Biomarkers you should consider monitoring now.
One of the most prominent longevity researchers, David Sinclair PhD recently disclosed his top five biomarkers for monitoring health. His biomarker list is summarized below.
The top five biomarkers for monitoring health
5/ Lactate + Blood Oxygen
Unless you have a premium health benefit plan or an active medical condition, the cost of biomarker monitoring is likely not a covered benefit. If you are not able to pay the cost out of pocket, budget your health expenses accordingly.
Given that it currently takes a number of wearables and other solutions to monitor all five biomarkers, I decided to consult Peter Gerbino MD for insights on prioritizing the list.
Q+A with Peter Gerbino MD
Q1/ As a Medical Doctor, are you monitoring any of your biomarkers or experimenting with devices?
PG: I am not monitoring any of my own biomarkers yet. At this point, the best thing people can do now is to use apps and trackers for monitoring their diet and activity.
Q2/ Are patients starting to bring their personal health data to their appointment? Is it premature or are you getting actionable information to better manage patients?
PG: I haven’t had any patients bring biomarker data to their appointment. So far, biomarker data is only being used to monitor elite athletes.
Q3/ What types of patients are getting the most valuable insights from David’s level of active monitoring? I’ve heard some say they have used some of the devices to make some tweaks to their diet or lifestyle but they don’t use the devices all the time.
PG: I think a lot of people are curious but not getting enough to make it worth their while to use long term. Diabetics are using monitoring to regulate blood sugar. Anything more is rare because the long-term benefits are not established to make such monitoring worth trying.
Q4/ What devices are you most often recommending to patients at this point?
PG: Nutrition apps and continuous blood glucose monitors are recommended to optimize nutrients and minimize high glucose levels.
Advancing medicine and healthcare
Q5/ Is the amount of monitoring also advancing Sports Medicine research?
PG: It’s being used mostly to improve performance in elite athletes. Any health benefits are incidental.
Q6/ What do you think will be the biggest changes to Sports Medicine in the next few years? Will you be continuously monitoring patients? Will you be treating more remotely? Are the treatments evolving faster than otherwise expected?
PG: The biggest changes are tough to predict. Maybe gene modification to enhance performance and decrease risk of injury. Monitoring will increase to achieve those ends. Insurance will be slow to adopt monitoring as it will need to be ongoing in many patients and only benefit a small number. Treatment is progressing at its usual pace.
Q7/ Do you think the gatekeeper model of healthcare will eventually disappear once these devices are more widely used?
PG: Doubtful. Gatekeeper model will last a long time until universal healthcare is established. That will take many years. Devices will have no impact on that timeline.
Five biomarker monitoring devices
If you’re interested in being on the cutting edge of biomarker tracking, the longevity researchers and others are using the devices listed below.
1/ Bio-button which is a continuous heart monitor not available to the health consumers yet. It is reportedly being tested by some hospitals as part of their early discharge program for heart attack patients.
2/ Levels Glucose Monitor for blood sugar.
3/ Oura ring for monitoring sleep.
4/ Watch from FitBit or Apple for monitoring activity.
5/ Inside Tracker dashboard for customized nutrition.
If you follow Dr. Gerbino’s suggestions, start with a watch or other fitness tracker and a glucose monitor. Stay tuned for updates on this topic.
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