Good nutrition is crucial to maintain health and wellbeing, and enhance physical and mental performance. The nutritional needs vary for each person according to many factors such as age, gender, physical activity and health. Metabolism, immunology, food intolerance and food sensitivity are conditions that require personalised nutrition plans. Screening is crucial to assess the health and specific needs of the individual. We carry out tests and assessments in various areas including anthropometric, health, wellbeing and fitness. Furthermore, for immunology, metabolism, food intolerance and food sensitivity, we carry out also other specific tests and assessments that may include questionnaires and DNA tests (non-invasive). Once the tests results are available, you will receive a report giving you a clear understanding about the tests results, and the implications to your health and wellbeing. The report also contains advice and guidance about the best strategy to maintain your health and wellbeing, and reduce the risk of disease.
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins present in cereal grains, especially wheat. Gluten provides the characteristic elastic texture to the dough. Some people are intolerant to gluten, and if they eat it, they experience a number of symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, indigestion and constipation. The gluten intolerance assessment provides an indication if you are gluten intolerant or sensitive, and need to have a gluten free diet.
Lactose is a natural occurring sugar present in milk, which is composed of glucose and galactose units. In order to digest lactose is required a specific enzyme called lactase, which breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose that can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. People with lactose intolerance don’t produce enough lactase, leading to symptoms such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps and pain, flatulence (wind), bloated stomach, and feeling sick. Lactose intolerance assessment evaluates if you are intolerant to lactose, and need to have a lactose free diet.
Caffeine is a white, crystalline, bitter substance present in coffee, tea and many soft drinks. Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, and people who are sensitive to caffeine, even if they consume small amounts, can experience symptoms such as insomnia, jitters, and an increased heartbeat. The Caffeine sensitivity test is important to assess your sensitivity levels and create a nutrition plan taking into consideration such sensitivity.
Sugar Metabolism and Sensitivity to Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are macronutrients utilised by the body for the production of energy to support the bodily functions and fuel physical activity. Insulin is a hormone, produced by the pancreas, which regulates the metabolism of glucose and other nutrients. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugars and candies, are broken down and absorbed very quickly resulting in rapid increase in blood glucose levels and insulin spikes, which is not desirable. Complex carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed more slowly, and the glucose levels in the blood stream remains more or less stable, and the individual feels energised for longer. Carbohydrates metabolism is effected by factors such diet, physical activity and genetics. Carbohydrate-sensitive people have an exaggerated responses to carbohydrates especially sugars, often leading to increased appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and weight gain. It is important to assess sugar metabolism and sensitivity to carbohydrate, as people with increased sensitivity to carbohydrates should maintain even blood sugar levels through diet and lifestyle improvement. This improvement helps restore optimal energy levels through the consumption of good carbohydrates, helping prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Fat Sensitivity and Over-Absorption
Fats are macronutrients and comprise saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fats should be included in optimal amount in the diet. However, some individuals are genetically predisposed to over-absorb fat, with a higher risk of becoming obese, especially if their diet is high in saturated fat. Assessing if you are fat sensitive is important to establish your optimal total fat and saturated fat intake for the best results.
Fat Release Ability
Fat metabolism refers to the biochemical processes by which fats are broken down to produce the energy required to fuel the bodily functions. Fat metabolism is influenced different hormones such as insulin, glucagon, thyroid hormone, growth hormone, cortisol, adrenaline and testosterone. Fat release ability assessment focuses on the ability to release and use fats as a substrate for energy production.
Methylation is a biochemical process, and consists of adding a methyl group, which is composed of a single carbon atom and three hydrogen atoms. Methylation contributes to controlling gene expression, as well as different bodily functions. When optimal methylation occurs, it has a significant positive impact on many biochemical reactions occurring within the body that regulate the activity of the neurological, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems, and detoxification. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism occurring within the cell nucleus to control gene expression. The most important epigenetic factors that influence gene expression include nutrition, lifestyle and physical activity. The influence of these epigenetic factors lead to certain genes being switched on and other off, and thus creating genetic variants. The methylation test evaluates the main genetic variants on the genes that regulate the methylation cycle, which can be influenced by nutrition and lifestyle.
Oestrogen is an important hormone that helps regulate many bodily functions, especially in women. This hormone is crucial for sexual and reproductive development, as well as for maintaining bone density. Thus, it is important to assess if the oestrogen balance is optimal.
Dietary fatty acids comprise saturated (SFAs), monounsaturated (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Polyunsaturated fatty acids include omega 3 and omega 6, they are also called essential fatty acids (EFA) because the body cannot manufacture them. These fatty acids can have powerful effects on bodily functions, such as controlling inflammation, acting as signalling molecules and regulating gene expression, and also they are components of the cell membrane. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure optimal daily intake through the diet, since the body cannot produce these important nutrients needed to maintain health and wellbeing. However, nowadays very often the omega 6 intake is too high compared with omega 3 intake. This imbalance has negative effects on health and wellbeing, as it increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, omega 3 and omega 6 compete for enzyme availability, and the balance between these two essential nutrients is affected not only by the diet and lifestyle, but also by the genetic capacity to metabolise them. The PUFA metabolism test assesses your body’s capability to metabolise essential fatty acids, helping to ensure optimal intake.
