A few months ago a story in The New York Times revealed the newly discovered importance of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP).
Apparently, a drug company-sponsored study showed that people who had high CRP levels had fewer heart attacks and strokes when taking statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs).
Suddenly, the whole medical community is buzzing about the importance of CRP.
Of course, I've been talking about high sensitivity CRP as an indicator of heart attacks and strokes for years now. But now that mainstream medicine can attach a drug to it, suddenly it is BIG news.
Unfortunately, the drug companies are only talking about CRP in order to start more people on statin drugs even if they already have low cholesterol. That's bad news because statins increase your risk of heart disease by robbing you of the heart critical nutrient CoQ10.
Your high sensitivity CRP level is important. CRP measures inflammation in your body. And as I have mentioned in past articles, inflammation is the real cause of heart disease.
New tests can measure CRP to detect heart disease, and you should ask your doctor for this test annually. Healthy people have less than one unit. Four units or above can indicate heart disease. (Be sure to ask for the high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein and not CRP Quantitative)
Inflammation comes from stress or damage to your blood vessels when they don't get the nutrients they need. They can get cracked and weak, and the body responds by sending plaque to repair the damage. Continuous lack of nutrients can cause this plaque to build up leading to heart attack or stroke.
You don't need dangerous statin drugs to protect you from high CRP levels. If you want to lower the CRP levels in your blood lower the inflammation in your body.
One of the best ways to lower CRP is to exercise. Studies clearly show that people who went from couch slouching to exercising lowered their CRP as much as 30%.
To get the most benefit in the least amount of time, exercise efficiently. If you're familiar with 2 Days to Fitness program you know that traditional cardio exercises aren't the most effective.
To lower your CRP level in the shortest amount of time, try the Grizzly Bear Intervals we teach in 2 Days to Fitness. If you don't have the 2 Days to Fitness program, here's a simple exercise you can do (of course check with your doctor if you haven't been exercising for a while):
1. Instead of a slow, steady pace on a bicycle or treadmill, try going 80% of your maximum for 2 minutes.
2. Rest for 1 minute
3. Go at 90% for another two minutes
4. Rest for 1 minute
5. Go at 100% for 1 minute
That's it! This exertion/rest cycle is much more effective than traditional cardio and will burn fat and build your heart and lung strength (and lower your inflammation) much faster.
-Compliments of Functional Medicine University
Church T, Barlow CE, Earnest CP, et.al. Association between cardiorespiratory fitness and C-reactive protein in men. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis: Journal of Vascular Biology.2002 Nov 1;22(11):1869-1879