The Most Important Tests to Assess Your Risk of Heart Disease That Your Doctor Doesn’t Check

Episode 768 1h 12m


Heart disease is still the number one killer in the world, yet most people don’t actually understand what markers put them most at risk. The general consensus is there are two types of cholesterol—the good and the bad—the good is thought to be high-density lipoproteins or HDL, and the bad is low-density lipoproteins or LDL. But we now know from research that it's much more complicated than that—there are actually various sizes and densities of these lipoproteins.

Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I’m excited to talk to one of the leading lipidologists, Dr. Ronald Krauss, all about lipoproteins, what they do in the body, what they mean for heart disease risk, and why a typical lipid panel alone is insufficient. We kick off our conversation by talking about how standard cholesterol testing is outdated. This is because it doesn’t check for particle size and particle number, information that is needed to tell what’s really going on with your cholesterol.

We also discuss the misconception that dietary cholesterol plays a large role in blood cholesterol, and what effect eating saturated fat versus refined carbohydrates has on LDL particle size and heart disease risk. Statins have become the panacea for anyone with LDL levels that are just a little off, yet most people (and even many doctors) aren’t fully informed of the risks versus the benefits of these drugs, let alone aware of other treatment options for heart disease.

Dr. Krauss and I talk about how statins can be a reliable therapy for lowering cardiovascular risk, however, they may be less effective in reducing small, dense LDL particles.

We also discuss the assay Dr. Krauss developed to differentiate between the sizes of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol, what they mean for heart disease risk, what numbers raise a flag, and what other biomarkers should be tested alongside lipoprotein fractionation. I hope you’ll tune in to learn more.


This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, BiOptimizers, LMNT, and Cozy Earth. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • How Dr. Krauss came to understand how cholesterol actually impacts the risk of heart disease


  • What is cholesterol?


  • Statins as heart disease treatment


  • Combatting myths around saturated fat


  • The assay Dr. Krauss developed to differentiate between the different sizes of lipoproteins and what they mean for heart disease risk


  • Testing beyond the standard lipid panel


  • Insulin resistance, prediabetes, and heart disease


  • Personal variation in heart disease risk


  • Dietary approaches to preventing heart disease


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Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Farmacy.

Dr. Ronald Krauss:
Really what we should be thinking about is the overall effects of foods in the diet. And they may not contain saturated fat, but there are a whole lot of other things to consider.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to the Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Hyman, and that is farmacy with a F, place for conversations that matter. And today, we're going to talk about the number one killer in the world, heart disease and cholesterol, which you probably all heard about, had tested. But today, we're going to talk about why the test you're having may not be the right one and what you really need to know about the real..

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Ep. 768 - The Most Important Tests to Assess Your Risk of Heart Disease That Your Doctor Doesn’t Check