Sterculia Oil: Brad’s Blood Numbers and Safety

Study Design

I started my sterculia oil (SO) trial with a 16 week n=1 safety trial. I took a lot of the oil – 4400 mg which is 1 tsp daily – for 8 weeks. I would NOT take this much but I wanted to make sure it was safe. Then I didn’t take any for 8 weeks. This was to assess if there was a long half-life.

The next experiment was to test a low dose for effectiveness. I took 600 mg for two weeks. I did not take any other supplements during this time.

I did blood work for lipids, inflammation, thyroid and liver enzymes. The tests were done before taking any oil, after 8 weeks on the high dose, after 8 weeks taking none and then after 2 weeks of taking 600 mg. I also tested my red blood cell membrane fats (phospholipids) monthly to see how they changed.

Test is here!


  • From Nov 17th to March 3rd my triglycerides went from 478 (very high) to 134 (normal)
  • During the same time my VLDL went from 96 (high) to 24 (normal)
  • Both of these dropped after taking the high dose, rebounded after taking none, then dropped to all-time lows after the low dose
  • My HDL went from 51 to 65 in the same time, improving my triglyceride:HDL ratio from 9:1 (very bad) to 2:1 (pretty good)
  • Free fatty acids were higher but in the normal range while taking SO. This is expected due to increased lipolysis
  • I experienced a rise in inflammatory markers after 8 weeks on the high dose. This dropped after stopping the high dose and the drop continued while taking the low dose. Less is probably more with this, I am currently taking 1200 mg (two squeeze bulbs)
  • Liver enzymes paralleled the inflammatory numbers. A rise at the high dose but that number continued falling after stopping the high dose even while taking the low dose.
  • The rise in inflammatory and liver enzyme numbers were on par with what would be considered “mildly elevated”. Nothing to panic about, but don’t necessarily stay there forever.
  • Thyroid numbers moved a bit, I don’t know that much about it.
  • Oleic Acid steadily dropped and stearic acid rapidly increased on the high dose. Both trends reversed after cessation and then returned upon starting the low dose.
  • The very long chain fats Nervonic Acid MUFA and lignoceric SFA dropped dramatically after taking the high dose, then rebounded after cessation. They continued to rise on the low dose. I expect this is a lagging indicator and they will begin to drop again.
Brad’s Lipid, Inflammatory, Liver and Thyroid Numbers in Saftey Trial
Nov 17 BeforeDec 12 – After 8 wk Hi-DoseFeb 10 – After 8 Wk NoneMar 3 – 2 Wk Lo-Dose
Blood Glucose
Hemoglobin A1c5.
Blood Lipids
Total Cholesterol326*271*257*264*
Free Fatty Acids0.
T3 Uptake21**252426
Free T41.1**
Liver Enzymes
Alkaline Phosphatase55667357
* Over the normal range; ** – Under the normal range

Brad’s OmegaQuant Complete Test Results
Omega 32.39%2.35%2.35%3.573.56
EPA (20:5n3)0.390.340.40.60.84
DPA (22:5n3)0.770.820.881.231.19
DHA (22:6n3)1.010.970.931.581.33
Omega 629.0228.5625.631.0730.47
Linoleic (18:2)16.0916.413.416.2516.7
GLA (18:3n6)
Eicosadienoic (20:2n6)
Dihomo-gamma LA (20:3n6)1.561.351.391.461.34
Arachidonic (20:4n6)8.898.558.810.789.83
Palmitoleic (16:1n7)3.031.562.062.752.02
Oleic (18:1n9)23.1920.7617.8122.2820.53
Eicosenoic (20:1)
Nervonic (24:1)1.351.050.30.491.31
DI18 (18:1/18:0)2.11.640.671.91.6
DI16 (16:1/16:0) 0.120.0550.090.110.08
D5D (20:4n6/20:3n6)
D6D (20:3n6/18:2n6)0.100.0820.100.090.08

Industry Take on Liver Enzymes

To decide whether my rise in liver enzymes was disastrous or not that big a deal, I checked in with “the industry”. According to them, I had a very mild elevation, and this was of course, while consuming not insignificant amounts of ethanol. I feel fine with it.

24 thoughts on “Sterculia Oil: Brad’s Blood Numbers and Safety”

    1. It might be because these are fasting labs. Thyroid labs can be greatly influenced by whether you’ve eaten or not before hand. I’ve taken thyroid labs a few hours apart, one set fasted one, one set fed and the numbers are completely different. Temperature and pulse are better indicators of thyroid function imo.

