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Blood Testing Protocols

Too often, people fall victim to a disease that could have been prevented if their blood had been tested once a year.

For instance, we know that prescription drugs can cause liver and kidney problems, but other factors (alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, excess niacin, hepatitis C) can make a person susceptible to liver or kidney damage. These conditions often smolder for years until a life-threatening medical crisis occurs. Because of a phenomenon known as “individual variability,” some people are especially vulnerable to liver and kidney damage. The good news is that a simple blood chemistry test can detect an underlying problem in time to take corrective action.

The average person older than age 60 takes several prescription drugs every day to treat or prevent chronic medical conditions. According to the American Medical Association, adverse reactions to prescription drugs are either the fourth, fifth, or sixth leading cause of death in the United States (Lazarou 1998). The American Medical Association emphasizes that these deaths occur even though the doctors prescribing the drugs are supposed to be monitoring their patients to prevent such drug-induced deaths. The problem is that cost-conscious health maintenance organizations and hurried physicians are not mandating blood tests that would detect drug-induced tissue damage in time to prevent disability and death. If you are taking certain prescription medications, regular blood testing is mandatory according to the drug labeling, yet doctors routinely fail to prescribe the recommended blood tests, and their patients too often pay the “ultimate” price.

The reason most people consider blood testing is to ascertain their risk factor(s) for cardiovascular disease. Published studies consistently show that various cholesterol fractions (HDL, LDL) and triglycerides can contribute to heart attack and stroke. What most people fail to realize is that significant changes can occur in their blood fat levels over the course of a single year, meaning that an earlier test may not accurately reflect their current serum lipid status.

Since 1983, the Life Extension Foundation has advocated regular medical testing for the purpose of optimizing your personal life extension program.