More important then LDL and HDL

Hi I am new here and have been struck, looking at the posts, at how dominated people are by their levels of HDL and LDL and of course total cholesterol. This surprises me because their is well documented evidence that other lipid profiles are more predictive than simply looking at LDL. For example you would be far better off looking at

ApoA to APOB ratio

Lp(a) levels

Oxidised LDL levels

How many of you know your Homocystine levels. This is another well documented risk for cardio disease and yet if it is high it is easily lowered by Vit B12 and Folate supplementation. The cost of these tests can be a little high here in the UK but they are very cheap in Portugal which is where I get mine done. There is also very little discussion on inflamation, the main cause of heart disease. Here in the UK we can at least get out CRP levels measured free at the GP. this is another good indicator of risk.


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22 Replies

  • Do GP's know about the three levels mentioned above?

    How do I ask a NHS, GP to do blood test for the three things you have mentioned?

  • Hi Bala, they wont do them and if you have a doctor like mine he wont even know what they are. You can pay for them in the UK. One company (I have no connection and would advise the cheaper route I am about to mention) is via BlueHorizon blood tests. The problem is that its expensive. For example I have about 6 tests done and it would cost around £600 whereas you can get the same test in Portugal for about £120 which means a flight and couple of days in the Algarve will still come in cheaper. The CRP test can be done for free at your GP if you ask and I would suggest you get this along with your cholesterol test.

    Stay healthy

  • How much b12 do you take. any good for high blood pressure

  • Here is the B12 and Folate that I take

    My partner tends to have high blood pressure but when she take Kyolic aged garlic, drinks Hibiscus Tea and takes the B12 above coupled with daily 45 minutes of walking eg 20 mins to town and back, her blood pressure drops to an acceptable 125/80. I have no connection with the above company, take any one as long as its the Mythocobalamin variety

  • Most of that B12 is not absorbed. Buy patches instead

  • Blue horizon gave very cheap groupon tests.

    Also Truehealth labs

  • Hi Mark,

    Does a prior appt have to be made with the lab in Portugal? Do they insist on a referral from a doctor, or can we self-refer? I would appreciate the contact details and any info you can give regarding the Portugal lab.

    Thanks 🤔

  • Hi

    No you just walk in and ask for the relevant test, they take your blood sample there and then and the results ctoome back to you, by email if you prefer, within about 2 to 3 days depending on the tests. You do not need a doctors referal, just a vein.

    I have about 5 or 6 tests per year which cost me about £140 whilst in UK they would be £600

    Web link

    If you need directions etc then let me know. There will certainly be one in Faro too.

  • Thanks for the link Mark... but I can't read Portuguese/Spanish. 😨

    I was hoping they'd have English translations on their site. Are they a chain of chemists or chain of labs?

  • They are more of a lab than a chemist. You enter the reception, ask for the specific tests. they take your blood in the sampling rooms and thats it. The locals use them a lot. There are two testing centres in Tavira but I use this one. Are you planning on going over ?.

  • If poss, I'd like to go this summer. I've not been to Portugal before, so I'd prefer to stay at a place that's near the chemist/lab as my health is pretty up and down, and I'd need staff who speak English.


  • Please find out the cot if you have a European Health Insurance card. you can get this card in UK, before your travel.

  • I don't think the EHI covers non-urgent blood tests.

  • In UK we have health tourists. While you are there you had a sudden pain?

  • Is this question for me ?

  • Sorry not for you.!

  • Here is a hotel that is 400 metres down the road from the lab and is a 2 minute walk into the centre of Tavira. Shop around if you want something cheaper. Self catering can be found at the second link which is about 1000 metres away from the lab

  • Thanks a lot Mark. 🖖🏻

  • They don't do them.

    Alternatively you could just assume the worst. And make all the lifestyle changes possible and get extra benefits - such as being happier, healthier and more at ease.

  • Agreed but VAP test through Truehealthlabs is fairly cheap - and they have sales....

  • The those interested in the higher predictive power of Apo B and APO A read the following which shows that the large Quebec Cardio study indicated that this ratio is far superior than the cheap and cheerful test results you get from your GP

  • You are correct - another good test is the Myeloperoxidase which shows inflammation in the arteries. It is also known as MPO and is critical to know.

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