High cholesterol is a silent health risk that can be deadly because abnormal cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. A variety of factors can affect a person’s cholesterol levels:
- Diet—Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels.
- Weight—Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease and can also increase cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower total cholesterol and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) levels while increasing HDL (the “good” cholesterol).
- Exercise—Regular exercise can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.
- Age and gender—Cholesterol levels rise with age. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
- Diabetes—Poorly controlled diabetes increases cholesterol levels.
- Heredity—The genes partly determine how much cholesterol the body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
- Other causes—Certain medications and medical conditions can cause high cholesterol.
A variety of vitamins and natural cholesterol healing products—minerals, antioxidants, herbs, and other nutrients—are considered to be natural sources to reduce cholesterol, while also contributing to improved cholesterol health. Published studies involving over 30,000 participants show that policosanol, a plant-derived nutrient, may actually block cholesterol formation in the liver, heart, and fatty tissue. In addition, it may effectively reduce LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol, and balance total cholesterol. Omega-3 fish oil and Kyolic garlic (aged to enhance nutritional value, remove pungent odor, and make it gentler on the stomach) effectively inhibit LDL cholesterol while also boosting heart health.
While an individual’s total cholesterol number may be an indicator of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), it is important to assess the number and density of LDL particles. Even when a person’s total cholesterol may be considered “normal,” LDL may be higher in proportion to HDL, thus increasing the risk of CVD because there is greater probability of penetration of cholesterol in the artery wall. LDL is the carrier of cholesterol throughout the body, resulting in plaque formation and development of CVD.
The LPP™ (Lipoprotein Particle Profile™), developed by SpectraCell Laboratories, Inc., is one of the most advanced and sophisticated lab tests available for testing cholesterol levels. However, measuring cholesterol alone does not provide the complete picture and can be misleading. The LPP™ accurately measures the size, density, and number of lipoprotein particles and identifies hidden cardiovascular risk due to the formation of rupture-prone plaque. A simple blood test can assist the physician in predicting which patients are at greater risk for heart attack or stroke.
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) suggests that a simple blood test to measure and evaluate the LDL subgroups is crucial for a thorough and accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk. The following risk factors have been identified by the NCEP:
- Small, dense LDL—atherogenic particles that are easily oxidized and penetrate the arterial endothelium to form plaque
- Lp(a)—small, dense LDL that is involved in thrombosis
- RLP (remnant lipoprotein—very atherogenic with a similar composition and density to plaque and believed to be the building block of plaque; does not need to be oxidized like other LDL particle
- HDL2b—positively correlates with heart health because it is an indicator of how well excess lipids are removed
At RevitaLife, we can initiate the blood test for submission to SpectraCell Laboratories, which performs the analysis and produces the Lipoprotein Particle Profile™, thus giving you and your physician a more comprehensive assessment of your cardiovascular risk.