Lab Test Update
Telomere testing, omega-3 index and blood tests-these are tests you will want to utilize routinely to monitor your health progress. I will give a brief summary of each so you have what you will need to do your own research to convince yourself of the value of doing these periodically.
Think of lab tests as an opinion of an independent, unbiased third party. It is human nature to rationalize what we like and live with the results. Most people bothering to read this are looking for ways to improve their health in a meaningful way. That will be easier with data that is relevant and easily available.The purpose of this blog is to highlight some general tests even if this is by way of a reminder.
Decent Blood Test Is Basic Health Care
The value of a basic blood profile can’t be overstated. Medicine has taken a disturbing turn over the last several decades away from complete blood profiles to just doing spot checks. You are more likely to have your doctor order some spot checks like a TSH instead of checking 4 or 5 thyroid markers, for example. I don’t blame the individual doctors per se but the system they find themselves in. Insurance won’t pay for a lab test without a diagnosis in most cases. In most cases this is nonsensical but that is what we live with in the current dysfunction, insurance driven health care system in the US.
If you are basically healthy and are over 40, you should get a complete blood test every couple of years or so as long as no red flags are showing up. If you are having issues that you are working on, you will check every six months or so to make sure that any changes your have made in diet, exercise and supplements are driving your physiology and therefore your blood test results in the right direction. It can take some work to figure out what direction to take but having good data will help make that process more reliable. Follow this link for a list of markers included in a decent blood test.
Supplements, Properly Applied Can Improve Many Markers
At OVitaminPro.com we routinely tailor a person’s supplements based on what we find on blood tests. If you are in California or Nevada, we can help with lab tests. In other states the process will vary. In most states you can use Direct Labs for basic blood test needs.
Once you have your test, we can help you understand it and make recommendations for lifestyle change and supplements that can help. We just ask that you buy your supplements from us for obvious reasons.
Telomere Testing Is Extremely Insightful
Next up: Telomeres. Telomeres are the end pieces of DNA and have been likened to the plastic tips on shoelaces that prevent unraveling. Telomeres help keep chromosome ends from fraying and from sticking to each other. Routine cell divisions cause a tiny bit of the end of a DNA strand to be lost each time. The part lost is the telomere section and as long as telomeres are reasonably long, you can still have cell division and maintain the health of the DNA strand. In time the telomeres get shorter and the shorter they get, the more likely a cell will die or worse, become cancerous.
Tissues like blood, skin, bone and other cells continue to divide throughout the life of each person so telomere length remains important throughout.
Environmental factors that affect overall health also tend to have measurable effects on telomeres. You can expect things that stress your body to shorten your telomeres such as excessive alcohol, smoking, exposure to toxic chemicals, EM fields, processed foods and lack of healthy foods.
Fortunately, by lowering stressors to your body, your telomeres can recover. Look for positive (or negative changes) in your telomere lab test in about 4-6 months. This is a great feedback tool to tell you how you are doing in your lifestyle choices.
It costs about $200 to get a telomere test. We use Spectracell as they have been commercially testing telomeres as long as anybody and have an excellent database to compare your results with others. If that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that this type of information is only recently available.
We recommend beginning telomere testing at maybe age 40 or so depending on your overall health. Ideally you will test way younger than your actual age. If you are testing at your age or older than your actual age, you will need to learn what changes you would need to make. We can help by looking at your blood test and general lifestyle to get your telomeres to a more protective state. We can order a Spectracell test for people in Nevada or California. In other states, check with your preferred, forward-thinking healthcare provider.
Omega 3 Index Is Also A Basic Marker
This brings us to omega-3 index testing. Your cells need quality fatty acids to make quality cell membranes. Cell membranes control the transport in and out so the health of each cell depends on these fatty acids. You will need a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids to make this happen. You can learn your omega-3 status with a simple, home-collection blood test (finger prick) for about $80 (as of this writing). Your omega-3 index is particularly related to health of your heart, brain, eyes and joints.
To have optimum health, you will need to optimize your omega-3 index too. You can do this by supplementing with fish oil or EPA/DHA algae-derived supplements for vegetarians. Not surprisingly, your telomere length and omega-3 indices are closely related and the things that help one will help the other. I like doing both because the omega-3 index will help you determine which part of your telomere stress is from too little EPA/DHA (aka omega-3s).
The kit for home testing is available here: Omega Quant Omega-3 Index Plus Test
So there you have it. Get a routine blood test, get a telomere test and an omega-3 index to see how your health plan is working for you.