The Best Way To Test How Healthy Your Heart Is: Ben Greenfield Undergoes A Complete Advanced Cardiac Evaluation & Reports The Surprising Results!

Affiliate Disclosure

Fitness, Lifestyle, Podcast, Recovery

What is the best test to check for heart problems? To answer this question and take a deep dive into the health of my heart, I recently spent hours and hours at a medical facility in Los Angeles being put through the most advanced cardiac workup known to man—then packaged my entire experience into this special podcast episode that's complete with physician interview videos, deep dives into the state of the art equipment that was used, and much more.

So prepare to have your mind blown by this rare glimpse into the world of heart health and to learn everything you need to know about exactly what's going on with your ticker.

My guest on this episode, Dr. Ram Dandillaya, is a cardiologist in the Division of Cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. He is board-certified in cardiovascular diseases, nuclear cardiology, cardiac computed tomography, echocardiography, and internal medicine.

Dr. Dandillaya has a clinical interest in preventative cardiology, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). In addition to being a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Dandillaya is a member of numerous societies, including the American Heart Association’s Council on Clinical Cardiology, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, the Society of Vascular Ultrasound, the Los Angeles and American Society of Echocardiography and the American College of Physicians. In 2009, Dr. Dandillaya was elected to a two-year term as Vice President of the Cedars-Sinai Alumni Association.

Dr. Dandillaya’s research has been published in major scientific journals and he has present abstracts at many national meetings, including annual sessions of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association. He is also actively involved in the teaching of fellows and residents at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Dandillaya’s more recent research interests include issues related to percutaneous aortic valve replacement, the role of 64-slice computed tomography and coronary calcium in coronary artery disease, and the prevention of atherosclerotic heart disease.

In this episode, you'll discover:

Part 1: Ben's Examination At The Clinic

-Ben's heart ultrasound…6:06

  • Enlarged heart ventricle is common in ultrasounds (athlete's heart, or cardiomegaly)
  • 50/50 on finding issues in “healthy” patients
  • High-carb diet can be deleterious from lipid oxidation standpoint
  • Polyunsaturated fats are huge culprits for diabetes
  • Protocol: set of diagnostics on each valve of the heart
    • Checking for function and chamber sizes
  • Ben's health protocol:
    • Walk 5-7 miles a day
    • Sauna 3-4 times per week
    • 45-minute kettlebell, HIIT session
    • Hiking, tennis, etc.
  • Article: Athletic heart syndrome
  • Article: Echocardiography in the evaluation of athletes

-Carotid duplex scan…19:22


-Abdominal aorta ultrasound…30:43

-Endothelial Peripheral Arterial Tone (Endo PAT) test…39:50

-12 Lead EKG…50:00

-EKG while on treadmill…54:45

-Coronary calcium scan…1:09:45


Part 2: Ben And Dr. Dandillaya Review The Results Of The Exam

-EKG…1:19:05

  • Ben's resting heart rate = 42 bpm
  • Possible “early repolarization” pattern
  • Keep copy of EKG handy to inform docs in the event of chest pain
  • Heart rate is indicative of high vagal tone
  • Tech is making EKG results more accessible via smartphone apps and the like
  • Ensure mineral levels, hydration, etc. are topped off while performing in stressful situations (such as swimming where you can pass out and die)
Ben ECG

-Vascular ultrasounds (echocardiogram)…1:25:00

  • Ejection fraction – measure of heart's contractility
  • Ben's ejection fraction = 63%
  • Congestive heart failure; at risk for cardiac death, arrhythmia, etc.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (athlete's heart)
  • Doppler flow: blood flow patterns across the heart's chambers
  • Ben's levels and readings are all good across the board
Transthoracic ECG

-Carotid artery scan…1:29:40

  • Ben's results are very good
  • Thickening of carotid arteries occurs with pollution, toxicity in the air
  • Ultrasound does not have the radiation levels of X-rays
  • Customized recommendation on the frequency of being examined
Bilateral Carotid

-Abdominal aorta ultrasound…1:32:20

  • Aorta can become aneurysmal due to lifestyle, genetics
Abdominal Aorta

-Treadmill EKG…1:33:50

  • Not done often in the COVID-19 era; danger of exercising with a mask on
  • Looking for arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation
Exercise Stress Echo

