This exciting new test, which was only available through Universities as part of scientific research, is now available for everyone to access. Knowing your level of oxidized LDL is a critical factor in determining your true cardiovascular risk!
Although routine lipid screening plays an important role in determining your risk for cardiovascular disease it does not provide information on the dangerous inflammation present in the walls of your arteries. Vascular disease actually begins as a malfunction of specialized cells that line your arteries, long before symptoms appear! These cells, called endothelialcells, are the key to atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the arterial wall.
Although LDL (low density lipoprotein) is usually thought of as “bad cholesterol”, non-oxidized LDL is just a protein carrying cholesterol and fats from the liver to the rest of the body. In order for LDL particles to cause disease, they have to be small and dense and capable of entering the wall of your arteries. Once inside the endothelium, fats in the LDL particles react with free radicals and oxidized LDL (OxLDL) is formed.
As soon as LDL oxidizes it becomes pro-inflammatory, damaging to the arterial wall, and most importantly, capable of transforming immune cells called macrophages into foam cells which is a major constituent of arterial plaque! Oxidized LDL may also play a role in increasing the amount of triglycerides your body produces, as well as increasing the amount of fat deposited…especially abdominal fat! In turn, fat tissue can enhance the oxidation of LDL, creating a vicious cycle.
Let’s look at some statistics to see why you should have your oxidized LDL levels checked:
- Individuals with high levels of OxLDL are 4 times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome in the next five years.1
- Increased OxLDL levels are associated with the presence of coronary artery disease2-4
- Levels of OxLDL increase in a step-wise fashion as the severity of CAD increases.5
Fasting is not required for this blood test. Take all medications as prescribed.
- Holvoet P et al. Association between circulating oxidized low-density lipoprotein and incidence of the metabolic syndrome. JAMA. 2008; 299: 2287-2293
- Holvoet P et al. Circulating oxidized LDL is a useful marker for identifying patients with coronary artery disease. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2001; 21: 844-848
- Nishi K et al. Oxidized LDL in carotid plaques and plasma associates with plaquie instability. Aterioscler. Thromb Basc Biol.2002; 22: 1649-1654
- Tsimikas S et al. Oxidized phospholipids, Lp(a) lipoprotein, and coronary artery diseae. N Engl J Med, 2005; 353: 46-57
- Ehara D et al. Elevated levels of oxidized low density lipoprotein show a positive relationship with the severity of acute coronary sndromes. Circulation, 2001: 103:1955-1960