This digestive profile is unlike any other stool analysis profile, going beyond the standard parameters for identifying gastrointestinal disorders. This profile uses DNA analysis to identify microbiota including anaerobes, a previously immeasurable area of the gut environment. DNA assessment is specific and accurate, avoids the pitfalls of sample transport, reports results as specific numbers, and is more sensitive than classic laboratory methods. This profile will specify colony numbers of pathogenic bacteria, beneficial bacteria (“probiotics”), Yeast/Fungi, and Parasites.
Bacteria play major roles in health. They provide colonization resistance against potentially pathogenic organisms, aid in digestion and absorption, produce vitamins and
Small Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s), and stimulate the GI immune system. DNA probes allow detection of multiple species within a genus, so the genera that are reported cover many species. Other more “Opportunistic Bacteria” may cause symptoms and be associated with disease. They can affect digestion and absorption, nutrient production, pH and immune state. Antibiotic sensitivity tests will be performed on all opportunistic bacteria found, although clinical history is usually considered to determine treatment since the organisms are not generally considered to be pathogens.
Yeast overgrowth has been linked to many chronic conditions, in part because of antigenic responses in some patients to even low rates of yeast growth. Potential symptoms include diarrhea, headache, bloating, atopic dermatitis and fatigue.
Parasite infections are a major cause of non-viral diarrhea. Symptoms may include constipation, gas, bloating, increased allergy response, colitis, nausea and distention.
This digestive testing evaluates Digestion and Absorption status of the “gut”. Pancreatic elastase 1 levels below 100 are strongly correlated with severe pancreatic insufficiency; levels of 100-200 identify moderate pancreatic insufficiency. High triglycerides signify fat maldigestion. Putrefactive SCFA are a result of bacterial fermentation of undigested protein. High numbers of vegetable fibers indicate maldigestion. High Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA) indicate fat malabsorption
due to pancreatic or biliary insufficiency, or acute bacterial infection that produces intestinal cell destruction. High total fat usually signals malabsorption, as does elevated fecal cholesterol. This test will analyze beneficial Short chain fatty acids (SCFA). They are produced by bacterial fermentation of dietary polysaccharides and fiber. The product, N-butyrate, is taken up and used to sustain the normal activity of colonic epithelial cells. Butyrate has been shown to lower the risk of colitis and colorectal cancer. A healthy balance of GI microbes depends on production of SCFA by one species to allow the normal growth of another one in a complex cross-feeding network.
This analysis also includes an Adiposity Index that is derived by using DNA probes that detect multiple genera of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Abnormalities of these phyla may be associated with increased caloric extraction from food and thus obesity.
This testing also looks for signs of inflammation in the intestines. Lactoferrin, an iron-binding glycoprotein, is released in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) but not in non-inflammatory Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). High levels are found in Crohn’s, UC or infection. WBC’s are elevated in general inflammation/infection. Mucus is often visualized in acute GI inflammation.
This analysis looks at the immune status of the intestines. High fecal sIgA indicates immune system reactions to the presence of antigens from bacteria, yeast or other microbes. Low sIgA can result from stress or malnutrition. Anti-gliadin sIgA is a screening marker for gluten sensitivity.