Measurement of redox status in the human body
Oxidative stress is defined as the imbalance between the production of free radicals (ROS) and antioxidant mechanisms in favour of the first, and can potentially lead to cell damage.
ROS are involved in some useful physiological functions, such as the reaction of the body’s immune system, the regulation of gene transcription and the activation of intracellular signalling pathways (Ray et al., 2012; Schieber & Chandel, 2014; Valko et al., 2007; Vernon & Tang, 2013).
However, an excessive and/or prolonged increase in the production of ROS results in damage to the cell macromolecules (DNA, lipids, proteins), which has been linked to the pathogenesis of cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative disease, rheumatoid arthritis and ischaemic lesions through oxidative stress (Elnakish et al., 2013; Gaki & Papavassiliou, 2014; Matsuda & Shimomura, 2013; Nanetti et al., 2011; Rochette et al., 2013; Wang et al., 2014; Wruck et al., 2011
The specialised bioassay company “Eatwalk” in collaboration with the Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Biochemistry-Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly, measures the body’s antioxidant activity in the blood using the following special tests :
- Total antioxidant activity of blood in plasma using a spectrometer, based on the deactivation of the radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) using the Janaszewska and Bartosz method (2002).
- By-products of oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation): mainly of MDA spectrophotometrically using the TBARS method of Keles et al. (2001).
- Catalase activity: spectrophotometrically using the Aebi method (1984).
- Concentration of reduced glutathione in blood: spectrophotometrically using the method of Reddy et al. (2004).
- Concentration of oxidised glutathione: spectrophotometrically using the method of Tietze et al. (1969).
- Calculation of the reduced/oxidized glutathione ratio as an indicator of oxidative stress.
- Determination of oxidised proteins using the protein carbonyls method (Patsoukis et al., 2000).
The overall condition of the body is assessed based on the above measurement of parameters, and the affected mechanism is subsequently improved through appropriate pharmaceutical and nutritional management, and suitable exercise. The above examination offers important knowledge on the regulation of metabolic disorders, which start with the deregulation of pancreatic hormone secretion, the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the hyper-secretion of catecholamines, sympathetic system disorders, prolonged fatigue, sleep disorders, etc., which ultimately lead to the classification of Metabolic Syndrome according to International Criteria.
Conditions leading to this might include:
- Insulin disorders – diabetes mellitus (Rochette, Zeller, Cottin & Vergely, 2014)
- Central obesity (Matsuda & Shimomura, 2013)
- Cardiovascular diseases and hypertension (Elnakish et al., 2013)
- Nephropathy (Coombes & Fassett, 2012)
- Premature ageing and cellular apoptosis (Liochev, 2013).
- Hormone-dependent malignancy in patients receiving chemotherapy or in patients not treated with chemotherapy (Sosa et al., 2013)
Measurement of 6 cytokines associated with metabolic disorders
The following were determined using laboratory tests:
- Interleukin–22 –22
These hormones are secreted by different cell types such as adipose tissues, by key metabolic organs (pancreas, liver, muscles, etc.), as well as by the immune system cells. They are an important regulator of metabolic homoeostasis, thermoregulation, immunity, ageing, sex hormones. In combination with the study of oxidative stress markers, they are excellent diagnostic tools for metabolic disorders.
It is recommended for people in which a metabolic disorder has been diagnosed or is suspected by the attending physician based on their clinical and laboratory tests.
Over the last ten years, metabolic analysis has introduced new data in the pathology of disorders of the metabolism hormones associated with diabetes mellitus, and in the methodology for the early diagnosis thereof.
Recent epidemiological studies have shown that the analysis of metabolism by the method of metabolomics, branched-chain and aromatic amino-acids such as isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, can predict incipient diabetes.
In a laboratory setting, we detect 120 metabolic parameters, associated with normal cellular function and evaluated based on their normal values. After that, special diets are designed by a group of molecular and clinical nutritionists, in conjunction with individual functional foods and complementary nutrition guides.
Together with an ergophysiological examination at various heart rates using a special protocol, we determine the precise cellular aerobic performance process and prepare a suitable exercise program.
Toxicological hair analysis
Trace minerals are essential for proper body function and development. The correct dietary consumption of trace minerals helps in regulating the organic balance in water, in the smoother movement of nutrients, in the better function of the human body’s exocrine and endocrine glands and in the proper functioning of enzymes.
However, factors such as smoking, poor diet, stress, medications, environmental pollutants and heavy metals create an imbalance in trace minerals and are directly linked to diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, cholesterol, attention deficit symptoms, migraines, hypogonadism, sperm abnormalities etc.
Why is the test performed on hair?
The hair (sample 1 to 4 centimetres) provides information regarding the presence of trace elements and toxic metals over a long time, ranging from 4 to 8 weeks.
In contrast to the collection of blood or urine, hair analysis is not affected by haemostatic mechanisms such as food intake prior to sampling, psychological disposition of the donor and sample collection time.
Sampling is fast and the test sample cannot be destroyed.
Advantages for the person tested
- Preventive medicine through the detection of a possible lack of trace elements.
- Existence or not of heavy metals in the body.
- Patient monitoring: possibility of repeat examination after 60-120 days, monitoring the patient’s progress and giving the necessary dietary advice.
The above constitute important deterrents against possible conception for both men and women.
Based on the test results, special detox diet programs are proposed with appropriate special preparations. Together with an ergo-physiological test on respiratory gas performance at various heart rates using a special protocol, we determine the precise cellular aerobic performance process and prepare a suitable exercise program.
Genetic examination of mi-RNAs
mi-RNAs are a recently discovered class of micro-RNAs that regulate post-transcriptional gene expression. They play an important regulatory role in many cellular processes and their aberrant expression has been implicated in many diseases, including morbid obesity and diabetes.
Recent studies have indicated significant changes in mi-RNAs levels in serum and other body fluids, increasing the possibility that circulating mi-RNAs could serve as useful clinical biomarkers.
Specifically, 3 mi-RNAs have been found ( miR-15a, miR-520c-3p, miR-423-5p) whose levels are negatively regulated only in the serum of people suffering from morbid obesity, negatively affecting the genetic expression and triggering a series of serious health problems based on their genotype (Ortega FJ et al, Clinical Chem, 2013).
A group of three mi-RNAs has also been found (miR-138, miR376a, miR-15b) based on the levels whereof obese can be distinguished by diabetics; and a dyad (miR-138, miR-503) distinguishing diabetics from obese with high accuracy (Pescador N et al, PLOsOne, 2013).
Finally, another couple of miRNAs (miR-192 και miR-193b) has been found which can distinguish very accurately people in a pre-diabetic stage.
Based on the results, a special diet is recommended, designed with bio-functional activation food of the healthy phenotype in order to regulate gene expression, coupled with ergo-physiological respiratory gas throughput screening at various heart frequencies via a special protocol specifying the exact cellular aerobic performance process, and a suitable exercise program is prepared.