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Longevity App Biomarkers: Lab reports. Part 3/4

Welcome to the third article in the series exploring the biomarkers that can be contributed to the Longevity App in order for the underlying AI to calculate an accurate biological age and personalized health insights related to the Hallmarks of Aging.

In the previous two articles we looked at the biometrics biomarkers and wearables signals, in the current article we will be switching our focus to the Lab Reports biomarkers that users can contribute to the app in order to glean more accurate health insights and contribute to the decentralized effort to extend the healthy, human lifespan.

LAB REPORT BIOMARKERS

Blood tests provide a fascinating glimpse into our inner workings, unveiling a wealth of information about our health. They unveil secrets held within our veins, revealing details about our organ function, nutrient levels, hormone balance, and much more.

Although traditionally used in the context of diagnosing illness and monitoring disease, routine blood tests can empower us to optimize our well-being, enabling personalized roadmaps to wellness, while reminding us that our bodies are intricate masterpieces worth understanding and nurturing.

Blood tests can uncover potential issues before they manifest as symptoms or progress to disease, acting as early warning signs for conditions like diabetes, anaemia, liver disease or cancer.

The Longevity App supports a comprehensive panel of blood biomarker data types which will result in improved health insights generated by the Longevity App. The panels to be considered in this article are:

1-HAEMATOLOGY

-Complete blood count -Coagulation profile

2-BIOCHEMISTRY

-Urea and electrolytes -Liver function tests -Hormone level tests -Inflammatory markers and cytokines -Metabolic function tests -Lipid profile -Iron studies and haematinics -Vitamin and mineral levels

3-TOXINS, HEAVY METALS, & TRACE ELEMENTS

All listed tests can be input into the Longevity App so grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable at let’s take a deeper dive into the individual Lab Report Panels, what tests they include, and how these are relevant from a longevity perspective.

HAEMATOLOGY

Complete Blood Count (CBC/FBC)

A complete blood count (CBC), also known as a full blood count (FBC) is a common test that measures various components of your blood, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets, as well as other parameters such as hemoglobin, hematocrit, and different types of white blood cells.

Red Blood Cells (RBCs): Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, possess a remarkable structure perfectly tailored for their crucial function of oxygen transportation throughout the body. These disc-shaped cells lack a nucleus and most organelles, allowing them to maximize their capacity for hemoglobin, a protein that binds to oxygen. With a diameter of approximately 7–8 micrometers, their biconcave shape creates a large surface area-to-volume ratio, enhancing their ability to exchange gasses efficiently. The flexible membrane of red blood cells enables them to squeeze through narrow capillaries, ensuring oxygen reaches even the tiniest tissues. Through their intricate network, these cellular heroes embark on an extraordinary journey, tirelessly circulating oxygen, removing carbon dioxide, and playing an indispensable role in sustaining human life.

White Blood Cells (WBCs): WBCs are a vital part of the immune system, defending the body against infections and diseases. Abnormalities in WBC counts or differential counts can indicate certain infections, inflammation, or immune system disorders that may impact overall health and longevity.

Platelets: Platelets play a crucial role in blood clotting. High or low platelet counts can indicate bleeding disorders or increased risk of blood clotting disorders, respectively, which can have implications for cardiovascular health and longevity.

Other Parameters: The FBC test may also provide additional information, such as mean corpuscular volume (MCV), which reflects the size of red blood cells, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), which measures the average amount of hemoglobin in each red blood cell. These parameters can help identify certain types of anemia or underlying health conditions.

The FBC test serves as a valuable tool in assessing overall health and detecting potential underlying conditions that could impact lifespan. Regular monitoring of blood parameters through FBC tests can help identify early signs of diseases or imbalances, allowing for timely interventions and management that may contribute to improved health and potentially extend longevity.

Coagulation Profile

A coagulation profile, also known as a clotting profile or coagulation panel, is a group of blood tests that assess the clotting ability of blood and factors involved in the coagulation process. These tests measure various parameters, including prothrombin time (PT) and fibrinogen.

Prothrombin Time (PT) and International Normalized Ratio (INR): The prothrombin time measures the time it takes for blood to clot. INR is a standardized measure derived from PT and is commonly used to monitor the effectiveness of anticoagulant therapy, such as warfarin. Maintaining a balanced clotting time and appropriate INR range is crucial for preventing excessive bleeding or clotting events, which can have severe health consequences and impact longevity.

