A hallmark of effective health optimisation is having objective data to establish a baseline of your current state of health. Tracking that data over time allows you to measure the effect of the various diet, lifestyle, and other strategies employed in a comprehensive approach to optimising health and well-being.
One of the tools we use at Melbourne Functional Medicine to gather, monitor and analyse health data is the Nutri-STAT profile – a comprehensive metabolic and nutritional profile that analyses over 230 biomarkers related to various aspects of health. By establishing a personalised baseline of data, this invaluable resource becomes a personal compass, empowering individuals to track progress and gain meaningful insights into their unique health needs.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Nutri-STAT profile and the insights it can give you about your health and well-being.
What is the Nutri-STAT Profile?
The Nutri-STAT profile is a comprehensive metabolic and nutritional profile that analyses over 230 biomarkers related to various aspects of health. It provides valuable insights into an individual’s metabolic, thyroid, hormone, cardiovascular, immune, and nutritional health.
By analysing these biomarkers, the Nutri-STAT profile helps assess an individual’s risk for developing certain health conditions and provides information to develop personalised strategies for optimising health.
Using a fasting blood and urine sample, the test reports over 230 biomarkers including:
- Comprehensive cardiovascular and lipid profile: Cholesterol is only one part of maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. There are several different types (subfractions) of cholesterol, lipoproteins, and inflammation markers that influence the health of your heart and blood vessels
- Kidney function test: The importance of kidney health is often underestimated and can influence almost every system within the body. Other than electrolytes the kidneys also maintain fluid balance and hydration, eliminate toxins and metabolic waste, and buffer the pH of the blood to correct the acid-base balance of the body
- Liver function test: The liver is an important organ that is responsible for multiple detoxification processes as well as nutrient metabolism and assimilation, energy metabolism, glucose regulation, and hormone metabolism. Maintaining optimal liver function is essential for systemic health
- Iron studies: Iron is an important cofactor for multiple immune and metabolic functions throughout the body, as well as the transport of oxygen to the cells via the blood. Maintaining adequate iron levels and iron stores is important for the regulation of inflammation and for supporting oxygen-dependent cellular functions
- Complete thyroid profile: The thyroid is often referred to as the master gland for metabolism. Improving the ratio of key thyroid hormones such as TSH, T3, T4 and reverse T3 helps to improve the regulation of metabolism that affects things such as energy levels and weight. The profile also measures important antibodies involved in autoimmune thyroid disease
- Hormones (DHEA, testosterone, oestrogen): Hormones are biochemical communicators that regulate almost every metabolic process in the body. Key hormones such as DHEA, Testosterone, and Oestrogen are related to muscle mass, bone health, the menstrual cycle, libido, and weight management
- Minerals and metals analysis: Various minerals and metals are important cofactors in a large number of metabolic processes, and also act as antioxidants, and regulators of immune function, and neurotransmitter functions. Additionally, we are frequently exposed to toxic metals through our environment, water and the food chain. Supporting healthy levels of micronutrients and eliminating toxic metals is vital for good health
- Essential fatty acid profile: Fatty acids are essential structural components of every cell and tissue throughout the body. They also regulate immune function, and inflammation, and support optimal nervous system structure and function, as well as being a source of energy. It is important to maintain an optimal balance between omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, saturated fats, and monounsaturated fats, whilst minimising trans fatty acids
- Amino acid profile: Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins. Some amino acids our body can make or recycle, whilst others need to be consumed regularly through the diet to maintain adequate levels. The proteins made from these amino acids form the structural components of our body such as muscle, bone and skin, as well as the hundreds of enzymes, hormones, cell signalling molecules, and neurotransmitters that regulate our body’s physiology
- Organic acid profile: Organic acids encompass a large group of metabolic waste products excreted in the urine as a result of multiple cellular processes, methylation and detoxification, nutrient metabolism, energy production, neurotransmitter function, and the activity of the gut microbiome. The organic acid profile allows us to evaluate how the body is functioning at the cellular level
- Cortisol, fasting blood glucose, and insulin: Cortisol is a key marker for the function of the adrenal gland and a marker of the physiological stress response. Cortisol is also involved with inflammation, and the diurnal rhythm of cortisol is closely associated with the 24hr circadian rhythm which regulates our sleep/wake cycle. There is a close association between cortisol, glucose, and insulin which can be influenced by stress, inflammation, and body weight
Your functional medicine practitioner can help you to interpret the results and understand your unique metabolic state of health. This information can then be used to inform diet and lifestyle strategies to achieve optimal health and prevent disease, targeted supplementation to optimise physiological functions, and important focus areas for your health goals.
How can the results from the Nutri-STAT profile help me optimise my health?
By understanding your unique biochemical makeup, you can work with your functional medicine practitioner to focus on key strategies for achieving your health goals.
Example one – health optimisation
Let’s say you wanted to improve your energy levels so you had more energy to focus on your work, family, and life, or maybe you wanted to tick off running a marathon from the bucket list. Understanding the relationship between blood glucose, cortisol, and how your body metabolises carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to make energy can inform personalised strategies such as:
- the type of diet that would be optimal for you
- the type of sleep hygiene practices that would be best to implement to optimise the quantity and quality of your sleep
- the type of exercise that would best support your overall metabolism and energy production – or any other strategies that you could use to improve hormone balance, detoxification, and mitochondrial function, all of which are essential for improving energy levels and endurance
Example two – disease prevention
Maybe you have a family history of heart disease, and you’re keen to proactively prevent the development of cardiovascular disease. Measuring important biomarkers of cholesterol and lipid subfractions, blood glucose, insulin levels, and inflammatory markers such as highly sensitive c-reactive protein (hsCRP) and homocysteine, enables you to:
- assess your risk for developing cardiovascular and cardiometabolic disease
- implement effective diet, exercise, stress management, and lifestyle approaches to promote heart health and glucose control
Using the Nutri-STAT profile at regular intervals every 6-12 months enables you to track objective data to ensure you’re achieving your goals.
How can I learn more about the Nutri-STAT profile?
The Nutri-STAT profile is a helpful tool to assess your unique biochemical and metabolic state of health and diagnose a variety of conditions that may be affecting your health. If you’re considering having the test, you can talk with one of our practitioners to decide if the Nutri-STAT profile is right for you.
At Melbourne Functional Medicine, we can help you interpret your results and develop a plan that is right for you. We offer a comprehensive approach to health care, and our team of experts will work with you to address your individual needs and health goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve optimum health.