Risk factors for high Lp(a)

My keto-style diet — mostly eggs and various meats — makes me something of a carnival act for my elderly parents and their friends. Over a lifetime, they have been brainwashed by Big Medicine and the mainstream media (sponsored by Big Pharma) to believe that dietary cholesterol is dangerous.  

Even if one accepts the premise that high cholesterol is bad, which I don’t, studies and common-sense show that the cholesterol that you eat has little impact on the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your liver manages the cholesterol in your blood the way a bouncer controls capacity at the club. If you consume a low amount of cholesterol, your liver produces more to meet your body’s needs. If you consume a high amount of cholesterol, your liver stops producing it. The exception is if you consume too much sugar. Sugar interferes with the liver’s cholesterol signaling mechanism so that the organ continues to produce cholesterol even when it should have shut off.

Part of me has sympathy for the doctors who have wasted their professional lives — and their patients’ time and money — supporting an elaborate Big Pharma scam. I understand doctors aren’t taught nutrition in medical school, and that the medical school curriculum and continuing education activities are controlled by Big Pharma. Still, if lay people can figure out how the human body works, so too can doctors.

My diet was a recent topic of dinner conversation between my parents and their endocrinologist friend. The endocrinologist was so alarmed by my high protein, high cholesterol diet that he wrote instructions on a napkin for how I should interface with the medical profession.

First, he recommended that I get an Lp(a) test, which checks the levels of a type of LDL. According to mainstream medical websites, Lp(a) particles are stickier than other types of LDL particles, so they may be more likely to clog your arteries. Second, he wrote that if my Lp(a) was high I should go on cholesterol-lowering therapy (statins).

I did my own research, and looked through the archives of health care experts that I trust. I learned that:

1) I have none of the risk factors that would make the Lp(a) test something worth considering —

  • A family health history of early heart or blood vessel disease (before age 55 for a father or brother and before age 65 for a mother or sister);
  • High LDL cholesterol, even though medicine is taken to lower it;
  • Heart or blood vessel disease, especially if your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are normal without taking medicine to lower them;
  • Signs of an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolemia;
  • Had more than one heart attack or more than one procedure to open up narrow or blocked arteries in your heart.

I found no mention of eating a lot of eggs as a risk factor for high Lp(a) (because it’s not).

2) The evidence suggests that statins actually increase levels of Lp(a). This finding reminds of the joke about they way endocrinologists treat people suffering from excess insulin/diabetes … they give them MORE insulin! 

Because of the negative impact of statins on Lp(a), I imagine a responsible recommendation for people with elevated Lp(a) would be lifestyle modification: exercise, fasting, low carb/sugar, sunlight, sleep, stress management. I’m quite certain there’s nothing more I can do in this area.

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