What Is Lipoprotein A?


Lipoproteins in general have an important function in your body, but lipoprotein(a) is linked to the possibility of heart disease. Monitor your lipoprotein levels to live healthily. The information below explains what lipoprotein(a) is and why it affects your heart.


What Is Lipoprotein a and How Is It Related to Heart Disease

What is lipoprotein, and how is it formed?


A lipoprotein is a biological agent that your body forms by bonding a lipid to a protein. You probably know there are high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). HDL has more proteins than lipids, while LDL has more lipids than proteins. Each is functionally crucial in your body, but it is better to have more HDL than LDL.


What is the function of lipoprotein a?


In general, lipoproteins assist to transport fats through the bloodstream. Since fats are hydrophobic, they cannot move through your bloodstream to their final destination without a biological moiety to carry them. This is the role of the hydrophilic protein. Specifically, lipoprotein(a) helps with coagulation of the blood.


How does lipoprotein a affect the heart?


Lipoprotein(a) thickens arterial walls in the heart, causing a condition called atherosclerosis. Since this lipoprotein assists in blood clot formation, elevated levels cause a blood clot in or near the heart that results in thrombosis. The National Institute of Health and other government agencies continue to do research the implications of lipoprotein(a).


How is lipoprotein a detected and managed?


With a blood test, your doctor measures the levels of lipoprotein(a) in your body. If levels are too high, you attempt to lower them niacin supplements. You may also take herbal supplements with niacin or alter diet habits to manage your lipoprotein(a) levels.


There is still an enigmatic aspect to this lipoprotein and more research is needed to uncover its link to heart disease. Have blood work done frequently and do what you can to maintain your health.