The parameters assessed using BIA
Phase Angle represents the quantity and quality of active tissue. It is a
key bio-marker of healthy ageing. Factors which increase active tissue include
resistance exercise, sufficient high quality dietary protein, and nutritional
support for the mitochondria. Loss of active tissue mass can be a result of the
ageing process, low protein/high carbohydrate diets, lack of exercise,
inflammation, insulin resistance, stress (high Cortisol), hypothyroidism, and
increased body fat. We consider this parameter of the test to be one of the best
assessments to measure the biological health of your body.
Active Tissue Mass (ATM) represents the amount of metabolically active
tissue including: organs, nervous tissue, visceral and skeletal muscle. Changes
in ATM are generally due to changes to the skeletal muscle mass. Factors which
increase ATM include resistance exercise, sufficient high-quality protein, and
adequate rest. Deficiency of quality dietary protein, lack of exercise,
malabsorption, inflammation, elevated cortisol (stress), insulin resistance and
hypothyroidism can contribute to loss of active tissue mass.
Fat Mass is the total mass of adipose tissue, including visceral
(internal organs) and subcutaneous (beneath the skin) deposits. Factors which
increase fat mass include excess calorie consumption, dietary high carbohydrate
to protein ration, insulin resistance, elevated insulin levels, inflammation,
hypothyroidism, elevated cortisol (stress), lack of exercise, and low ATM.
Intracellular Water (ICW) represents all of the water which is contained
within the ATM cells. Higher levels of ICW are correlated with anabolic cellular
processes and better health. Factors which increase ICW include large ATM (a
larger muscle mass holds more water), sufficient intracellular electrolytes and
proteins, and good cellular energy production to maintain electrolyte pumps.
Dietary deficiency of protein or electrolytes, catabolic factors (inflammation,
stress, hypothyroid) leading to a loss of ATM, lack of energy production, and
cell membrane damage (toxicity, oxidative damage, lack of essential fatty acids)
can all contribute to a decrease in intracellular water.
Extracellular Water (ECW) includes all of the body water that is not
found in the ATM. This includes water in plasma, tissue spaces and lymph, and is
commonly referred to as edema. The ECW also includes all water which is stored
in the body fat. Higher levels of ECW are associated with poorer health. Factors
which increase ECW include increased body fat levels, inflammation, toxicity,
immune activation (infection, allergy), injury, increased sodium consumption,
lymphoedema, renal failure, aldosteronism, Cushing’s disease, heart failure,
flying, and hypothyroidism. A reduction in body fat will generally reduce ECW.
Other factors decreasing ECW are dehydration, diuretics, alcohol and caffeine
BIA gives information on the body’s cell function, energy production and fluid
balance. This allows your Naturopath to monitor your energy levels, toxicity,
inflammation and response to treatment. BIA is also a very accurate tool for
measuring biological age, as well as body fat and muscle levels, two of the most
important bio-markers of ageing. No other test provides all of this information
so quickly and easily.
The data for evaluation is gathered through computer monitoring of the R-R
intervals using a chest strap sensor applied to the subject's body. First the
patient lies down (supine position) for several minutes. Then, after a
computer-generated signal (beep), the subject stands up and remains standing.
This takes about 7-10 minutes and the results can be viewed immediately either
on screen or as a print out. Your doctor will then be able to analyze and
explain these results. It allows an overall view into the functioning of your
When used in conjunction with Computerized
Regulation Therapy it can highlight which system or tissue is compensating
the most for the imbalance detected by Heart Rate
Variability. When we repeat this test in the future we will be able to
monitor improvement in your body’s ability to self-regulate in response to