The Most Overlooked Number in Health Care
Most health-conscious people like you keep an eye on several numbers. Cholesterol, blood pressure, weight… These are all good numbers to control for improved health.
But one number may be more important than all of them… but it’s almost completely ignored by the medical establishment. And here’s why that’s a scandal:
- It’s a better indicator of heart-health risk than cholesterol, blood pressure or your weight.
- This number can also tell if you have a higher risk of blood sugar problems, clogged or hardened arteries, and more.
What is this number? It’s C-reactive protein – or CRP. And it’s an effective signal because it only goes up when something goes wrong.
High levels of CRP in your blood can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong. But they can tell you your risk of many problems is high. For example…
- Doctors at Tokyo Medical Center have shown high CRP levels are linked to an increased risk of clogged arteries.1
- Your risk of hardening of the arteries is also higher when your CRP levels go up.2
- Research from Atlanta tells us you may be headed for serious blood sugar problems if your CRP levels are high.3
- So are your chances of serious heart trouble. In fact, a Japanese study found your heart is up to 69% more likely to give out early if your CRP levels are up.4
So why don’t more doctors pay more attention to CRP? It’s probably because it’s just a marker.
In other words, CRP is only a sign you have a health problem – not the problem itself. Even if your doctor could give you a pill to lower your CRP levels – and no such pill exists – it wouldn’t solve anything. It would just mask your problem.
But that doesn’t mean that bringing down your CRP levels can’t help. It can. With the right tricks, you can take care of the causes of elevated CRP. These tricks are easy… they get to the root of your problem… and they won’t cost you a dime at the drug store.
Even if your CRP levels are fine, these simple tricks are a great way to bolster your overall health, too.
The answer is food.
I’m not talking about a macrobiotic diet here. I’m talking about eating delicious foods that promote good health… and fight the problems that cause CRP levels to go up.
A diet high in fiber is a good first step. Eating lots of delicious fruits and vegetables is proven to help lower CRP levels. And they help in another way, too.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with flavonoids – a type of plant pigment. And flavinoids also promote lower levels of CRP. This may be because flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Citrus fruits, apples and blueberries are excellent sources of flavonoids proven to support lower CRP levels.
Some studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids also help your body reduce CRP levels. Oily fish – such as salmon, mackerel and sardines – are good sources of these healthy fats.
Finally, exercise is proven to help lower CRP, too. Try walking in a local park with friends. The companionship and the beauty around you will make it more fun than exercise.
Ideally, your CRP level should be 1.0 mg/L or less. And with these simple, inexpensive steps, reaching that goal shouldn’t be too hard.
Best of all, by getting a handle on this one number, you’ll boost your overall health in countless ways.
Dr Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
Best Life Herbals
1 Momiyama Y, et al. Associations between plasma C-reactive protein levels and the severities of coronary and aortic atherosclerosis. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2010;17(5):460-7. Epub 2010 Feb 5.
2 Oh EG, et al. High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Is Independently Associated With Arterial Stiffness in Women With Metabolic Syndrome. J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2011 Mar 2.
3 Ford ES. Body mass index, diabetes, and C-reactive protein among U.S. adults. Diabetes Care. 1999 Dec;22(12):1971-7.
4 Iso H, et al. C-reactive protein levels and risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese: the JACC Study. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Nov;207(1):291-7. Epub 2009 Apr 24.