Fibrinogen: Fibrinogen is a protein that plays a critical role in blood clotting, also known as coagulation. It is produced by the liver and circulates in the blood in a soluble form. When there is an injury or damage to blood vessels, a series of complex reactions called the coagulation cascade is initiated to form a blood clot and prevent excessive bleeding. Abnormal levels of fibrinogen can predispose to bleeding or clotting tendencies.

Regular monitoring of the coagulation profile can contribute to assessment of overall health, diagnosing onset of disease and enable a proactive approach to improving health and well-being.

BIOCHEMISTRY

Urea & Electrolytes (U&Es)

The urea and electrolyte (U&Es) test is a blood test that measures the levels of urea, a waste product of protein metabolism, and various electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate in the blood. This test provides valuable information about the kidney function and electrolyte balance in the body.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): BUN is a waste product produced when the body breaks down proteins. The level of urea in the blood reflects the efficiency of kidney function. Elevated urea levels may indicate impaired kidney function, which can be caused by various factors such as kidney disease or dehydration. Maintaining healthy kidney function is essential for overall health, as the kidneys help remove waste products and regulate fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

Electrolytes: Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that are essential for various bodily functions, including nerve function, muscle contraction, and maintaining proper hydration. The urea and electrolyte test measures levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. Imbalances in electrolyte levels can lead to serious health consequences. For example, low potassium levels (hypokalemia) or high sodium levels (hypernatremia) can disrupt normal heart rhythm and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. Proper electrolyte balance is crucial for maintaining optimal organ function and overall health.

Regular monitoring of these parameters, along with other health indicators, can contribute to a proactive health management approach supporting a longer and healthier life.

Liver Function Tests (LFTs)

Liver function tests (LFTs), also known as liver hepatic panels, are a group of blood tests that provide information about the health and function of the liver. These tests measure various substances and enzymes in the blood that are indicative of liver health, including liver enzymes, bilirubin, albumin, and clotting factors.

The liver is a vital organ responsible for numerous essential functions, such as metabolizing nutrients, filtering toxins, producing bile for digestion, storing vitamins and minerals, and synthesizing important proteins.

Liver Enzymes: LFTs measure liver enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Elevated levels of these enzymes in the blood can indicate liver cell damage or inflammation, which may be caused by conditions like hepatitis, fatty liver disease, or alcohol abuse.

Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. Elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood may indicate liver dysfunction or bile flow obstruction, which can be caused by conditions such as liver disease, gallstones, or blockage of the bile ducts.

Albumin: Albumin is a protein produced by the liver that helps maintain proper fluid balance in the body. Low levels of albumin can indicate liver damage or impaired liver function. Albumin is also important for carrying hormones, medications, and other substances in the blood.

LFTs help assess the liver’s overall function and detect any potential liver damage, inflammation, or diseases that may impact longevity. Maintaining healthy liver function is crucial for overall health and longevity, as the liver performs vital metabolic and detoxification processes.

Hormone Level Tests

Hormone level tests measure the levels of specific hormones in the blood. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various bodily functions and processes, including metabolism, growth, reproduction, and the stress response.

Cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that helps regulate the body’s response to stress. Prolonged high levels of cortisol, often associated with chronic stress, can have detrimental effects on health and potentially contribute to various conditions such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and immune dysfunction. Maintaining a balanced cortisol level is important for overall health and may impact longevity.

Estradiol: Estradiol is the primary sex hormone in females, and it plays a crucial role in reproductive health and bone density maintenance. In males, estradiol is also present in smaller amounts. Abnormal levels of estradiol can affect various aspects of health, including bone health, reproductive function, and cardiovascular health.

Testosterone: Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but it is also present in females, albeit in smaller amounts. Testosterone is important for maintaining muscle mass, bone density, sexual function, and overall vitality. Imbalances in testosterone levels can lead to various health issues, including reduced muscle strength, decreased bone density, and changes in mood and energy levels.

Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1): IGF-1 is a hormone that plays a key role in growth and development. It is produced mainly in the liver and is regulated by growth hormone. IGF-1 is involved in cell growth, tissue repair, and metabolism. Higher levels of IGF-1 have been associated with increased longevity in some studies, while excessively high or low levels may have implications for various health conditions.

Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Proteins (IGFBPs): IGFBPs are proteins that bind to IGF-1, regulating its bioavailability and activity. IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 are commonly measured in hormone level tests. These proteins help modulate the actions of IGF-1. Altered levels of IGFBPs may affect the availability and function of IGF-1, potentially influencing various physiological processes related to growth, metabolism, and aging.

Hormone level tests can provide insights into hormonal imbalances or dysregulation that may impact overall health and potentially influence longevity. Hormone level tests enable a more comprehensive understanding of an individual’s health and to guide appropriate interventions for promoting well-being and potentially supporting a longer and healthier life.

Inflammatory Markers and Cytokines

Inflammatory markers are a type of biological substance, often proteins, that are produced by the body in response to inflammation, providing a measurable indication of the presence and intensity of various inflammatory processes. A cytokine is a type of protein molecule involved in cell signalling that modulates the immune response, inflammation, and the development and repair of tissues. Chronic inflammation has been linked to various age-related diseases and conditions, making these tests potentially relevant to understanding longevity.

High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP): CRP is a protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation. Elevated levels of CRP, particularly hs-CRP, indicate systemic inflammation. Chronic low-grade inflammation, as indicated by increased CRP levels, has been associated with various conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Monitoring CRP levels can provide insights into inflammation-related health risks that may impact longevity.

Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α): TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in the regulation of immune responses and inflammation. Increased levels of TNF-α have been linked to chronic inflammation and are associated with various age-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain cancers.

Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and Interleukin-8 (IL-8): These cytokines play key roles in regulating inflammation and immune responses. Elevated levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 have been associated with chronic inflammation and increased risk of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Adiponectin: Adiponectin is a hormone produced by adipose tissue that has anti-inflammatory properties and plays a role in regulating metabolism. Low levels of adiponectin have been associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders..

Inflammatory marker and cytokine tests help assess the presence and intensity of inflammation and immune system activation. Chronic inflammation is considered a contributing factor to the development and progression of many age-related diseases. By monitoring these markers, insights can be gained into an individual’s inflammatory status and potential risks for age-related conditions, allowing for proactive interventions and lifestyle modifications that may promote healthier aging and potentially extend longevity.

Metabolic Function Tests

Metabolic function tests evaluate various markers in the blood that provide insights into metabolic health and function. These tests assess parameters related to glucose regulation, insulin resistance, kidney function, and markers of muscle health. Understanding metabolic function is important in assessing overall health and its potential implications for longevity.

Uric Acid: Uric acid is a waste product formed during the breakdown of purines, which are substances found in certain foods and produced by the body. Elevated levels of uric acid can indicate conditions such as gout or impaired kidney function. High levels of uric acid have also been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders, which can impact longevity.

Glucose and Fasting Glucose: These tests measure blood glucose levels and evaluate how the body regulates and utilizes glucose as a source of energy. Elevated glucose levels, especially during fasting, can be indicative of impaired glucose regulation or diabetes. Chronic hyperglycemia can contribute to various health issues, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and neuropathy, which can affect longevity.

Hemoglobin (Hb) A1c: (Hb)A1c, provides an average measure of blood glucose levels over the past two to three months. It is used to assess long-term glucose control. Higher A1c levels indicate poorer glucose control and may suggest an increased risk of diabetes-related complications that can impact longevity.

HOMA-IR (Insulin Resistance): HOMA-IR is a calculated index used to evaluate insulin resistance, a condition in which cells become less responsive to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is associated with metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Monitoring insulin resistance can help identify individuals at risk for developing these conditions and guide interventions to improve metabolic health enhancing longevity.

Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK): CPK is an enzyme found in various tissues, including muscles. Elevated levels of CPK in the blood can indicate muscle damage or injury, which may be associated with conditions such as muscular dystrophy, inflammatory myopathies, or excessive physical exertion. Maintaining healthy muscle function is important for overall mobility, strength, and well-being as one ages.

Cystatin C: Cystatin C is a marker used to evaluate kidney function. It is a more sensitive indicator of kidney function compared to creatinine, particularly in individuals with normal or mildly impaired kidney function. Monitoring cystatin C levels can provide insights into kidney health, as impaired kidney function is associated with various age-related diseases and conditions.

Bicarbonate: Bicarbonate is a crucial component in maintaining the body’s acid-base balance. It is measured as part of arterial blood gas analysis or basic metabolic panels that assess acid-base status, particularly the level of bicarbonate ions in the blood.

