C-reactive protein (CRP) is a well-known harbinger of heart disease. Like I’m always reminding you, inflammation is the root of all illness—and CRP is probably the most blatant example of its deadly influence.
In fact, the Harvard Women’s Health Study showed that subjects with the highest CRP levels were more than four times as likely to die from coronary disease or suffer a non-fatal heart attack or stroke compared to those with lower levels.
Obviously, this is one red flag that you need to be taking seriously. And not just for your heart health, either…
As it turns out, every muscle in your body can suffer under the influence of inflammation and high CRP.
CRP ages you on a cellular level
Some “experts” consider loss of muscle mass an inevitable fact of aging. But new research suggests chronic inflammation may be the real culprit.
Investigators looked at the connection between CRP levels and muscle mass in a group of women aged 65 to 70. And their findings tell a striking story.
For one thing, higher blood levels of CRP were directly linked to lower muscle mass. And muscles cells directly exposed to CRP significantly shrunk. And lab results concluded that inflammation was to blame for this cellular decline.
In other words, inflammation isn’t just the byproduct of reduced muscle mass. It’s a direct cause. And when you think about it, that’s actually good news. Because unlike aging, inflammation can be stopped in its tracks.
Fight back against inflammation
First off, it’s important to find out where you stand in terms of inflammation. So ask your doctor to check your CRP levels. In general, scores are categorized accordingly:
- Less than 1.0 = Low risk
- 1.0-2.9 = Intermediate risk
- Greater than 3.0 = High risk
If your numbers are high, you need to start taking steps to push them back down.
I spend a lot of time with my patients discussing strategies to reduce inflammation—so there’s no shortage of tools at your disposal. But if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times… your diet is always going to be the lynchpin.
And this is yet another case where my A-List Diet can prove life-changing.
Here’s why: Obesity, inflammation, and lean muscle loss all go hand-in-hand. In fact, simply shedding body fat is one way to drive down your body’s CRP levels. And amino acids are key in achieving lasting results in this department.
I’ve mentioned before that branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) serve as the crown jewels of the A-List Diet. These protein building blocks have a hand in just about every important biological process there is. And that includes building and preserving lean muscle mass. They’re also a uniquely powerful weapon against inflammation.
The BCAAs are comprised of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The most abundant sources are animal products like dairy, meat, and eggs.
But when it comes to BCAAs, every person’s body has different needs. Your own requirements depend on individual factors like your age and hormonal status.
It has taken me years of research to pinpoint six different types of dieters—and the exact combination of BCAAs that restore balance to your body. My latest book, The A-List Diet, will walk you through it all in detail. So if you haven’t picked up your copy yet, consider this yet another critical reason to do so. Simply search for it on Amazon.com or click here.
Of course, diet is just the first step in combatting CRP and inflammation…
Supplements, strength training, and sleep—your essential inflammation-busting trio
You also have your pick of supplements to cool inflammation. But if you take nothing else, be sure that to at least take fish oil and vitamin D, every single day.
As always, I recommend a daily dose of omega-3 fish oil that contains 3,000 mg of EPA/DHA.
As for vitamin D3, I recommend least 2,000 to 5,000 IU per day. Though I personally take 10,000 daily—and often recommend my patients do the same.
Of course, most conversations about preserving muscle mass focus on the importance of lifting weights. And it is essential. But some new research adds one more critical lifestyle factor to the list.
A recent UCLA study showed that sleep also plays a major role in inflammation. Researchers found sleeping too little (less than 7 hours), too much (more than 8 hours), or suffering ongoing sleep disturbances (like insomnia or tossing and turning) all raised CRP levels.2
Suffice it to say, you need to be getting seven to eight hours of deep, high-quality, restorative sleep—no more and no less—if you want to avoid subsequent problems. If that seems easier said than done, I encourage you to check out my Perfect Sleep Protocol. In it, I give comprehensive, step-by-step advice for correcting any sleep issues you may be facing—without dangerous sleeping pills. You can learn more about it or enroll today by clicking here or by calling 1-866-747-9421 and asking for code EOV3U701.
- Wåhlin-Larsson B, et al. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;44(1):267-278.
- Irwin MR, et al. Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Jul 1;80(1):40-52.