Best cholesterol test: type and testing company?

by 3277 · July 05, 2012 at 05:48 PM

The lab my Aetna health insurance uses only gives the LDL, HDL & total cholesterol so I'm in the market for a 3rd party lab in hopes of getting the LDL breakdown.

I recently had a magnesium RBC test done with RequestAtest.com. It was pretty convenient: just pay for the test online, and show up at a labcorp location for the blood draw.


  1. Any similar companies offering good & detailed cholesterol tests?

  2. Is the RequestAtest.com test described below the correct type? (I seem to recall something about calculated vs. direct measure).

Here is the description from the RequestAtest.com site:

Specimen Type: Blood Description: Lipid Panel testing is often used to access the risk of coronary disease. This is a cholesterol total test which includes; high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (calculation); triglycerides; very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol (calculation). Turnaround time for the Lipid Panel is typically 1 business day.

Requirements: The Lipid Panel blood test requires fasting for 9 - 12 hours prior to going in for blood collection.

Thanks, Mike

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3735 · July 05, 2012 at 05:48 PM

It turns out that LDL particle number (LDL-P)is the best predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.


The best test for LDL-P is the NMR Lipoprofile Test. (If memory serves, it's the only advanced lipid test that measures LDL-P directly.)

See also this interview with Dr. Thomas Dayspring:


5323 · June 07, 2012 at 01:50 PM

Interestingly different forms of LDL can only be detected in one machine in the world, and it will never likely be available to the public or to doctors.

Cholesterol is needed for the body too. As such, LDL results are less than informative. I think medical opinion and common thinking is a fair bit behind the most recent research too.

Sadly your insurance company is looking for a heart disease risk marker than probably isnt a really a heart disease risk marker at all.

Most recent research i read suggested that your LDL should be around 200 to be healthy (well over what has been considered unhealthy), and only a decent HDL level will indicate anything (less risk). But having just read that there are also different kinds of HDL, i am starting to think these cholesterol tests really dont mean much of anything in regard to coranary risk.

I guess if your level was high, you could use some cholesterol lowering meds before the test :P

Sounds like your test is slightly better though, but u can get trigycerides tested at the doctor..

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