The sobering tale of small LDL

Every day, I learn to respect small LDL more and more.

Small LDL particles, and its evil partner, low HDL, is among the most common reasons why someone fails to fully gain control of coronary plaque and heart disease risk.

Just yesterday, I saw a slender businessman (6 feet 1 inch in height, 186 lb.) whose small pattern persisted despite niacin, fish oil, oat bran, and raw almonds. We generally think of small LDL as an overweight person's pattern, but in some people the genetics are quite powerful and it can be expressed even in slender people.

The solution: More physical activity and exercise; cut back on processed carbohydrates, particularly wheat products like breads, pasta, crackers, breakfast cereals; think about magnesium (see our two recent reports on magnesium on the membership website, the latest report to be posted this week); be sure sleep is adequate (gauge this by whether you're energetic during the day and don't fall asleep watching TV or movies). Lack of sufficient physical activity in people with sedentary jobs is probably among the most common reason the small LDL pattern persists.

Ignore small LDL and it can be like a hidden cancer in your body, growing and metastasizing (not literally, of course), fueling coronary plaque growth. Be sure your doctor assesses whether you have small LDL if you hope to gain control of your coronary risk.