What's with Jimmy Moore's HCT & Hb?

I've decided to chronicle some of the biohacking madness going on out there here on the blog.   I'm not sure if this helps anyone, but at least it will preserve some of it for posterity.   So this will randomly include publicly shared results of various "hacks" -- dietary or otherwise.

First up -- who else? LOL -- Jimmy Moore.  Fresh off his second 7-day fast in three weeks, Jimmy continues focusing on all the wrong things instead of actual improvements in things known to improve health.  Apparently low carb is/wasn't enough for Jimmy Moore, so he adopted an extreme version of a keto diet.  This worked swimmingly for a year until he stopped reporting his weight at the end of the year.  He rapidly regained the 80 re-lost pounds and embarked on his first extended fast in the fall of 2015.  That went so well he tried (unsuccessfully) to forego food for the entirety of January 2016, only to balloon up even further.  Forget the scale, I won't even post images, you've seen them all.  He is a profoundly unhealthy man despite cherry-picked biomarkers that appear to indicate otherwise.  

Jimmy Moore is obsessed with measuring ketones (everywhichway, apparently, but up the bum -- is an anal ketone test far behind?  LOL) and blood sugar.  Unless you are using insulin to control diabetes and/or concerned about ketoacidosis, or are on a therapeutic ketogenic diet for something like epilepsy, incessant glucose and (especially) ketone monitoring is pretty meaningless and probably neuroses-inducing in many.   

BOTTOM LINE:  When ANYONE (other than an IDDM) doesn't eat for a few days, their blood sugars will go down and their ketone levels will go up.  So big whoop that this happened to Jimmy Moore.  

I'm rather more interested in this:

Nevermind the pre-diabetic fasting glucose just one day after breaking his fast.  How many jars of cookie dough (keto of course LOL) did he down anyway?  Jimmy's poor pancreas and liver never know which way is up day to day, so the discordant (for a normal person) ketones and blood sugars don't phase me.

What does is that Jimmy has a bit of a more advanced meter for glucose testing that also reports hematocrit and hemoglobin.  So first of all, low hematocrit can result in error in glucose readings.  Not sure how much this would impact Jimmy's but ...

Why is Jimmy Moore Anemic???

Per Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition., the normal ranges for adult men for hematocrit (HCT) and hemoglobin (Hb) are as follows:
  • HCT:  40-54%
  • Hb:  14-18 g/dL
And Jimmy Moore's?  His HCT is only 37%, and Hb at 12.5 g/dL.  Now these aren't horrifically low, and other sources and one of the labs he used previously put his current numbers smack at the lower limits of normal range.  Still, 

What is causing this?  Is it his habitual keto diet?  Was it simply the recent two weeks of fasting (separated by a week of who knows what kind of eating).

The more telling and troublesome thing is that someone crusading about health, and making repeated proclamations regarding his stellar health is that Jimmy makes NO mention of these readings, all the while displaying them for his audience.

There are myriad causes of low HCT and Hb.  I'm not about to diagnose Jimmy's case, and for all anyone knows this could be a transient response to fasting.  But in the past Jimmy has publically shared a plethora of health tests, and these will include various tests/results that go unreported or downplayed, then selectively highlighted, and round and round -- always bathed in a sea of ultimately meaningless glucose and ketone readings.   If by chance someone points something out, he may brush it off or give the old "I'm working with a so and so to get to the bottom of this", but Jimmy is always coy when it comes to addressing certain mysterious health issues he has.  Frankly, it's his prerogative, but it's kinda like a reverse-Fifth Amendment.  If he is going to talk about this stuff from an n=1 standpoint (and he has no other qualifications to speak from), then he is at least obligated to address his full experience as he encourages others to follow his ketonian path.   

So let's look back at two posts:

Jimmy Moore's 2012-2013 Wavin-At-The-Shortstop Keto Checkup

Post HERE ...

