Lipoprotein testing

This is an update of a post I made about a year ago. However, I'm reposting it since the question comes up so often.

How can I get my lipoproteins tested?
This question came up on our recent online chat session and comes up frequently phone calls and e-mails.

If lipoprotein testing is the best way to uncover hidden causes of coronary heart disease, but your doctor is unable, unknowledgeable, or unwilling to help you, then what can you do?

There are several options:

1) Get the names of physicians who will obtain and interpret the test for you. That’s the best way. However, it is also the most difficult. Lipoprotein testing, despite over a decade of considerable scientific exploration and validation in thousands of research publications, still remains a sophisticated tool that only specialists in lipids will use. But this provides you with the best information on you’re your lipoproteins mean.
2) If you don’t have a doctor who can provide lipoprotein testing and interpretation, go to the websites for the three labs that actually perform the lipoprotein tests: (NMR); (electropheresis or GGE); (ultracentrifugation). None of them will provide you with the names of actual physicians. They can provide you with the name of a local representative who will know (should know) which doctors in your area are well-acquainted with their technology. I prefer this route to just having a representative identify a laboratory in your area where the blood sample can be drawn, because you will still need a physician to interpret the results¾this is crucial. The test is of no use to you unless someone interprets it intelligently and understands the range of treatment possibilities available. Don’t be persuaded by your doctor if he/she agrees to have the blood drawn but has never seen the test before. This will be a waste of your time. That’s like hoping the kid next door can fix your car just because he says he fixed his Mom’s car once. Interpretation of lipoproteins takes time, education, and experience.

3) Seek out a lipidologist. Lipidologists are the new breed of physician who has sought out additional training and certification in lipid and lipoprotein disorders. Sometimes they’re listed in the yellow pages, or you can search online in your area. One drawback: Most lipidologists have been heavily brainwashed by the statin industry and tend to be heavy drug users.

4) Contact us. I frankly don’t like doing this because I feel that I can only provide limited information through this method and, frankly, it is very time consuming. I provide a written discussion of the implications and choices for treatment with the caveat to discuss them with your doctor, since I can’t provide medical advice without a formal medical relationship. We also charge $75 for the interpretation. But it’s better than nothing.

5) Make do with basic testing. Basic lipids along with a lipoprotein(a), C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, and homocysteine would provide a reasonable facsimile of lipoprotein testing. You’ll still lack small LDL and postprandial (after-eating) information, but you can still do reasonably well if you try to achieve the Track Your Plaque targets of 60-60-60. It’s sometimes a necessary compromise.

Our discussions on the Track Your Plaque Forum have impressed me with the difficulty many people encounter in getting lipoproteins drawn and interpreted. Some of our Members have been very resourceful identifying blood draw laboratories around the country, such as Lab Safe, that will at least provide the blood draw service.

I wish it was easier and we are working on some ideas to facilitate this nationwide. It will take time.

In 20 years, this will be a lot easier when doctors more commonly use lipoprotein testing. But for now, you can still obtain reasonably good results choosing one of the above alternatives.

Comments (5) -

  • wccaguy

    10/19/2007 5:08:00 PM |

    I found this blog and found and joined the Track Your Plaque (TYP) program 7 weeks ago now.

    I struggled to figure out how to get the right blood testing done per Dr. Davis for several weeks.  If I knew then what I know now, here are the steps I would take without thinking about it and which are consistent with the TYP program.  I'm sure Dr. Davis will correct me if I advocate anything he opposes.

    1)  Go to and order the NMR test from LabSafe.  The specific link appears below.  Dr. Davis, in multiple forum or blog posts has stated that he prefers the LipoScience NMR above the other two blood tests he mentions in his post.  The NMR test ran about $100 when I ordered it.  You'll get the paperwork or a phone call in a couple days with a list of blood draw centers in your area.  Here's a link to the page with the LabSafe Order icon.

