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There is a heart risk marker that has caught my attention lately that is reportedly very accurate in assessing the health of your endothelium.

Remember my blog post a few weeks ago “Have You Hugged Your Endothelium Lately”?  In this short article I review the importance of the health of the lining of your blood vessels, specifically the endothelium, in maintaining healthy circulation, heart health and avoiding potentially devastating heart conditions.

There is a marker called Enothelin-1.  This peptide is elevated in higher states of heart and circulation risk and is easily assessed using a blood test.  It is considered the most potent vasoconstrictor known.  It is a very important mediator of vascular tone and vital to regulating the healthy homeostasis of the circulatory system.

High levels of Endothelin-1 promotes the development of cardiovascular disease and is an early marker of the negative effects of metabolic syndrome (which I mentioned in an earlier blog this month).  It stimulates inflammatory mediators (remember that inflammation is considered the precursor to almost ALL disease processes), platelet adhesion and aggregation and other identifying conditions associated with imminent cardiac events.  High levels of this marker indicate a six-fold increase in the rapid progression of heart disease. (Euro Heart Journal, 2001)

Considering the epidemic rise of diabetes (especially nutrition-deficient associated Type II) in our society, and also considering that many researchers are seeing vascular rigidity as the precursor to development of insulin resistance and diabetes…utilizing a simple measure of information gathering to monitor your current risk and status seems to be a wise choice to me!

I am a staunch advocate for prevention.  Eating ‘real’ food, exercise, chiropractic care, spiritual and emotional wellness…all of these play a part in a healthy heart and a healthy lifestyle.  Using the technology we have available to us today can be of great benefit in getting a clear picture of how our body is responding to what we eat and how we live.

In order to participate in the healthy effects of good nitric oxide function and the heart healthy results of enhancing NO metabolism…the endothelium needs to be healthy and responsive to cardiovascular, environmental and nutritional stress.  Eating well, i.e. lots of healthy greens, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, low levels of animal protein, etc., etc…is essential in this endeavor.  Knowing where we stand from a risk standpoint is a good reference point to move from as we journey toward optimal health and wellness.

Ask your health care provider to include this marker assessment in your next blood test.  I use the Singulex blood panel personally and for my patients who are interested in this avenue of assessment.  Great company and wonderful spectrum of markers that their blood panel assesses.

IN-JOY your healthy heart today!