Cholesterol Health Update – Part One of Three

Heart disease is the number one killer of Canadians. You, or someone you love, may even already be on cholesterol lowering medications.

Unfortunately, the newest advice regarding cholesterol and heart disease trickles down from the research heavens to family doctors and cardiologists very, very slowly.

As do the new tests.

Most doctors seem to be stuck in a rut when it comes to testing cholesterol. They run the standard cholesterol panel and nothing else – despite the mountain of evidence pointing to many other, more accurate tests. Like the ones I will share with you today.

In this three part series I will banish the old for the new cholesterol tests, and give you some of my own personal insights.


Old Info: You can only have a heart attack if your LDL-cholesterol (the so called “bad” cholesterol) is too high.


New Info: 50% of people who have heart attacks actually have normal LDL-cholesterol levels (the so called “bad” cholesterol).

Dr. Carri: If your LDL-cholesterol is normal you should not necessarily rest easy, because there is more to the story than you’ve been told…and that is…

Size DOES matter. (LDL particle size…what were you thinking of?)

There are basically two types of LDL particles – large ones (think of these as tennis balls) and small ones (think of these as golf balls). Now hit all the balls into a tennis net. The tennis balls bounce off, but the golf balls pass straight through the net.

In your body the net would be the walls of your arteries. So, if you have lots of the small LDL particles…they get into the walls of your arteries…instead of bouncing off…and cause plaque to form…and you wouldn’t even know it…until a heart attack hits you. That’s why half of people with normal LDL-cholesterol will still have heart attacks after being told they have a clean bill of health.

Now you see why it’s important to measure the LDL particle size, not just LDL-cholesterol. Doctors in Canada don’t do this kind of sophisticated cholesterol testing yet.


Old Info: LDL-cholesterol is an accurate predictor of heart disease.

New Info: Regarding cholesterol testing, LDL particle number and ApoB100 are better predictors of cardiovascular risk than LDL-cholesterol.

Dr. Carri: The leading cause of death in Canada is heart disease, yet your doctor has probably never tested your LDL particle number or ApoB100. Why are we so behind the times in Canada? Answer: It’s not considered ‘standard care’ yet. Here’s your option: wait another 3-7 years until doctors start testing patients routinely, or see your naturopath and get your results in one week.

Want more information on this advanced cholesterol testing? Click here to learn more.


Old Info: Statin medications are safe, except for rare increases in muscle enzymes or liver enzymes.

New Info: Statin medications are more risky than we’ve been told. Statin medications lower your CoQ10 – a vital nutrient necessary for energy production. Statin medications also increase your risk for cancer, depression, neuropathy, low vitamin D, and low testosterone. Both low testosterone and low vitamin D are associated with increased coronary artery disease…thereby promoting more heart disease.

Dr. Carri: Stop the cycle of heart disease. Look at your meds. Are you or a loved one taking a Statin? If yes you MUST take a CoQ10 supplement.

(By the way, if you’re female and CoQ10 deficient your risk of breast cancer goes up by 800%! Holy cow!!)

Better yet, ask your doctor to stop your Statin altogether. The research is conclusive that the natural alternatives – including niacin, fish oil, exercise and a healthy diet – actually perform better than Statins (andwithout the nasty side-effects!).

To learn even more about the pitfalls and perils of cholesterol tests I highly recommend this book by Dr. Mark Houston, MD: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease.

(For those that suffer with high blood pressure I also recommend Dr. Houston’s book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Hypertension.)

Not sure if you’re taking a Statin Medication? Check this list:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • Lovastatin (Altocor, Mevacor)
  • Pitavastatin (Livalo)
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)


Make a promise to yourself starting today:

Stop feeling lousy…rotten…awful…crummy…miserable…terrible…crappy.

Find a good Functional Medicine doctor to help you get to the root cause of your health problems.

Like I always say:

Find the cause.

Fix the cause.

Feel normal again!


Dr. Carri Drzyzga, DC, ND – The Functional Medicine Doc

Find the Cause. Fix the Cause. Feel Normal Again!

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