"Here are some of the areas of concern and what I’m doing to address them:
  • Low magnesium levels – taking 300mg of magnesium glycinate twice daily
  • Low protein and globulin (“leaky gut”) – increasing probiotic intake from food and supplements
  • Elevated MCV, MCH and homocysteine levels – taking high-potency B-complex twice daily
  • Elevated cholesterol and LDL – a known issue I’ve discussed previously
  • Low T4, T3 and FT3 – no action needed since there are no negative effects from it
  • Protein in the urine – existing problem prior to beginning my NK experiment   "

In comments, in response to kidney-related tests (click small image to enlarge)

"I’ve been to three urologists and a nephrologist and none of them have found anything wrong with me. I’d be delighted for another opinion by seeing a medical professional who could help me get to the bottom of this."                      ~ Jimmy Moore, Jan 2013

Oh me, oh my!  Now where, oh where, might Jimmy have come across such a sage professional?   For a fraction of his keto-stix budget, just to get someone to look at him and get to the bottom of this mystery?  PAGING DR. FUNG.  PAGING DR. FUNG.  DR. FUNG, MR. MOORE IS ON LINE ONE!  

{Nah, scratch that idea.  Fung is a fasting, diabetes and obesity expert.  He couldn't possibly be able to unravel this complicated kidney mystery!}

However at that time, Jimmy Moore's HCT of 45.3% and Hb of 15.8 g/dL were pretty dead nuts normal.

Potpourri Of Health Tests On Jimmy Moore In May 2015

cropped from
BJJ Caveman blog
This post can be found HERE, and it bears mentioning that by May 2015 Jimmy had seemingly put back on all of the weight he had lost by two years prior.  This didn't stop him from making the rounds promoting his August 2014 release Keto Clarity. 

Here are the relevant test results, and this included some previous ones.  Some accompanying quotes:
"I have been dealing with some inexplicable weight gain over the past couple of years despite having an immaculate low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet. This caught the attention of a big fan of this show and a Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner named Christopher Kelly from Nourish Balance Thrive. Chris offered to conduct a battery of functional health tests on me and I thought it would be educational to have you eavesdrop in on the analysis of these numbers to give a taste of what kinds of things a functional medicine practitioner looks for and discusses with their clients. "
I've never met anyone who "finds" pounds like Jimmy!  Those darned pounds just randomly accumulate on this man!!   More to the results of the tests:  
"Two years ago, I was dealing with borderline hemochromatosis and thus cut my red meat consumption, stopped using cast iron skillets, and gave blood every two months as a means for bringing this down. However, when I did some functional medicine tests in April with a Certified Functional Diagnostic Practitioner named Christopher Kelly from, what we found was quite disturbing–my blood iron levels were now extremely low to the level of iron deficiency anemia. To make sure it wasn’t a fluke reading, we tested again in May where it dropped even further. "
What had him so alarmed? 

A month later the Hb and HCT were 11.8 g/dL and 38.5% respectively.

Whatever Happened to Christopher Kelly?

So Here We Are Three More Years Later ...

Jimmy appears not quite as large as he was sometime in 2016 after his fasting DISASTER rebound, but he is still easily way larger and heavier than he was before this all began almost 6 years ago.   There have been no health gains ... just endless ketone readings that are meaningless, and a distraction from the reality that his health is still suffering from his dietetic gymnastics (seemingly the only real regular activity he engages in). 

Oh ... and why did I bring up the (long standing) kidney issues?  Well, as stated near the outset, a low hemoglobin/low hematocrit status can be caused by a variety of things.  Possibly relevant ones here (source, source) being:
  • Iron deficiency (both low levels are usual signs of this)
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Chronic Kidney Disease ⇚ I would want to rule this out at this point!
  • Cirrhosis (possible if he has NAFLD)
  • Hypothyroidism
One would *think* that after going through the circus side show of Fun with Functional Medicine several times over, Jimmy Moore has addressed dietary iron deficiency -- if not with diet, with supplements.  One would hope that if his situation didn't improve after the May 2015 test that he kept pursuing the cause and remedy.  And yet, the current low HCT and Hb would indicate otherwise.

At a minimum, we can lay to rest any rumors of health gains...

Verdict:  Bio-HACK FAIL!