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Old 02-03-2006, 04:25 AM   #1
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VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

I am 53, male, and there is a very strong history of heart attacks in my family including both parents. These occurred at a young age, before 55. I am sure my gene pool is really bad. Anyway, these are the cards I was dealt.
For the last 18 plus years I have been working hard to improve my longevity and decrease my odds of succumbing to CHD. Now, I think in terms of at least 22 risk factors that need my constant attention. Some, of course, I have no control over but the rest I do, so I have pushed most of them out of the picture as much as possible. I think CHD can be modulated by serious lifestyle changes.
I have personally incorporated the following life style changes:
Quit smoking 20 years ago.
Quit working 70 hrs per week & adopted stress reduction techniques.
Switched to 85% plus vegetarian diet and maintain weight at .95 of ideal weight.
Consume very little cheese or dairy products.
I always get 5 or more servings of fruit and veggies per day.
Exercise hard 4 times per week (can push my heart rate past max point 170).
Take all kinds of health supporting vitamins and supplements, for example: 2 g of Vitamin C + 2 g of Lysine + 1 g Proline (yes, I am a fan of the LP theory), Q10, Reservatrol + Hawthorne, Vitamin E, + grape seed + garlic + turmeric + artichoke plus numerous other nutrients.
Take 81-mg aspirin daily.
Consume red wine several times per week, green tea every day & soy products.
Eat lots of cold water fish, mostly salmon.
Consume flax seed oil, nuts and oat bran and whole grains.
I mostly eat wholesome low-fat foods; I believe in the theories of super nutrition.
I never consume Trans-fats and very rarely will I eat fast food.
I take Red Rice Yeast 1200 mg per day plus 10 mg Lipitor (for the past 3 years). This was necessary for me because my cholesterol had bottomed out and was still not acceptable.

I have seen my cholesterol as high as 299, LDL & HDL numbers that were real ugly. All of these scary numbers existed before I changed my lifestyle (almost 18 years ago). I feel great, have lots of energy and have no health problems at all. Recently, I decided to switch to the VAP cholesterol test. I am very much in support of the added risk factor details. Below I will share my numbers.

Total Chol 195
HDL 40
LDL 125
Tri G 85
Blood sugar 91
Blood pressure 116/74
CRP hs .5
Homocysteine 6.5
VLDL 26
Lp(a) 10
IDL 18
LDL (real) 112
Size Pattern A
HDL2 12 HDL3 28

Very sad but true, my twin brother has numerous serious medical problems and is not doing well. In addition to his many medical issues, he has high blood pressure, is now diabetic and has advanced CHD. His cholesterol numbers were horrible, TC over 300 and LDL of 190. Oddly, his HDL was always terrific, in the mid 60ís. Last year he had bad chest / arm pains and needed 7 stints put in. The high HDL was of little benefit. Now he is symptomatic again and is being evaluated for bypass.

My only point of mentioning my brother is to emphasize that taking control of ones health has huge benefits. I know that many on this board already know this and work hard at it. I donít want to sound cold, but unfortunately my brother never subscribed to this theory. His life style habits were very poor. When he made a sandwich his only consideration was how to get the butter and mayo on both sides of the white bread. Now, sadly, the results of his habits have clearly contributed to the demise of his health. This twin brother real-life medical experiment demonstrates the possible outcomes. I hope this example will encourage others to make the important life style changes that will protect their health. There is solid science to support this belief. As I said, I feel great and will continue to control as many CHD risk factors as possible. The goal is to improve the odds of avoiding or a least delaying CHD. I donít think my numbers are super, but they are not bad. I think the LDL needs to get lower but I do not what to increase the Lipitor. I have somewhat given up on HDL because mine went from 28 to 40 and has been stuck there. Plus, I donít think is as protective has advertised.
By the way, I think this board is excellent and have learned a lot from it.

Thanks
Brian

 
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:49 AM   #2
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Brian,

I'm going to guess that your twin is fraternal rather than identical. If identical, then you two are overdue for a writeup in JAMA, since you're so different!
Of course, you know your weakest point is the just adequate HDL of 40 that is unfortunately light on the protective HDL2.
Your Lp(a) is great and all your numbers very good for someone controlling without statins.
Have you thought about trying niacin to boost that HDL and maybe skew it towards the HDL2's.

Does your insurance company balk at covering the VAP?

How long can you sustain that heart rate of 170? What is your resting pulse?

Last edited by Lenin; 02-03-2006 at 05:00 AM.

 
Old 02-03-2006, 05:15 AM   #3
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Lenin, thanks for the feedback. You have guessed correct, we are fraternal twins. Ya, my HDL stays between 38 and 40 and does not want to go up. I am on 10 mg lipitor and it improved my HDL. The VAP test sub components are new to me so I am not knowledgeable presently on the HDL 2 Vs HDL 3 mixture. I am going to try to get my brother to have the VAP test so I can really get scientific about comparing his numbers to mine. I know high HDL is good to have. I do take some niacin, a low dose, 500 mg I think. The insurence did pay it for it. My doc did not seem to keen on the test. I think it was new to him (new risk factor to deal with, uninformed doc, ha ha).

 
Old 02-04-2006, 07:19 PM   #4
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Hi Lenin

I was away and did not have a chance to answer you questions, sorry.

My resting pulse is around 60. When on the tread mill or cross trainer, it takes me about 30 mines to get my HR up high. I start slow and build up. Usually, I get it to 160 for about 5 mins. If I push to above 170 - can hold it for 30 to 60 seconds. Immediate I start to let it drop down. The whole secession is 40 to 50 mins. I have no discomfort or pains during the workout. I think this is a good sign. In fact my doc never sends me for a stress test because he stays it would show nothing. Given my family history, I always am on the lookout for any abnormal pains or discomfort.

 
Old 02-05-2006, 05:18 AM   #5
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Rig9300,

I commend you for the obviously fantastic effort you are making. The only suggestion I can make concerns the vitamin C and lysine dosages. Two grams may be adequate for some people in terms of prevention. However, for people who are at high risk, and have a strong family history of heart disease, it may be best to increase your vitamin C and lysine intake to the recommended therapeutic dose, which is 6 grams. But other than that, I think you're making a really great effort, and I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 02-05-2006, 05:27 AM   #6
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Skip that foray into the 170 BPM range: it's an unnecessary risk with no benefit because the (very short time) you stay there will confer no benefit and might do harm. It's too much in the nature of a sudden sprint. If you can get 20 minutes over 140, you've got a good cardiac workout.

 
Old 02-05-2006, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Brian,

If you want a good cardiovascular workout, you should try to get your heart beat up to 80-85% of maximum, and hold it there for 20-30 minutes. Do this 5 times a week and you're golden!!!

Maximum Heart Rate is usually calculated as

220 - Age

So yours is 167.

If you exercise at 85% of this rate you'd have an exercising target heart rate of 142. Try to sustain this reate for at least 20-30 minutes per workout for a good cardiovascular workout. This will really build endurance.

I'm not so sure going up to 160 or 170 is adviseable - the risk of injury at this intensity level has to be taken into account. Getting to 160 or 170 for short periods is like doing wind-sprints at the track. It increases speed and strength. This is absolutely fine if you're going for speed and strength - but it won't benefit your heart much more than the 80-85% workout.

If you just want to lose fat, your body burns fat most efficiently when your heart rate is at 60-65% of MHR.

HubbleRules
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:54 AM   #8
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Concerning increasing my dose of C and Lysine, I think you may be right and I should increase the amount. I was thinking that since I consume several other antioxidants the net sum would equal the 4 to 6 g of Vit C. What do you think?

I am new to the LP vitamin C and lysine + proline theory but it does make sense to me, I am now a fan of it. I donít what to increase my lipitor above 10 mg. so I will try all other approaches that make good sense.

In the past I never would push my HR that high but 7 years ago I joined the Virginia Master swim team and club. They were able to get me to a very high fitness level which included both long continuous swims and 50 and 100 meter sprints. Other then sometimes feeling lightheaded (infrequent), there were no ill effects. Question, what kind of damage might happen? I have viewed these periodic very high HR work outs as my personnel stress test and advanced early warning system. Maybe I need to rethink this if it could cause more harm then good. I have backed off of these hard practice secessions because they take soooo much energy.

 
Old 02-05-2006, 01:36 PM   #9
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig9300
In the past I never would push my HR that high but 7 years ago I joined the Virginia Master swim team and club. They were able to get me to a very high fitness level which included both long continuous swims and 50 and 100 meter sprints. Other then sometimes feeling lightheaded (infrequent), there were no ill effects. Question, what kind of damage might happen? I have viewed these periodic very high HR work outs as my personnel stress test and advanced early warning system. Maybe I need to rethink this if it could cause more harm then good. I have backed off of these hard practice secessions because they take soooo much energy.
Rig9300,

My advice was for someone in 'average' shape. It is clear you are in top shape, in which case, if I were you, I'd push myself to stay that way also.

The 'damage' would be pulled or torn muscles, ligaments - you know, the average problems we run into when we exercise hard as the years go by... Also, when some people push themselves too hard and aren't in shape for it, especially when they get over 50, unexpected heart attacks are not out of the question - but it really depends on whether you have any blockage to begin with.

If you're not having any chest-pains or severe shortness of breath maintaining the 160 heart rate for 5 minutes at a clip, then I don't think you are risking much.

HubbleRules
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Last edited by HubbleRules; 02-05-2006 at 01:38 PM.

 
Old 02-05-2006, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Quote:
Originally Posted by HubbleRules
Brian,

If you want a good cardiovascular workout, you should try to get your heart beat up to 80-85% of maximum, and hold it there for 20-30 minutes. Do this 5 times a week and you're golden!!!

Maximum Heart Rate is usually calculated as

220 - Age

So yours is 167.

If you exercise at 85% of this rate you'd have an exercising target heart rate of 142. Try to sustain this reate for at least 20-30 minutes per workout for a good cardiovascular workout. This will really build endurance.

I'm not so sure going up to 160 or 170 is adviseable - the risk of injury at this intensity level has to be taken into account. Getting to 160 or 170 for short periods is like doing wind-sprints at the track. It increases speed and strength. This is absolutely fine if you're going for speed and strength - but it won't benefit your heart much more than the 80-85% workout.

If you just want to lose fat, your body burns fat most efficiently when your heart rate is at 60-65% of MHR.

HubbleRules
I think there's some room for variation with these equations. They make work as a general rule, but I have found it difficult to live within the limits.

For example, I am 42 years old, so according to the above equation my maximum heart rate is 178. The 85% rate is 151. Yet I regularly work at at a higher rate than that without any problems. In fact, when I go running I find it very difficult to stay at 151 or below. The longer I run, the more my heart rate creeps up. Just yesterday I looked at my heart rate monitor at the end of my run and it was 160. I felt perfectly fine. I don't allow my heart rate to go above 165 and will slow down if it approaches that.

I will say that when I've run in 5-10K races and my heart rate gets to 170, I usually feel like I'm going to throw up. That only happens at the end of the race when I'm trying to beat some young punk to make a statement.

 
Old 02-05-2006, 06:27 PM   #11
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Quote:
Originally Posted by carrielynn
I think there's some room for variation with these equations. They make work as a general rule, but I have found it difficult to live within the limits.

For example, I am 42 years old, so according to the above equation my maximum heart rate is 178. The 85% rate is 151. Yet I regularly work at at a higher rate than that without any problems. In fact, when I go running I find it very difficult to stay at 151 or below. The longer I run, the more my heart rate creeps up. Just yesterday I looked at my heart rate monitor at the end of my run and it was 160. I felt perfectly fine. I don't allow my heart rate to go above 165 and will slow down if it approaches that.

I will say that when I've run in 5-10K races and my heart rate gets to 170, I usually feel like I'm going to throw up. That only happens at the end of the race when I'm trying to beat some young punk to make a statement.

Carrielynn,

Yes, you're absolutely right - they are just guidelines.

I find that the more in-shape someone is, the more you can exceed them and the less relevant they are.

HubbleRules
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Old 02-05-2006, 07:33 PM   #12
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig9300
Concerning increasing my dose of C and Lysine, I think you may be right and I should increase the amount. I was thinking that since I consume several other antioxidants the net sum would equal the 4 to 6 g of Vit C. What do you think?
Well, I think you should be looking at the actual amount of vitamin C you are getting from those supplements, and increase it accordingly, until you have reached 6 grams.
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Old 02-06-2006, 04:54 AM   #13
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

Actually,

the more in-shape a person becomes the more difficult it is to reach anywhere NEAR the maximum heart rates that the equations pronounce.
A really fit heart is a slow one able to push out much blood at a single stroke without the need for a rapid pulse.

 
Old 02-06-2006, 09:54 AM   #14
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

I was wondering what the average ranges are for most people for some of the VAP test categories. For example, my HDL2 and HDL 3 numbers are 12 and 28 respectively. Apparently, this split is not that good. But how bad is it or more specifically, what is considered average or common? I have the same question for the pattern size and some of the other numbers. Does anyone have a good explanation? What is the general opinion of the VAP test, worth the extra wait time and expense?
TC 195
HDL 40
LDL 125
VLDL 26
Lp(a) 10
IDL 18
LDL (real) 112
Size Pattern A
HDL2 12 HDL3 28

 
Old 02-06-2006, 10:51 AM   #15
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Re: VAP Test Chol Results + my personal story

I haven't specifically asked for the VAP test so as not to enrage my insurance company nor confuse my poor GP but I manage to squeeze in requests for Lp(a) and apolipotrotein A and HDL2 and 3. Next I;lll go for the biggie: LDL's 1 through 4...
So far they haven't cost me a cent...over the hideous monthly bill for the insurance.

The range on HDL2 is 9-38 mg/dL...I get 26 drinking and 20 teetotalling.
The range on the unprotective HDL3 is 22-35...I get 22 drinking , 17 teetotalling.

So my teetotalling isn't so bad as just the HDL might imply because it seems to come at the expense of a low HDL3.

Rig, did your VAP come with an LDL breakdown into components?

 
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