Lab Services

ALCAT Food Sensitivity Test

ALCAT Food Sensitivity Test

The ALCAT Test differs from other food allergy or intolerance tests as it accurately and objectively measures leukocyte cellular reactivity in whole blood, which is a final common pathway of all mechanisms. The test utilizes electronic, state of the art, hematological instrumentation. Standard allergy tests, such as skin testing or RAST are not accurate for delayed type reactions to foods and chemicals. They measure only a single mechanism, such as the effect of mast cell release of histamine or the presence of allergen specific IgE molecules. Delayed reactions to foods and chemicals are NOT IgE mediated.

The ALCAT Test also differs from standard IgG tests in that they rely exclusively on one immune pathway, serum levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG). In fact, high food specific IgG titers are indicative only of exposure, not necessarily intolerance.

The ALCAT Test reproducibly measures the final common pathway of all pathogenic mechanism; whether immune, non-immune, or toxic. It is the only test shown to correlate with clinical symptoms by double blind oral challenges, the gold standard.

It involves taking a vial of an individual’s blood and sending it to a US lab to test your blood against specific foods, chemicals, etc. An analysis is completed and the results are forwarded to our clinic

D-Spot Test

The vitamin D blood spot is an easy at-home test-kit, which accurately measures your blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D with a single finger prick.  It is important to keep your blood levels of vitamin D within a stable range that is neither too high nor too low. Knowing your vitamin D levels allows you to supplement with the correct amount of vitamin D3 for your specific physiological requirements.

Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include: 

  • living in northern latitudes,
  • dark skin color,
  • sunscreen use,
  • minimal outdoor summertime sun exposure,
  • excess cloud and smog cover and
  • excess body weight.
  • Medications including anticonvulsants, steroids and statins can have a negative impact on vitamin D status.

Vitamin D has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy bones and teeth and for maintaining our levels of calcium and phosphorous. Severe Vitamin D deficiency in infants and children causes the condition called rickets, characterized by soft and misshaped bones and teeth and muscle weakness.

Emerging research is beginning to uncover more connections between vitamin D and human health. Vitamin D plays a key role in balancing the body’s immune system and may play a role in preventing infections and autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis.

Other avenues of research have shown the link between treating vitamin D deficiency and treating mental disorders such as seasonal affective disorder and depression.  Vitamin D has also been used to improved muscle strength and balance and to prevent falls and fractures in the elderly.

It also shows promise in the treatment of certain pain conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and restless leg syndrome.  Finally, there are population studies that have shown an association between higher levels of vitamin D and a decreased incidence of heart disease and cancers of the breast, prostate and colon.

The Complete DUTCH Test for Hormones and Metabolites

(Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones)

This is one of the newest tests for hormones available today. The DUTCH test combines the benefits of serum (blood), saliva and urine to give a complete hormone picture that includes metabolites (break-down products of hormone metabolism.)
What makes this test more informative?
While traditional testing methods provide a tremendous amount of information, measuring hormone metabolites can provide a better understanding into an underlying hormone imbalance. For example, in cases where a hormone may be too low or too high, there are several possibilities; too little or too much hormone production or, increased or decreased hormone clearance shown by metabolite levels. Treatment is different for each case. With this information, your health provider can identify the cause of your hormone imbalance and treat it more effectively.
The DUTCH test is especially effective for measuring cortisol, our stress hormone. Similar to saliva, this test measures free cortisol, a much better marker than total cortisol (as tested in serum/blood.)
By taking multiple samples throughout the day, the results provide a cortisol pattern (a cortisol curve) much like a saliva test. The major advantage with the DUTCH test over a saliva sample is the addition of cortisol metabolites that can differentiate adrenal dysregulation, adrenal fatigue or inflammatory conditions that could mimic an adrenal imbalance.

