Cholesterol Health Update – Part Two of Three

The Part One cholesterol article generated a lot of buzz! It triggered many great questions from patients just like you!

The most common question I got was “Dr. Carri, I’ve wanted to get off my cholesterol medication for years. Can you help me with that?”

It makes sense! Once you know there are better (and safer) options for you regarding testing and treatment why wouldn’t you want to get off your medication?

In this Part Two of the three article series I tackle four more common cholesterol myths for you.

Ready? Let’s jump right in!


Old Info: We have to lower LDL-cholesterol (the so called “bad cholesterol”) to decrease overall cardiovascular risk.

New Info: Lowering CRP (C-reactive protein) and hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein), regardless of LDL-cholesterol levels (the so called “bad cholesterol”), decreases ALL cardiovascular events AND deaths.

Dr. Carri: CRP and hs-CRP are common blood tests for inflammation. You’ve probably already heard about inflammation as being THE major factor fueling many of today’s chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease – the #1 killer in Canada. BUT…I find family doctors rarely run either of these tests!

I recommend whenever you get any testing done, make sure to get a copy for your own records so you can see what has been tested and what your numbers are.

(Some patients are reluctant to do this. Don’t be! They’re your records, and you’re entitled to a copy for yourself! No one will care more about the meaning of your test results than you.)


Old Info: hs-CRP is an unnecessary test. The standard cholesterol panel is all you need tested.

New Info: Having elevated hs-CRP, even in the face of normal LDL-cholesterol, increases your risk of a cardiovascular event by THREE times over.

Dr. Carri: You should be routinely tested for hs-CRP – regardless of how “good” or “bad” your cholesterol levels appear. It’s a far better predictor of present and future cardiovascular problems, and it’s a cheap test to run at $5 to boot!

Hs-CRP can usually be reduced by using: fish oil (containing EPA and DHA); vitamin D; and eating a diet loaded with anti-inflammatory foods.


Old Info: HDL-cholesterol is the “good” cholesterol.

New Info: HDL2b is the NEW good cholesterol, and you might NOT have as much as you think.

Dr. Carri: Just like LDL particle size (as discussed in the Part One article), HDL also comes in different particle sizes – the MOST heart healthy being HDL2b. If your levels of HDL2b are not as high as they should be, your HDL-cholesterol is actually giving you a false sense of security.

Click here to read more about specialized cholesterol testing.

Want to know what your HDL2b levels are? Because this test is not offered yet in Canada by medical doctors, ask your naturopath to test you.


Old Info: Cholesterol is genetic – you can’t change that.

New Info: Cholesterol is 80% environment, 20% genetics. Even with genetics we can temper the impact of our genes with individually designed treatments.

Dr. Carri: Specifically, Lp(a) and ApoE are the genetic factors that dramatically increase your risk of coronary artery disease. Lp(a) is the worst for you and the most plaque forming…but why don’t doctors test this regularly? It’s not considered standard care yet.

Here are your options: wait another 5-10 years until doctors start testing patients routinely (Yup! That’s usually how long it takes for tests like this to transfer from a research setting into your doctor’s office), OR…

See your naturopath and get your results in one week.

Want to know if you have the cholesterol genes or not? Call your naturopath and get tested for the ApoE genes. Depending on the specific genes found we can individualize your treatment even further! For more information on this visit: for information on ApoE Genotyping.


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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