Nutrition is a very complex topic and is often misunderstood. There are many potential reasons for this, but here are some things to consider:
- Nutrition is generally not taught in medical school so many health professionals are not well equipped to assess and treat nutritional deficits. Many doctors do not test for vitamins or micronutrients. On occasion, you will find a primary care doctor run a vitamin D or vitamin B-12 level.
- The sheer volume of nutritional information from books, magazines, nutritional 'gurus', podcasts, blogs, etc. has led to general confusion and disagreement about the benefits of nutrient supplementation.
- One does not know how one will react to his supplement until it is taken. Additionally, it is hard to determine if something is going to provide adequate nutritional support, especially when taken over a longer period of time. Therefore it is hard to determine what is beneficial to take and what is not. For more information on this topic, see our article, How do you know if what you are taking is helping (or hurting) you?
- In general, there is a lack of cost-effective and effective means for testing for nutrition for the general public.
Nevertheless, many are found to be deficient in certain key vitamins and minerals. This has many causes but in general, due to industrial farming, antibiotic use, our ever-increasing levels of stress, genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and other factors, lead to depletion of micronutrients in our foodstuffs. In addition, the ever-increasing levels of heavy metals and environmental toxins make it harder for the body to utilize key nutrients that might be available. This can lead to symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia, and ultimately to various chronic illnesses that we see today.
We combine standard lab testing, advanced biofeedback testing, functional nutrition testing, and genetic evaluation to determine what nutrients are needed by the body for optimal wellness. Our approach is dependent on your age, your sex, your genetics, your stress levels, your toxin load, your immune system, your particular health challenges, nutritional goals, and others:
- Nutritional support for optimal wellness. There are certain nutrients that we use to optimize general health and wellness, to prevent oxidative stress, and to assist with stress, bone mineralization, and overall anti-aging. We work with many who are seeking to obtain optimal wellness, including busy executives, soccer moms, athletes, and many others who simply want to perform better.
- Nutritional support for acute health challenges. Sometimes higher doses of various nutrients are needed for certain acute conditions such as fatigue, detoxification, and antimicrobial support. This includes IV nutritional therapy for hydration, immune support, and detoxification.
- Nutritional support for Covid-19.
- Specialized nutritional support for chronic illness. We use targeted nutrition to support those suffering from chronic illness, such as those suffering from Mold and/or Lyme illness, parasite illness, depression, and anxiety, and many others.
Nothing has more of a profound effect on our health than our diet. What we are putting in our mouths three times a day has an effect on our antioxidant status, our mitochondrial health, our ability to repair our DNA (eg prevent cancer), our digestion, our cardiovascular health, and many others. We have found that toxicity load, stress level, disease state, nutritional status, genetics, food allergies, and many other factors determine dietary recommendations unique to each individual. For example, those with Lyme disease may not do well with a high protein diet (which may feed the Lyme spirochetes). Those with heart disease may get worse with a high fat ketogenic diet, yet there is evidence to support those with neurological illnesses such as seizure disorder may do well with a ketogenic diet. Fiber should be an important component of everyone's daily regime, however those who are battling certain gastrointestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
Regardless, there is much conflicting advice regarding diet. Here is just a shortlist of some of the popular diets out there:
- Low Protein/High Fat/Low Carb-Ketogenic Diet, Plant-Based Keto
- High Protein/High Fat/Low Carb-Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo, SouthBeach, Atkins.
- Low Protein/Low Fat/High Carb--Vegetarian, Vegan
- Blood type diet (Protein/Fat/Carb ratios depend upon blood type)
Despite some of the disagreement between many of these dietary recommendations, we find there is some common ground between all of these approaches:
- Try to eat organic, non-GMO, whole foods whenever possible.
- Avoid processed or packaged foods, food colorings, and food additives.
- Try to avoid gluten if you can (and completely avoid if you have Celiac Disease). This is because gluten is often contaminated with Glyphosate, a potent hormone disruptor.
- Dairy, the most common food allergen, is often a problem and in general, should be avoided. It is full of growth factors that have shown to be a cancer promoter.
- Simple sugars-sucrose, fructose (other than the fructose from fruits), dextrose, etc should be avoided/reduced to under 15 grams per day.
- Alcohol should be reduced or avoided. Alcohol in any form is a potent neurotoxin and has been linked with yeast overgrowth, fatty liver disease, vitamin deficiencies, and many other health problems.
