Possible Skin Test for Cholesterol?
Could you get a cholesterol test without drawing blood first? Researchers have developed a less invasive way to check for high cholesterol. A check of your skin can predict cholesterol levels and perhaps, even your risk of heart disease.
For almost a third of all Americans, the fight against unhealthy cholesterol levels is a never-ending struggle. Keeping good cholesterol up and bad cholesterol down is a constant battle.
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for a new laboratory test to measure cholesterol through your skin. This new method can help determine the amount of cholesterol in your skin using the palm of your hand. The test, named Cholesterol 1,2,3, is made by International Medical Innovations Inc. of Toronto, Canada.
The test works like this: a Band-Aid-like applicator pad is placed on the palm of your hand. There are no needles involved. Drops of solution are added to the pad, which then remains on your palm for about three minutes. A handheld reader is then attached to a computer and used to read the amount of blue color in the attached pad. The results are displayed on the computer screen. The deeper the blue color, the more cholesterol is present.
The new test has only been approved for those who already have established cardiovascular disease and those with a history of heart attack. At this point the Cholesterol 1,2,3 test would only be an addition to the blood test, which measures the amount of cholesterol floating around in the bloodstream, and not as a substitute for the conventional test. It is also not a substitute for an evaluation of other risk factors used to identify coronary artery disease.
The decision of the FDA to okay the skin test was based on a review of the firm's clinical studies that showed that it could provide 4% to 15% more information about risk of severe coronary artery disease beyond that already available with blood cholesterol and other risk factors, in patients with severe heart disease or for those who had a previous heart attack.
The Cholesterol 1,2,3 test may be used to evaluate a patient’s risk, however, it cannot replace traditional methods of assessing risk. There have even been some studies that have suggested that the new skin test could detect atherosclerosis in those without symptoms, but it has not yet gained approval for this use in the United States. The new skin test is currently being utilized in Canada and Europe. Sometime in the future, your doctor may use the skin test as a quick check for heart disease risk while you are in your doctor’s office.
Skin contains approximately 11 percent by weight of all body cholesterol. When severe coronary artery disease is present, the numeric values obtained with the skin cholesterol test increases.
The test cannot be used on people with skin diseases on the hand or on those who recently applied skin lotions or topical medications. Also, the test results may be race and age dependent. Most of those studied were Caucasian, ages 40 to 82. There is no need to fast before the test.
The patients that doctors are most concerned about are those on the borderline - those whose levels fluctuate between normal and a little high. According to researchers a new skin cholesterol test may be one of the best options for these patients.
High levels of skin cholesterol have been linked to increased carotid artery thickness and plaque formation, atherosclerosis and increased blood cholesterol in some studies.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and most Americans know someone affected by it. Half of all American men and a third of women aged 40 years and over will develop the disease during their lifetime. The good news is that you can prevent heart disease by controlling those risk factors that can be modified. By lowering risk factors – through exercise, reducing saturated fats and cholesterol-containing foods, quitting smoking, and reducing excess weight, people can minimize their risk of ever developing coronary heart disease.
Harsh medications help many people keep healthier cholesterol levels. Many will instead choose more natural solutions.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that include many important natural ingredients is Cholesterol Complete™ (click here to view). It’s a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body. You’re supporting healthy cholesterol with 100% natural approach!