Mostly of all they uncover the real cause of any health problem, including:
- lack of vitamins and other essential elements within the cells
- cellular function
- toxic burden
- antioxidant status of the organism
- functioning of the nervous system
- condition of the intestinal flora
- mitochondrial function
- metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
- existing predisposition to inflammation
- existence of acidosis or alkalosis
- essential fatty acid balance (like omega 3 and omega 6)
- insulin resistance and other vital indicators.
An examination of metabolites not only reveals much about your current health but can provide hints of what’s to come, which is especially useful if you are taking the metabolomic analysis for better preventative health.
Metabolite analysis at the molecular level can reveal critical signs of systemic dysfunction for diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease, years before clinical symptoms appear. (Harvard Mag 2011).
The measuring of telomeres is an additional analysis and can be done with a method called HT Q-FISH (High-Throughput Quantitative Fluorescent in Situ Hybridization).
The DNA is the genetic code that contains the information for the structuring and functioning of our body. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in human cells. The end parts of the chromosomes, the telomeres, protect the chromosomes. Telomeres are often compared to the plastic protective tips in shoelaces that protect a shoelace from unraveling.
Telomeres are at their longest at birth. The gradual shortening of telomeres has been identified as the primary cause of human aging and age-related diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and heart disease.
Repeated measurements at an interval of six months or a year, reveal vital information about the rate of change of the short telomeres, response to therapy, and the formulation of further treatment.
With Chronic Disease On The Rise, Proper Diagnosis and Prevention Are Crucial
As a species, we’re living longer but are sicker than ever before. A 2013 analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) points to an historic surge in chronic illness. Just one in 20 people worldwide are healthy today, while one in three experience more than five ailments.
The rapidly escalating variety and number of chronic illnesses is a modern scourge. There are now over 150 autoimmune conditions (58 million cases in America alone) — counting just the ones that have been identified by modern medicine. Half of women and two-thirds of men will get cancer in their lifetime, with over 100 forms of cancer to pick and choose from. Then there is diabetes. Asthma. Arthritis. Cardiovascular diseases. Degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. And a wide spectrum of debilitating mental health conditions like depression.
So what’s going on?
Metabolomic practitioners know that there are four main factors contributing to the surge in chronic illnesses over the last century:
- Nutrient-poor foods.
- Environmental factors such as pollution, pesticides, and sharp decline in oxygen.
- Dehydration (studies show two out of three people are partially dehydrated).
- Stress (mental, biological, physical).
Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, a metabolomics pioneer and author of How To Live 150 Years In Health, is especially concerned with our food supply, which is low in nutrients and high in calories.
“The sharp decline of our food’s content in nutrients is vital to life and health and is the greatest problem we face today,” says Tsoukalas. “Most of the food we consume today is ‘fake’, as it does not provide the body with the basic components it needs to perform the chemical reactions that result in it being alive and healthy.”
The only true solution, according to Tsoukalas, is in restoring the biochemical balance of the body. This can be done only through personalized medicine in the form of metabolomic analysis.
Is Cancer A Symptom Rather Than A Disease?
According to Tsoukalas, an analysis of over 15,000 patients shows that cells begin their cancerous operation in an attempt to survive in a hostile environment, fed by lack of nutrients and an overload of toxins.
“An alteration of the biochemical balance seems to be the main cause behind the onset of cancer,” Tsoukalas says. “The unhealthy physical environment on earth threatens to completely destroy our cells, so they react by activating primitive mechanisms, which we call cancer.”
Practitioners of metabolomics know that actions focused on improving health and which help maintain biochemical balance, can significantly reduce the occurrence of cancer. These necessary steps surface in the metabolomics analysis.
Diabetes is another chronic disease that appears to be related to biochemical imbalances, which comes to the forefront via a metabolomics analysis. Diabetes has increased 700 percent over the past 50 years and now affects one in 10 in developed countries.
Research in diabetes-related issues by endocrinologist Ron Rosedale concluded the problem is basically not a problem in genetics, as previously thought. The disease is linked to the radical change in lifestyle and diet that has taken place over the past half-century.
Chronic digestive diseases follow a similar pattern with four out of 10 people suffering from a digestive disturbance. A healthy gastrointestinal system is crucial. Any imbalance can affect our health negatively.
Metabolomic analyses can pinpoint and address the causes for a number of chronic diseases such as:
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Heart Diseases
- Neurologic Diseases
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Chronic fatigue
Metabolomics is helping to change medicine from an empirically-based therapy model to a rationalized, molecular science. This shift can be clearly seen in the distribution of Nobel laureates for medicine and physiology in the first decade of this century. There were 18 natural scientist Nobel laureates compared to only eight medical practitioners.
Linus Pauling, a quantum chemist, biochemist, and one of the founders of molecular biology, could be considered the father of metabolomics. He predicted a new branch of medicine in his 1954 Nobel lecture that the “chemist of the future” would come to rely on a new structural chemistry emphasizing molecular aspects. Pauling was also the founder of “orthomolecular medicine,” a branch that attributed disease to a biochemical misbalance and its treatment to proper nutrition.
“The nutritional microenvironment of our body cells is crucially important to health, and deficiencies in this environment constitute a major cause of disease,” Pauling was quoted as saying.
In 1971 Pauling co-authored the first paper on metabolomics although the term hadn’t yet been coined. That occurred in 1998 when it was used by S.G. Oliver and his colleagues in their published literature in Trends in Biotechnology.
However, an argument could be made that modern scientists have not discovered metabolomics so much as rediscovered or renamed it.
The beginning of metabolomics traces back all the way to 2000-1500 B.C. when traditional Chinese doctors began using ants in order to evaluate the urine of patients to determine if the urine contained the high glucose of diabetics.
More early steps toward metabolomics came in 300 B.C. when the ancient Greeks first recognized that it was essential to examine body fluids (called “humor” at the time) to predict diseases. In 131 A.D., Galen, the greatest physician in ancient Rome, created a system of pathology that combined the humoral theories of Hippocrates with the Pythagorean theory.
Today, metabolomics once again is emerging as a powerful tool to studying metabolic processes, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Metabolomic practitioners, clinics, and applications are growing. Just this year, metabolomic testing was used in the diagnosis of severe dengue fever in children and adults in Nicaragua and Mexico. The testing was fully supported by the National Institute of Health Grants. In 2013, UCLA established the UCLA Metabolomics Center to develop and apply cutting-edge approaches for using the findings of metabolomics medicine.