    2. That’s the first time I ever took it, I didn’t know what it was!

      I’m interested in this… It is said that high TSH is indicative of low thyroid… But it’s complicated because TSH increases the amount of thyroid hormone released. I don’t understand enough about the dynamics of it. I only have the three readings ever, so It’s a little early to see the trends either way.

      1. My TSH has been 1.96, 2.41, 0.98. Yours might be a tad high, but if you want a sinkhole, start doing research on them. I got a complete workup done, and still have no idea whether I’m OK or not.

        What does ND mean? Not done? Not detected?

        1. Yeah, I hit the same sinkhole. ND means Not Done. I kept adding thyroid tests, but I haven’t learned anything yet.


          1. Amy Berger has a good set of articles on it:


            That one’s the first of three. I don’t have any symptoms from either the low or high thyroid lists she has, but I was getting cold at one time. I also decided to mega-dose iodine for a while. Thus, the reason I got a complete workup. The cold, it turns out, may have been caused by overdoing fasting, though.

            Anyway, she provides a pretty good start for further research. Though if, like me, you don’t have any symptoms of low or high thyroid, you have to wonder if you’re not taking tests just to make yourself more concerned than you need to be.

            A case in point is my “high” homocysteine level. I’m taking some B vitamins as a test to see what happens with this, but I have no symptoms of anything other than my labs mark this as “high”. And, even if the B vitamins help reduce this, does this actually provide a benefit? Or am I just adjusting a level for no reason? And do I need to take B vitamins forever?

          2. Yeah, I hear you on: taking tests to find problems to find solutions for. I only tested the thyroid since I thought people would have questions if it changed with sterculia oil. Answer: maybe a little?

      2. Nathanael Schulte

        Not sure I agree that the numbers are that high, though it’s interesting the TSH keeps going up. But then my own TSH was as high as 13 without treatment. It’s more like 0.7 using desiccated thyroid. I’m not as concerned about the numbers as I am about symptoms.
        It does look like your lipid makeup is moving in the right direction. I’m curious what you’ve experienced symptomatically too. How do you feel? Any improvements? Anything get worse?

        1. I feel fine! Actually, when I first started taking the sterculia oil in particular, I had a huge surge in nervous energy. I couldn’t stop pacing to actually sit down and work on the computer! I seem to be readjusting now. Interesting report on the TSH of 13.


  1. Brad, do you just want to see your DSI go up or would you also look for your Oleic to decrease?

    1. To be clear, I want the DI to go DOWN, which is to say less oleic and more stearic. What was also interesting is that in my case as stearic rose, palmitic went down, probably just because it was replaced. It’s interesting because the French Paper showed a correlation with palmitic acid and diabetes as well as with the very long chain fats. So in a way, high palmitic acid may be an indirect indicator of high SCD1 activity as well.

      1. Sorry, Up was down on that day…
        So to rephrase, is it just about the ratio, or are you eventually also looking for your absolute oelic to come down.
        The ratio can go down just by stearic rising.

    1. I don’t really know, but that’s within my normal range of insulin. The 10ish number in the beginning is low for me.


  2. Brad,

    Were your tryglecerides high while following the croissant diet with increased saturated fats? Or am I just misunderstanding something?

  3. Hi Brad, I ordered my sterculia oil, but wonder how you take it? Just swallow you half tsp alone, if so, how does it taste? Thanks

    1. It has a squeeze dropper. I take one or two squeezes in a day. I try to get it down the back of my throat so that I DON’T taste it. The flavor has been compared to play-dough and freshly polished wood.

  4. Brad, is there SOME way to make this oil more palatable??!?? It’s foul! I do as you say, drop it to the back of my throat, & the best I’ve been able to do is to chase it with something very strong-flavored.
    I’d add machine oil to its flavor profile. Or how I imagine machine oil would taste…

    1. As someone who experiments with all manner of weird herbs and supplements and generally shrugs off strange flavors (or even enjoys them), this is by far the worst thing I’ve consumed on a regular basis.

    2. I think the next batch I’m going to try to get as gelcaps. I don’t LOVE the flavor but I also don’t find it that bad?

  5. Regarding masking the taste of sterculia oil… I put in in cooled Pu-erh tea. Much better than taking it straight.

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