(NaturalNews) The standard lipid panel is quite limited in the information it can provide. Scientists have been working on developing much more sophisticated tests that provide a deeper level of information on cardiovascular health. The Vertical Auto-Profile (VAP) test is one of the newest and most in-depth tests for heart disease risk.
The standard lipid profile works by spinning blood in a high speed centrifuge to separate the lipids. This test looks at three lipid categories: high density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides. Research has shown that nearly half of all individuals who suffered a heart attack had no abnormalities on the standard lipid profile.
Most progressive doctors and scientists have realized that a standard lipid profile is outdated. The VAP test breaks the lipoproteins into sub categories and allows a much closer look at these molecules. This is expected to be able to identify twice as many individuals at risk for heart disease compared to traditional testing.
How does the VAP test work?
The VAP test works works through a spinning centrifuge like the lipid panel but it provides extensive detail. The VAP test categorizes LDL and HDL cholesterol into subclasses based on the size and activity of the particles. Research has shown that patterns of LDL particle size are one of the greatest indicators for the development of heart disease.
The VAP test also has a more accurate measure of lipoproteins than a standard lipid test and it looks at very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels, intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL) and lipoprotein. These molecules provide significantly more important information than just a standard lipid profile concerning risk of heart disease.
The VAP measurements include:
The VAP looks at a number of different molecules and cardiovascular factors. This test studies the Total apoB100 which is a marker on certain LDL molecules that acts to facilitate the attachment of these particles to cell receptors in the body. The attachment allows the LDL particles to deliver cholesterol esters to the tissues for cell membrane formation and hormone, vitamin and bile acid synthesis.
The VAP also looks at LDL size patterns as reported in three major categories including pattern A, pattern A/B and pattern B. In pattern A, the LDL molecules are large, light and buoyant. These carry a high volume of vitamin E which helps fend off free radicals and reduces their risk of oxidation while traveling through the circulatory system. Pattern A/B is a combination of light and dense particles that are more susceptible to oxidizing.
Pattern B LDL molecules are small, dense and carry very little anti-oxidant compounds and are more susceptible to oxidation. Due to their lesser size, they also pose a major threat of slipping into the endothelial wall and being oxidized, causing arterial damage. The more pattern B molecules someone has on their VAP test, the higher risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Other key VAP measurements:
The VAP also measures a very key factor in LDL-RC which is LDL bound to C Reactive protein. This is found at the site of atherosclerotic plaques and are a sign of inflamed regions of the body. The higher the LDL-RC the greater risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
Finally, the VAP looks at different HDL subtypes. This includes the HDL-2B, also called the large HDL molecule. This molecule is responsible for reverse cholesterol transport in that it extracts cholesterol from arterial plaque. This is an important protective role for preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease.
HDL-3 is another subclass that does not protect against heart disease in the same manner that 2B does. Some individuals have high HDL on their standard lipid panel but the VAP reveals that they are low in the 2B variant and high in the 3 variant which has less cardiovascular protective effects.
About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
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