This Blood Test Predicts Death, Even When Everything Else Looks “Great” (Re-blog: Functional Medicine University)

This Blood Test Predicts Death, Even When Everything Else Looks “Great”

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

As I discussed in a recent article, I mentioned the prognostic power of the blood test brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

Remember there is a 25% increase in death if the BNP is elevated one year after a heart attack. And don’t forget a BNP persistently over 80 pg/mL can be an important indicator of when a more invasive approach is needed such as bypass surgery.

In fact, a BNP twice the normal range can indicate a quadruple risk of death in folks who don’t even have symptoms. There is no other test that has the ability to have this crystal ball power of determining your chances of succumbing to heart failure even if you have no symptoms.

As a brief explanation, BNP is a neuro-hormone made in and released from the heart ventricle. The ventricles of the heart make up the biggest part of the heart muscle that squeezes blood through all the rest of the body. When the ventricles are under too much tension or the work load on the ventricles is too much the BNP goes up.

Basically, if the heart is working overtime to function, the BNP is made in larger quantities to help rescue the heart. The key thing to remember is the BNP will commonly increase long before you have any signs or symptoms that you have any trouble. This is one reason to make sure you keep your blood pressure well within normal levels because it reduces stress on the ventricles

What I find so disturbing is the fact that this is not a new test. It has been around for decades. Can you believe that most cardiologists are not aware of it and if they are, they still don’t order it? blood-1761832_1920

On the other hand knowledgeable “research” cardiologists over ten years ago published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated the BNP test “was a stronger biomarker for cardiovascular disease and death than the C-Reactive Protein”.

One of the reasons you have not heard more about this test is because there is no drug the pharmaceutical has to treat the elevated BNP.

It is important to understand that a normal BNP according to the traditional medical think should not indicate that you are ok. Studies show that you have a ten-fold risk of early death if you’re in the fourth quintile or in other words in the top ¼ of the normal range, but still in “normal”. Others have shown a 50% increase in death in the fourth quintile while others have shown 20% increase in death above the fourth quintile.

The main point I want to make is to insist your doctor orders the BNP/pro-BNP test to determine if you are heading toward heart failure.

Clearly the BNP has provided information about the risk of dying than no other test can, yet it has been persistently ignored. The leading cardiology journal says, “Serial determinations of BNP levels during outpatient follow-up after acute coronary syndrome predicts the risk of death or new congestive heart failure.

How to treat an elevated BNP

I will now show you natural nutrients that down-regulate the BNP.

The solution is taking real vitamin E which includes four tocopherols and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta).

It turns out that the tocotrienols is a precursor to natriuretic hormone and is an essential part of what the body uses to make BNP to help heal the heart. The sad thing is if you ask your cardiologist or other doctor about tocotrienols, most have never even heard of them, even though they are crucial for treating an abnormal BNP. And of course this is not new, as it has been known for over a decade that gamma tocotrienols can lower BNP.

Don’t forget tocotrienols are necessary for fighting cancers making cancer cells commit suicide and stopping metastases. In fact, tocotrienols have been shown to stop the growth of human breast cancer cells, improve blood pressure, prevent abnormal clotting, improve diabetes and much more. Name one medication that does all of that! Instead we have cardiologists and oncologists who have never heard of tocotrienols and do not prescribe this absolutely necessary nutrient to people who need it the most.

One of the other parts of vitamin E, gamma tocopherol also lowers the BNP. And this one as well as the gamma tocotrienol are usually low in patients with coronary heart disease. Be careful that you stay away from plain generic “vitamin E” (which is usually synthetic alpha-tocopherol) which actually lowers the gamma tocotrienols. Always check your multi vitamin and see if it only contains alpha-tocopherol, one of 8 parts of vitamin that you see advertised on TV because they will drive down the other forms of E that are not in it. Get rid of it.

So again what do you do for your elevated BNP ?

First thing is to make sure you have good levels of the eight forms of vitamin E.
{You are probably wondering WHERE do I get a balanced supplement?  Well – here is a linkcapsule that has a great spreadsheet with details of the different supplements Toxinless.com}

BNP also responds to low salt. Change your salt to a potassium salt substitute, available in all grocery store.

The bottom line? The BNP blood test shows risk even when all other tests are normal and even when the person has no symptoms. So after you have ordered your BNP and Pro-BNP, then do not hesitate to take the complete vitamin E and also request your doctor orders a Cardio/ION. Might as well get the best test to get an accurate status on your other heart markers and know what to do to treat any of the abnormal findings.

