Scientists seem to have enough trouble keeping their ego’s out of supposedly objective research and thinking. What often results is wishful Science rather than real Science. When you inject a significant amount of political pressure all objectivity go’s out of the window. I mentioned in a previous post about LDL particle size and anyone could be forgiven for thinking that this slant on things was a recent discovery and today’s doctors have not quite caught up yet. Not the case, the research on particle size was taking place, with results, around the time a certain Ancel Keys was about to cement the low fat high carb and low cholesterol argument for preventing heart disease. The McGovern report headed by Senator McGovern in 1977 was the political pressure saying we want a solution NOW!, so give us your best guess. With 250 million dollars already invested in cholesterol and fat research no one was in a hurry to stick their heads up and say ‘excuse me I think this is wrong and we have a more compelling argument over here’. In fact one or two did but were instantly bulldozed. When a powerful politician wants his last hurrah no careful Scientist is going to get in his way.
Testing whether you are pattern A or pattern B (prone to large fluffy LDL particles or small dangerous ones) is probably one of the most important tests you can have done with regard to heart disease. Hands up who has had this proposed by their GP. In the UK. I would suggest that’s a big fat zero.(probably the only real occurance of unhealthy fat outside Trans fats) Next test try asking your GP about how to get one. If his eyes glaze over then get rid of him/her.
I mentioned in the previous post that Apo B levels were as good a test as any for gauging LDL particle size as these are the core component of LDL particles. If you have a lot then you probably have many small LDL particles, which is bad. This is why as many people with normal LDL levels get a heart attack as those with high levels of LDL. The theory behind the research is that overall LDL levels from a conventional test, do not show the actual particle size.
Getting a test which includes Apo B levels can cost a few quid (about £250). If however you can pick up a test that shows your Triglyceride levels and your HDL levels then you have the next best test to the Apo B reading test. If your Tri’s are low and your HDL is a healthy high then once again you are likely to have large fluffy LDL’s. You might find that a test through your GP will give you the Tri’ levels. Make sure you also ask for C Reactive Protein levels in your GP supplied test. Its free but not standard, least not with my GP.
You may think I am being unkind about this topic and GP’s but seriously I have asked 2 Cardio’s and 2 GP’s about particle size and none of them seemed to know anything about it. I might as well have been talking about the application of leeches to cure Angina.
Let me know how you get on.