The Advantage of Dry Blood Spotting
Dry blood spotting (DBS) medical technology quite literally arrived with a bang in the early 20th century, when Ivar Bang wrote the first paper on DBS as an effective way of measuring blood glucose concentration.
As a result of the small blood sample size needed for metabolite profiling, DBS has been used for many years now, as an unobtrusive method to test new-borns.
As science and respective materials and analytics have improved, DBS has been used as an increasingly effective tool to extract more and better biological, forensic, medical and environmental data from users.
Impressively, in 99%–100% of tested cases using DBS there was a high reproducibility of specificity and sensitivity in diagnostics.
What is Dry Blood Spot Testing?
DBS testing is a method of having blood data analyzed without the need of someone having to visit a blood-testing center in person (where blood is drawn, placed in a vial and sent to the lab for testing.)
The DBS method can be done remotely, from the comfort of your home or office. The procedure involves that you lightly prick your finger and place a few drops of blood on special filter paper or a dedicated blood collection device.
The process is very straightforward and painless. It not only bypasses the necessity of physically turning up to a specific location for testing but also the need of having a medical professional trained in venepuncture at hand.
Other advantages DBS are a reduction of time and equipment and the ease of processing, storage and shipment.
Some Drawbacks We’ve Now addressed
While DBS diagnosis is more accessible than venous sampling, traditionally DBS samples have to dry completely (which could take hours in some cases) before transportation and/or storage. Humidity and room temperature have been important factors in how long samples take to dry. The quicker blood spots dry, the less contaminated the sample. However, with dedicated blood collection devices, contamination is no longer an issue so diagnosis can proceed with accuracy.
A single dried spot can be used to measure over 45 chemical constituents, important biomarkers showing the health of the endocrine, immune, cardiovascular and reproductive systems.
More specifically DBS is an accurate technique to measure amino acids and hormones, the former playing a pivotal role in the secretion of the former. Equally significant is the ability to gauge vitamins, minerals and fatty acids levels.
DBS is also extremely effective at serologic testing, more specifically the diagnostic identification of antibodies in the serum.
So what does this mean? Let’s start with amino acids
To function correctly our bodies need 20 different kinds of amino acids, essential (ingested) and non-essential (produced by the body). These are integral in building proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters, which in turn are responsible for breaking down food, building muscle, boosting the immune system, improving energy, body tissue growth and repair, supporting a healthy digestive system and bolstering healthy skin, hair and nails.
These organic compounds are either fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K) or water-soluble (B and C). Our bodies source nearly all of these from food since only small quantities are produced naturally in our bodies. Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored so they don’t stay in our system for long. These essential nutrients help keep the body in good working order, improve cardiovascular health, promote healthy ageing, boost the immune system, maintain strong bones and reduce anxiety and stress.
Two groups of minerals, major minerals including magnesium, potassium, sodium, and trace minerals such as zinc, selenium, copper. These essential minerals are not produced by the body and can only be obtained from our diet. Originally from rocks, soil, and water, and they’re absorbed by plants and then by animals that feed on vegetation. So, our dietary needs are really important considering we need minerals for tissue structure, like in bone and teeth, keeping the body’s pH balance neutral, nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction, and extracting energy from food.
Produced by glands located throughout the body, the endocrine system is responsible for the production of hormones. Correct diet and regular exercise are vital for proper hormone production and balance. These amazing chemicals affect almost all the processes in the body, from food metabolism, controlling thirst and hunger, growth and development, emotions and mood, maintaining body temperature, fertility and sexual function, sleep/wake cycle and blood pressure.
So having this excellent diagnostic tool so readily available and easy to use, we have an excellent method to routinely check up on critical physiological components and get expert advice on what to adjust and tweak to restore the vital balances of our unique and extraordinary bodies. Order your blood test kit here !