Elevated C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Levels Precurser to Heart Attack and Stroke
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a little-known heart risk factor that the medical world is starting to take note of.
It’s a blood protein that, when found in elevated levels, may indicate risk of heart attack and stroke.
The Physicians Health Study indicated that C-reactive protein could predict future vascular events such as heart attack in healthy and high-risk individuals and that high levels of this protein increase risk for heart attack and stroke.
A New Weapon to Fight Heart Disease
If you have heart disease concerns or you’ve recently experienced a virus or urinary infection that could cause inflammation, have your doctor check your C-reactive protein levels. A simple CRP blood test is as accurate as cholesterol and homocysteine screening in predicting a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke.
Once you have this test done, what should you do?
Some researchers believe you should take antibiotics to inhibit inflammation. I feel that more research is needed on anti-inflammatories before we begin foisting antibiotics on patients.
Research shows that estrogen therapy is associated with favorable lipid and oxidation levels, which also seem to assuage inflammation. But if you’re not postmenopausal and want to lower your protein, your best natural approach to combat CRP is to take immune-boosting supplements.
My top recommendations are:
- CoQ10 is one of the best nutrients available for promoting the immune system and avoiding cardiovascular problems. Take 100–200 mg daily or 2–4 softgels.
- Beta glucan, a yeast-based nutrient, scavenges for free radicals. There is no toxicity or side effects with this nutrient. Take 10–20 mg daily for one month on, one week off, for three months' duration.
- Bromelain. This enzyme from the pineapple plant reduces inflammation and acts as an antibiotic. Take 100–500 mg daily. Note: Allergic reactions, although rare, can occur.
- Ginger root/ginger tea. Ginger promotes an anti-inflammatory response and is a great substitute for aspirin, which many people can’t tolerate.
- Fish oil promotes thinning of the blood and helps to reduce your risk of circulatory problems. It also combats inflammation. I recommend 1–2 g daily.
For more information on how you can prevent heart attacks and strokes, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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