Baseline Biomarkers: What They Mean & Why They Are Important

Baseline Biomarkers: What They Mean & Why They Are Important
Next Health Staff
|
February 13, 2024

Medically reviewed by Next Health Clinical Director, Jessica Brewer

Understanding Your Biomarkers: A Guide to Better Health

Biomarkers are critical indicators of a person's overall health, and understanding them can be the key to identifying potential health risks and taking steps to mitigate them. We like to consider biomarkers the KPIs of your health as they can indicate how you feel now, as well as how you may feel in the future.

By analyzing your body’s KPIs, you are then empowered to improve them for the better.

At Next Health, we specialize in taking a data-driven approach to health optimization and that starts with a Baseline Test. The Baseline Test is the most comprehensive start panel available with over 50 biomarkers to gain an understanding of your unique health state.

What are Biomarkers?

Biomarkers are measurable indicators of biological processes in the body. They can be found in various bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and saliva, and can be used to identify and monitor a range of health conditions, including chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Biomarkers can also be used to determine the effectiveness of certain treatments and to monitor disease progression.

How are Biomarkers Measured?

With the Next Health Baseline Test, your biomarkers are measured with a simple blood draw, but biomarkers can be analyzed through other bodily fluids such as saliva and urine.

Common Biomarkers and What They Indicate

The following biomarkers are included in the Next Health Baseline Test:

Hormone Levels

Hormones are small chemical messengers that rarely receive the attention they deserve when it comes to our health.  These messenger cells are responsible for relaying critical information all throughout the body. They send signals regarding hunger, libido, sleep, and more. Having a clear understanding of your current hormone levels and what they do will help you take control of your health:

Hormones (Female)

Estrogen

Influential in the development and maintenance of sex organs and menstrual cycle.

Testosterone

Vital in healthy aging for women and influences muscle mass, energy levels, & more.

Hormones (Male)

Testosterone

Informs nearly every aspect of men’s health: weight, energy, sleep, heart health, & more.

Estrogen

High estrogen in men is usually due to excess fat, which can accelerate aging.

IGF1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1)

Low levels could indicate a growth hormone deficiency, leading to bone and muscle loss.

Vitamin D Levels

Did you know 42% of adults in the United States have a vitamin D deficiency? Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in our liver and fatty tissues that is later transformed into a hormone that supports our skeletal muscle structure, blood pressure, immunity, mood, cognitive function, and ability to protect ourselves from cancer. Vitamin D is also critical in the production of other essential hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

Vitamin B12 Levels

A vitamin B12 deficiency is thought to be one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in the world, with about 40% of those in the United States being deficient. B12 is essential for mental and physical energy, leaving many with this deficiency experiencing fatigue, brain fog, and overall sluggishness. Many attribute these symptoms to their busy lifestyle when in actuality, millions are suffering from a B12 deficiency and do not even know it. Boosting B12 vitamin levels can support mood, memory, heart function, digestion, adrenal function, metabolic processes, hormonal health, and so much more.

Complete Blood Count

Complete Blood Count (CBC) evaluates your overall blood function and health. We analyze your red blood cell count and your body’s ability to carry oxygen to cells and tissues. CBC also includes your white blood cell count, which are your immune cells that fight infection, and your platelet count, which are responsible for clotting. CBC is a great biomarker to look at as your health journey progresses because it can show the effectiveness of your new lifestyle and regimen.

White Blood Cells

Critical for immune health, especially for fighting off infection and disease.

Red Blood Cells

Critical for transporting oxygen throughout your body. Evaluating your RBC count allows us to see if you are anemic, which can lead to fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms. It's important to maintain healthy RBC counts to ensure proper oxygenation of your body's tissues and organs.

Lipid Panel

A lipid panel evaluates the various types of lipids (fats( within your blood. Lipids include: cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoproteins, and low-density lipoproteins. Lipids are commonly discussed in reference to heart health as lipid levels are a great indication of your current cardiac wellness and protection. As fats, lipids are utilized for cellular energy as well as hormone production:

Total Cholesterol

Total cholesterol measures the amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both "good" and "bad" types.

HDL

The HDL cholesterol measures the "good" type of cholesterol in your blood.

LDL

The HDL cholesterol measures the "good" type of cholesterol in your blood.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease.

Hemoglobin A1C

This measures your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. High levels of HA1C can compromise your health in the long run and lead to the development of Type II Diabetes, systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and other conditions.

Apolipoprotein B

Found on LDL (bad cholesterol); elevated levels increase risk for heart disease and attack.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

This panel provides insightful information about the current state of your metabolic health by evaluating your body’s fluid balance. Our comprehensive metabolic panel includes kidney & liver function, electrolyte levels, and blood proteins:

ALT and AST (Liver function tests)

Released when liver cells are damaged. High levels may indicate liver injury or disease.

BUN/CR

This ratio indicates kidney function and can help diagnose kidney disease or monitor treatment.

Inflammatory Markers

C-Reactive Protein Levels

Produced in the liver, C-Reactive Protein is a key marker of inflammation in the body, whether it is from food sensitivities, stress, toxin exposure, or other causes. Inflammation is known as “the root of all chronic disease,” and 50% of deaths globally are due to chronic inflammatory diseases such as stroke, heart conditions, and diabetes. Conditions linked to elevated inflammation levels include thyroid dysfunction, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and more.

Thyroid Biomarkers

The thyroid affects nearly every cell in our body as it regulates our metabolic rate, energy levels, mood and cognition, and so much more. It is estimated that approximately 750 million people globally suffer from thyroid dysfunction, with up to 60% being undiagnosed. Proactively check the status of your thyroid with the Baseline Test that analyzes key thyroid biomarkers including TSH, T3, Free T3, & T4.

TSH

Reveals how much T4 your thyroid is being asked to make, not what is actually produced.

Free T4

T4 helps create T3 which then affects cellular metabolism.

Free T3

Circulating hormone influencing metabolism, weight, energy, & thyroid function.

Using Baseline Biomarkers to Optimize Your Health

Baseline biomarkers can provide important information about their overall health and help identify potential health risks. By monitoring baseline biomarkers, individuals can identify changes in their health status and take steps to prevent the onset of chronic diseases.

For example, monitoring blood glucose levels can help identify individuals who are at risk of developing diabetes, allowing them to make lifestyle changes that can prevent the disease.

Start Tracking Your Biomarkers

Interested in taking a data-driven approach to your health in order to live healthier and longer? All of the above biomarkers are included in the Next Health Baseline Test, which is a great place to start your wellness journey.

If you’re interested in taking a more in-depth approach to biomarker testing, consider the Total Baseline or Total Wellness Package to gain even more insight into your personal, unique health start.

Have questions? Request to speak to a Wellness Expert below:

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Call or text: (310) 295-2075

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