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How to Prevent Heart Disease with Genetic Testing February 11, 2012

Posted by Dr. Brady Hurst in Heart Health / Cardiovascular Disease.
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3 comments

Go Beyond Cholesterol Testing and Into Genetics

Is Cholesterol Testing A Thing of the Past?

In the past few decades, standard health care had used basic cholesterol testing as the cornerstone for the treatment of heart disease. However, more than 50 percent of those with “normal” values end up hospitalized due to a stroke or heart attack1 .

We now know cholesterol isn’t the sole problem.  What must be considered are genetic factors that influence the behavior of cholesterol. Today we have a advanced heart disease prevention test that tells us our true risk of heart disease.

Cholesterol Size Does Matter

Many studies conclude that cholesterol size and density plays a greater role in the prediction of heart disease than the total amount of cholesterol.

Think of it like this: You have 10 people who want to take a trip. They can either take 1 bus (less traffic) or each take a car. Not only do the cars create more traffic, they can also easily stop on the side of the road (cholesterol sticking to the side of an artery). What’s the size of your cholesterol?

Genetics and Heart Disease

It is true that genetics play a large role in our heart health. Genes determine how efficiently we respond to our environment, however, the key is that our environment ultimately controls our genetics with food being one of the biggest environmental influences.

Yes, this means that your risk of heart disease can weigh heavily on how well you can “genetically digest” food. There is new testing that can help determine what types of food you should eat based on your genetics. Acting on this information will greatly lower your risk of heart disease.

The APO-E Gene

The APO-E gene plays a critical role in how diet influences cholesterol behavior. To keep this simple here is a brief description of the 3 types of APO-E genes and how they respond to diet. Remember, you will fall into a combination of these categories.

APOE2

A person in this category will have the tendency toward lower LDL-Count (“bad” cholesterol even though a misnomer) and higher HDL-Count (“good”), and higher triglycerides, especially in response to dietary simple carbohydrates like grains, sugars, and high glycemic foods. This person will have a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Lifestyle Changes for APOE2

  • Minimize high-glycemic index foods
  • Cholesterol-lowering effect of a low saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet may be least effective for APOE2 individuals; However, MI risk may be increased with high long-chain saturated fat.
  • Moderate alcohol intake may reduce LDL-C in men (neutral in women) and increase HDL-C.
  • Dietary fiber and exercise help improve the cholesterol size and density tests.
  • Fish oils may reduce triglycerides most effectively in APOE2 individuals.
  • Oral estrogen will increase triglycerides in APOE2 individuals; trans-dermal estrogen replacement therapy may be safer for APOE2 women.

APOE3

  • Only a moderate tendency toward high LDL-count and low HDL-count.
  • Risk is intermediate between APOE2 and APOE4 for heart disease and stroke

Lifestyle Changes for APOE3 Individuals:

  • A low long-chain saturated fat and low cholesterol diet has only a moderate lipid-lowering effect in APOE3 individuals.
  • Dietary fiber, fish oils, and exercise generally improve the cholesterol profile.
  • Alcohol appears to have a neutral effect on LDL-counts.
  • Bio-idential hormone replacement therapy generally improves the lipid profiles, including post-menopausal APOE3 women.

APOE4

  • Tendency toward higher triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol and lower HDL-count.
  • Increased risk of heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and toxicity by heavy metals such as lead and mercury

Lifestyle Changes for APOE4 Individuals:

  • Reduce excess weight. Start with a 10 pound goal.
  • A low long-chain saturated fat and low cholesterol diet most effectively lowers LDL-C in APOE4 individuals.
  • Minimize high-glycemic index foods.
  • Minimize alcohol (may raise LDL-C in men and cause damage to the hippocampus (memory center) when homocyctine is high.
  • Fish oils lower triglycerides but may raise LDL-C the most in APOE4 individuals.

The Heart Disease Prevention Test

Unfortunately “basic” is the standard for our current health care system. Even though we have these powerful new heart disease tests, they remain unknown and thus unused by the majority of practitioners.

You do, however, have direct access to this powerful new heart disease blood test.

