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CRP: Biomarker of Health and Longevity

By Thegenaboveme @TheGenAboveMe

CRP: Biomarker of Health and Longevity

Photo by Benoit LERAY.

I have grown more curious about the technical information related to blood tests I undergo during my annual check up.
My curiosity was sparked a few years ago when I read a summary of a study about biomarkers. That lead me to read the scientific article behind the summary.
I decided that as a gerontologist and a person who lives in an aging body that I should learn about each of these 18 biomarkers of health and longevity.
This post is part of a series on biomarkers.
This week, I have been reading about the biomarker highly sensitive c-reactive protein, abbreviated hs-CRP or CRP.
Note: I am not a medical professional. This post serves only to increase awareness. If you have a question about your CRP levels or any element of your health, see a licensed medical professional as soon as possible. 
CRP is a protein made by your liver that is present in your blood. Elevated levels of CRP show the body is responding to an inflammation, indicating that something isn't right. It's a non-specific marker of disease. 
Optimum levels of CRP are 1.0 mg/L Moderate levels of CRP are between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L Concerning levels of CRP are 3.0 mg/L or higher
CRP is not just an indication of heart problems, but high levels do correspond. Consequently, emergency room doctors and cardiologists use this test to find evidence of cardiovascular disease or a heart event.
WebMD states that one study fount that "testing for CPR levels is a better indicator of cardiovascular disease than the LDL [low-density lipo protein] test."
Elevated CRP levels can suggests the presence of the following:
  • chronic inflammation diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and vasculitis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • infections (such as pneumonia and tuberculosis) 
  • heart attack
  • trauma 
  • burns
  • exposure to environmental toxins such as second-hand smoke
  • stress
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • poor diet (too much processed food)
  • certain cancers
Sources for the bulleted list above: MedicineNet * Dr. Weil
Because CRP can be caused by many factors, people wanting to prevent high levels need to adopt a healthy lifestyle: diet, exercise, smoking cessation, stress management as directed by their primary physician. 
If CRP levels are already high, then the treatment may require medical intervention (surgery, medicine, therapy) in addition to adopting a healthier lifestyle. A team of health care professionals can conduct further tests, diagnose and treat the underlying cause for the elevated CRP levels. They can also provide patient education. 
All my best to you, dear readers, as you strive for wellness in mind, body, and soul.

Biomarkers for Health and Longevity

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