-Advanced lipid panel…1:37:50

Cardiometabolic Report

-Endo PAT test…1:52:23

  • Endothelium is a single layer of cells that goes to the blood vessels; considered to be an organ of the body
  • Nitric oxide (NO) secreted by the endothelium allows for good cardiovascular health
  • Ben's RHI (reactive hyperemic index) = 1.48 (normal is 1.67)
  • The Strategene report (via which Ben found out he has impaired nitric oxide synthase pathways)
  • Beets, sunshine, etc. support NO levels
  • Arginine to supplement NO levels

-Coronary calcium scan…1:56:05

  • Higher the score, the higher the risk
  • Ben's score = 42 (higher percentile for age and gender)
  • Athletic training background is a factor in the score being higher than expected
Coronary Calcium Scan

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources mentioned:

– BGF podcasts:

– Supplements

– Other resources:

– 12 Lead EKG:

– Ultrasound Echocardiogram:

– Carotid Ultrasound:

– Abdominal Aorta Ultrasound:

– Exercise EKG:

– Advanced Lipid Panel:

– Endo-PAT:

– Calcium Scan:

Episode sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 20% discount off your entire order when you use discount code BGF20.

Organifi Gold Pumpkin Spice: A new take on an ancient secret: Pain-soothing herbs, incredible antioxidants, and phytonutrients all in one delicious, soothing “Golden Milk” nighttime tea! Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code BENG20.

Clearlight Saunas: You can be sure that I researched all the saunas before I bought mine and Clearlight was the one that stood out from all the rest because of their EMF and ELF Shielding and their Lifetime Warranty. Use discount code BENGREENFIELD to get $500 off your sauna, free shipping and a free bonus gift!

Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card worth up to $20 when you begin a new membership.

Got a question for me about today's episode? Drop a comment below, and I'll reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question


7 thoughts on “The Best Way To Test How Healthy Your Heart Is: Ben Greenfield Undergoes A Complete Advanced Cardiac Evaluation & Reports The Surprising Results!

  1. Very good workup looking at most of the items typically considered to assess vascular fitness. Given the early age evidence of atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, one has to ask the question, why? As a practitioner of the BaleDoneen method for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes, I would suggest among other things considering a sleep study if not already done to look for a common denominator, sleep disordered breathing, which could include sleep apnea, esp given the lower nitric oxide response. Could mouth breathing be contributing? This can happen in fit, lean people too.

    I also suggest scrutinizing the oral health for periodontal pathogens and periodontitis along with sub-clinical endodontic disease. History or root canals? Both of these are well known causes for atherosclerotic disease and an often-overlooked cause of an elevated PLA2 test, a measure of chronic inflammation below the endothelium. Lastly, Cleveland Heart Labs has recently made available an HDL efflux test, measuring the effectiveness of HDL, since we know some people have dysfunctional HDL in spite of high numbers. Thus, they are unable to effectively remove LDL cholesterol, leading to trapping of LDL inside the artery wall, beginning the cascade toward plaque.

  2. Jim v says:

    What are the approximate costs for this battery of tests? Do you have a resource list of clinics that do this ?

    1. John says:

      Jim —- these are pretty common blood tests.
      Would be covered by most insurance firms.

  3. John says:

    I also have very high 100+ HDL ( longtime marathoner ) I think it is very important to know the ApoA level, and I notice it wasn’t measured here.
    High ApoA is protective of any negative effects of high HDL. To quote an authority ::

    ‘The apoB number indicates the total number of atherogenic particles, the higher the number the higher is the cardiovascular (CV) risk. ApoA-I reflects the anti-atherogenic potential in HDL particles, the higher the value the better protection of CV risk ‘

  4. Chris Sargent says:

    Is there a way to have all these tests performed? Is this something we have access to as a package as you did?

  5. Sergio says:

    There is a typographical error.
    It is not Objection faction. It is Ejection Fraction. That is the measure of the contractility of the heart. Typically in reference to the left or right ventricle.
    Otherwise your data is fantastic. What have you done to get your HDL that high?

  6. Andy says:

    Check out this website regarding Calcium Score/ Atherosclerosis and cleaning out the plaque in your arteries.
    https://www.k-vitamins.com/index.php?page=My_Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *