Find out if your insides are corroding… and protect your heart by stopping inflammation in its tracks
Believe it or not, your body is probably “browning” as you read this.
No, I’m not talking about that sun-kissed glow you get from a day at the beach… or even the freckles and “age spots” that have given you an entirely different skin tone and tint than when you were younger.
In fact, I’m not talking about pigment at all!
And the browning isn’t happening on the outside of your body, where you can see it…but INSIDE, where it can cause inflammation and lead to all sorts of health issues, not the least of which is heart disease.
It’s called oxidation, and it’s a kind of corrosion of your insides…just like the rust you might find in the undercarriage of an old car.
Of course, your body isn’t LITERALLY rusting, but the process isn’t all that different inside your tissues and precious organs as it is elsewhere in nature.
You DON’T want your body to have the same kind of char and stiffness that you’d find on a piece of darkly-toasted bread… and you don’t want the same brown colour that creeps its way across a half-eaten apple.
Those are both “real life” examples of oxidation.
Oxidation can also do a number on your kidneys… but it’s not specific to just one organ or cell. In fact, it can occur ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE in your body.
And that means that slowing this process down is of utmost importance.
But first, you’ve got to know whether or not it’s happening, and if it is, how much.
Fortunately, modern medicine has made some breakthroughs in helping doctors figure out how oxidized… or “browned”… you are, thereby allowing us to start a proper antioxidant regimen to try to stop any future damage and reverse the damage that’s already been done!
How oxidized are you? Here’s how to look ‘under the hood’
I can vouch for three different tests for oxidation that I’ve used with my patients.
The “gold standard” is a urine test for F2-isoprostanes. In fact, there’s no debate in the medical literature that this test is both useful and reliable.1
If this marker of oxidative stress is elevated (greater than or equal to 0.86), it’s an ominous predictor of disease.
Another approach to testing — one that I’ve actually shared with you before — can show you how much the cholesterol in your body is being oxidized by testing for either lipid peroxides or oxidized LDL “bad” cholesterol.
As I shared with you previously, there’s a TON of research that shows that the oxidation or “browning” of the cholesterol and the arteries of the heart is far more predictive of heart disease than any measure of total cholesterol.2
The third and last test is for an enzyme, called myeloperoxidase (MPO), that has implications for many different parts of your body… most notably, as the name implies, oxidation.
This test really measures a form of inflammation in the body that’s caused specifically by the action of white blood cells as they “work” and kill infections. And a lot of the oxidation in your body comes from inflammation.
Look at it this way: When there is long, slow-burning “fire” inside your body, you kind of get toasted like that piece of white bread I mentioned earlier.
And what you need to know is that numerous studies show the link between an elevated MPO level and heart disease and heart attack.3
How to turn down the browning of your insides
The lipid peroxide and myeloperoxidase tests I mentioned earlier are specialised tests and can be done through a company called Smart Nutrition (http://www.smartnutrition.co.uk).
The only company that I could track down in the UK that does the oxidized LDL test is the Good Health Clinic (http://www.goodhealthclinic.co.uk) and you can ask your doctor to order a F2-isoprostanes test.
Make sure that you are consulting with a doctor or alternative health provider who knows how to interpret the results of these tests.
In my experience, supplementing with a good quality antioxidant is essential in stopping some of the “rust” that’s building up in your arteries.
The supplements that I see working the best that I recommend are ones that I’ve shared with you in previous issues — glutathione, quercetin, curcumin, resveratrol, and astaxanthin, just to name a few.
The results of these tests can give you some insight as to whether or not your current supplement regimen is “working.” If the values come back elevated, you’ll know you need to take more nutraceuticals.
It’s a sure-fire way to track your progress!
Of course, work with a doctor who’s well-versed in nutritional medicine on any and all supplementation programs…especially anything you plan to start anew.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.