VAP TESTING ADVANCED $69this test is only available in our office, not online.
Lab Doctor Fort Lauderdale's Most Affordable Blood Testing Center
So, you think you're getting pretty smart. You know that there are a couple of very important fats in the body, triglycerides and cholesterol. And you know that the cholesterol is made up of "good" (high density lipoprotein, or HDL) cholesterol and "bad" (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) cholesterol. You want more of the former and less of the latter. You know that these good and bad species of cholesterol are carried around the body along with particular types of proteins in particles known as "lipoproteins". You know that statin drugs can dramatically lower your LDL and lower your risk of coronary artery disease.
So what difference does all of this make?
It's only important if you can do something about it . . . and you can. What's really important about this is the fact that not all lipid disorders are helped optimally with the same agents. It seems that everyone with any disorder of cholesterol is on one of the "statin" drugs these days. Although statin drugs do lower LDL, they lower all of the different sized LDL particles at the same time. They do little compared with other agents to raise the good HDL cholesterol. There are a large number of people who may respond best to niacin or fibric acid medications rather than the currently more popular statins. Combinations of these agents may be best for many.
It is interesting and important to note that people with Pattern B do less well if untreated. But these same Pattern B people have several advantages too:
- They respond best to the less expensive niacin and fibric acid medications.
Sophisticated studies of lipoprotein particle size can also help make the decision whether medications are necessary at all in borderline cases.
Finally, these studies may help pinpoint abnormalities you may have inherited from your parents or grandparents, abnormalities that don't show up with "regular" cholesterol tests.
Studies using highly sophisticated studies such as "Gradient Gel Electrophoresis" can characterize the size of LDL and HDL. These studies are available from the Berkeley HeartLab (www.berkeleyheartlab.com), which makes an active effort to recruit physicians to use their services.
Do you know if you have more of the most dangerous type of LDL particle? This type is called small dense LDL, and it is the type more likely to infiltrate your arteries leading to dangerous plaque. Has your doctor ever told you if you have the most protective type of HDL or the least protective type of HDL? Do you know your Lp(a) number? You should as it potentially is 10 times more plaque-promoting. What about your IDL levels, or your apoB100 number which has been shown to be a powerful predictor of heart disease? If you cant answer any of these questions, you are not taking advantage of the best cutting-edge cholesterol testing that is now available.
Nowadays most everyone knows their LDL cholesterol number, but few people know that the LDL cholesterol number is actually made up of 3 different components. The routine test your doctor administers is not accurate enough to measure the 3 different components separately. It just lumps those 3 components together and calls them all LDL cholesterol.
The 3 components that can be measured are your real LDL-C, IDL, and Lp(a). Real LDL cholesterol is a direct measurement of your LDL cholesterol levels. Most people are surprised to learn the level on most blood work is actually a calculated LDL cholesterol level. IDL is a measure of your intermediate density lipoprotein cholesterol; it is typically a strongly inherited risk factor for heart disease and is often elevated in patients with a family history of diabetes. Lp(a) looks very similar to LDL and that is why it gets lumped in with LDL on a routine cholesterol test. However, the important point here is that Lp(a) does not respond to traditional LDL cholesterol-lowering drugs. This means that some people get tricked by standard cholesterol testing. Their LDL cholesterol number may be high, but in reality it is not their real LDL cholesterol that is high. It is their Lp(a) that is high. Often these people find themselves on LDL medications but their LDL is not really improving that much.
HDL cholesterol is what everyone knows as the good cholesterol. But what most people dont realize is that there are actually two main types of HDL: subtype HDL-2, which is the more protective, versus subtype HDL-3, which is the least protective. You want to have more of the most protective HDL-2.
Then there is total apolipoprotein B100. This number is significant because there is evidence that your apoB100 level is a better indicator of heart disease risk than total cholesterol or LDL. Apolipoprotein B100 helps form, carry and deliver bad cholesterol particles to cells. Simply, it is a way to count the number of LDL particles. This is because there is one, and only one, apoB100 on each LDL particle. The more particles you have, the greater danger of heart disease. Most people dont realize the LDL number on a routine blood test is not really a count of your LDL particles. It is rather a calculation of the total cholesterol contained in the LDL. Different people can have the same amount of cholesterol in their LDLs, but some people will have that amount in a few big LDLs while others will h ave that same amount in many smaller LDLs. Those with a greater number of smaller LDLs are more at risk.
By providing all of this detailed information, the VAP (Vertical Auto Profile) test takes cholesterol testing to the next level. The VAP Test was named one of Ten Ways to Live Longer by Forbes.com, and it was selected as one of Five Tests Worth Paying for by The Wall Street Journal.