Ah, what modern medicine chooses to ignore or forget. Lipoprotein(a) is an intentionally overlooked lipoprotein (a protein that combines with and transports fats or other lipids in the blood plasma. Lipoproteins are commonly referred to as “cholesterol”). While recent studies suggest elevated cholesterol is NOT a significant predictive marker for future heart attacks, lipoprotein(a) certainly is!
Lipoprotein(a) is so (intentionally) overlooked that researchers recently wrote a report entitled: “Lipoprotein(a) and Cardiovascular Risk: Investigating the Hidden Side Of The Moon.” [Nutrition Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases 2016]
These investigators conclude elevated lipoprotein(a) is predictive for strokes and heart attacks through simulation of platelet aggregation (blood clots) and the treatment of choice is LDL apheresis (blood filtration).
Lp(a) 3.5-fold higher than normal increases the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes and heart attacks, particularly in those with LDL cholesterol ≥ 130 mg/dl. These researchers write:
“The effects of statins and fibrates on Lp(a) are limited and extremely variable. Niacin was shown effective in reducing Lp(a) but, due to its side effects and serious adverse events during clinical trials, it is no longer considered a possible option for treatment. To date, the treatment of choice for high levels of Lp(a) in high CV risk patients is represented by LDL-Apheresis. Thanks to innovative technologies, new selectively inhibiting LPA drugs are being developed and tested.”
Some nutritionally savvy readers of this blog will be quick to mention there is a reliable way to reduce lipoprotein(a) levels as demonstrated by Matthias Rath and Linus Pauling in 1990. Rath and Pauling noted that in the absence of vitamin C (ascorbate), lipoprotein(a) serves as a problematic substitute for ascorbate’s wound healing cell-repair mechanisms inside arteries that supply the heart with oxygenated blood.
Rath and Pauling noted that animals that internally produce vitamin C do not develop heart disease. Due to a genetic defect, humans and a few animals (guinea pigs, fruit bats, primate monkeys) lost ability to synthesize vitamin C internally generations ago.
Guinea pigs, which have the same genetic defect as humans, must consume ~800 mg human equivalent vitamin C daily to avert arterial disease.
Lipoprotein(a) produces a “sticky bandage” inside artery walls that attracts blood platelets and induces clotting. Supplemental vitamin C is the antidote. [Proceedings National Academy Science Aug 1990] However, researchers write that blood filtration is the only effective therapy for elevated lipoprotein(a) and that lipoprotein(a)- lowering drugs are being developed. (??)