- Avoid the Standard American Diet (SAD) (High fat, High Sugar, Processed foods)
- Eat an adequate amount of daily fiber as tolerated.
- Focus on plants. Include a high intake of a wide variety of nutrient-dense plant sources--fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
- Eat healthy fats (Avacado, Olive, Nuts, etc.). Our favorite dietary approach in this category is the whole food, plant-based diet.
- Maintain adequate daily hydration and electrolyte status.
There is a great deal of evidence in the literature about the benefits of fasting. Fasting activates autophagy which cleans and detoxes the cells. There are many types and duration of fasts. Most would agree that Intermittent fasting has many benefits. This means compressing your feeding window to 6-8 hours per day. Some may not be able to tolerate initially. You must work with your practitioner to become 'metabolically flexible' enough to go for longer and longer periods of fasting.
Let us help you reach your dietary goals!
Whether it is weight loss or recovery from chronic illness, we will work with you to determine your health goals. We also recognize that there are religious, cultural, and lifestyle influences on dietary choices. We will work with you to determine what diet is best for you!
Given the many factors affecting our nutritional status listed above, often nutritional support is needed. We work with a variety of vendors around the world who supply us with high quality medical-grade nutritional supports that cannot be found on the shelves. We only work with companies that provide the highest quality, allergen-free, and toxin-free supplements.treeoflighthealth.com/advanced-biofeedback
A proper diet should be the main source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cofactors, as well as macronutrients-proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. We then try to support any deficiencies detected and to support those patients who might be battling chronic illness. We utilize the most Advanced Biological Medicine techniques to reduce the toxicity and infectious load to optimize wellness and to reduce supplementation needs.
We provide state of the art, optimized, and individualized support. Our goal is to reduce supplmenation needs over time.
Functional Nutrition Testing:
While functional nutritional testing has come a long way and is often very beneficial it can be quite costly and time-consuming. The cost of this testing is lessened for those who have commercial insurance or Medicare. Nevertheless, we can take advantage of advanced biofeedback testing to determine the nutritional needs of our patients. This has resulted in significant cost savings for our patients. Also keep in mind that just because functional medicine testing and/or genetic testing determines that certain key nutrients are needed, those nutrients may or may not be beneficial. to take. Biofeedback testing can be used to help navigate this complexity. Nevertheless, we always recommend testing and for those seeking these services, we have listed some of our vendors who perform this testing below:
SpectraCell’s Micronutrient test
This micronutrient test provides the most comprehensive nutritional analysis available by measuring functional deficiencies at the cellular level. It is an assessment of how well the body utilizes 31 vitamins, minerals, amino/fatty acids, antioxidants, and metabolites while conveying the body’s need for these micronutrients that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones, and other substances essential for proper growth, development, and good health. Repletion recommendations are made based on need.
Why use the SpectraCell Micronutrient test?
What truly makes our test unique is that it measures the functional level and capability of micronutrients present within white blood cells, where metabolism takes place and where micronutrients do their job—thus taking a person’s biochemical individuality into account. Unlike static serum measurements, which only assess the concentration of nutrients present outside of the cell (extracellular) and only provide a glimpse of your health, SpectraCell’s Micronutrient test is a long term assessment (4-6 months) that addresses the functional impact (performance) of micronutrients—what really matters.
Why is nutrient status important?
Virtually all metabolic and developmental processes that take place in the body require micronutrients, and strong evidence suggests that subtle vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant deficiencies can contribute to degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Evaluating micronutrient status can therefore be the first step in identifying metabolic inadequacies while shedding light on the possible underlying causes of complex chronic conditions.
When should a micronutrient test be considered?
Extensive scientific and clinical studies spanning 50 years have repeatedly demonstrated that micronutrient deficiencies can adversely affect health. These deficiencies can set the stage for chronic disease and compromised immune health at any stage in life, particularly if they persist.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Neurological disorders/Alzheimer’s
- Autism and other spectrum disorders
- Mood disorders
- Fertility issues
- Weight issues
- Sports performance optimization
Expected Turnaround Time: 10-14 business days
The NutrEval FMV® is both a blood and urine test that evaluates over 125 biomarkers and assesses the body's functional need for 40 antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, digestive support, and other select nutrients. Personalized recommendations for nutrients are determined by using an algorithm based on the patient's test findings.
