Clinical Biomarkers

Clinical Biomarkers for MDs and RDs: What they mean and what the patient needs

By now, most clinicians and dietitians have learned to assess patient lab work with at least some new-found appreciation for those markers of inflammation.  These may range from the highly sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP-hs) to the more general erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or possibly the surrogate marker of renal inflammation, urinary micro albumin.  Each of these has its own role in detecting inflammatory-based issues and each should indicate the potential role for dietary intervention. C-reactive protein tests, both regular and highly sensitive, have become the most common measures of inflammation. CRP values greater than 3.0 are major red flags,- in fact, anything greater than 1.0 should generate some concern. CRP hs values greater than 1.0 suggest a significant amount of inflammation, most likely systemic and definitely affecting the cardiovascular system. Much of this inflammation is gut-derived: microbes metabolize particular components of a meal or diet and then generate a wide variety of substances, many of which are highly inflammatory. Continue reading