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The Validity of the Dried Blood Spot Testing & the Scientific Methodology behind the testing Below are the words from the CEO of the Vitas As Laboratory in Oslo, Mr Thomas Gundersen.
How do we get an accurate result and how is it possible to do the analyses from such a small blood sample? Can one trust the results?
Even if we had one drop of blood, it still contains a lot of molecules.
It contains 10(20 zeros) full of molecules, so we have plenty to work with. We have proteins, minerals, salts, vitamins, water and Lipids including the omega you would like to measure. So what happens when you take a sip of Balancing Oil, you swallow, the oil and the lipids go into your stomach and then into your intestines, the enzymes will split up into smaller pieces and eventually they will end up in your bloodstream incorporated into what we call lipo-proteins.
The blood concentration will increase slowly and it will peak after about 6 minutes, then it will go down again. If you take the next dose, the same thing will happen again, and again, and again. Your heart will then pump these important building blocks throughout your body into the different cells of your organs and your brain.
When we do the Balance test we would like the whole body to be balanced or balance the heart and the brain, but we cannot take a sample from the brain, so it is very good that this same blood that feeds the brain cells also feeds your heart and the red blood cells throughout your body, every second 2Million new blood cells are born and at the same time 2 Million die.
These blood cells live for 120 days and just from taking a drop from your finger we can study these cells that function like satellite tissues, acting like a model, of what’s happening in your heart and your brain. When you take a sip of the Balancing Oil, you have these peaks in your blood for 6 hours, this blood goes into your bones and they feed the newly born red blood cells with important building blocks, so you now have new red blood cells with high levels of omega 3, changing the old ones that die with low omega 3, over time you have an exchange of all the cells in your blood and the average concentration of omega 3 in your blood will increase.
It takes 120 days before everything is exchanged and although the plasma concentration is going up and down the average concentration of the omega 3 does not decrease. The classic way to take a blood sample would be to stick a big needle into your arm and draw large quantities of blood and when you spin this down you get a bottom layer, these are the red blood cells and then you have an upper yellow layer being the plasma and this yellow plasma is what your Dr would use for analysis,
This is dried whole blood, which means it is a mix of yellow plasma and red blood cells. With this sample type, you do have the spikes, however, as the red blood cell omega concentration increases over the 120 days these spikes will become less and less. Now we have two important reasons why Dried Blood Spot testing is superior when measuring the Omega 6:3 ratio 1.
The red blood cells will take 120 days and you will have a long term picture of what kind of lipids you have been eating. 2. These red blood cells are functioning as satellite tissues so they are like a model of what’s happening in your brain and your heart. The only thing would be to do the test 6 hours after your dose because the plasma is peeking, best time would be before your dose or omega 3 rich meal or just before breakfast. To calculate the omega 6:3 ratio we need the Arachidonic Acid Omega 6 and EPA omega 3, and these two molecules are very similar in structure, they are almost identical, so to separate them and to quantify them individually we use a technique called Chromatography to do the analysis and present the different fatty acid profiles.
The fact that these are ratios makes the analysis relative and it shows that the amount of blood used does not affect the result. And even if the Arachidonic Acid and EPA levels go up and down depending on the amount of blood the ratio will always be the same, which makes this testing method reliable and robust. Yet another brilliant feature of the Dried Blood Spot test is the fact that it is dry so it cannot leak and also when it is dry the bacteria and viruses are dead, so it is not contagious and this means we ship these samples from around the world using normal affordable posting and courier systems, like a letter and every day we receive piles of samples, almost 2000 per day.
The first thing that happens is the envelopes are opened by a machine, then humans take these card cassettes and place them onto racks that go into the robotic systems.
These systems scan the barcodes into the database and take pictures and has a smart imaging system that locates the blood on the card, punches out the paper samples of blood and places it into small glass vials, add some liquids and chemicals with heat and shaking, then they cap the vials and lift them up onto the chromatographic system that creates the peaks of different sizes – 11 fatty acid profile readings.