If you have recently found out that your cholesterol and blood pressure are both in the healthy range, then you have done great! However, there are two tests that can provide greater insight into your heart health.
It’s not uncommon to hear stories about people who have passed away even though their cholesterol levels were good and they had excellent blood pressure. To make it even more confusing, these people usually ate right, did not smoke, exercised regularly and took care of themselves. Which may find yourself asking what went wrong?
Most often in life, the simplest answer is usually the right answer. I would like to share with you two tests that can help predict whether or not you are at higher risk than most people and how to lower these risks.
First, let’s start with blood pressure. The next time you visit your healthcare provider for a blood pressure reading, have the doctor check both your arms. Why? In March 2012, British researchers looked at 20 studies that had measured the blood pressure of both arms. Individuals who had a 10 point difference were more likely to have a stroke or die from a major cardiovascular event. The real increase in terms of numbers is a 38% risk of heart attacks!
Differences between blood pressure readings could indicate clogged arteries. So, the next time you are having a blood pressure reading, ask your doctor to check both arms!
The second test is a blood test called MPO (myeloperoxidase). It’s a protein enzyme that is produced by your white blood cells (leukocytes) that oxidize bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). When your body goes through oxidizing LDL, it causes your arterial walls to develop hard fatty plaques.
A high MPO is usually indicative of inflammation and is an early warning sign of plaque buildup in your coronary arteries. Testing for MPO can help predicate whether or not you are in the early warning stage of having a heart attack within one month to several years. This simple blood test can be added by your doctor to your annual physical.
There are several things which may lower your MPO levels and help your blood pressure range improve.
1. Omega 3 with a high EPA content: Taking 2,000mg daily may help lower inflammation (MPO) and may help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
2. Melatonin: Yes, it can help with your sleep. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that may contribute to reducing MPO. Taking 0.5 to 1mg daily has been shown to help improve MPO levels.
3. PhytoMulti (Metagenics): According to a study published in Global Advanced Health Medicine, PhytoMulti has been shown to help “indicated by the significant increase in plasma carotenoids, vitamin B12, and folate levels and may provide health benefits by significantly reducing serum levels of oxLDL, myeloperoxidase, and PAI-1 in healthy individuals”.
By adding these two simple tests and three key supplements, you may find that the simplest answer to your heart health is within your control.