If you really want to find out the risk your cholesterol levels pose, you shouldn’t rely on a traditional lipid panel to do the job. Such cholesterol tests measure total LDL, HDL, and triglycerides, and they’re what most doctors will order—but they’re outdated!
Granted, standard blood lipid tests are useful for determining whether your ratio of total HDL to LDL cholesterol is within a healthy range. But those cholesterol tests won’t tell you about your HDL and LDL fractions (that is, whether you have predominantly small dense cholesterol particles, or large buoyant ones).
Particle size is extraordinarily important, because research shows that small dense LDL cholesterol is inflammatory and toxic to blood vessels. Even more troubling is a high level of Lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a)—the most dangerous blood lipids. Lp(a) is a specific type of small LDL cholesterol particle that inflames the blood and makes it sticky—patients with Lp(a) are more prone to clotting.
The Best Cholesterol Tests..