Inflammation Test

Description

Inflammation is a part of the body’s defense mechanism against infections and diseases. A healthy immune system is characterized by low levels of inflammation under normal circumstances, and elevated levels in case of injury, infection or trauma.
Inflammation can be of two types- acute (short term) and chronic (long term). Acute inflammation is the body’s immediate response to an injury or infection. It manifests quickly and disappears once the infection is cleared. Chronic Inflammation can be a result of unresolved, acute inflammation or the immune system mounting a sustained response because of either a persistent antigen (bacteria or virus), toxin, or the perception of a threat even when there is none, damaging the healthy cells and tissues. Chronic inflammation is also caused by poor lifestyle choices and ageing. If left untreated, it can lead to conditions like heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, CKD, Diabetes etc1. This test measures the CRP and AA/EPA ratio as biomarkers of inflammation.

Analytes measured
C-Reactive Protein
AA/EPA Ratio(Arachidonic acid/ Eicosapentaenoi acid ratio)
Sampling type
Finger Prick blood sample on DBS card ; Home2Lab test Kit

2,950.00


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What’s measured

Arachidonic acid (AA) is a precursor to a number of pro-inflammatory mediators(eicosanoids). Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) is a key anti-inflammatory long chain Omega-3 fatty acid. AA/EPA ratio is recommended as a marker of chronic inflammation. High levels of AA:EPA Ratio is related to several conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The recommended optimal level of AA to EPA ratio is less than 3:1.

C-Reactive Protein or CRP is a protein produced primarily by the liver in response to inflammation. CRP is in general, considered a non-specific marker of inflammation and levels can be elevated in case of an infection or a host of other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. You should consult a medical practitioner if your CRP levels are above 6mg/L.

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FAQ

What is acute and chronic inflammation?
The word ‘inflammation’ comes from the Latin word “inflammare” which means ‘to set on fire’. Traditionally, one associates inflammation with the four cardinal signs – redness, swelling, heat and pain. This is what is known as the classical “acute inflammation”. This happens in response to an injury or an infection by a foreign agent like bacteria, virus, fungus, parasites etc. The body’s defence mechanism is activated and cells and molecules reach the site of injury/infection in order to eliminate the offending agents. Thus, inflammation is necessary to control infections, heal wounds and clear injured tissues and festering sores. Generally, inflammation subsides after the aforementioned goals are achieved. What happens however, when the body’s response does not subside and may not even be against any particular target? That is what is known as chronic inflammation. By definition, chronic inflammation is a response of prolonged duration (weeks or months). Causes of chronic inflammation can include persistent infections, hypersensitivity diseases, prolonged exposure to toxic agents etc. Research now links chronic inflammation with stress, poor lifestyle choices and dietary patterns. If left unchecked, prolonged chronic inflammation starts affecting and attacking healthy cells. Chronic inflammation creates a microenvironment suitable to the development of several complex diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, auto-immune diseases.
What is CRP?
C-Reactive Protein or CRP is a protein produced primarily by the liver in response to inflammation. The levels of CRP increase up to a 1000 fold at the site of infection or injury.2 CRP has traditionally been used as a marker for infection and cardiovascular diseases.3 Baseline CRP levels can vary according to age, gender, smoking status, weight, lipid levels, and blood pressure but for a standard CRP test, a normal reading is less than 6 milligram per liter (mg/L). A test result showing a CRP level greater than 6 mg/L should be further investigated by a medical practitioner.
What is AA/EPA Ratio?
Arachidonic Acid (AA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are dietary fatty acids of Omega-6 and Omega-3 type respectively. AA and EPA are precursors to the most important inflammatory mediators (Eicosanoids) and are thus biomarkers for inflammation.4,5,6 Higher the AA to EPA ratio, greater the likelihood of developing chronic and lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Autoimmune diseases and CKD. 7 The recommended optimal level of AA to EPA ratio is less than 3:1. 7 An effective dietary intervention to reduce AA in the body is through a reduced intake of dietary animal sources—meat, eggs, dairy—or to reduce the intake of plant oils and grains rich in Linoleic acid.
What will my test results tell me?
The test results will indicate whether your CRP and AA/EPA levels are in the reference range. AA/EPA ratio is an indicator of dietary inflammation and may be corrected through dietary interventions including increased intake of food rich in Omega-3 or Omega-3 supplementation. CRP is a non specific marker of inflammation and might be transiently elevated due to a recent infection, illness or trauma and it is recommended that you repeat the CRP test after a month. If your levels are elevated after the retest too, you must share your results with your healthcare provider and discuss potential steps.
What are the various diseases linked to chronic inflammation?
Chronic Inflammation is related to a myriad of health problems, as represented in the diagram below
Source: Fighting Inflammation, Harvard Special Health Report

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Resources

  1. 1. Furman D, Campisi J, Verdin E, et al. Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the life span. Nat Med. 2019;25(12):1822-1832. doi:10.1038/s41591-019-0675-0 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147972/
  2. 2. Sproston NR, Ashworth JJ. Role of C-Reactive Protein at Sites of Inflammation and Infection. Front Immunol. 2018;9:754. Published 2018 Apr 13. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.00754. PMID: 29706967. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29706967/
  3. 3. Shah SH, Newby LK. C-reactive protein: a novel marker of cardiovascular risk. Cardiol Rev. 2003;11(4):169-179. doi:10.1097/01.CRD.0000077906.74217.6E
  4. 4. Nelson JR, Raskin S. The eicosapentaenoic acid:arachidonic acid ratio and its clinical utility in cardiovascular disease. Postgrad Med. 2019;131(4):268-277. doi:10.1080/00325481.2019.1607414 PMID: 31063407. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31063407/
  5. 5. Tutino V, De Nunzio V, Caruso MG, et al. Elevated AA/EPA Ratio Represents an Inflammatory Biomarker in Tumor Tissue of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Patients. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(8):2050. Published 2019 Apr 25. doi:10.3390/ijms20082050 PMID: 31027294. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31027294/
  6. 6. Wall R, Ross RP, Fitzgerald GF, Stanton C. Fatty acids from fish: the anti-inflammatory potential of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Nutr Rev. 2010 May;68(5):280-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00287. PMID: 20500789.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20500789/
  7. 7. Simopoulos, AP., “Essential Fatty Acids in Health and Chronic Diseases”, Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70 (suppl):560S-9S.
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