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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Cholesterol Test Disected

What is cholesterol? I have an image of the wagon of fat Oprah once dragged across the stage post diet? But that was fat. And there are good fats, and bad fats, and then there are all the factors that make facts good or bad: such as the factors that contribute to blood vessel disease and blockages and ultimately lead to strokes, heart attacks, poor kidneys, poor circulation in our eyes, and poor circulation in our brains and feet, and well as reduced sexual function!  Some critical sites for blockage due to plaque is due to factors that have to do with blood flow, the lower the flow in an area the easier it is for particles to dock and build the plaque. Thus when we want to know about the fats we have circulating, just a cholesterol test can only just give us the bare sense of what is going on. What we want to know is a lot more information about the immuneoinflammatory disease that blocks blood vessels. So the cholesterol test is not a measurement of your fat stores, it is not the measurement of the inflammatory factors, it is not a measure of your immune factors, and it is not even a measurement of the fat circulating in your bloodstream; well not exactly. The fats come from the diet, or they come from what we manufacture. Cholesterol production that we manufacture in the liver and other parts of our body, is heavily affected by our diet and our ability to produce these particles, because of our genetics. Cholesterol and other blood fats such as triglycerides circulate as lipoproteins. When Apolipoprotein B enters the blood vessel wall, plaque formation begins. Apoliporotein B contains the LDL, VLDL, IDL,  and lipoprotein a (Lp(a)) and that is why one test cannot tell you whether you are heart healthy. But testing of the lipoproteins and the fractions of your circulating types of cholesterol begins to give us a better picture of 'cholesterol.' The whole cascade of blockage of the arteries is very complicated there will be much more to come!

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