Having struggled and wrestled with this genetic pattern for the last 12 years or so in hundreds of patients, I have gained great respect for this difficult to control pattern.
I regard lipoprotein(a) as the number one most aggressive cause for heart disease and coronary plaque known. It can account for heart attacks in men in their 40s, women in their 50s. It can cause heart disease and heart attacks in even the ultra-fit like marathon runners. It accounts for both excessive coronary risk and misleading cholesterol values in slender, healthy-appearing people.
Niacin is the number one treatment choice for Lp(a), followed by testosterone for men, estrogens (preferably human, not horse or other non-human mammal) for women. I then often resort to DHEA, along with adjunctive nutritional agents like raw almonds, ground flaxseed, and others.
Our most recent addition to the Lp(a) treatment list is high-dose fish oil, which appears to exert a significant effect in about 40% of people with Lp(a).
Even with this multi-agent approach, not everybody gains control over Lp(a).
That makes me wonder if someone has Lp(a) at a substantial level of, say, 200 nmol/L or 70 mg/dl (values can differ tremendously, depending on the method of measurement), should we throw everything but the kitchen sink at Lp(a) from the start? Right now, by adding an agent one at a time, it often takes two years to gain control over Lp(a) (if we are going to get it at all).
While many people might find this unpalatable and overwhelming from the starting gate of their program, I do believe it may be a strategy we should consider adopting for full and more immediate plaque control in the Track Your Plaque program. Something to chew on.
Clearly, we need better answers for Lp(a). A “kitchen sink,” full-frontal assault might be a way to gain faster control, though not necessarily a superior approach with regards to efficacy and potency.
There are a number of unique, potentially effective therapies for Lp(a) that are worth examining. Given the difficulty of performing clinical trials with non-drug agents (largely a lack of financial support, since nobody gets a financial return with non-patent-protectable agents), I am anxious to put these potential treatments to a test in the Track Your Plaque program Virtual Clinical Trail (VCT). The VCT gives us a quick and relatively easy method to test various potential treatments, with feedback generated in months, rather than years.
Any suggestions on promising agents to test? Of course, they must be widely available nutritional agents, not drugs.
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