Provided by our lab, True Health Labs, the new Heart Disease Prevention Test with Genomics can play a critical part when preventing heart disease. If ordered online, one of True Health Labs’s doctors will review the test results with you for free.

Article by Dr. Brady Hurst
Clinic Director for True Health Labs

1American Heart Journal Volume 157, Number 1

VAP Cholesterol Test- New Technology in Heart Health February 4, 2009

Posted by Dr. Brady Hurst in Heart Health / Cardiovascular Disease.
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6 comments
  • Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the NUMBER ONE PREVENTABLE cause of death in the United States.
  • One of the first symptoms of a Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) is…death.lipid-subsets
  • CVD often takes decades to develop.
  • Most standard lipid tests (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, VLDL) tell very little about your risk for developing heart disease. Recent studies show that the subsets of HDL, LDL, and VLDL (number, sizes, and types see image) give a much better assessment of your cardiovascular health. This means that a person can have “NORMAL” cholesterol levels and still be at high risk for CVD. The test I use in my office is the VAP cholesterol test. (Vertical Auto Profile).
  • Cholesterol is beneficial. We need it. It helps make up your sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone etc.), absorbs your fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), insulate nerve cells, and the list of benefits continue.
  • Cholesterol is “bad” when it becomes oxidized by free radicals. This happens mainly though inflammation. Common sources of inflammation are:
  1. Chronic infections
  2. Increased phase 1 detoxification in the liver producing free radical intermediates–>phase 2 (if working)–>stool/urine
  3. Food sensitivities
  4. Nutritional insufficiencies (most people in the United States are)
  5. Environmental sensitivities (not necessarily major allergic reactions)- medications, chemicals, molds, pollen, dust etc.
  6. Genetic challenges in methylation– creates destructive molecules such as homocysteine
  7. Dehydration
  8. There are laboratory test available today that expose these problems.
  • Unfortunately, too many of today’s healthcare professionals are trained to “wait” until a health problem has progressed to a certain level before giving it medical attention. At this point your problem is given a name (Myocardial Infarction, Hypertension, etc…). Once “it” has a name, it is given a predetermined treatment, not based on your individual makeup but based on…a book. This is where the field of Functional Medicine shines. My purpose is to identify the those subtle and commonly missed causes of ill health in patients currently suffering and prevent their family members from becoming the next victims.
  • THE ONLY CURE IS PREVENTION! This is why in our clinic we use genomic testing with our families (adults and children). This test checks for changes in segments of DNA. These changed, called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNP’s, can give us great insight on the LONG TERM risk factors of CVD. The results from this test also help us to develop a life-long dietary plan based on your genetic needs. For cardiovascular health I use the Cardiogenomic Plus test by Genova Diagnostics (Sample Report).
  • Statins (Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor, Caduet) can significantly reduce cellular Co-Q10, a potent anti-oxidant, creating more free radicals.

“The superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness.”We need the “inferior doctors” when acute sickness/trauma shows, but handing them a chronic condition such as CVD, you might as well book your bypass.

It is inaccurate to apply acute methods (i.e. medication) to chronic conditions. If it were true that medications that helped promote and restore healthy human physiology no one would be sick- right? Unfortunately, that is not the case, only nutrition based on INDIVIDUAL NEEDS is powerful enough to make and keep us healthy.

Suggested reading: Selling Sickness

Also check out Queen of Hearts Foundation- Educating women on Heart Disease. Help them help others by donating.

We have developed a TeleHealth Service designed to help people worldwide through phone and video consultations. Our use of advance laboratory testing helps identify any potential blockades that keeps you from beating your current contrition and help preventing it from badly effecting your quality of life.

If this information helped you, please pass it on to others so they may be helped in the same way.

heart


Dr. Brady Hurst
True Health: Functional Medicine and Online Laboratory Service
TrueHealthLabs.com

Health Tip of the Day- Dr. Brady Hurst on Checking Vitamin D Levels November 5, 2008

Posted by Dr. Brady Hurst in Health Tips, Vitamin D.
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2 comments


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Dr. Brady Hurst
True Health Center for Advanced Alternative Medicine
www.TrueHealthDC.com