Most people and doctors focus on the total cholesterol number and also the “bad” cholesterol LDL, but what Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S. is suggesting in his article “The Under-Appreciated Life-Saving Heart Test” is to focus more on the HDL cholesterol as that is considered to be “GOOD.”
Now, I do want to clarify, I don’t think either is good or bad, it’s just they have different jobs. And having HDL around 60-70 ng/dl is a good thing for your body. The High-density lipoprotein or HDL is like a cargo ship carrying away oxidized cholesterol from the arterial wall. It’s the oxidized cholesterol that you don’t want as that clogs your vessels with plaque. Similar to your teeth, you don’t want a bunch of plaque making a mess out of things.
Now, get this, at least half the people who have heart attacks actually have normal cholesterol levels. How can that be? Well, it’s not the total number that you need to be concerned with. It’s the HDL that is the key to healthy arteries. What you want is a ratio of total cholesterol to HDL <3.0.
How do you calculate that?
Take your total cholesterol and divide it by the HDL. I’ll give you my numbers for example. I have total cholesterol of 224 and HDL of 83. That gives me a ratio number of 2.69. Bingo! Guess eating bacon and avocados is working for me.
Let’s look at another example. Let’s say someone has total cholesterol that is low by functional medicine standards, but raised no red flags with traditional western medicine. It’s 178. Now if their HDL is also low, say 35 then “Huston We have Problem”. Their ratio is 5.0! Not good.
If you just look at the total cholesterol of 224 vs 178, you would assume that the higher one is more at risk of heart disease. Now, think about people with cholesterol close to 300. If their HDL is high, then they are protected and would not have to worry about plaque clogging their arteries.
The key to remember is you want your HDL to be over 60ng/dl.
So, what are the best ways to increase your HDL levels?
Make sure you are getting enough of these vital nutrients. I take USANA Cellsentials to get all of these covered.
- Phosphatidyl Choline
- Vitamin E/ Tocotrienols
There is a test from Genova Diagnostics called Cardio-ION test. This is a pretty extensive test that show which nutrients you may be lacking that would increase your HDL. It gives an amazing blueprint for cardiovascular health.
If your doctor just focuses on prescribing a statin drug, then you know you’re working with someone who doesn’t have the whole picture when it comes to cholesterol and cardiovascular health. If that’s the case, I would seek a different doctor who has more knowledge about the root causes of cholesterol levels.
I’ve spoken about cholesterol and statins in the past. One of my favorite books is The Great Cholesterol Con. You can also go to Health Coach Donna.com and search my previous articles by typing in the keyword Cholesterol. As always I’m happy to help and you can email me with your questions.
Have a great day!