Specialist Testing 

At TACGA we use a few carefully selected tests. The most relevant test will be recommended by your practitioner following your initial appointment.

The gastrointestinal tract has two main functions; a) to digest and absorb important nutrients for the body’s growth and function, and b) to act as a barrier to keep harmful substances and microorganisms from entering the blood.

Within the gastrointestinal tract thousands of different bacterial species can be found. These bacteria also play a key role in digestion, nutrition, pathogen defence and immune system development.

When the function and interplay within this complex system is disturbed, ill-health can easily develop. Multiple areas can influence this fine balance including digestion, absorption, the location, number and specific species of bacteria, parasitic infection, as well as epithelial integrity and inflammation. Typical symptoms consist of diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, bad breath, abdominal pain, anemia, food sensitivities and osteoporosis. However, other conditions not typically recognised, but associated with gastrointestinal health, include chronic fatigue, depression, autism, atopy, arthritis and autoimmune disorders.

These conditions may result from ‘leaky gut’ and the subsequent exposure to foreign particles which may trigger local and systemic immune and inflammatory mechanisms.

SmartGut Microbiome Testing

The smartGUT Microbiome test is a unique test that can only be ordered by an accredited Healthcare practitioner.

The bacteria present in our gut, mouth, skin and other sites in the human body are often referred to collectively as the human Microbiome or “second genome”. It is composed of more than a 100 trillion microorganisms. Genomic technology now has the capacity to view this second genome by sequencing specific regions in the bacterial genome. This allows bacteria to be identified down to species level. Each bacterial species has a unique “fingerprint”. This means that the analysis is similar to a crime scene investigation. If the sequence is detected then that particular bacteria is present in your gut.

It uses Metagenomic Analysis to assess the person’s microbiome.

  • Metagenomic Analysis involves the sequencing of the thousands of bacterial species present in your stool sample.

  • Now it is possible to investigate microbial communities by sequencing specific regions in the bacterial genome.

  • The number and amount of microbes can vary greatly from person to person.

  • Traditional culturing of bacterial species is limited since few bacteria will grow under aerobic conditions, and anaerobic culturing is currently limited to a handful of bacteria in specialist laboratories.

  • Metagenomic analysis is enabling a greater understanding of how the bacteria in our gut are affecting our overall health.

The analysis will be able to tell you

  • The percentage and types of bacteria in your gut

  • How the bacteria in your gut may be affecting your overall health

  • If any known pathogenic bacteria are present

  • How your diet is affecting your microbiome.

  • What to do to rebalance the gut

    SmartDNA DNA Testing

Nutrigenomics is an exciting new field that uses nutrients to switch on your genes. Researchers have found, for example, that depending on your genes, you may respond better to different diets – some do better with more fat and protein and less carbs, others may not. One of the most important discoveries of the decade is how food – whether it is plant-based, nutrient-rich, phytonutrients-rich food, or processed, high sugar, nutrient-depleted food – changes your gene expression in real time over the course of literally just a few months.

We can take a simple cheek swab, which is sequenced, analysed and returned to us as a personalised genetic profile. We are able to take a holistic approach to reveal what foods or nutritional supplements will benefit you the most. This eliminates any guesswork as the treatment plan is based on your own genes.

The smartDNA genomic wellness test looks at a variety of pathways in the body and looks for gene changes that can affect how those pathways function. This test can be very useful for people experiencing gut issues as it looks at susceptibility to inflammation, issues with detoxification, predisposition to Coeliac disease and lactose intolerance along with many others.

Inflammation has a key role in Chronic disease. Your inflammatory response will be evaluated to reduce your risk of various diseases. It also shows how well your body detoxifies environmental toxins to help reduce your toxic burden. Leaky gut syndrome overloads the body with toxins, if your detoxification pathway is compromised this can place a massive burden on the body.

This is an overview of some of the pathways looked at in this test.

  • Coeliac disease

  • Lactose Intolerance

  • Inflammation / inflammatory markers and detoxification genes

  • Oxidative stress, better sleeping patterns –

  • Regulation of hormone imbalances

  • Cholesterol regulation genes,

  • cell defence genes

  • Mental Health – homocysteine metabolism genes

  • Weight loss /gain – fat metabolism, insulin and thermogenesis genes

  • Energy and vitality – Anti-oxidant status genes

  • Vitamin receptor genes

  • Sodium sensitivity

  • CoQ10

  • Omega 3 and Omega 6

  • Methylation, folate and cofactors

  • Choline

  • Caffeine Metabolism

  • Fitness genes

These genes have a major impact on a person’s overall health. Your practitioner will be able to design a specific nutritional program for you. It will enable specific preventative health strategies to be used for long term health.