Inflammation occurs as a result of an injury or destruction of bodily tissues. Inflammatory response is a vital protective response of the immune system, which helps healing and repair tissues caused by an injury. Also, it is important to defend the body against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. This process is called acute inflammation, and the classic signs are heat, swelling, redness and pain. If the inflammatory response flares up and then dies down, it can be considered a normal response. However, if the symptoms of inflammation don’t recede, it is a sign that the immune response “is stuck”, and what started as a healthy mechanism may lead to chronic (long-term) inflammation, increasing the likelihood of developing a number of diseases. For instance, inflammation of the innermost layer of arterial walls has been linked to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases development. Furthermore, chronic inflammation occurs in a number of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disorders. The symptoms of chronic inflammation include low energy levels, persistent pain, recurring allergies, frequent headaches and high blood pressure. Unbalance diet, unhealthy lifestyle, and lack of physical activity, and genetic predisposition can lead to chronic inflammation. It is very important to assess the presence of chronic inflammation, and improve the diet and lifestyle in order to prevent its negative effects on health and wellbeing.
Iron is an essential micronutrient that plays a crucial role in producing healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency leads to a condition called anaemia, and as a result, the body has reduced ability to transport oxygen. This also compromises the body’s ability to produce energy, causing feeling of low energy, fatigue and reduced physical and mental performance. Iron is also important to keep the immune system healthy. Iron overload represent an excess of this micronutrient in the body that may cause chronic fatigue, joint, abdominal pain, and skin colour change, as well as liver diseases, cancer and osteoarthrosis. Iron overload can be caused by genetic predisposition, or excessive intake. Iron contributes to maintain good health, however, too high levels may have adverse effects on the body, therefore it is important to ensure optimal daily intake.
The human body is designed to perform various activities, but it needs to rest and recover. Sleep is important to maintain good health, balance hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as promoting optimal physical and mental performance. Sleep deprivation causes feeling of fatigue, more stressed, and low energy levels, and in the long-term it may suppress the immune system. Also sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain as a result of disruption of the normal cortisol release patterns, decrease in leptin (the fullness hormone) and increase in ghrelin (the hunger hormone). Furthermore, long-term sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, and affect gene expression. Thus, it is important to assess if your sleep patterns are normal.
Cravings for foods high in sugar, fat and salt are very common, leading to obesity and various diseases. These cravings are caused by regions in the brain responsible for reward, pleasure and memory. Other factors leading to food craving and overeating include imbalance between the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone leptin, high level of stress, and genetics. Assessing food cravings is important, as diet and lifestyle improvements help to reduce cravings.
Stress is a normal physiological response to events considered a threat or a danger. When a person senses danger, the stress response leads to the activation of the stress axis, increased in sympathetic activity and decreased parasympathetic activity. This in turn increases blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and also increases alertness and attention, which prepare the body to “fight or flight”. Some degrees of stress may be considered a normal aspect of life, however, if it reaches critical levels, can have a number of negative effects on health. Prolonged stress and high levels of cortisol have been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, immune suppression, and loss of bone density. It is important to assess the levels of stress, we then design a specific programme that comprises improvements in lifestyle and nutrition, exercise prescription, progressive muscle relaxation and visualisation to help you reduce stress levels.
In situations of stress, the levels of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin (the latter acts as both a hormone and as a neurotransmitter) increase, which help the body to respond to stress. These hormones are produced by the adrenal glands (noradrenalin is also produced in the brain), and in the right amounts are beneficial. However, in some individuals experiencing very high levels of stress, the adrenal glands do not produce sufficient amount of these stress hormones, leading to burnout. The state of burnout is characterised by feeling overwhelmed, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. The early symptoms of fatigue, foggy brain, and lack of energy, are signals that the cause of burnout needs to be addressed. Burnout assessment provides an indication if burnout is present, and diet lifestyle improvements can help prevent and reduce burnout.
Toxicity and Detoxification
The liver is an important organ involved in numerous bodily functions, including neutralising toxins to be eliminated thorough urine. Toxins include substances such as some metals, chemicals, pollutants, pesticides and artificial food ingredients that can cause body harm. These toxins originates externally, however, some toxins originate internally as metabolic by-products. Toxic overload occurs when the amount of toxins exceeds the body’s capability to eliminate them. When toxic overload occurs, can cause premature ageing, headaches, chronic fatigue, arthritis and cardiovascular problems. Besides, during toxic overload, fat soluble toxins can accumulate in fat, making it more difficult to burn fat and lose weight. Detoxification refers to any process of eliminating and reducing the amount of external and internal toxins. This process involves biotransformation (especially in the liver) of these molecules into metabolites that can then be easily excreted by the kidneys and the colon. Detoxification enables the body to function more efficiently and gain resilience. Toxicity assessment evaluates your toxicity levels. This is important to take action and detoxify your body by improving diet and lifestyle. Optimal nutrition is vital to keep the liver healthy and efficient in neutralising toxins, while lifestyle improvement can reduce the amount and exposure to toxins.
Cortisol is an hormone manufactured by the adrenal cortex, and is involved in many bodily functions including blood sugar regulation and fat metabolism, and also it inhibits inflammation and increases alertness. Cortisol levels vary throughout the day, the peak is in the morning, which increases energy and alertness to start the day. Then the cortisol levels tend to drop in the afternoon, and generally in the evening reaches the lowest point, preparing the body to rest and sleep. Cortisol plays a crucial role in the stress response helping to cope with it, and this is probably why it is also known as stress hormone. However, cortisol is needed in the right amount, because low levels can cause weakness, fatigue, and low blood pressure. While prolonged high levels of cortisol can cause high blood sugar levels, overeating, weight gain with accumulation of fat especially around the waist, digestive issues, high blood pressure, disrupted sleeping patterns and anxiety. Cortisol assessment provides an indication about cortisol release, and if action needs to be taken. In many causes a balanced diet, physical exercise and lifestyle improvement can help maintain heathy levels of cortisol.
Our integrative approach includes nutrition, supplements, natural remedies, lifestyle improvement and exercise therapy for your health and wellness. We design a personalised programme for your specific needs and goals.
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