C-Reactive Protein or CRP, is what is called an inflammatory marker. It measures levels of a particular protein that indicate increased inflammation in your body. Along with homocysteine, it completes the picture of heart disease risk that begins with your cholesterol profile.
They realized that there were risk factors other than just cholesterol. This is where the c-reactive protein test comes in.
The test is a measure of inflammation and infection in your body, both of which are significant risk factors for heart disease that are largely ignored by mainstream medicine. Inflammatory markers like CRP are necessary in order to get an accurate idea of what your heart disease risk really is!
The test is part of that missing piece of the puzzle that explains heart disease risk, beyond just your cholesterol numbers. If your levels are high, then lowering them will definitely lessen your risk of heart disease. When you attempt to lower cholesterol naturally, you will have to pay attention to
CRP as well. The good news is that the same strategies will work for both!
What elevates CRP?
Your levels of c-reactive protein are elevated by increased inflammation in your body. Many things can cause this, so it is important to have the test done when you are feeling well and not suffering from illness or unusual stress, so that you can get an accurate reading of your levels, without
having the level elevated due to some injury, illness, or trauma.
For instance oral bacteria from dental cavities can elevate CRP levels, because those bacteria also cause inflammation. This is why dental health is correlated with heart disease risk. Bacterial infections of any kind will raise inflammation as your immune system attempts to fight off the bacteria.
What are healthy levels of c-reactive protein?
The CRP test measures results in milligrams per liter of blood.
The following guidelines for are recommended by the
American Heart Association (AHA) to determine heart disease risk:
- Low risk: CRP is 1 milligram/per liter or less
- Moderate risk: CRP is 1 to 3 milligrams/ per liter
- High risk: CRP is greater than 3 milligrams/ per liter
How do you lower inflammation and get the levels on the c-reactive protein test into the healthy range? Since all these heart disease risk factors respond to the same lifestyle changes, you can address them all by doing a few simple things.
- Eating an “anti-inflammatory diet”
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Getting regular exercise
- Stress reduction
- Proper nutritional supplements
The Bottom Line
All of the various risk factors for heart disease may seem bewildering and overly technical. That is how medical science functions. Every factor must be measured and accounted for. The good part is that when you lower cholesterol naturally, you will be addressing these other factors as well.
However as I mentioned before, all of these factors are related, and they are just various manifestations of inflammation. Lowering inflammation will bring CRP and these other heart disease indicators to a better level. So that should be your goal, to use diet, exercise and nutritional supplementation in lowering inflammation.
C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and cholesterol profile are all necessary tests to precisely and accurately determine what your risk for heart disease really is. Work to lower your inflammatory markers, and you will be much healthier for it!