If you are new to “health hacking” and wondering where to start, something we highly recommend everyone try is getting a comprehensive blood panel done. Your blood is teeming with information that can give you a clear picture of where you are with your health and if there are any warning signs that you should be paying attention to. But note that we’re talking about tests that cover a lot more markers than the typical blood panel that gets done for your annual check-up.
For example, when it comes to screening for cardiovascular disease, most physicians will focus on your HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides levels. When it comes to lipid panels, these are like the proverbial canaries in the coal mine: if these levels are off, that will prompt the doctor to dig deeper. If you are focused on prevention and early detection, however, looking at other lipoproteins such as ApoB, Lp(a), and VLDL remnants can be much more informative.
The same dynamic applies to other areas such as detecting insulin resistance (e.g., HbA1C), nutritional deficiencies (e.g., B-complex vitamins, magnesium), or chronic inflammation—e.g., C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, or interlukins—which is one of the hallmarks of aging. Clearly, there are so many options here that it can quickly become overwhelming. The best place to start is to have a discussion with your doctor, which might take some prodding (which, incidentally, is something we believe is always a good idea when it comes to your health care).
Alternatively, you can try one of these direct-to-consumer services for a complete blood panel: Nourish Balance Thrive’s BloodsmartAi ($99 per quarter); Wellness FX, or Inside Tracker. Once you get a baseline, doing routine follow-ups will allow you to know—with a certainty and depth that very little else can—what is going on inside your body and how you are doing on your path to living healthier, longer.
Go deeper: Take a look at the biomarkers tracked by the VIA Longitudinal Study of Aging.