Recognizing the contribution and inter-relatedness of lipoprotein risk factors is critical to prioritizing treatment strategies for cardiovascular risk reduction. Lipoprotein factors still dominate risk for developing cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction. Some emerging risk factors such as C-reactive protein are gaining acceptance due to recent prospective clinical trials demonstrating clinical benefit in reducing these markers. Other emerging risk factors, including lipoprotein particle size, remain to be validated.
This article from Integrative Medicine, a Clinician’s Journal (full text available for download below) begins with a review of formal risk assessment, discussing the contribution of multiple “risky” and “healthy” components that play a part in overall cardiovascular health. Following risk assessment, it discussed evidence-based integrative therapies that can be used to modify any risky lipoprotein and inflammatory patient profiles, including medications, functional foods, supplements, and lifestyle approaches. The focus is on low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, triglycerides, and C-reactive protein.
Understanding the interrelatedness of lipoprotein risk factors, and finding efficient methods of treating multiple risk factors simultaneously, will not only improve the long-term health of patients but will also save on the expenditure of healthcare dollars for unnecessary testing and ineffective treatments. Integrative practitioners who understand the contribution of lifestyle factors, and who have numerous effective treatment options at their disposal, are well positioned to counsel patients on cardiovascular disease prevention.