Most of us get our blood drawn only once a year, but how good of an indicator is that annual lab work? In other words, how stable do levels our cholesterol levels stay over time? According to the American College of Cardiology, our blood lipid levels can change dramatically from season to season. When researchers in Brazil evaluated cholesterol levels for over 200,000 subjects by season, they found an average increase of 8% in LDL-C. For people on the risk borderline for high LDL, holiday eating can move their blood results from moderate to high risk. As such, it’s important to know how our biomarkers change during different seasons and styles of eating. In this episode of the Gene Food Podcast, John breaks down the results of his blood work after weeks of holiday eating. Biomarkers discussed: sdLDL, VLDL, ApoB, Lp(a), and Total Cholesterol.
In this episode:
- Why nutrigenomics is not alternative medicine [2:30];
- John’s post-holiday blood draw analysis [4:30];
- How cholesterol absorption vs. synthesis is measured [6:15];
- Lp(a) and phospholipids [9:00];
- Different phenotypes of heart disease [12:00];
- John breaks down his numbers [14:15];
- Biomarkers fluctuate with lifestyle [21:30]
For those interested, I am linking to Boston Heart’s Cholesterol Balance Test.
In addition, here is a link to the OxPl, phospholipid, Lp(a) study I mentioned in the show. The study was published in the Journal of Lipid Research. The top level is that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet increased Lp(a) levels, and a low carbohydrate and high fat diet decreased levels. However, when you dig into the study and see the baseline starting points for Lp(a) levels, it becomes clear that the subjects did not have elevated Lp(a) or Lp(a) SNPs to begin with. In fact, the inclusion criteria for the study was Lp(a) at > 3 mg/dL, which is well beneath the threshold of 50 mg/dL considered high risk. Even 20 mg/dL of Lp(a) is optimal, so why do we care what happens to Lp(a) levels in people at very low risk for heart disease due to these genetically determined particles?