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What are health indicators and what are they for?

SHA Magazine
May 24, 2023
Biomarkers are the essential tool to know the real health status of each person and allow experts to personalise the roadmap for treatment.
Heart rate variability, blood sugar or cholesterol levels, telomere length, oxygen saturation, visceral fat or waist-to-hip ratio are just some examples of health indicators. As Dr.Vicente Mera,Head of the Healthy Ageing at SHA Wellness Clinic, tells us, “Health indicators, also called biomarkers, are parameters that allow us to make a complete and detailed evaluation of the state of health and, based on the information gathered, to develop a personalized strategy adapted to the real needs of each guest”.
There are three main types of health indicators: clinical, analytical and genetic. As Dr. Mera explains, “clinical biomarkers are those that are obtained from a physician’s physical examination. At SHA we have an advanced preventive diagnostic circuit, a pioneering concept that combines the most advanced technologies and which, in little more than half an hour and through a battery of non-invasive tests, provides invaluable information on the current state of health of each guest. In the circuit we measure the classic parameters, such as blood pressure, weight, height or body temperature, but also other very new ones, such as cognitive capacity, stress level or skin aging”.
In addition, to obtain analytical health indicators, it is necessary to take or extract biological samples, such as blood, urine, fecal matter or hair. “One of the most important is the hemogram, which allows us to know both the quantity and the proportion of red and white blood cells, platelets and hemoglobin. In addition, with the blood test we can also know other basic parameters, such as cholesterol or sugar levels and bilirubin. Other very useful biomarkers are C-reactive protein, which measures inflammatory processes, and HbA1c, which measures glucose levels over the last three months,” says the expert.

Finally, at SHA Wellness Clinic we also study genetic biomarkers by performing a telomeric evaluation. Dr. Mera explains: “Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes and are a very reliable indicator of the degree of ageing. Their length depends one third on genetic inheritance and two thirds on lifestyle, so it is up to us to change our habits to regulate gene expression. Another very relevant indicator is methylation, which is an epigenetic mechanism that gives us information about the events that have occurred in our health. For example, when a person suffersfroman illness or infection, the actions that the organism has implemented to defend itself are recorded in its genes. Because of this, the next time that person suffers the same disease, the DNA already knows how to react and what to do. This is known as the on-off phenomenon and refers to the fact that genes are activated or blocked depending on one’s life experience,and the needs of the organism in a given situation”.


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