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Cardiac Stress

NT-proBNP

NT-proBNP, the N-terminal fragment of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), is a highly effective diagnostic marker for heart failure and for ruling in/out cardiac dysfunction. It is secreted from cardiac ventricular myocytes in response to cardiac stress (e.g., volume overload and myocardial ischemia) and induces vasodilation, natriuresis, and diuresis in order to ameliorate the stress on the heart. Markedly elevated levels of NT-proBNP are diagnostic of congestive heart failure. Mildly elevated levels of NT-proBNP are a strong independent predictor of CVD, with prognostic utility for future cardiovascular events and death in patients with and without CAD or heart failure.1 Several studies have also linked elevated levels of NT-proBNP to hypertension, sleep apnea, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer disease.2,3  The etiology of elevated NT-proBNP may include renal or pulmonary disorders, diabetes, hypertension, and medications that increase fluid retention.4

  1. März W, et al. Clin Chem 2007;53(6):1075–1083.
  2. Mirza SS, et al. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry2016;87:356–362.
  3. Bower KJ, et al. Am J Hypertens 2015;28(10):1262–1266.
  4. Maries L, Manitiu I. Cardio J Afr 2013;24(7):286–289.

 

Why Gut Health?

Poor gut health is at the heart of many chronic conditions. A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract is vital to overall well-being and even survival. A recent explosion of scientific research worldwide, including the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), is providing new insights into the importance of the gut as the “gateway to good health” and giving new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat.”

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