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH): LDH is present in various organs and tissues, including the heart, liver, kidneys, muscles, and red blood cells. When there is cellular damage or injury, such as from trauma, inflammation, or disease, LDH is released into the bloodstream, resulting in elevated levels.

The measurement of LDH levels in the blood can be used as a general marker of tissue damage or injury. Elevated LDH levels may indicate conditions such as tissue injury, liver disease, heart attacks and septicaemia. Some cancers can also cause elevated LDH levels, particularly cancers that involve rapid cell growth or destruction of healthy tissues.

Evaluating these markers can provide key information into the physiological status of individuals, enabling optimization of metabolic health and supporting longevity.

Lipid Profile

A lipid profile, also known as a lipid panel or lipid profile test, is a blood test that measures various components of lipids (fats) in the blood. The lipid profile provides information about the levels of different types of cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins. Understanding the lipid profile is important in assessing cardiovascular health and its potential impact on longevity.

Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat that circulates in the bloodstream. High levels of triglycerides have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated triglyceride levels may indicate an unhealthy lipid profile and can be influenced by factors such as diet, obesity, physical inactivity, and certain medical conditions.

Total Cholesterol: Total cholesterol measures the overall amount of cholesterol in the blood, including both “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. High levels of total cholesterol, particularly high LDL cholesterol, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.

Cholesterol-HDL (high-density lipoprotein): HDL cholesterol is often referred to as “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol from the arteries, reducing the risk of plaque build-up and cardiovascular disease. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol are generally considered beneficial and may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events.

Apolipoprotein B (ApoB): ApoB is a protein found in LDL cholesterol particles. Elevated ApoB levels are associated with increased LDL particle number and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Measuring ApoB provides additional information about the number of atherogenic particles in the blood.

Apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1): ApoA1 is a protein found in HDL cholesterol particles. Higher levels of ApoA1 are generally considered favorable and may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Monitoring lipid profile parameters is crucial for assessing cardiovascular health and identifying potential risks for heart disease and related complications. Dyslipidemia, characterized by an unhealthy lipid profile, is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which can impact longevity.

Iron Studies and Haematinics

Iron studies and haematinics are a group of tests that assess iron levels and related parameters in the body. These tests provide insights into iron status, red blood cell health, and certain nutritional deficiencies.

Iron: Iron is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in various physiological processes, including oxygen transport, energy production, and immune function. Adequate iron levels are necessary for optimal health and longevity. Low iron levels can lead to iron deficiency anemia, characterized by decreased red blood cell production and insufficient oxygen delivery to tissues.

Ferritin: Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body. Measuring ferritin levels provides an indication of the body’s iron stores. Adequate ferritin levels are important for ensuring a sufficient reserve of iron. Low ferritin levels can indicate depleted iron stores and may suggest iron deficiency. Maintaining healthy ferritin levels helps support red blood cell production, oxygen-carrying capacity, and overall cellular function.

Folate: Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is crucial for DNA synthesis, cell division, and red blood cell production. Folate deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia, which is characterized by large, immature red blood cells and decreased oxygen-carrying capacity. Folate is also important for various other physiological functions, including neural tube development during pregnancy. Adequate folate levels are essential for overall health and may contribute to longevity.

Monitoring iron levels, ferritin, and folate status is important for identifying and managing deficiencies that can impact overall health and potentially influence longevity. Deficiencies in these haematinics can lead to anemia, fatigue, weakness, impaired immune function, and other health issues. Addressing these deficiencies through appropriate interventions, such as iron or folate supplementation, or dietary adjustments, can support red blood cell health, oxygenation, and overall cellular function.

Vitamin and Mineral Level Tests

Vitamin and mineral tests assess the levels of specific vitamins and minerals in the body, providing insights into nutritional status and potential deficiencies.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. It plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including immune function, collagen synthesis, wound healing, and protection against oxidative stress. Adequate levels of vitamin C are important for maintaining overall health and may contribute to longevity. Deficiency in vitamin C can lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by fatigue, weakness, impaired wound healing, and immune dysfunction.

Vitamin D (25-hydroxycholecalciferol): Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for bone health, calcium absorption, immune function, and other physiological processes. Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin upon exposure to sunlight and can also be obtained from dietary sources and supplements. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with a higher risk of bone disorders, such as osteoporosis, as well as immune system dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is essential for overall health and may have implications for longevity.

Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that is crucial for strong bones and teeth, muscle function, nerve transmission, and other physiological processes. Adequate calcium levels are important for maintaining bone density and preventing conditions such as osteoporosis. Calcium deficiency can lead to weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures. Monitoring calcium levels is important for maintaining bone health and overall longevity.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is another mineral that is essential for bone health, energy production, and various cellular processes. It works in tandem with calcium to maintain proper bone structure. Imbalances in phosphorus levels can impact bone health, kidney function, and overall physiological function. Monitoring phosphorus levels is important for maintaining overall health and supporting longevity.

Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral involved in numerous physiological processes, including immune function, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Adequate zinc levels are crucial for overall health and immune system function. Zinc deficiency can impair immune function, wound healing, and growth and development. Maintaining appropriate zinc levels is important for overall health and potential longevity.

Monitoring vitamin and mineral levels through blood tests helps identify deficiencies and guide appropriate interventions, such as dietary adjustments or supplementation, to restore optimal levels and support overall health.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a vital mineral with numerous health benefits. It plays a crucial role in over 300 enzymatic reactions, including energy production, muscle function, and blood pressure regulation. Adequate magnesium levels are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, as it promotes healthy blood flow and reduces strain on the heart. It also supports bone health, brain function, mood regulation, and sleep quality. Ensuring proper magnesium intake is essential for overall well-being.

TOXINS, HEAVY METALS, & TRACE ELEMENTS

Toxin and heavy metal tests assess the presence and levels of specific toxins and heavy metals in the body. These tests are performed to identify potential exposures and evaluate their impact on health. Understanding the presence of toxins and heavy metals is important for overall health and their potential relationship to longevity.

Cotinine: Cotinine is a metabolite of nicotine, and its presence in the body indicates exposure to tobacco smoke. Testing for cotinine levels can help determine tobacco use, including active smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. Long-term tobacco use is associated with numerous health risks, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, and certain cancers, which can impact longevity.

Mercury: Mercury is a heavy metal that can be found in various forms, such as elemental mercury, organic mercury (e.g., methylmercury), and inorganic mercury. Exposure to mercury can occur through contaminated food, occupational exposure, dental amalgams, or certain cultural practices. Elevated levels of mercury can have toxic effects on the nervous system, kidneys, and other organs. Monitoring mercury levels is important to identify potential exposure and manage the associated health risks.

Lead: Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can be found in various sources, including old paint, contaminated water, and certain occupations. Lead exposure is particularly harmful to children and can affect their neurological development. In adults, lead exposure is associated with cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and adverse effects on cognitive function. Identifying and mitigating lead exposure is crucial for overall health and longevity.

Cadmium: Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal found in certain foods, tobacco smoke, and occupational environments. Chronic exposure to cadmium can cause damage to the kidneys, lungs, and bones. It has also been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disorders. Monitoring cadmium levels helps identify potential exposure and manage associated health risks.

Manganese, Selenium, Chromium, Cobalt, Benzonitrile:

Manganese, selenium, chromium and cobalt are all trace elements required by the human body however they are also toxic or potentially harmful at elevated levels. Benzonitrile, also known as phenyl cyanide, is not recognised as an essential element or nutrient for human health.

Occupational exposure or certain industrial settings may increase the risk of exposure to these substances. Monitoring their levels helps identify potential risks and manage associated health concerns.

Testing for toxins and heavy metals is crucial for identifying exposure and managing potential health risks. Minimizing exposure to these substances is important for maintaining overall health and potentially supporting longevity. Lifestyle choices, occupational safety measures, and environmental awareness play significant roles in reducing exposure to toxins and heavy metals. Regular monitoring of these substances, in conjunction with appropriate interventions and risk reduction strategies, can contribute to promoting a longer and healthier life.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Congratulations if you made it this far! You will now be familiar with the comprehensive panel of blood biomarker data supported as inputs to the Longevity App.

You may also be pleased to know that the list of blood biomarkers will continue to expand increasing the scope and accuracy of personalized health insights.

We thank you for your continued interest in learning about the science and technology underpinning the Rejuve.AI Longevity App and hope it will prepare you for the upcoming full version release.

Please join us in the next and final article in this series on the Longevity App biomarkers that will look at the Health Questionnaires, Preconditions and Daily Health Diary biomarkers.

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