Life Extension Magazine May 2005
As We See It
Doctors Overlook Novel Methods to Prevent Heart Attack
By William Faloon
What Is Your CRP Level?
There are numerous reasons why a chronic inflammatory state can take hold of your body. The good news is that inflammation can be measured by an inexpensive, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein blood test, and correctable actions can be taken if CRP levels are too high. Too often, inflammatory reactions silently inflict destruction throughout the body until a major event like a heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease manifests.
Since the early 1980s, Life Extension has advised its members to have annual blood tests to identify disease risk factors that can be reversed before serious illness develops. The impact that these blood tests have had in preventing future disease and premature death is incalculable.
The problem members used to encounter was that their doctors refused to prescribe blood tests for important markers like homocysteine, DHEA, and C-reactive protein. The retail price for these tests was also cost prohibitive. In 1996, Life Extension resolved this problem by offering blood tests at discounted prices directly to its members.
Once a year, we reduce our everyday low prices even more to Life Extension members. These low prices enable members to obtain extensive blood test panels for a fraction of the price charged by doctors’ offices or commercial laboratories.
I have personally derived enormous benefits from having my blood regularly tested. My familial predisposition results in very high levels of artery-clogging homocysteine. By having regular blood tests, I have been able to adjust my intake of vitamin B6 (to around 1000 mg a day), along with folic acid, vitamin B12, and TMG (trimethylglycine), to keep homocysteine levels in check. Had I not tested my blood, I would have assumed that my vitamin supplements were adequately suppressing homocysteine.
I know that members take supplements like Sytrinol™ to maintain healthy levels of LDL, fish oil to reduce triglycerides, and a variety of nutrients to keep C-reactive protein as low as possible. It is critical that the effects of these supplements and any drugs you may be taking be measured not only to verify that they are producing the desired results, but also—in the case of prescription drugs—to guard against adverse side effects. An annual blood test is the most effective way to monitor your overall health.
In this month’s issue, we describe the most important blood tests you should consider. Whether using your own doctor or our blood testing service, I encourage every member to have his or her blood tested at least once a year.
For longer life,