SignatureMD Minutes: Lipidology 101

In recent years, the need for us to consume healthy dietary fats has become well-defined by the medical establishment and more clearly understood by the general public. As we know there are good fats and bad. Fat that comes from four-legged animals is laden with cholesterol. Fat that comes from fish provides omega-3 and omega 6 oils that can reduce the risk of cholesterol plaque formation in blood vessels. Fat from vegetables with the exception of coconut and palm oils, such as canola and olive oil, also provides protection from atheroma or plaque formation.

Far more dangerous to the body is the consumption of simple sugars with the reflex release of large amounts of insulin, which promotes weight gain through fat storage and inflammation of the blood vessels via the inflammatory properties of insulin. In addition, the consumption of simple sugars with animal fats greatly increases post-digestion levels of triglyceride (the substance made by the combination of sugar and fatty acids) in the bloodstream, which acts as an abrasive on the delicate inner linings of the coronary arteries. This damage eventually leads to “potholes” in the arterial structure which subsequently become filled with cholesterol plaque and calcium, narrowing the arteries and damaging their capillary structure, which can lead to blood clots or coronary thrombosis…heart attack.

The VAP blood test (Vertical Auto Profile) provided by Atherotec Diagnostic Labs in Birmingham, Alabama, provides a fine-tuning evaluation for both cholesterol and triglyceride. By fractionating these lab tests into the lowest common denominators a much clearer picture of cardiac and stroke risk in an individual patient may be ascertained. Once the risk is defined appropriate therapy including diet and exercise, supplementation with vitamin D, omega-3 and omega 6 oils, and medications can be structured. As a result, the VAP Test was named one of “Ten Ways to Live Longer” by Forbes.com and was selected as one of “Five Tests Worth Paying For” by The Wall Street Journal.

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