Elevated blood sugar and elevated insulin level
As we age, gain weight, and continue poor eating habits, our cells and tissues become less sensitive to the effects of insulin in our body, and this causes our blood sugar to gradually rise rather than the sugar being effectively absorbed into our cells to be burned as fuel. The main cause of this is obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, and the sharp decline in hormones that we experience as we get older, which are critical for insulin sensitivity. The more belly fat, typically the more insulin resistance, and this usually eventually leads to prediabetes or diabetes.
While it was once thought fasting blood glucose levels up to 125 mg/dL wee acceptable, more recent studies suggest that anything over 85 mg/dL will incrementally add to your risk of a cardiovascular event. Even lower than than – 75 mg/dL or less – is more likely to be an ideal fasting glucose number. What is nice is that addressing fasting glucose will also affect fasting insulin levels, LDL, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and CRP levels.
Again, the best place to start is with a healthy diet and regular exercise to keep your metabolism functioning at an optimal level.
Elevated lipoprotein phospholipase A2
Lipoprotein phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) is the enzyme that is found in high concentration in plaque that is ready to rupture or unstable plaque and is associated with inflammation in the plaque. Elevated levels of Lp-PLA2 may well signal that atherosclerotic plaque is growing more susceptible to rupturing and thus raises the chance of a sudden blood clot that could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
It is an indicator of inflammation that directly promotes rupture-prone plaque, and thus is also evidence that a dangerous blood clot is likely to occur. In the autopsies of twenty-five patients who had died from sudden coronary events, areas with early plaque formations showed little Lp-PLA2, while the ruptured plaque areas that had caused death showed intense levels of Lp-PLA2.
Because of this, testing for Lp-PLA2 concentration can be a key indicator of how likely you are to experience a sudden cardiovascular event. Lp-PLA2 levels rise in people at risk for a stroke or heart attack. This testing can be done with a simple blood test called a PLAC test, which is easy and inexpensive and may save your life. It is also less affected by viral and other infections than are C-reactive protein tests. As such, it is also a good tool to monitor the effects of changing your diet, of your daily supplements, and of how your cardiovascular health changes as you exercise more, stop smoking, or address the other risk factors. The normal level is a Lp-PLA2 les than 200, and greater than 235 is indicative of greater risk of heart attack or stroke. Those with high Lp-PLA2 are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and five times as likely to suffer a stroke. When CRP and Lp-PLA2 are both elevated, the numbers are doubled again. Follow the recommend diet and supplements for lowering CRP to lower Lp-PLA2 levels.