I have mentioned previously about how the number of cars on the blood stream highway is considered a better indicator of potential heart disease than the simple LDL cholesterol count that we get at the doctors. The more cars on the highway the greater chance of collisions into the arterial wall and the damage that comes with this. It is possible to have a highish Cholesterol count but a low particle number. In this case we have lots of passengers in each car, a car sharing scheme in effect.
I have yet to find a UK source for particle number test but I have just been informed that Blue Horizon who do my blood tests are introducing it quite soon. I will post up when this happens with details.
In the meantime I posted previously that my partners battle with high blood pressure had taken a positive turn with the use of Hawthorn Berry. This proved to be a false dawn as things reverted to the usual high readings. Thankfully though we may have found an alternative but unoriginal solution. On our previous holiday 6 months ago we returned to find her readings to be in much better shape, around 140/85 instead of the usual 165/ 95. My suspicion was that this was due to the fact that we do a lot of walking when away and even some cycling.. A more recent break away in which we are once again wearing out the shoe leather has resulted in a drop to 138/80. This now seems to be too compelling to be considered a coincidence. The question is how do we keep this going for her back home. My partner does not really like walking at home as a past time, she is more of dance/aerobics background which is out of the question with a set of knees that would make a horse very nervous. What we are going to try is a stationary bike machine with a set of learn Portugese CD’s to replace the feeling of going nowhere with some sort of productivity. I will post later on the end result of this experiment, hopefully the pressure will stay down. Isn’t it a pity that you do not get this kind of personalised, drilling down to solutions from your GP instead of the lazy option of take the pills and go away.
There is a discussion here on the Dr Oz show with Dr Sinatra on why the simplistic cholesterol levels we get from out NHS tests are inappropriate and what we should be asking for.
Also here is a paper that shows that when LDL C (thats the reading you get from your doctor) is highish but your LDL P (number of cars on the highway) is low, the better predictor of future problems is the LDL P. In other words the number of particles is more predictive than the total amount of cholesterol being carried within them.
Checking blood tests can be a little like watching kids play that hammer the crocodile head at the fair ground. You know the game in which croc’s randomly appear at increasing rapidity and your task is to whack them into submission. I am happy to say that after getting my test results back today most of the croc’s are under control. Don’t worry I will try not to go through a blow by blow account of the data but I do want to indicate some results that may be of use to you personally and there are a couple of juicy ones.
I mentioned some months back that my LP(a) reading on my previous two tests had come out at a happy 0.18 gl and then a not so happy 0.36 gl. The doctors suggestions are to keep it below 0.3 whilst the Linus Pauling (Vit C deficiency causes heart disease – see previous blog entry) suggestion is to keep it below 0.2. I mentioned also that the increase did dovetail with me being away and stopping my supplementation of Vit C. At the same time however I had come off aspirin and this can also be a reason for my increase. Having been back on Vit C for some time it was going to be interesting to see what my figures came out at this time. I can report that they are back down to 0.23. Nothing is certain in this game but there is a suggestion that Pauling could be right about Vit C. Certainly in my case things have moved in the right direction.
The second startling result from this current blood test is my Vitamin D readings. In the past they have been 70.3 nmol/L and 61.8. The latter was particularly disappointing as I had just come off 3 weeks in the sun in Portugal and the sun is our main source of Vit D production. I have however, prior to this test been supplementing with a Vit D and K2 tablet and my current reading came out at a whopping 119.5. What does this mean in the scheme of valid readings ?. The suggestion is that 25 to 75 is borderline and 75 to 200 is optimal although I have a note on my sheets saying ‘get it above 100’.
I have no connection with the company or product but if you are interested the supplement I take is shown below
There are many articles relating Vit D deficiency and arterial stiffness/blood pressure. Here is one
So what of the good old traditional Cholesterol readings?. It is hard to work out how to take these numbers given that 50% of people who have heart attacks have perfectly normal Cholesterol readings and many doctors feel that Cholesterol is little more than a drug company con trick. My total Cholesterol came out at 5.58 with an HDL reading of 2.21 and an LDL reading of 3.1. The Cholesterol to HDL ratio of 2.5 is OK and more importantly the Apo(b) to Apo(a1) ratio of 0.52 is also fine and down from 0.61 last time and below the suggested 0.9 for men.
What does all this mean for you?, well I would certainly champion a Vit C and Vit D3+K2 supplement. The latter is probably especially important for black people who tend to suffer more greatly from Vit D deficiency. One final point about D3 is that there is evidence that exposure to sunshine is best for us in the mornings. It helps to maintain our natural Circadium rythmns. The same can apply to Vit D3. Supplementing in the evening can promote insomnia. Best to stick to morning supplementation.
One good thing about the last 16 months has been my dietary changes and the fact that I have lost 35lbs and returned to the weight I was at the age of 23 when I was out doing mileage prep’ing for 10k road races, despite the fact that I now do less exercise than I used to. This has happened almost by accident, I did not set out with target weights or calorie counts. It just kept dropping off and yet I was eating as much as I needed, the important word there being ‘needed’. This is why I am strongly in the camp that subscribes to its what you eat not how much, line of thinking. Removing sugar, simple carb’s and wheat has been easier than I thought for a long time main course and sweet diner. It was good therefore to watch the following moving video. If only more doctors would get on side and drop this moderation nonsense
Also stick a tangerine in your morning Kale smoothie but make sure you put the whole tangerine in skin, pith and all.
Today I started my journey of replacing all mercury based traditional fillings with non metal fillings. I will do this over three or four monthly sittings to space out the possibility of any mercury toxicity. Many countries have now banned metal based fillings with the EU based countries lagging behind. There does seem to be some evidence of a connection with heart disease and metal fillings. Mercury toxicity at any level can cause the development of free radicals and potential lipid oxidisation. Even if one prefers to refute the connection with heart disease logic suggests that a mouth full of mercury cannot be a healthy idea given we now have viable alternatives. Why are we still using amalgam you may ask, well I presume its cheap and profitable, the original reason of choice. More importantly why do you not get a reasonable debate when you ask a dentist about this issue. Dentists are rather like doctors, tightly controlled by their governing bodies to the point that any view outside the mainstream dogma would result in being struck off. Indeed one Canadian dentist was struck off for removing amalgams from a patient suffering from MS.
It is not a cheap process but then what price your health