One Last Step

One of the challenges in this IRB process is that we don’t have a lot of latitude to give regular updates on it as it unfolds. Under most normal circumstances, aspects of the protocol draft and review, legal and liability considerations, and even the stages of approval are kept quiet until formal announcement and start of the study.

With that said, I’m quite confident we’re on the last step of this process. There are quite a few things on our long checklist with the IRB, and right now we’re on the last one. Hopefully we’ll have some news very soon.

IRB Progress Update – Taking Time, But Getting There

I wanted to give a quick heads up to all our wonderful supporters that the process for the IRB is currently in progress. There’s quite a lot of moving parts to this study, although you only really understand that once you’re into this end of the pool, as it were. Moreover, there’s a number of things we’re asking for that are unusual, but I can’t discuss this until we’re closer to approval.

Regardless, while we can’t give any estimates as to when this key phase will be completed, I do feel very optimistic that we’re getting close. Once we are fully approved, we can then begin the recruitment process. Keep your eyes on this space for that announcement when we’re ready.

Major Milestone – We are Now Submitted to the IRB

I’m pleased to announce we have now submitted our completed protocol to the IRB committee for review.

During the review process there may be additional revisions to the protocol before we get final approval. Once approval is finalized, we can launch the study and begin recruitment.

Please be aware the timing on when we get this approval is difficult to predict. It can take days, weeks, or even months in some cases. If interested in participating, please be patient and continue checking back as we’ll announce widely (and loudly) when recruitment has officially begun here at,, and across social media.

Powering Milestone and $30,000 from Goal for Travel and Genetic Testing

Click Here to donate to the study

The moment has finally arrived.

After a year of planning, fundraising, and intense coordination, we’re proud to announce our study design is now being powered by our biostatistician as the last step before submitted to the IRB committee for evaluation.

Once approved, we will begin the process of recruiting participants for the study. When that stage arrives, we’ll be announcing it on the Citizen Science Foundation website and across social media.

We managed to get the center we wanted to do the study and will be announcing it when the IRB is approved. This study would have cost several times the $200,000 we raised, but I’m pleased to say we worked out getting the price down to this budget, particularly given our mutual interest in the data.

However, this does present us one more stage of fundraising we’ll need to complete: travel, and genetic testing.


All the participants will need to be flown to the city of the study, be taxied to their hotel room, stay overnight to be fully fasted and relaxed for their testing in the morning, taxied back to the airport afterwards, and then flown out on the return trip. And this needs to happen twice for each participant, one for the baseline test, and in a second round a year later for the followup.

We believe we can negotiate these expenses in a bulk package deal with the airline, hotel and ride sharing services to get this down to around $250 per visit of our 100 participants, for a total of $50,000

Genetic Testing

Secondly, we need to raise funds for genetic screening so we can ensure no one in the experiment with high cholesterol has this due to an underlying condition, such as familial hypercholesterolemia. We estimate the cost for this to be around $100 for each of our 100 participants, for a total of $10,000.

Thus, we need to raise another $60,000.

But get this – we already have an anonymous donor who has offered to match half of it. So really, we just need to raise $30,000.

And that’s where you come in — you can show your commitment in two important ways. Contribute to, and/or please share this video to help us reach this critical milestone so we can launch the study when our IRB approval comes back.

Thank you once again for all your support!

Click Here to donate to the study

$100,000 Milestone Reached!!!

Click Here to contribute to the study

Click Here to contribute to the study

Concerned for High LDL Cholesterol on Low Carb?… Fund this Study!

One of our investigators, Spencer Nadolsky put out this tweet poll recently:

Clearly this a very controversial question that we’re looking to get answers to. As explained in our video outline for the study*, there is a phenotype in the low carb community that has extremely high LDL-C, yet often has all other cardiovascular risk markers at optimal levels.

(*Important correction to the video, we found we need a one year followup to see effect, not five)

Like Dr. Nadolsky, many believe they may be at severe risk given high LDL alone. And indeed, there’s a lot of literature that associates high LDL-C with cardiovascular disease in those with familiar hypercholesterolemia. If these same individuals have a comparable level of LDL-C induced by diet – will it convey the same risk?

We aim to find out.

Help us gather this critical data by showing your support today.

Click Here to contribute to the study

Nutrition Debate for Charity – with Tro Kalayjian and Layne Norton

We’re pleased to announce a debate for charity between Dr. Tro Kalayjian (“Dr. Tro”) and Layne Norton, PhD (“Biolayne”). They will be discussing current nutrition controversies:

  • Is sugar harmful?
  • Can restrictive diets cause eating disorders?
  • Do diets such as low carb and low fat generally work the same way?

The debate will be recorded on Friday, September 25th and will be moderated by Dave Feldman

Once completed, it will be co-broadcasted by both participants

Direct links to each of these will be updated to this blog post once available.

Choose Your Charity

There are three charities we are fundraising for. Choose one below and click the direct link to donate and show your support.

Autism Speaks – Click “Donate” on the landing page

Citizen Science Foundation – this donation link is for our LMHR study campaign

Society of Metabolic Health Professionals – For more details on SMHP, click here

Please let us know you’ve donated with the hashtag, #DonatedForDebate

Progress Through the Pandemic

The pandemic brought on by COVID-19 has had a substantially impact on all our lives in many ways. Like so many others, we’ve been adapting to a new normal that includes substantially more uncertainty. These are indeed challenging days.

With that said, it’s time again to press forward.

Tommy Wood, Spencer Nadolsky, and myself have had a series of meetings in preparation for the next steps of the LMHR study with IRB submission. We are also coordinating with potential locations for our testing. Yes, the current crisis may further offset scheduling and/or create other unanticipated hurdles, but we are very committed to getting this study executed.

And for what it is worth, we’re very close now to our funding goal. As of this writing, we have raised $82,185 and thus need a little less than $17,815 to “close the gap” to reach $100,000. At that point we have an anonymous donor who has committed to matching that full amount to bring us to $200,000 total.

As per my message before, I know these are difficult times and I fully expect everyone to take care of themselves and their family’s needs throughout this pandemic. In other words, don’t give what you can’t give easily.

Click Here to Contribute to the Project

Citizen Science Foundation Now Officially a 501(c)(3) Public Charity

I’m very pleased to announce we now have official designation from the Department of Treasury as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity.

The Effective Date of Exemption is October 23, 2019, which precedes all donations made (the foundation was announced after that date). Thus, if you’ve made any donation to the Citizen Science Foundation now or previously, it will meet this exemption status. Please consult your tax preparer for further details.

I realize this news comes at an unusual time given the COVID-19 pandemic. As mentioned before, we’d expect everyone to take care of themselves and their family at this difficult time — don’t give what you can’t give, of course. But with that said, we’re still very much moving forward, even if briefly slowed down by this crisis, and I’m beyond ecstatic this designation will help further pave the way.

Click Here to Contribute to the Project