Most traditional physicians almost always order a standard lipid panel which includes total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Unfortunately, this standard lipid test will put most people at risk, causing plaque to silently build up in their arterial walls if this one test is not ordered.
Most people I bet have not even heard of this life-saving test. Even worse, most people would believe their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are within the optimal range and that they are free from a serious cardiac event.
The lab test I am referring to is called oxycholesterol, or oxidized LDL cholesterol (OxLDL).
Its role in cardiovascular disease has been well documented. (See all the references listed)
The optimal value for OxLDL is less than 60 U/L.
Learning how to lower OxLDL levels (if elevated) is critical to preventing or reducing the plaque buildup in your arteries known as atherosclerosis. When OxLDL increases in your bloodstream they cause massive inflammation and significantly decreases the elasticity of your arteries.
Even worse this ominous lipid (OxLDL) also increases blood clot formation in your arteries leading to atherosclerosis and sending your stroke risk skyrocketing!
Again, mainstream medicine has unfortunately overlooked this test.
I see time and time again patients having a false sense of confidence taking statins to lower their total and LDL cholesterol and if the OxLDL is elevated, well…
This is a recipe for disaster!
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not deterring anyone from addressing elevated LDL cholesterol with statins but rather wanting to ensure that they are not going down the road toward a cardiac event with high levels of OxLDL, and please know that statins will not lower OxLDL!
Fortunately, the technology to measure OxLDL levels is available. (Contact a functional medicine doctor near you or our office)
In the next 3-5 years, this type of testing will likely become much more mainstream. But why wait? Knowing your OxLDL levels and working on lowering them, and keeping them low, can mean the difference between no plaque buildup and severe plaque buildup in your arteries! (Not the best performance of your life!!)
The peer reviewed medical papers listed below clearly show us that OxLDL levels are linked to heart disease. In just one study published in Circulation the plasma OxLDL level in patients who had had heart attacks skyrocketed about 3.5-fold over control subjects.
Knowing if the amount of oxidative damage to your LDL cholesterol is elevated or not is critically important. That’s why testing is essential. But equally as important is to know why the oxidative damage is occurring in the first place so you can do something about it.
What do we know about the possible causes of elevated OxLDL? Glad you asked!
While the experts aren’t positive as to what triggers the oxidation of LDL molecules, it’s likely that much of it is related to diet, stress, infections, thyroid issues and environmental toxin exposure. Now what do you do?! Glad you asked again!!
Steps You Can One Take to Lower Elevated OxLDL
1: Mediterranean-style diet, high in monounsaturated fats, reduces LDL oxidation. One study of 372 adults at high risk for heart disease found that diets rich in olive oil or nuts decreased OxLDL levels.
2: Eating a diet high in polyunsaturated fats—like the ones you’ll find in fast foods, junk food, and baked goods increases OxLDL. In fact, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil and soy oil all seem to raise OxLDL levels.
3: Besides the Mediterranean diet there are a couple more dieting “secrets” that can drive down LDL oxidation. To no ones surprise gluten-free diets have been shown to reduce levels of OxLDL.
4: Pomegranate juice have been shown to ward off LDL oxidation.
5: Green tea also fights LDL oxidation as well.
6: Vitamin E is a powerful nutrient that prevents oxidation damage in the body. (Make sure you are taking all eight of the vitamin E family)-Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical form. (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol)
7: A heart supplement superstar Coenzyme Q10 because it targets and reduces the oxidation of LDL cholesterol molecules. I recommend 200 mg daily as a supplement.
8: Other natural solutions for fighting oxidation include garlic, resveratrol, grape seed extract and berberine.
Other Factors to Consider in Lowering OxLDL Include the following:
1: Research has shown that either a low functioning or an over-functioning thyroid gland can drive up your OxLDL levels.
2: Chronic infections can increase levels of OxLDL. Studies show that bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) commonly associated with increased intestinal permeability aka: Leaky Gut will negatively impact LDL particles leading to elevated OxLDL. (Good reason to go gluten-free). Covid has been found to associated with elevated OxLDL. In addition the following infections have also been associated with elevated OxLDL and should be ruled out and addressed: Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, and cytomegalovirus
3: Rule out environmental toxins, then detoxify if they’re present
Be sure to get your OxLDL level tested and work with a functional practitioner in your area to remove the root reasons if your level is elevated or contact our office. Together we can work towards achieving “the best performance of your life!”