The white blood cell (WBC) count is a stable, well-standardized measure of systemic inflammation. It is commonly found on blood tests and relatively inexpensive to test. Most Americans have a WBC count of 4.5 to 10 but keep in mind many people are unhealthy so does that mean a range of 4.5 to 10 is ‘normal’? Studies show it is not. The ideal range is 3.11 to 8.83. Experts say a WBC count greater than 6.7 may identify high-risk individuals.
According to Michael Greger, MD., the WBC count is both a marker and a causal factor. It is an indicator of inflammation, a predictor for longevity, and also a causal factor leading to health issues. For example, WBCs can clog a small capillary in the heart which can damage the lining of a blood vessel.
But what is really interesting is that heart disease, cancer and overall mortality are related to your WBC count. In a Japanese study, half the women at age 85 that started out with a WBC count of 5.6 or less were still alive. 80% of those who started with over 7.0 WBC count were no longer alive. Another study showed a significant 17.4% increase in coronary artery disease incidence observed for every single point higher in the WBC count. The higher your WBC count the worse your arterial function and the stiffer your arteries.
Studies show the WBC count is a useful predictor of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, carotid atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes.
How do you reduce inflammation and your WBC count? Stay away from smoking and secondhand smoke. Exercise. Third, eat a low inflammatory diet. A whole food plant based diet will reduce inflammation. The average WBC count for a plant based diet population is approximately 5.0. One study showed removing meat, eggs, dairy, and alcohol for 21 days resulted in a significant drop in WBC count.
To learn more about the importance of knowing your WBC go to https://nutritionfacts.org/video/What-Does-a-Low-White-Blood-Cell-Count-Mean/