Breath Tests

Malabsorption of sugars/FODMAPs

  • Lactose Breath test for lactose malabsorption (lactase deficiency)

  • Fructose* Breath test for fructose malabsorption

  • Sorbitol Breath test for sorbitol malabsorption

  • Mannitol Breath test for mannitol malabsorption

  • Sucrose* Breath test for sucrose malabsorption

    (sucrase-isomaltase deficiency)

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

A Hydrogen / Methane Breath Test is a painless and non-invasive test which diagnoses SIBO

  • Lactulose and Glucose Breath tests for SIBO

  • Lactulose Breath test for Hydrogen production and intestinal transit time

    – compulsory control test

Comprehensive Digestive Stool  Analysis (CDSA 2)

The Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) is an advanced non-invasive diagnostic tool for assessing gastrointestinal function. As the CDSA combines a large number of tests that evaluate the function of the gastrointestinal tract, a comprehensive picture of a patients gut health can be obtained.

The analysis investigates digestion, metabolism, pancreatic function, the balance of beneficial bacteria and the presence of pathological bacteria, yeast and parasites.

PCR Parasite Test

This is a parasite test that can be obtained free from your GP through medicare, or for a cost through a private lab referral from us.

Pyrrole testing

Pyrroluria is a genetic condition which inhibits certain nutrients including zinc, B6, biotin and also some Omega fats from reaching targets within the body. It occurs when the synthesis and metabolism of haemoglobin (oxygen-carrying molecules in the blood) is dysfunctional, and an excess of a metabolite called hydroxyhemopyrrolin-2- one (HPL), also known as Pyrrole, is produced. This can affect several biochemical pathways and conditions in the body, including:

  • Production of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid)

  • Gene expression, DNA and RNA synthesis

  • Nervous system function and neuronal transmission

  • Immune function and immune signaling

  • Regulation of allergies and sensitivities

  • Sleep

  • Synthesis of steroidal hormones

  • Metabolism of amino acids, lipids and glucose

  • Synthesis of hemoglobin

WHAT CONDITIONS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH PYRROLURIA?

In the common population, around 10% test positive for the condition, whilst in the populations below, up to 70% of people can present positive:

  • Allergies

  • Autism

  • ADD/ADHD

  • Depression including Post-natal Depression

  • Substance Abuse

  • Down Syndrome

  • Bi-polar Disorder

A simple non invasive urine test is all it takes to test for this disorder. Your practitioner will let you know if these test could be relevant for you.

References

May the Force Be With You: The Light and Dark Sides of the Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis in Neuropsychiatry Eoin Sherwin, Kiran V. Sandhu, Timothy G. Dinan, John F. Cryan CNS Drugs. 2016; 30(11): 1019–1041.

Akkermansia muciniphila and improved metabolic health during a dietary intervention in obesity: relationship with gut microbiome richness and ecology. Dao M. C., Everard A., Aron-Wisnewsky J., Sokolovska N., Prifti E., Verger E. O., et al. (2016). Gut 65, 426–436.

The Microbiota, Chemical Symbiosis, and Human Disease. Matthew R. Redinbo J Mol Biol. 2014 Nov 25; 426(23): 3877–3891.

The Microbiome and Sustainable Healthcare. Rodney R. Dietert, Janice M. Dietert Healthcare (Basel) 2015 Mar; 3(1): 100–129.

Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography. Tanya Yatsunenko, Federico E. Rey, Mark J. Manary, Indi Trehan, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Monica Contreras, Magda Magris, Glida Hidalgo, Robert N. Baldassano, Andrey P. Anokhin, Andrew C. Heath, Barbara Warner, Jens Reeder, Justin Kuczynski, J. Gregory Caporaso, Catherine A. Lozupone, Christian Lauber, Jose Carlos Clemente, Dan Knights, Rob Knight, and Jeffrey I. Gordon 2012 December 14. Nature; 486(7402): 222–227.