I Wish I Had Lipoprotein(a)! 8. August 2012 William Davis (33) Why would I say such a thing? Well, a number of reasons. People with lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a), are, with only occasional exceptions:--Very intelligent. I know many people with this genetic pattern with IQs of 130, 140, even 160+. --Good at math--This is true more for the male expression of the pattern, only occasionally female. It means that men with Lp(a) gravitate towards careers in math, accounting, financial analysis, physics, and engineering. --Athletic--Many are marathon runners, triathletes, long-distance bicyclists, and other endurance athletes. I tell my patients that, if they want to meet other people with Lp(a), go to a triathlon. --Poor at hydrating. People with Lp(a) have a defective thirst mechanism and often go for many hours without drinking water. This is why many Lp(a) people experience the pain of kidney stones: Prolonged and repeated dehydration causes crystals to form in the kidneys, leading to stone formation over time. --Tolerant to dehydration--Related to the previous item, people with Lp(a) can go for extended periods without even thinking about water. --Tolerant to periods of food deprivation or starvation--More so than other people, those with Lp(a) are uncommonly tolerant to days without food, as would occur in a wild setting. In short, people with Lp(a) are intelligent, athletic, with many other favorable characteristics that provide a survival advantage . . . in a primitive world. So when did Lp(a) become a problem? When an individual with Lp(a) is exposed to carbohydrates, especially those from grains. When an evolutionarily-advantaged Lp(a) individual is exposed to carbohydrates, more than other people they develop:--Excess quantities of small LDL particles--Recall that Lp(a) is a two-part molecule. One part: an apo(a) made by the liver. 2nd part: an LDL particle. When the LDL particle within the Lp(a) molecule is small, its overall behavior is worse or more atherogenic (plaque-causing). --Hyperglycemia/hyperinsulinemia--which then leads to diabetes. Unlike non-Lp(a) people, these phenomena can develop with far less visceral fat. A Lp(a) male, for instance, standing 5 ft 10 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, can have as much insulin resistance/hyperglycemia as a non-Lp(a) male of similar height weighing 50+ pounds more. Key to gaining control over Lp(a) is strict carbohydrate limitation. Another way to look at this is to say that Lp(a) people do best with unlimited fat and protein intake.