Every Month is for Breast Health Awareness
It is critical to consider all facets of breast health – hormonal, environmental, dietary, nutritional, psychological and spiritual.
Combined with a body thermography test, the DUTCH test can be used as part of a more comprehensive plan to identify how hormones play a role in cancer awareness and possible risk factors.
Evaluating Hormones and Their Metabolites
Not all breast cancers are due to high estrogen levels (estrogen-receptor positive). How the body detoxifies estrogen through phase 1 and 2 does appear to have a large influence on risk. Alternatively, an individual can develop an (estrogen-receptor negative) breast cancer while some may develop cancer even if phase 1 and 2 detoxification is healthy.
Estrogen Dominance
Baseline levels of Progesterone, Estradiol (E2) and the P to E2 ratio can identify an overproduction of Estrogen or underproduction of Progesterone providing basic information regarding estrogen dominance.
Various Pathways of Estrogen Metabolism
The 2OH-E1 pathway is a healthy direction for estrogens to be metabolized. The 4OH-E1 pathway is considered to be more carcinogenic. Gene mutations can cause higher levels of 4OHE-1 and less of the protective 2OH-E1.
As well, part of phase 2 detoxification involves methylation, a normal biological part of metabolism. Mutations can exist in a section of one’s DNA, notably the MTHFR and COMT genes, which impair methylation, therefore reducing the efficiency of healthy hormone detoxification.
If the 4OHE-1 is not methylated, other, more damaging pathways are taken, which can detrimentally effect DNA, creating a higher risk for cancer formation.
The DUTCH test will show methylation activity of the metabolites so we can investigate these risk factors.
Finally, Melatonin, a powerful cycling hormone, has been identified as a strong antioxidant and integrative medicine marker associated with possible cancer risk. Low levels have been shown to have a relationship to postmenopausal breast cancer.(1)
Collection Made Simple
The developers of the DUTCH test have made it so much easier to collect a sample. A take-home test kit includes strips of filter paper that are urinated on, then dried. The kit includes simple collection instructions and special information on water intake and oral hormone use the day of urine collection. Once the samples are mailed into the lab, results are usually reported within 2-3 weeks. Your provider will contact you when your results are complete.

To summarize, the DUTCH complete test provides unique and comprehensive hormone analysis with one of the easiest collection methods. Please ask our staff if you have more questions or would like more information.

Why is Aldosterone not measured on the DUTCH test?

The ability to measure Aldosterone would require an enzyme immunoassay (EIA), radioimmunoassay (RIA) or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry test (LC-MS). The first 2 tests would increase cost significantly and, as this test is not often indicated for most patients, the cost isn’t warranted.  As for the LC-MS test, validation data is weak for this type of analysis, which is difficult to do.

Why are certain estrogen metabolites, 2-Methoxy-E2 and 4-Methoxy-E1, not measured in the DUTCH test?

Levels of 2-Methoxy-E2 are very low. DUTCH tests it, but doesn’t report it as the values are not reliable enough, even though their methods are very sensitive.         It’s the same story with 4-Methoxy-E1, the tests are done, but are unreliable, so they don’t report the findings.

Why aren’t both fractions of cortisol and cortisone reported in the DUTCH test?

The 2 fractions of cortisol and cortisone include ‘free’ and ‘conjugated’. Literature reports that ‘free’ cortisol is the only clinically relevant fraction (as opposed to a combination of free and conjugated, or ‘total cortisol’).  At the present time, there is no strong clinical relevance to report conjugated cortisol. The same can be said for free and conjugated fractions of cortisone.

1) Schernhammer E, Hankinson S., Urinary Melatonin Levels and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk in the Nurses ealth Study Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prevention, 2009 Jan;w8 (1): 74-79, doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0637

G6PD Deficiency Blood Test

A blood test for G6PD deficiency allows you to rule out a defect in this important enzyme and for you to safely undergo high dose vitamin C treatment.

Glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase or G6PD is an enzyme normally present in humans that protects them from oxidation/inflammation.  However there exists a rare form of genetic modification that decreases a person’s levels of G6PD, which is referred to as G6PD deficiency.

Individuals with G6PD deficiency are unable to tolerate high levels of supplementation with vitamin C. Administering high doses of vitamin C causes a break down of their red blood cells and could result in a medical emergency.  One sign you may have G6PD deficiency is if you have difficulty tolerating beans and legumes, such as fava beans, kidney beans and lima beans.  While the risk of G6PD deficiency is low, the incidence is increased in males and those of Mediterranean, African America, Asian or Hispanic decent.  Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about screening for G6PD deficiency if you plan to start high dose vitamin C therapy.

Healthy and Active Metabolism Program

The healthy & active metabolism program is an innovative nutritional program, aimed at boosting your metabolism. Healthy & active optimizes your metabolism, harmonizes your hormone levels and activates your immune system The result is an ideal body weight while also increasing your sense of well-being.

Following an extensive metabolic analysis (using results from 42 different blood values), and involving the blood group and data concerning eating habits and personal health, your own individual nutritional plan can be created with the goal of optimizing your metabolism.

Salivary Hormone Test

Salivary Hormone Test

What exactly does a saliva hormone test measure: free or bio-available hormone?
Hormones pass into saliva from the cell membranes of the salivary gland. In other words, hormones must pass through saliva gland tissue to get into saliva, which means that a saliva hormone level measures delivery of hormone to tissue (cells) from the various reservoirs in blood. In contrast, a blood hormone level reflects hormone which has not yet been delivered to tissue. Because saliva reflects what actually gets into tissue rather than what might eventually get into tissue, it better reflects tissue (bio-available) hormone levels.

There is a common misconception that only free, unbound hormone is available to tissue. Research indicates that all forms of a given hormone are available to tissue to some extent. Free hormone, protein-bound hormone (albumin and SHBG-bound), red blood cell-associated hormone and conjugated hormone are all delivered to cells in varying amounts, depending on the type of tissue and whether the hormones are endogenous or exogenous. Free hormone levels in serum are known to underestimate bioavailable hormone levels, so measuring free hormones in serum may not accurately reflect what is being delivered to tissue.

Heavy Metal Toxicity: An Overview

Urine Heavy Metal Test

Urine Elements
Urine element analysis is traditionally used to assess exposure to toxic elements like lead, mercury or arsenic, but can also be used to measure essential elements.

Essential Elements
Essential elements are involved in virtually all metabolic and biochemical processes, and urine levels are generally reflective of recent intake. Therefore, urine testing for essential elements may be helpful in assessing nutritional status. For example, urine selenium levels correlate well with patient-reported hypothyroid symptoms. Numerous essential elements with low or very low levels in urine may indicate problems with absorption. The presence of toxic elements may also interfere with normal excretion of essential elements.

Toxic Elements
Acute significant exposure to toxic elements is rare and may even constitute a medical emergency, whereas chronic low-level exposure often goes undetected. Toxic elements appear in urine immediately after exposure, which makes urine element testing useful for assessing potential toxicity. The sequestration of toxic elements in body tissue stores may eventually result in symptoms. For example, mercury and lead accumulation can cause higher rates of Parkinsonism, cognitive decline, depression, nausea, fatigue, developmental delays, neurological and movement disorders. Cadmium toxicity is associated with increased risk for osteoporosis, kidney damage and cancer. In fact, many symptoms of chronic heavy metal toxicity are similar to those of neurological, kidney and digestive disorders; making it nearly impossible to identify the root cause without testing.

Oral or intravenous chelation is used to remove toxic elements from storage sites in tissue.

Chelating Agents
Pharmaceutical chelating agents like DMPS, DMSA and EDTA mobilize toxic and essential elements from tissue stores, allowing the newly liberated elements to be excreted in urine. Many health care providers measure urine elements after administration of a chelating agent called post provocation.