Health bytes: Medical Advances of interest to all of us

In life, health is a prerequisite for all our endeavours. Hence, we wish to provide a service to update all our clients, supporters and friends of important update in health matters. Since health issues often result in huge financial and personal costs, besides incapacitating our ability to function and to enjoy of the fruits of our labour, it should thus be a source of concern and action on our part to stay healthy.

In this first issue, we summarized some of the newer understanding in heart disease, antiaging and dementia, three issues which concerns us greatly.

Heart Disease

Michael Ozner, MD, cardiologist and a leading advocate of heart attack prevention propounded a program for avoiding the devastating effects of heart disease in his book, Heart Attack Proof. He presented a protocol of blood tests that are predictive of over 90% of heart attack risks, whereas the conventional cholesterol profile of HDL and LDL only pick up only 40% of heart attack risks. Besides the level of LDL, a more important consideration is the LDL particle number. The LDL particle is the carrier for cholesterol, and is the more important consideration since risk factors such as diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are all associated with an increased particle number. Similarly, individuals with an increased risk such as familial hyperlipidemia, a genetic disorder is also associated with an excess number of large LDL particles.

Apo-B has been known to be associated with heart attack risks, but not so routinely measured in blood tests, but besides this, there are also hs-CRP and Lp-PLA2. Both are complementary, while hs-CRP is a better independent predictor of heart attack and strokes, Lp-PLA2 is a biomarker of vascular inflammation.

Omega 3 and Vitamin D have now been shown to be essential for optimal cardiovascular health, we now can measure their blood levels, and if low, to initiate the appropriate supplementation. Here is a summary of the most important tests and their optimal results.

The Optimal Blood Test Profile

Total Cholesterol
LDL Cholesterol
HDL  Cholesterol
< 150 mg/dL
< 70 mg/dL
>  40 mg/dL (men);
> 50 mg/dL (women)
Non-HDL Cholesterol
Triglycerides
LDL-P
Apo B
LP (a) mass
< 100 mg/dL
< 100 mg/dL
< 700 nmol/dL
< 60 mg/dL
< 30 mg/dL

Inflammatory Biomarkers

HsCRP < 1.0
Lp-PLA2 < 200

Others

Blood pressure
Fasting blood sugar
HbA 1c
Hs-Omega 3 index
25 hydroxyvitamin D
< 120/80
< 100 mg/dL
< 5.7%
> 8.0%
> 30

These blood tests can be potentially life-saving since heart attacks, when they start exhibiting symptoms, it is already too late. It is a silent killer that creep up on you slowly. With the possibility of not just treating but reversing the progression of the dangerous atherosclerotic plaques, we do well to take steps to prevent such serious damage to our hearts and our health.

Anti-aging

From the Anti-Aging Medicine conference that was held in Thailand recently, we learned that hormone replacement in women, which got a bad press many years back when a clinical trial was terminated because of the increased complications of the hormones used, is still very much in the news. However, hormone replacement is no longer with pills of hormones which are artificially synthesized, or more accurately, nonbioidentical sex hormones. Bioidentical hormones therefore are important to supplement the body

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Dr Douglas Kong is a Certified Executive and Life Coach specialising in helping individuals, teams and organization to function optimally with peak performance in the workplace. He helps people by assisting them to overcome their personal performance barriers and by increasing their social and interpersonal functioning and communication skills. He is a retired psychiatrist whose past training and experience are focused on Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Developmental Psychiatry and Group Dynamics.

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