Heart Disease is More Than High Cholesterol...
- Combining cutting-edge nutritional and metabolic markers with conventional blood lipid assessments provides the most complete risk assessment available.
- Risk assessment of cardiovascular disease must be multi-factorial over a comprehensive array of metabolic functions.
- Many of the multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease can be reduced or eliminated with individualized integrative therapies to prevent further development of problems.
Assessing Cardiovascular Risk With Innovative New Markers
What Does the Cardio Health Profile Measure?
Elevated levels have long been associated with increased CVD risk; better evaluation with comparison to HDL.
HDL Cholesterol (direct)
Patients with high levels of HDL have been shown to be at lower risk of CVD than those with lower levels.
LDL Cholestrerol (direct)
The most atherogenic of the lipoproteins, it constitutes the majority of the cholesterol found in the serum; most accurately measured by this direct methodology.
High triglyceride levels are an indisputable risk factor for CVD; increasingly shown to be responsive to the carbohydrate concentration in the body.
Apolipoprotein(a) complexed with LDL. Lp(a) is associated with development of atherosclerosis similarly to LDL; strong indicator for cerebrovascular disease.
Total Chol/HDL Ratio
The higher the ratio, the greater the risk.
Chronic Inflammatory Markers
C-reactive Protein (hs)
A general marker of inflammation or infection in the vascular network. Elevated levels have been shown in individuals with mild or subclinical CVD. The high sensitivity assay (hs-CRP) used for this report can detect increases signaling the early stages of disease.
The best measure of iron deficiency, elevated ferritin is also an important maker of cardiovascular health. High levels are found in ischemic heart disease, iron overload, and hemo-chromatosis.
In states of tissue injury/inflammation, elevated fibrinogen is correlated with early CVD, and is a better marker of risk for a coronary event than is elevated cholesterol.
Oxidant Stress Factors
Critical to the generation of mitochondrial ATP, its demand by cardiac muscle is great. Numerous studies support the use of CoQ10 in congestive heart failure and other forms of CVD. Cholesterol-lowering "statin" drugs inhibit its synthesis.
Well recognized for its cardioprotective antioxidant role; now thought to help prevent the oxidation of LDL. Serum determinations document deficiencies and monitor patient compliance with therapy.
The products of chemical damage done by oxygen free radicals to the lipid components of cell membranes. Assessment of serum lipid peroxides monitors the balance between sufficient oxygenation and oxidative stress.
Many studies, including the Physicians’ Heart Study, have demonstrated the association between elevated homocysteine levels and CVD. Responds to doses of B6, B12, and folate.
Other Important Indicators
Magnesium plays many vital roles in preventing CVD, controlling blood pressure, and improving HDL levels. RBC magnesium is the most precise way to assess intracellular magnesium status, and has been show to be inversely related with hypertension. Mg supplementation may be a healthier alternative to calcium channel blockers.
Insulin insensitivity and the ensuing Syndrome X condition is now recognized as a major contributing factor to the development and progression of CVD. Fasting insulin is a good predictor of this problem which can be improved with dietary changes and exercise.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
Free Androgen Index
Calculation of the free androgen index from total testosterone and SHGB gives a very accurate approximation of free testosterone. The free androgen index is increasingly recognized as a critically important factor linked with almost every major aspect of heart disease in both men and women. Normalization of testosterone levels improves cardiac function and many known CVD risk factors, as well as improving functional capacity and reducing indicators of ischemia.
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