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.
A basic blood profile can’t be overstated. The problem is getting good data. Medicine has taken a disturbing turn over the last few decades away from complete blood profiles. I don’t blame the individual doctors per se but the system they find themselves in. 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 you 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.
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.
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.
For example, I have seen dramatic improvements in telomere length just by adding high levels of fish oil supplements for a person who didn’t each much fish and also didn’t supplement fish oil at all.
Changes in your lifestyle, for good or bad, will be reflected in your telomeres in about 4-6 months.
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.
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
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 $55. Your omega-3 index is particularly related to the 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 with supplements for brain health like 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).
Try the simple and safe Omega-3 Blood Test to assess your nutritional fatty acid status and get a better idea of your overall health.
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.