References

Weidemann A, et al, Hypoxia, via stabilization of the hypoxiainducible factor HIF-1a, is a direct and sufficient stimulus for brain-type natriuretic peptide induction, Biochem J, 409:233-42, 2008 (predicts before symptoms, also useful for cancer hypoxia as well as heart)

  • Rogers Sherry, Total Wellness, Prestige Publishing, May 2013

Lorgis L, et al, High levels of N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide are associated with ST resolution failure after reperfusion for acute myocardial infarction, Q J Med, 100:211-16, 2007 (better predictor than ejection fraction, level over 900 means EKG ST damage not resolved, hypoxia leads to CHF)

James SK, et al, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide and other risk markers for the separate prediction of mortality and subsequent myocardial infarction in patients with unstable coronary artery disease: a Global Utilization of Strategies To Open Occluded Arteries (GUSTO)-IV substudy, Circulation 108:275-81, 2003

Tapanainen JM, et al, Natriuretic peptides as predictors of non-sudden and sudden cardiac death after acute myocardial infarction in the beta-blocking era, J Am Coll Cardiol 43; 5:757-63, 2004

Omland T, et al, B-type natriuretic peptide and long-term survival in patients with stable coronary artery disease, Am J Cardiol, 95:24-8, 2005

Morita E, et al, Increased plasma levels of brain natriuretic peptide in patients with acute myocardial infarction, Circulation, 88:82-91, 1993

Morrow DA, NACB Writing Group, National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry laboratory medicine practice guidelines: clinical characteristics and utilization of biochemical markers in acute coronary syndromes, Circulation 115: e356-75, 2007

Omland T, et al, N-terminal pro-B-type type natriuretic peptide and longterm mortality in acute coronary syndromes, Circulation 106:2913-8, 2002

Morrow DA, Prognostic value of serial B-type natriuretic peptide testing during follow-up of patients with unstable coronary artery disease, J Am Med Assoc 294:2866-71, 2005

Richards M, et al, Comparison of B-type natriuretic peptides for assessment of cardiac function and prognosis in stable ischemic heart disease, J Am Coll Cardiol, 47:52-60, 2006

Richards AM, et al, B-type natriuretic peptides and ejection fraction for prognosis after myocardial infarction, Circulation 107:2786-92, 2003

Kragelund C, et al, N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide and long-term mortality in stable coronary heart disease, New Engl J Med 352:666-75, 2005

Kistorp C, et al, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, C-reactive protein, and urinary albumin levels as predictors of mortality and cardiovascular events in older adults, J Am Med Assoc, 293:1609-16, 2005

Harma N, et al, Rapid ventricular induction of brain natriuretic peptide gene expression and experimental acute myocardial infarction, Circulation 92:1558- 64, 1995

Saito H, et al, Gamma-tocotrienol, a vitamin E homolog, is a natriuretic hormone precursor, J Lipid Res, 44;8:1530-5, 2003 (a decade ago!)

Hattori A, et al, Production of LLU-a following an oral administration of gamma-tocotrienols to rats, Biol Pharm Bull 23; 11:1395-7, 2000

Parker RA, et al, Tocotrienols regulate cholesterol production in mammalian cells by post-transcriptional suppression of 3-hydroxy3- methyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase, J Biolog Chem 268; 15:11230-8, 1993 (2 decades ago!)

Inokuchi H, et al, Anti-angiogenic activity of tocotrienols, Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 67:7:1623-27, 2003

Wan Nazaimoon WM, et al, Tocotrienols-rich diet decreases advanced glycosylation end products in non-diabetic rats and improves glycemic control in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, Malaysian J Pathol 24; 2:77-82, 2002

Sylvester PW, et al, Role of GTP-binding proteins in reversing the anti-proliferative effects of tocotrienols in preneoplastic mammary epithelial cells, Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr 11 (suppl 7): S452-9, 2002

Steiner M., Vitamin E: more than an antioxidant, Clin Cardiol 16 (4 suppl 1): 116-8, 1993

Newaz MA, et al, Effect of gamma tocotrienols on blood pressure, lipid peroxidation and total antioxidant status in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), Clin Exper Hypert (New York) 21; 8:1297-1313, 1999

Nakagawa K, et al, DNA chip analysis of comprehensive food function: inhibition of angiogenesis and telomerase activity with unsaturated vitamin E, tocotrienol, BioFactors 21; 1-4:5-10, 2004

Ohrvall M, et al, Gamma, but not alpha, tocopherol levels in serum are reduced in coronary heart disease patients J Intern Med, 239:111-7, 1996

Uto-Kondo H, et al., Gamma tocopherol accelerated sodium excretion in a dose dependent manner in rats with a high sodium intake, J Clin Biochem Nutr 41: 211-17, Nov 2007

Uto H, et al, Gamma-tocopherol enhances sodium excretion as a natriuretic hormone precursor, J Nutr Sci Vitaminology 50:277-82, 2004

Kantoci D, et al, Endogenous natriuretic factors 6: the stereochemistry of a natriuretic gamma tocopherol metabolite LLU-a, J Pharmacol Exper Therap 282:648-56, 1997

Murray EED, et al, Endogenous natriuretic factors 7: Biospecificity of a natriuretic gamma tocopherol metabolite LLU-a, J Pharmacol Exper Therap 282 657-62, 1997

Before prescribing treatment, FMU recommends that you follow the standard of care of your profession, as well as confirm the information contained herein with other sources.

Functional medicine embraces the totality of the regulatory functions of the body. It encompasses all of the biophysical, biochemical, enzymatic, endocrine, immunological, and bioenergetic regulatory capacities.

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Compliments from Functional Medicine University

http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/department88.cfm

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