Lipoprotein Lp(a)

There have been many studies that have found a link between high Lp(a) levels in the blood and cardio vascular disease. Its not a reading you will get from a bog standard GP blood test here in the UK but it was included in my Blue Horizon tests that I had carried out in October 13 and April 14. Incidentally I have just found out that if you request it you can get, in addition to cholesterol readings and CRP readings, Triglyceride readings from your standard free GP test.  This at least gives you two worthwhile measurements over and above the relatively useless basic Cholesterol readings. Make sure you insist on these two extra readings.

OK back to Lp(a), there is plenty of speculation as to why elevated Lp(a) contributes to heart disease. One possibility is that it promotes immune cell activity within arteries which in turn creates arterial plaque. One man responsible for a great deal of research into Lp(a) was double Nobel prize winning scientist Dr Linus Pauling. You can read a pretty clear summary of his theories surrounding Lp(a) here

His research led him to the conclusion that vitamin C deficiency was one of the culprits surrounding Lp(a) elevation and that as one of the few species that cannot create its own vitamin C, many humans need to supplement or run the risk of heart disease. He also found that fairly large doses of Vit c with Lysine had a positive effect on lowering Lp(a).

As I mentioned earlier I have had two comprehensive blood tests done with Blue Horizon. The one in October 2013 showed my Lp(a) to be below the 20 mg/dl recommended threshold at 18.7mg/dl, happy days. In April 2014 however my reading had risen to 36 mg/dl. Time for a little head scratching.

Two possible reasons for my personal increase could exist. The first is that around February when I went away for 2 months I permanently stopped my daily supplement of Vitamin C which I had been taking since June 2013. No problem there, I am back on a daily Vit C supplement and hopefully when I test again in October 2014 my Lp(a) reading will be down. However there is one other possible cause that I have come across. Daily aspirin can lower Lp(a) and I too came off aspirin around February. Now I am far more reluctant to go back on aspirin so its fingers crossed that come October the Vitamin C has done the job. I will report back on this little personal experiment in October but in the meantime I think everyone would benefit from a Vitamin C supplement.
Footnote – Here is another excellent account of how Lp(a) (a for adhesive) works on or artery walls and perhaps why its the one lipo we really need to keep an eye on.

Added Footnote – There could be a link between moderate alcohol consumption and the lowering of LP(a) which if correct could be a factor in the French Paradox, see link below

Also if you are juggling with which type of alternative to cows milk to use and you are unsure between Hemp, Almond or Soya, the following research suggests that Soya may increase LPa

1 thought on “Lipoprotein Lp(a)

  1. Interesting – but be aware the Vitamin C in supplements is NOT at all the vitamin C found in food. Vitamin C in food is a hugely complex molecule, and cannot be profitably manufactured. The supplement form is merely ascorbic acid – a small outer part of the molecule.

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