Galectin-3 with NT-proBNP
This panel contains the following tests:
Are you worried about developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other degenerative diseases? In 2012, the CDC estimated that 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure, resulting in one of the most common reasons people aged 65 and over are hospitalized.1
A key new biomarker is on the stage to help you gain a more accurate picture of your risk called galectin-3. In 2011, a groundbreaking galectin-3 study involving over 8,000 people was presented at a European conference. The results of this study showed that elevated serum galectin-3 increased overall mortality three-fold in the general population.2
We all know what happens when we cut ourselves; our skin thickens and the healing process forms a scar. But what about internal scarring due to inflammation? Our bodies react in the same way they do when we cut ourselves by forming excess tissue. This internal scarring process is called fibrosis, which can stiffen tissue and damage organs, especially the heart. Fibrosis of the heart can eventually lead to heart failure which means the heart isn’t able to efficiently pump blood and oxygen through your body. The heart compensates by beating faster which causes itself to wear out quicker than normal.
Although galectin-3 has long been used as a marker for heart failure; developing research also demonstrates that this glycoprotein may serve as a signaling molecule for cancer cell adhesion and even metastasis. Galectin-3 aids in regulating the cell cycle, orchestrating cell growth and facilitating cell to cell communication. However, if left uncontrolled, this “Velcro™ like protein” encourages cancer cells to aggregate and bind to surrounding tissues resulting in chronic inflammation and metastasis.3
If we think of galectin-3 as a trigger for fibrosis that leads to heart disease and cancer, along with other inflammatory degenerative diseases, then it makes sense to add a second biomarker that gives focus to our heart’s structure and function.
B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a small protein secreted by the ventricles of the heart in response to excessive stretching of the heart muscles cells (myocytes). BNP is secreted into the blood when your heart is working hard. The N-terminal fragment of BNP is a highly sensitive marker for cardiac dysfunction. An elevated NT-proBNP level frequently indicates the presence of an underlying cardiac disorder. It can even identify people with structural heart disease and cardiac dysfunction before symptoms begin.4-8 Even relatively low levels of NT-proBNP may be considered an index of increased cardiovascular risk since NT-proBNP abnormalities correlate well with development of progressive atherosclerosis.9
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.
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