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Very Helpful Lab Tests to Assess The Health Of Your Immune System
From a very helpful screening/testing interview I recently tuned into, here are 11 screening tests that can help assess the state of your health and immune system:
- 1-25 Dihydroxy Vitamin D: This is the activated form of vitamin D. Vitamin D increases antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and improves the activity of neutrophils (white blood cells that fight bacteria).
- RBC Magnesium: Magnesium is an important cofactor for the activation of vitamin D. Taking magnesium can actually reduce the amount of oral vitamin D you require to optimize your vitamin D level.
- Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR): This marker alone determines prognosis in most solid tumor cancers. Neutrophils go up when there’s a bacterial infection, while lymphocytes are suppressed by viruses. As explained by Lewis, “The NLR is sort of an amplified barometer for your stealth infectious burden. The absolute count should be 1.5 or below.” Anything above 55% neutrophils is indicative of a chronic, likely bacterial, infection.
- Red Blood Cell Distribution Width (RDW): Red blood cells are born small and die large. If your RDW is wide, you likely have plaques and inflamed carotid arteries. Above 16 or 17, RDW could be a sign of anemia, but between 12.5 and 16, it’s a pure sign of inflammation.
- C-reactive Protein: A marker of inflammation. This should be 0.6 or below.
- Fibrinogen: As a signaling molecule for tissue repair, fibrinogen is a good marker for how well your body is able to repair itself. If your fibrinogen is between 150 and 285, your repair and recovery is probably meeting or outpacing wear and tear, allowing you to properly heal and recover. Above 285, you are probably deteriorating more rapidly than you're repairing. Fibrinogen is also a clotting factor marker, so in COVID-19 and sepsis, for example, high fibrinogen is indicative of a cytokine storm. Pre-cytokine storm levels are also indicative of several chronic diseases, including heart attack and cancer.
- Ferritin: Ferritin is an iron transport protein that becomes elevated in COVID-19 and other serious illnesses. Iron catalyzes growth of bacterial pathogens. Typically, when your blood cells are under attack by a pathogen, your body responds by hiding the iron from the antigen (the infection) in the ferritin protein, thereby resulting in anemia (low iron) and high ferritin. If you have elevated ferritin, the iron may not be available to the pathogen, but it is still available to the cells of your body. Iron is a powerful oxidant stressor that will radically increase oxidized species, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species, which activates the NRLP3 inflammasome and radically increases inflammatory mediators and cytokines. The solution for high ferritin is to donate blood. If your ferritin is above 100, consider giving blood periodically.
- Fasting Insulin: Insulin resistance is a foundational contributor to most chronic disease and significantly increases your risk of complications and death from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fasting glucose is also a useful test that you can easily do at home.
- Uric Acid: Uric acid is a multifactorial inflammatory marker. It also helps protect against hypoxia.
- Homocysteine: Homocysteine is a vascular toxin associated with heart disease that is influenced by your vitamin B levels. As explained by Lewis: “LabCorp keeps changing their reference normals, and now they're as high as 17. But the Framingham's study shows that with a baseline of 9, every five points higher homocysteine leads to a 40% increase in dementia because it's a vascular toxicity.”
- SED Rate: The SED rate is a measurement of how fast your red blood cells settle in a test tube. Red blood cells have a repulsive charge on the outside of their membranes (zeta potential) that allow them to remain buoyant. When this repulsive charge is lacking, they settle faster. As explained by Lewis: “SED rate is a surrogate for how good your electrical system is working, which I then use as a surrogate for your gut and how well it's doing at digesting and making minerals bioavailable, because it's the sodium potassium pump that drives the electric potential of cells, among other minerals.” Ideally, if your zeta potential is good and high, your SED rate should be close to zero. The lower, the better. The higher your SED rate, the worse off you are, as this means the “battery” of your red blood cells are discharged, which will result in systemic problems and overall low energy levels. Typically, your SED rate will improve once you start to heal and rebalance your gut.
You can get most of these tests through DirectLabs or WellnessFX. You can also check out the full interview from which I got this info with Dr. Mercola and Thomas Lewis, by clicking here.
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This episode was brought to you by Kion Aminos (code BGF20), Organifi Red Juice (code BENG20), Seed Daily Synbiotic (code BEN15), and Thrive Market (Receive a gift card worth up to $20 when you begin a new membership).
This episode was brought to you by The Kion Fasting Challenge, Organifi Green Juice (code BENG20), Lucy Nicotine Gum (code BEN20), Organifi Green Juice (code BENG20), and Water and Wellness (code GREENFIELD).
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