Do you know your VO2?

September 15, 2013 0 Comments
Do you know your VO2?

exerciseNo, I’m not asking you to get to know a new Star Wars character. VO2 is actually an important value that can be measured accurately to assess risk for developing heart disease.

The pharmaceutical industry would have us believe that LDL or the “bad cholesterol” is the only important marker. Before anyone takes offense, I am not entirely against medications for elevated cholesterol. However, I do believe there has been an inordinate focus on medications for elevated cholesterol as opposed to the safer and more effective tools of nutraceutical supplementation, diet and lifestyle changes.

The truth is there is a significant amount of research with regard to VO2, which essentially indicates cardiac fitness. The V in VO2 stands for rate and, of course, O2 quite simply means oxygen. VO2 essentially stands for rate of Oxygen uptake, which is dependent on the efficiency with which the heart pumps (assuming no preexisting respiratory disease).

A recent Mayo Clinic Journal focused on aerobic capacity (essentially VO2) and its relationship with ‘all cause mortality’ or death from any cause and death from heart disease. Mayo analyzed data from 3000 preventative medical evaluations in which aerobic capacity (VO2) was assessed and correlated with subsequent death.

The punch line: the more fit your heart, the less risk for early death from any cause.

The VO2 is typically assessed as VO2max during an exercise test. This test takes about 20 minutes and involves measuring the expired oxygen during exercise. From this test, we are able to get a number expressed in ml O2/kg/min. These coordinate with fitness levels based on age. Lance Armstrong has a recorded VO2max of 83.8 ml/kg/min. This is extremely high!

Most of our patients typically begin in twenties and are able to improve over time in accordance with their Cenegenics or Lamkin System programs.

We typically reassess VO2max within six months and always in accordance with a full preventative medical evaluation including comprehensive lab analysis (evaluating hormonal, nutritional, and inflammatory markers), further strength and flexibility testing, body composition analysis, nutrition consultation and recommendations, vitamin and nutritional supplementation recommendations, and physician exam.

The Lamkin Clinic offers VO2 testing as part of our corporate wellness evaluations or as part of the comprehensive Cenegenics program.

Call us today for an isolated test or inquire about our comprehensive programs that include VO2 testing!

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