Specialists at California Health & Longevity Institute Go Beyond the Routine Blood Test to get Full Picture of Patient's Wellness
Experts at the California Health & Longevity Institute (CHLI) in Westlake Village, CA have released a list of blood tests that all people should receive during their annual physicals. Known for its "Healthy Executive" program, CHLI offers all ten tests with their exams, but encourages people to proactively request these tests as a way to identify potential problems.
"We prescribe a more comprehensive blood panel because it allows us to determine whether the body is performing at its most optimum level, or where it may be deficient in other areas," says Jonathan R. Cole, M.D., medical director at California Health & Longevity Institute and one of the internists that over sees physicals for business executives. "Optimal health is not merely the absence of disease. We utilize these state-of-the-art tests in a proactive approach towards health and wellness."
The list of tests includes:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) - The CBC measures white blood count, platelets and size of the blood cells, and can help determine whether the patient suffers from anemia or deficiencies in iron, vitamin B-12 or folic acid;
- Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP), The CMP measures electrolytes, kidney and liver functions;
- Cholesterol profile: All cholesterol levels should be measured and not calculated. CHLI measures Lp(a), Homocysteine, and CRP levels which are all predictors of heart disease. We also measure LDL particle size which goes beyond the basic measurements of a lipid profile and is a powerful predictor of heart disease. Small particles of LDL have been shown to be much more plaque-causing than large molecules and are therefore more dangerous.
- Vitamin D (25 hydroxy Vitamin D) – This vitamin is important for bone integrity, immunity, and helps prevent heart disease and certain cancers. Unfortunately, Vitamin D is difficult to obtain in the diet and we generally recommend avoiding long-term exposure to the UV rays of the sun.
- PLAC Test – The PLAC Test is the only blood test cleared by the FDA to help assess risk for both coronary heart disease (CHD) and ischemic
stroke associated with atherosclerosis. It is an inflammatory marker similar to C-reactive protein but much more specific to the arteries.
- Omega-3 Index – Found in fish oils, omega-3s are shown to help decrease cardiovascular risk. Tests are now able to determine if a patient is truly deficient in this area. Omega-3s are good for skin, brain, and heart function.
- Hemoglobin A1C – This is a measure of a sugar molecule attached to a red blood cell. Since a red blood cell has an average life span of three months, it is a powerful indicator of sugar levels over a period of several months. According to Dr. Cole, it determines if someone is diabetic or at increased risk for diabetes (formerly known as pre-diabetes); and
- Testosterone levels – CHLI tests all men over 40. According to Dr. Cole, "men can go through a "menopause" which can affect libido, strength, and overall sense of well-being. If low, providing testosterone replacement therapy can be an important adjunct to men's wellness."