In the video I go through the results of a comprehensive cardiovascular and cholesterol test, focusing on the key markers like LDL particle size, which indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Doctors often focus on total cholesterol and LDL levels, but these are poor indicators of cardiovascular risk and just as many people have heart attacks with “normal” cholesterol levels as they do with “high” cholesterol levels.
The key markers that I focus on are LDL particle size, apolipoprotein B which measures LDL particle number, HsCRP and VLDL levels.
Many studies have looked into the importance of LDL particle size, studies indicate that people who have LDL particles that are predominantly small and dense, have three times the risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
It is possible to have normal, or even low levels of cholesterol yet have higher levels of small dense LDL particles and an increased risk of heart disease.
The large fluffy LDL may be protective of cardiovascular disease, and help to prevent age-related neurological conditions
Apolipoprotein B is a bit of a mouthful so we’ll just call it Apo B for short!
Apo B is a good indicator of LDL particle number, this is a strong risk factor of cardiovascular disease compared to just looking at LDL levels. Having a high Apo B indicates that you have lots of small dense LDL particles, which in the presence of inflammation can lead to atherosclerosis.
Cardiovascular disease is an inflammatory process and the best blood test to indicate inflammation in your body is High sensitive C Reactive Protein, which is also called HsCRP.
This is another test that most doctors do not test for despite its strong association with increased cardiovascular disease, doctors normally test CRP (because it’s covered by Medicare) but this only detects CRP levels above 5, so it misses low-grade inflammation in the 3-5 range that could be causing atherosclerosis.
High HsCRP levels are a bigger predictor of cardiovascular disease than just measuring total cholesterol or LDL levels, because without inflammation the cholesterol will not damage the arterial wall.
VLDL is another marker not typically seen on the standard cholesterol test and it stands for Very Low Density Lipoproteins. VLDL levels are typically higher with a high carbohydrate diet and they will contain more triglycerides and are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Typically on a high fat/ low carbohydrate diet, you will see LDL levels stay around the same (or sometimes even rise) but VLDL levels and Apo B levels will drop indicating that you have the good LDL cholesterol.
At Planet Naturopath we offer extensive cardiovascular testing like the test in the video, which goes into great detail about all the cardiovascular biomarkers. The test kit can be sent to you anywhere in Australia and the results take about two weeks to return, we can then schedule a Video or phone consultation to help explain the results and work out a treatment plan for you.
If you live outside Australia email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if we can do this test for you.
If you have any questions or if you are not sure if this is the best option for you then you can schedule a 30 minute consultation, this would help me to guide you on the best testing and treatment option. I work with clients all over the world, all of our consultations are done via video conferencing or phone which is convenient and effective.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen