Lowering C-reactive protein levels can protect your heart and bones

Did you know that heart disease and osteoporosis are closely linked, so much so that it has been suggested that people with heart disease should be screened for osteoporosis and vice versa? According to emerging science, the two conditions are linked by one important factor: inflammation.

That’s why for February, Heart Health Month, I recommend you get a simple blood test that can detect uncontrolled inflammation and its related antioxidant deficiency: the C-reactive protein (CRP) test. In fact, some authorities suggest that highly sensitive PCR testing could predict the risk of developing serious heart disease (and other chronic diseases) years in advance (He et al. 2010; Li et al. 2017).

What is C-reactive protein?

C-reactive protein (CRP) is produced in the liver in response to inflammation; Its job in the body is to bind with phosphocholine (a chemical produced by both microbes and dying cells) to “mark” unwanted cells for the immune system to eliminate.

If there is an actual infection or injury present, the inflammation and resulting high CRP is not such a bad thing: you want your immune system to activate so it can find and eliminate bacteria or dead and injured tissue, but in heart disease and other In chronic diseases, high CRP level indicates ongoing inflammation that does not go away.

You may remember a 2004 TIME magazine cover story alerting the public to the clear link between inflammation and heart disease. It was then that the elevated role of CRP in the development of chronic inflammation was first understood (Rifai and Ridker 2001). It was linked not only to heart disease, but also diabetes, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and many other serious long-term illnesses, including osteoporosis.

There are dozens of studies that have looked at CRP levels in individuals with low bone density and osteoporosis and have found a clear relationship between high CRP and weak or thin bones (Ganesan et al. 2005; de Pablo et al. 2012). Interestingly, there was a greater relationship between bone weakness and CRP than bone density. One study (Schett et al. 2006) concluded that “hs-CRP level is a significant and independent risk predictor of non-traumatic fracture. “This finding is consistent with the hypothesis of a close interaction between low-grade inflammation and bone turnover.” And when osteoporosis coexists with other inflammatory conditions, such as emphysema, CRP highlights that association as well (Samaria and Bhatia 2015).

C-reactive protein is such an important marker that I even include it in my osteoporosis screenings that I perform on all my clients. You can learn more about these tests and their meaning in my Osteo Laboratory Testing Online Course .

Reduce elevated CRP levels

  • So now that we know that elevated CRP is a red flag for both bone and cardiovascular health, what do we do about it? Fortunately, many of the recommendations I offer for bone health also help reduce inflammation and lower CRP.
  • Eat an Alkaline for Life diet focused on whole foods and packed with colorful fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate. By doing so, you will increase your intake of antioxidants, such as vitamin C, quercetin dihydratealpha lipoic acid, selenium and curcumin, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and important minerals such as magnesium.
  • Eliminate sugar, fried and processed foods, and reduce alcohol; All of this promotes inflammation.
  • Exercise has been found to reduce CRP levels and strengthen bones at the same time. Mindful exercises such as tai chi and yoga They can be helpful for people just starting out and help reduce stress levels, which not surprisingly are also associated with higher CRP and increased inflammation.
  • Rest! Getting enough sleep has been shown to increase inflammation and CRP levels. (And no, taking a nap won’t be enough. You need eight hours a night.)

I encourage you to learn more about how to keep your heart and bones healthy, including the incredible benefits that vitamin K2 offers your heart and bones. Read my blog: Is Vitamin K2 Your Body’s Best Friend?and? – for more.


Barbour, K.E., et al. 2012. Inflammatory markers and hip fracture risk: The Women’s Health Initiative. J Bone Mineral Res 27(5):1167-1176.

by Pablo, P., MS Cooper and CD Buckley. 2012. Association between bone mineral density and C-reactive protein in a large population sample. Rheumatic Arthritis. 64(8):2624–2631.

Ganesan, K., et al. 2005. Relationship between C-reactive protein and bone mineral density in community-dwelling elderly women. J Natl Med Assoc. 97(3):329–333.

He, LP, et al. 2010. Early C-reactive protein in predicting long-term outcomes after acute coronary syndromes: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Heart 96(5):339-346.

Jaffe, R. and J. Mani. 2014. Predictive biomarkers in personalized laboratory diagnosis and evidence-based best practice outcome monitoring. Townsend letter, January 2014.

Li, Y.W. et al. 2017. Hs-CRP and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: a meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis. 259:75-82.

Rifai, N. and P. M. Ridker. 2001. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein: a novel and promising marker of coronary heart disease. Chemical Clinic. 47(3):403-411.

Samaria, J.K. and M. Bhatia. 2015. Elevated CRP levels associated with osteoporosis in patients with COPD. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 191:A5716.

Schett, G., et al. 2006. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein and risk of non-traumatic fractures in the Bruneck study. Arch Internal Physician. 166(22):2495-2501.

Xu, W.X. et al. 2015. High sensitivity PCR: possible link between work stress and atherosclerosis. Am J Ind Med 58(7):773-779.

Dr. Susan BrownAm Dr. Susan E Brown. I am a clinical nutritionist, medical anthropologist, writer and motivationalist. spokesman. Learn my time-tested 6-step natural approach to bone health at my online courses.

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