Plasma cholesterol concentrations, measured by the standard lipid panel, are nearly irrelevant, according to Dr. Tom Dayspring. 70% of the total atherothrombotic events in the U.S. (those resulting from clogged blood vessels) still happen, regardless of patients’ cholesterol levels. For an example, an epidemiological study in 2009, commissioned by the American Heart Association, called “Get With the Guidelines,” set out to prove that lower LDL cholesterol levels would reduce heart disease. The study looked at 136,000 admissions to the hospital for atherosclerotic heart disease, and found that
- 55% had an LDL cholesterol level of 100 mg/dL or less.
- 18% had an LDL level under 70 mg/dL, like a 10-year-old’s.
- 45% had perfect HDL levels.
For a single case study, consider newsman Tim Russert, who died of heart disease but with an LDL cholesterol level of 66, considered spectacular.
As a lipidologist and nationally known lecturer on this topic, Dayspring cites recent research indicating that LDL-P and Apo(B) counts are the most accurate predictors of atherosclerosis. There's only one test (the NMR LipoAnalysis) and one lab in the country that does the LDL-P test: LipoScience Lab. All the other labs "offering" this test (e.g., LabCorp), ship your blood there for the test. The VAP (Vertical Assessment Profile) is not a count of lipoprotein particles; it’s just a different way of measuring the amount of cholesterol. The fact that this cholesterol comes in different-sized LDL and HDL packages isn’t relevant to the risk of atherosclerosis or atherothrombotic events. This test is of interest for academics only. It has no role in day-to-day measurement or (clinical) guidance of people, according to the research that Dayspring relies on. As further proof, There are seven guidelines in the world regarding measurement of cholesterol, five in the U.S., that advocate either Apo-B or NMR testing. None of them mention the standard lipid profiles by themselves or the VAP at all.
The only useful information from the standard lipid panel is the triglyerides/HDL ratio. Your triglycerides/HDL ratio should be low: under 3.0, and ideally, 1.4:1 or lower. Your ratio is terrific and hints that your LDL-P test will show healthy results (particle count of 1030 particles/dl or less).
TSH is an unreliable measure of thyroid health. I don't know enough of the details to explain them well, but there's an entire website, Stop the Thyroid Madness, dedicated to helping people get relevant tests, information, and advice to restore their thyroid health. The recommended thryoid tests for women are these:
- Free T4
- Free T3
- Reverse T3
- TPO antibodies