California Center of Longevity Medicine
Office: 818-346-1440 | Fax: 818-346-9356
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Los Angeles Longevity & Functional Medicine Doctor

Dr. Allan Kurtz

Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellowship in Functional Medicine

Heart Attack and Stroke
Prevention Center of Southern California

Health Tips Blog

The Best Test for Cholesterol

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on August 25, 2019

Why You Need to Know More Than Just Your "Bad Cholesterol" Levels.

Since childhood we've been warned about the dangers of "bad" cholesterol. "Bad" cholesterol refers to Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol, which is also called LDL, or LDL-C. Standard blood tests that you might receive during an annual physical test for this "bad" cholesterol, in addition to testing for your total cholesterol and your "good cholesterol." However, after decades of research and hundreds of studies, there hasn't yet been a study that proves that LDL-C causes heart attacks. On the contrary, new insight is beginning to show that this test is actually not a particularly useful test, when it comes to predicting your likelihood of a heart attack.

A better predictor of your risk of heart attack instead measures the amount of Apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB). In fact, it has been predicted that widespread use of this test, rather than the "bad cholesterol" measurement, could help prevent more than 500,000 heart attacks or strokes over the next decade.

At the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Southern California, Dr. Allan Kurtz is dedicated to helping men and women in Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Ventura County areas lower their risk for heart attack and stroke, through cutting-edge testing, healthy lifestyle changes, and a holistic approach to health, and longevity.

Why Should I have the ApoB Test?

The short answer is this: ApoB measures the totality of four dangerous lipoprotein particles, of which LDL is just one. There are three others that can also indicate the risk of future heart problems, including Intermediate Density Lipoprotein (IDL), Very Low-Density Lipoprotein (VLDL) and Lipoprotein A (Lp(a)).

The longer answer is that in addition to not measuring all four of these particles, the "standard" cholesterol tests don't even accurately measure your levels of LDL. Instead the measurement that you may receive from your doctor is based on a formula, rather than an actual count. Numerous variables may affect the "number" that your physician reports to you. For example, high triglycerides can offset the official "bad cholesterol" number you receive from your doctor, giving you a sense of false security, in assuming your LDL is fine, but you just need to lower your triglycerides.

The ApoB test on the other hand, measures triglycerides in addition to the four other lipoproteins, which provide a better illustration of your risk of developing atherosclerosis (plaque) which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. For example, the ApoB test will reveal if levels of VLDL and IDL are elevated. These are both known to cause inflammation, increasing the risk of heart attack. In sum, the ApoB test provides a far more detailed, and comprehensive picture of your overall risk of heart attack or stroke.

Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Testing in Woodland Hills

At the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center in Woodland Hills, Dr. Allan Kurtz offers ApoB testing, in addition to other valuable, cutting edge tests which can help you to understand your risk for heart attack or stroke.

Other tests available in Woodland Hills by Dr. Allan Kurtz include:
  • Carotid Artery Intimal Thickness Ultrasound (CIMT Neck Ultrasound)
    Calcium in the carotid arteries is a huge risk factor for stroke. This painless ultrasound will let you know if you have calcium deposits (which thicken the lining of the arteries), and thereby put you at increased risk for stroke.

  • CT Scan of Coronary Arteries
    This painless test will let you know of any calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, which is a risk factor for heart attack. In addition, this CT scan will provide an overall picture of your coronary artery health, so that lifestyle adjustments may be made immediately.

  • Inflammation Testing
    Inflammation in your arteries results from cholesterol. But, the amount of cholesterol necessary to inflame the linings of each individual's arteries is unique to that person. Arterial inflammation is a known risk factor for stroke and heart attack. That's precisely why inflammation testing is suggested. Inflammation marker testing including ADMA/SDMA and Microalbumin, F2IsoPs, OxLDL, hsCRP, Lp-PLA2, and Myeloperoxidase measurements provide a clear picture of the level of inflammation in your arteries.
To schedule a consultation to discuss your heart health, and to learn how to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke, contact Dr. Kurtz at 818-346-1440 today.

Dr. Allan Kurtz specializes in creating ideal health and longevity plans for patients of all ages. With a focus on regenerative treatments, Dr. Kurtz is fellowship trained in Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is also a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine.