Cholesterol Advice

Understanding Lipoprotein(a)


In simple words, lipoprotein(a) is similar to LDL or the bad cholesterol. However, the only difference between lipoprotein(a) and LDL is that LDL molecule has an apolipoprotein A molecule attached to it. Certain studies and researches are of the view that high level of this substance in the body can put you at a higher risk of heart diseases.

Lipoprotein(a) can be harmful
Lipoprotein(a) is manufactured inside the liver. From here it enters the blood stream. Its excessive accumulation inside the body leads to its deposition on the inner walls of the arteries. This in turn leads to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is accompanied with inflammation and formation of foam cells.

Another harmful effect of Lipoprotein(a) is blood clotting. It contains a component that is similar to plasminogen, which is a blood clotting protein. Since it causes blood clotting and leads to atherosclerosis too, it could put you at a higher risk of heart disease. If the LDL levels in the blood stream are also high, then Lipoprotein(a) could do even greater damage.

Controlling Lipoprotein(a) levels in the body
While most lipoproteins are measured in your blood test, Lipoprotein(a) is not a part of your regular blood test readings. The reason for the same being that Lipoprotein(a) and its effect has come to notice only recently. Like other lipoproteins, there is no standardized measurement of Lipoprotein(a). So, its normal levels cannot be ascertained.

Though there is no such set normal levels for Lipoprotein(a), it is still important to control the same. However, controlling Lipoprotein(a) can be a little tricky. The reason for the same being that it is affected primarily by genes and has little to do with your eating patterns and exercise. Some studies state that Niacin can be of great help in controlling Lipoprotein(a). But, since the exact cause and effect relationship is not yet known, it is not prescribed to treat the problem.

Controlling Lipoprotein(a) is important because it contributes to the development of heart related diseases. But, since the relationship between Lipoprotein(a) and the heart has not been completely established, it would be a better idea to control other well established factors that are related to heart disease.

Eat a healthy diet and give your body a daily dose of exercise along with consuming your cholesterol lowering medications. These simple things alone will help you keep your cholesterol levels in check and keep various heart problems at bay.