Amino Acids (Urine)
Significant progress in amino acid research has revealed a definitive link between amino acid imbalance and related symptomatology. This provides information on protein and nutrient cofactor adequacy, enzyme functionality, predisposition to various degenerative disorders, wasting syndromes, gastrointestinal dysfunction, neurological disorders, and impairments in detoxification, inborn errors of metabolism and a wide variety of clinical conditions. In the Urinary Amino Acids test more than 40 analytes are measured, providing valuable information on metabolic and nutritional imbalances.
Using a first morning urine specimen, the test can identify current amino acid status and any existing imbalances. Results can be utilised in the design of specific replacement therapy, aimed at restoring balance where necessary.
Due to renal conservation of amino acids, urine levels typically drop before plasma levels. Urine is also not subject to the circadian rhythm variation in amino acids that is present in blood, and excesses or deficiencies over a period of time can be more easily assessed. For these reasons, a Urinary Amino Acids test is more likely to reveal marginal deficiencies.
The measurement of urinary iodine (UI) provides an accurate approximation of dietary iodine intake in view of the fact that the majority of iodine ingested (~90%) is excreted via the urine. Therefore, UI measurements provide a biological indicator of Iodine Deficiency Disorders.
Iodine's main action is involved in thyroid function. Due to the numerous actions carried out by the thyroid, the implications of iodine deficiency are vast. The major hormone secreted by the thyroid is thyroxine, also called T4 because it contains 4 iodine atoms. To exert its effects, T4 is converted to T3 by the removal of one iodine atom. This occurs mainly in the liver and other tissues where T3 acts, such as the brain. Other actions include the formation and integrity of normal breast tissue, foetal brain development and function, and anti-microbial effects.
Osteoporosis Risk Assessment (NTx)
Osteoporosis affects over 75 million people, male and female, worldwide and places 1 out of every 2 women at risk of developing bone fractures. Unfortunately the disease is often not detected until it is well advanced and a bone fracture (most commonly the hip) may be one of the first symptoms. Early detection of osteoporosis can facilitate successful treatment and reduce the risk of further development of the disease.
The Osteoporosis Risk Assessment (NTx) is a urine test which measures the risk of osteoporosis by detecting the rate of bone resorption (breakdown) well before significant changes are obvious on bone mineral density scans. Research indicates that elevated bone resorption is the primary cause of age-related bone loss and low bone mass is the major cause of osteoporosis. Once osteoporosis has been diagnosed, quantitative measures of the excretion of cross-linked N-telopeptide (NTx), type 1 bone collagen, provide an indicator of human bone resorption.
The NTx marker can also be used to monitor the efficacy of anti-resorptive therapies such as hormone replacement (HRT) and/or calcium supplementation in postmenopausal women, individuals with osteoporosis and those with Paget's disease.