Metabolomix+ : A Non-Invasive Personalized Assessment
The Metabolomix+ is a unique combination of nutritional tests that provides an analysis of key nutritional biomarkers. A first morning void (FMV) urine collection, with optional add-on bloodspot finger stick and buccal swab, the Metabolomix+ nutritional test is a non-invasive, patient-friendly way to assess the functional need for antioxidants, B-vitamins, minerals, digestive support, fatty acids, and amino acids. Insights gained from the Metabolomix+ nutritional test allows clinicians to target nutritional therapies to the precise needs of their patients.
Additional markers are available for an even greater overview of a patient's nutritional status with easy to add modules based on a patient's unique needs.
What is a functional nutritional assessment?
Marked accumulation of organic acids in urine can signal a metabolic inhibition or block. The metabolic block may be due to a nutrient deficiency, an inherited enzyme deficit, toxic build-up, or drug effect.
Enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing organic acids are vitamin and mineral dependent. With this, elevations in organic acids can reflect a functional need for these nutrients on a cellular and biochemical level, even despite normal serum levels.1-5 Recommendations for nutrient supplementation based on elevated organic acid results are generated using a literature-based proprietary algorithm.
Traditionally, urinary organic acid assessment has been used in neonatal/pediatric medicine to identify genetic inborn errors of metabolism, with severity depending on the degree and type of error.* In many cases of genetic inborn errors, the enzymatic defect may be compensated for by high doses of specific vitamin and mineral cofactors and/or dietary interventions. Intervention with higher-dose nutrient cofactors may also be effective in cases of decreased enzyme activity due to causes other than frank inborn errors.
* Genova's organic acid testing is not intended for the diagnosis of neonatal inborn errors of metabolism.
Which patients might benefit from functional nutritional testing?
Common clinical indications for testing include:
- Mood Disorders6,7
- Mitochondrial Dysfunction8
- Chronic Stress10
Several diseases are associated with abnormal organic acid, amino acid, and fatty acid levels such as depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive decline, diabetes, cancer, anorexia, and many others.12-15
About the Metabolomix+ Profile
The Metabolomix+ Profile report allows for easy interpretation and clinically actionable results. It includes a Suggested Supplement Schedule that provides personalized recommendations based on test results. The Interpretation-At-A-Glance section of the report provides facts related to nutrient function, causes and complications of their deficiencies, and dietary sources.
The Metabolomix+ Profile report categorizes results into several metabolic areas:
- Organic Acids
- Malabsorption and Dysbiosis
- Cellular Energy and Mitochondrial Metabolites
- Neurotransmitter Metabolites
- Vitamin Markers
- Toxin and Detoxification Markers
- Tyrosine Metabolism
- Amino Acids
- Nutritionally Essential Amino Acids
- Nonessential Protein Amino Acids
- Intermediary Metabolites
- Dietary Peptide Related Markers
- Oxidative Stress Markers
- Essential and Metabolic Fatty Acids - Bloodspot (if selected as add-on profile)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids
- Omega 9 Fatty Acids
- Saturated Fatty Acids
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
- Delta-6 Desaturase Activity
- Cardiovascular Risk
- Nutrient and Toxic Elements (if selected as add-on profile)
- Genomics (if one or more of the following SNPs are selected as add-ons)
- APO E (C112R + R158C)
- MTHFR Combined (A1298C + C677T)
- COMT (V158M)
The NutrEval is both a blood and urine test that evaluates over 125 biomarkers and assesses the body's functional need for 40 antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, digestive support, and other select nutrients. Personalized recommendations for nutrients are determined by using an algorithm based on the patient's test findings. The NutrEval Plasma and NutrEval FMV (first morning void) differ based on which sample type is used to measure amino acids, plasma or urine.
Organic Acids Testing by Great Plains Laboratory
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a patient’s overall health with 76 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The cause of these high levels could include oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, acquired infections, as well as genetic factors.
The Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses.
If abnormalities are detected using the OAT, treatments can include supplements, such as vitamins and antioxidants, or dietary modification. Upon treatment, patients and practitioners have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity, and decreased abdominal pain. The OAT is strongly recommended as the initial screening test.
The above information is made available with permission from our vendors. Please click the links for more information.
If you are interested in performing individualized nutritional analysis, please contact our office for more information.