Three easy and cheap biomarkers to focus on for optimal health

Three easy and cheap biomarkers to focus on for optimal health
Photo by Luke Chesser / Unsplash

The other day, I attended a meeting led by a health technologist and researcher. He shared, that in the coming decade, those who are pro-active in taking care of their health will use three key measurements as tools, as it becomes easier and more affordable to measure and interpret the data:

1) blood sugar
2) blood pressure
3) heart rate variability (HRV)

I'm inclined to agree with this list, especially if blood pressure becomes more dynamically assessed and interpreted, beyond simply looking at average elevations. For example, until recently, my own blood pressure actually dropped when I was acutely stressed or when I stood up, an aspect of dysautonomia.

Industrial medicine is fairly primitive in how it assesses and applies significance to this measure, but there is valuable and actionable information here when interpreted appropriately. For starters, it only recognizes low blood pressure as a problem in acute or potentially life threatening situations. As if having your brain chronically under-perfused by 10 or 20% wouldn't be detrimental to health.

HRV may be the most encompassing index of health - a set of measures looking at autonomic balance and coherence of body systems, with insights into recovery, adabtability, emotional health and cognitive flexibility.

It's interesting to think about what such a list would look like. I would have been inclined to include hip to waist ratio on a short list of accessible, inexpensive biomarkers with disproportionate predictive value. But I suppose hip to waist ratio isn't as dynamic as the other 3, giving insight into health over a longer time horizon, and that you could use those three to improve this important aspect of healthy body composition.

But yes, I'm inclined to agree with the guy. If you keep an eye on and optimize for healthy regulation of blood sugar, blood pressure, and HRV, you'd be steadily improving and growing your health and resilience.