What’s the importance of blood vitals and decoding heart health? Let’s talk about it.
Blood vitals to check heart health include measuring your lipid levels – total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, preferably actual, particle sizes, your triglycerides, and lipoprotein A. Blood vitals include measuring your cardio reactive protein (CRP) and your homocysteine levels.
Why are all these important?
Because it’s important to know your risk for cardiovascular disease that can be modified by lifestyle changes.
The number one marker of cardiovascular disease is your CRP.
CRP is a protein molecule that indicates inflammation of the cardiovascular system. Under 3mg/l is average, under 1mg/l is optimal. 3 – 10mg/l indicates cardiovascular inflammation. Over 10mg/l indicates systemic inflammation. It is not unusual for someone with an infection like covid or an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis to have elevated CRP because of systemic inflammation.
The next most vital measurement is your lipids.
It is well known that elevated LDL can increase your risk for heart disease. Ideally, you want your total LDL under 100 mg/dl. But it’s important to understand the type of LDL you are making. LDL is low-density lipids, while HDL are high-density lipids. LDL makes up about two-thirds of your lipids, HDL makes up about one-third. If you have excessive amounts of LDL more than two-thirds of the total cholesterol that is a problem. But buoyant large particle LDL cells are protective. Small particle LDL are arterioschlerotic. Knowing how much of your LDL are small vs large particles helps decode your heart health. The goal is for your average LDL particle size to be greater than 22.9 angstroms.
If your average LDL particle size is 23 or above, fantastic, you’re doing great. It doesn’t matter that your LDL is elevated, those are protective. Oftentimes you have high levels of protective LDL when your hormones are out of balance because when you’re hormonally challenged you need that extra LDL in order to make steroid hormones – adrenal and sex hormones. Too many small particle LDL reflects a high glycemic carb-rich diet.
Next, we look at the ratio between your HDL and your LDL.
Ideally, you want your HDL over 40mg/dl. The higher your HDL the better but we want those high-density lipids to be large and buoyant, not small and dense. Large particle HDL are cardioprotective. Protective HDL particles are induced by exercise and making sure that you’re getting enough niacin in your diet.
Then we look at triglycerides.
Triglycerides are actually three sugar molecules attached to a fat. They reflect how much sugar has been floating around in your bloodstream. Triglycerides are what is stored in your body fat. Very high levels of triglycerides is an indication not only of cardiovascular issues but also insulin resistance and diabetes. Your triglycerides should be under 150 mg/dl.
Lipid panels should be drawn while fasting – meaning you haven’t eaten or drank anything but water for at least eight hours.
Next, we look at lipoprotein A.
Lp(a) is normally under 30mg/dl, but under 10mg/dl indicates a low risk for cardiovascular disease. Lp(a) promotes wound healing as it has an affinity for fibrin. High levels of Lp(a) reflect arterial inflammation and damage. Your Lp(a) is strongly determined by your genetics. Elevated Lp(a) and elevated levels of small density LDL are highly indicative of cardiovascular disease.
Last we look at homocysteine levels.
Healthy homocysteine levels are 5-15mm/l. Homocysteine reflects how you’re metabolizing your cholesterol. Homocysteine is dependent upon folic acid, more specifically the ability to covert folic acid from your diet into its active form methyltetrahydrofolate. High levels of homocysteine mean inflammation of the cardiovascular system. The inability to metabolize folic acid appropriately can be genetic.
My patients who support their hypothalamus with Genesis Gold® have much more balanced lipid levels, HDL rises protectively and they make much more large particle LDL molecules and less small particle arterioschlerotic LDL molecules. Since supporting your hypothalamus helps lower insulin resistance, triglycerides are lower too. Over time, even patients with genetic homocysteinemia get their homocysteine levels down with hypothalamus support.
If you have any questions about heart health please join me in our Hormone Support Group where I answer your questions live. You can access it by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.
* Do We Know When and How to Lower Lipoprotein(a)? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › …
* Hypothalamic dysfunction in heart failure – PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › …