Top 5 Blood Tests to Detect Heart Disease
When I lecture across the country, I’m often asked about the best blood tests to detect heart disease.
Here are the top five I recommend (plus a BONUS test at the end):
Hs-CRP is a marker of inflammation. It is a sign that your body is on fire. This is not good. If your hs-CRP is high, you need to find out WHY. The MD’s know that inflammation is bad. But they don’t ask WHY, just preferring to pull out the prescription pad and write for their favorite statin drug.
Unfortunately for these patients, statins don’t work very well. They lower numbers but do very little for preventing heart attacks or saving lives.
Get your hs-CRP and other markers of inflammation checked. If elevated, we need to figure out WHY. The “why” is in your diet and your lifestyle, my two favorite topics on TheDrsWolfson.com.
2) Vitamin D
Often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, a blood test to check your level is crucial to understanding your risk of heart disease, and just about everything else. When vitamin D levels are the highest, your risk of disease is the lowest.
When I say high levels, I am referring to naturally high levels through sunshine exposure and animal foods. Supplements are okay, but I prefer the sun in this situation. Scientific studies (and Mother Nature) agree.
So, if your levels are checked and found to be low, it tells me you need sunshine. Move to a sunny climate or take plenty of vacations to a sunny location.
Practice smart sun. Gradually increase your sun exposure morning, noon, and afternoon. Just like I wouldn’t recommend the coach potato to run a marathon tomorrow, preferring a long-term training strategy. Again, smart sun by gradually increasing your exposure to avoid sunburn and sun damage.
The sun was here before man. We evolved in the sun. It is healthy. Avoiding the sun is deadly.
3) Omega 3 Index
Omega 3 from the sea is linked to a lower risk of atrial fibrillation, heart attack, stroke and death. Omega 3 sits in the brain and in the cell membrane (like a fence) that keeps things inside the cell that belong inside and keeps things outside the cell that don’t. Cells speak with other cells and hormones with the help of Omega 3 DHA and EPA.
Same as vitamin D, low levels are not a sign to swallow some fish oil capsules. Low omega 3 is a sign to eat more seafood. My favorite sources are wild salmon, sardines, and anchovies. Don’t forget about shellfish too. Skip the tuna, halibut, and other large fish due to the mercury and other possible contaminants. But you are good otherwise with the above delicacies.
Check out this heart healthy salad dressing recipe using anchovies from a glass jar.
Long name but common test in the holistic doctor’s office. This molecule is necessary in the production of anti-oxidants, brain communication and cell replication. But too much of a good thing here is a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
The good news is that elevated levels are pretty easy to treat. Vitamins B6, B12 and folate are the perfect trio to help get your homocysteine in check. Ideally, a homocysteine level of 7 to 9 is where you want to be.
Don’t go for just any B vitamin. Make sure you are getting best quality like one tablet per day of our Hydroxy Force. Let it dissolve in your mouth and swallow it down. Your heart, brain and entire body will thank you.
5) Apo A
If HDL is like a baseball, Apo A is the stitching. It helps the HDL get where it needs to go and do the job it needs to do. What jobs you ask? How about anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and immune system regulation. Did I forget to mention that HDL and Apo A perform reverse cholesterol transport? That means that Apo A pulls cholesterol from heart artery plaque.
So, get the Apo A measured. It is a much better marker than HDL and gives us an idea about HDL function. You can have high levels of HDL, but if they are not working, we are in trouble.
Strategies to improve Apo A include physical activity, sunshine, and an organic Paleo diet. Adding in some time-release niacin also helps. Just watch out for the flushing. One capsule right before bed is best.
BONUS test- Vibrant Micronutrient
This blood tests looks at vitamins and minerals INSIDE the cell. That is where action is, inside. You can read more here and order from us. Intracellular vitamin K may be the “holy grail” of heart blood tests. If you are concerned about heart attack, stroke, or osteoporosis, this is the test you need.
You can ask your doctor to order these tests or come out to AZ and we can do them. If you want to discuss the results with me, call my office at 480-535-6844 and schedule a review.