    When you order the NMR test, BE SURE to add the LipoProtein(a) (aka LP(a)) test to your order.

    2)  Go to the Life Extension Foundation ( website and order a Vitamin D test.  Dr. Davis would certainly say that the Vitamin D test is less a priority than #1 above but, hey, for about $47 or $62 more you can get the test out of the way at the same time that you do the NMR test.  Here's the link to the LEF Vitamin D test.

    ==>> The two LipoScience tests and the LEF Vitamin D test can be done at LabCorp drawing centers.  So, if you order them at the same time and wait a week to get all the paperwork you can get all the blood drawn in a single lab visit.

    So, there, about $200 outside of insurance reimbursement, boom, done...  in a week...

    Ok... That's all well and good but now you're thinking to yourself... "I need a Doctor's evaluation just like Dr. Davis has recommended in this blog post."

    Well, I think Dr. Davis has significantly UNDERSTATED the value of joining his Track Your Plaque program for what, $40 for the first 3 months and $19 for every quarter after that?

    Once you join the TYP program, you get access to the TYP forum.  Once you get your blood test results a week or so after the blood draw then you post those results (anonymously) to the forum and ask for advice about what to do.  Forum members who know what they're talking about (because they've been following Dr. Davis' work for a while) will provide you with feedback about what your numbers mean and what you need to do and can do about them.

    Since I became a member, Dr. Davis has personally answered each post also unless the post didn't really require a reply.  Usually he replies within 24-48 hours.  Can you get an appointment with any doctor more qualified than he is to provide feedback in less time?  Well, no, you can't.  And then, when you have follow up questions, you can post those questions and get solid answers from other members or from Dr. Davis... about blood testing, heartscans, supplements, diet, etc.

    I suppose you could ask for a personalized report from him for $75 as well.  My impression is that it wouldn't say much more than what he would say to you anyway in the forum.

    From the forum, you'll often be referred to one or more of dozens of special reports Dr. Davis has written on the most critical issues related to coronary artery disease, including all the most harmful results you may learn of through the blood testing you got done.

    One of the most important things about the forum is this:  Forum members, who have been doing the TYP program for a while, often post their 1 year results.  It's incredibly inspiring to read about folks reducing their coronary plaque measured by CT heart scans and improving their blood lipoprotein numbers.

    So, 20 days, start to finish, less than $250 outside of insurance reimbursement, boom, you're armed with the information you need to move forward.

    7 to 10 days from initial blood draw ordering to getting the blood draw done.  7 to 10 days from blood draw to receiving your results and getting world-class feedback from Dr. Davis and TYP members under his tutelage on your specific numbers that you post anonymously.

  • Dr. Davis

    10/19/2007 9:41:00 PM |


    Excellent points about vit D and practical ways to get this done.

    And thanks for the wonderful comments.

  • Anonymous

    10/20/2007 5:23:00 AM |

    How do we avail ourselves of the opportunity to send you our results for $75?  

    I saw an "anti-aging" doctor who insisted I have the Atherotech VAP test, but frankly in my follow-up visit, I don't remember him saying much about the results.  In fairness, he ran about dozens of other tests as well, including extensive hormone tests, so the discussion may have gotten lost among discussion of the other test results, but he also spent a lot of time trying to sell me expensive vitamin "infusions" and other alternative therapies.

  • Dr. Davis

    10/20/2007 2:39:00 PM |

    Just forward your lipoprotein results to The link is on the website.

    I'd like to make clear, however, that I discourage use of this route. It is  a last resort.

  • buy jeans

    11/2/2010 7:43:50 PM |

    I frankly don’t like doing this because I feel that I can only provide limited information through this method and, frankly, it is very time consuming. I provide a written discussion of the implications and choices for treatment with the caveat to discuss them with your doctor, since I can’t provide medical advice without a formal medical relationship. We also charge $75 for the interpretation. But it’s better than nothing.