Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and stroke is number three. It is especially disturbing that the vast majority of these deaths are preventable. Like most chronic degenerative diseases, heart attack and stroke are usually earned by poor lifestyle and dietary choices.

The technology for testing vascular disease risk has become much more sophisticated and effective. It is not enough to check only the total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. There are many other important risk factors that need to be measured and evaluated.

Along with the standard cholesterol tests, newer testing measures evaluate many other subclasses of blood fats such as VLDL, Pattern A and B LDL, Lipoprotien (a), and also inflammatory markers including hsCRP and homocystien.

Inflammation is even more important than cholesterol as a risk factor for heart attack or stroke.

Why is it important to look at the levels of different types of fats in your blood? Because over half of all heart attack victims had a normal total cholesterol and total LDL at the time of the heart attack. What is often not taken into consideration is that there are two forms of LDL—Pattern A and Pattern B. Pattern A is good and Pattern B is bad. So if you have low total LDL but it is mostly the Pattern B type, you are still at greater risk for developing disease in the arteries of the heart. Many people have been lulled into a false sense of security when the total LDL score looks good.

Dr. Redd uses natural nutritional and herbal products, and dietary and lifestyle changes to correct the function of the body, so the body can bring the cholesterol and other blood levels back into proper balance. This approach avoids the dangerous side effects of statin drugs and other commonly used medications. The website www.spacedoc.com has extensive information on cholesterol and the dangers of statin drugs and other heart medications.

Inflammation is a major, often overlooked factor in coronary heart disease and stroke. When the walls of the arteries become inflamed cholesterol sticks to the sides, serving as a natural “bandage” or sealant. This builds up as a layer of plaque over time, constricting blood flow. It is very important to keep levels of inflammation down in order to avoid a heart attack or stroke as well as many other degenerative diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune disease, cancer, etc.

We can measure inflammation in the body through several lab tests. These include Homocysteine, hsCRP, and the Omega 3:6 Ratio Blood Spot test.