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Dan & Hut discuss lab panels and why they are different from the labs your doctor orders:
Hut: Today we’re going to talk about lab work. I think the biggest questions when you talk about lab work…everybody has gone to their doctor, they’ve gotten labs to figure out where they are from a health standpoint.
They all talk about their thyroid level, their cholesterol, all that stuff, but what makes that type of lab work different from performance-based lab work and the information you need to make a person work at a more optimal level to prevent disease, prevent things, rather than just giving you a pill to solve the problem?
Dan: It’s a big thing to talk about. When it comes to labs, you make a great point there, in that it’s a big difference between what you do when you go to the doctor and what you do to actually prevent going to the doctor.
There’s a difference in the performance-based aspect of things. When you get labs done at the doctor, there’s tons of data that you can extrapolate from those measures, and that’s why they use them, but they’re used essentially to see if you’re sick or not, and not to see if you’re healthy or not.
There’s a difference between being in the norm and being healthy. I mean, look at the normal state of Western population–it’s not really healthy. There’s a big difference between what’s normal in a lab and what’s optimal in a lab.
See, when you have norms, let’s say for vitamin D, you’ll have a norm anywhere from 30-80 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), which is best for your vitamin D status. But optimal is 60-80 ng/dL, so you can be all the way at 30 and be normal, and be like, Hey, I’m doing great…but really you’re less than half the way there.
We need to get you all the way up so you’re making hormones as efficiently as you can be, your immune system is functioning as efficiently as it should be, and your body is as healthy as it needs to be in order to do the things that it needs to do. Being normal just means that you’re normal; it doesn’t mean that you’re the best you that you can possibly be.
When you’re going to the doctor to get checked out, the thing is, you’re normal until you’re not. That’s a big problem. So for example, when you’re looking at values such as blood sugar, you’re in the normal range until you’re prediabetic.
That’s not a good place to be because it could have taken you 10 years to slowly get into prediabetic or diabetic state, and you being slowly creeping up, there could have been stuff that we could have done for years, not just to make sure that you don’t get diabetes, but to make sure that you’re in a state of optimal health so you can get good quality sleep, have good energy, have a lower body-fat percentage, and be living the life that you want.
So it’s just a big difference between seeing if you’re sick or not and doing the things that we need to do to make sure that you’re in an optimal state of health.
Hut: I think that’s key right there–like you said, a lot of times when you’re looking at lab work, it’s to identify if you’re sick or if there are areas that you have to go after because they’re not optimal, or poor. Now what we want to do is get into an environment where it’s all about improving our performance, rather than solving a problem because it’s in the bad zone.
Dan: Yes, it’s like testosterone. The normal value is anywhere from 200-900, but let me ask you, if you’re a male over 40, do you want your testosterone to be 200, or do you want it to be 700, 800? You’re definitely going to have a higher life quality within an optimal range.
Hut: Like whenever you go to the doctor, you get labs, what additional labs would we be talking about that would give us more information to help us improve performance? What else would you like to look at that a doctor wouldn’t look at?
Dan: When it comes to a real world-class approach to being preventive with your health and preventing disease and not just waiting until it happens, and then optimizing performance and energy and vitality, I really like three panels in specific. I like a Cardio ION, which allows me to have a look at things already that’s on that panel, like your cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL…but then other components as well.
We’re able to look at your inflammatory status, which is correlated to cardiovascular disease risk, but then also things like it’s going to help you increase your focus and attention span if we improve your inflammation markers.
And on that panel as well, we’re going to have a look at what your hormones are doing, your vitamin and mineral status and your neurotransmitter status–what your brain chemistry has to say about your focus and attention span, and if we can improve those things. That’s just one panel.
Another one would be probably the IgG Food Sensitivity Panel. It would be an excellent approach to that because food isn’t always nourishing you, even when you’re trying to do the right things.
A lot of people will start eating clean (don’t get me wrong–eating clean is an absolutely great way to start in your approach to getting healthier, dropping body fat, or whatever you want to do) but eating clean doesn’t mean you’re eating right for your body.
I’ve had plenty of people come back with positive (which is not good) response to chicken breast and broccoli. So when they’re eating those two things, it’s actually pro-inflammatory for their body right now, and not helping them do what they need to do.
Hut: A perfect example: The first time we did my food-allergy labs, they identified that I was highly allergic to eggs, cheese, milk, whey protein…
Dan: You were probably having eggs every day before we tested.
Hut: Oh, 8-9 eggs every day, which was putting my body in an inflammatory environment. So even though you’re choosing things that you think are healthy, it could be affecting you in a negative way.
Dan: It’s a good example too because when we pulled those things out, his joints stopped hurting. That’s what inflammation can affect too. If you always have a sore elbow, sore knee, sore hips, sore anything…
Hut: It’s inflammation.
Dan: It’s inflammation. It feels like inflammation because it is inflammation. So that’s really just something that’s a perfect example to bring up. The last one I really like is a Digestive Stool Analysis, because what does your gut bacteria have to say about what you’re doing?
Your gut bacteria is totally correlated to your mood…the gut is called the “second brain” for a reason in medicine. It can influence your mood–whether you’re angry, sleepy, happy, sedated, motivated, you have focus. All these things are actually governed by the gut so it’s not just the brain controlling all these things.
So I like to look at gut bacteria status because this is what’s going to affect those different areas and gives us just so many more markers on immune system function as well.
Hut: Again, after I did that test, there were things that we found out in my gut that we needed to address.
Dan: Yes, that’s another great one. There was a pathogen that we were able to kill…that you wouldn’t pick up on a standard test.
Hut: Exactly. So I hope that sheds some light when we talk about labs because a lot of times, people get confused; they think of just the normal labs that you order in the normal ranges, but what we’re really talking about is gathering all the information to make you perform better, have better energy, have better focus; be in a muscle-building state, a fat-loss state. You’ve got to have the right information to be able to do that.
Dan: On that note, before we exit here, I want to make sure that everybody knows that when we get lab work, it’s not a theory, it’s not an idea, and it’s not a charismatic guy telling you and being compelling that everybody should be on a low-carb diet. It’s not something like that. It’s your exactly physiology and gives us a blueprint at what you should do next. That’s not an idea; that’s nothing but answers to move forward.
Hut: Yes, so we’re not guessing anymore. Now we have your blueprint. Now we know how to go develop a plan specific to what’s going on in your individual body, not somebody else’s.
Hut: Because what works for that person doesn’t work for you.
Dan: Yes, that’s why Sally does well on a low-carb diet, and someone else lost weight on the Mediterranean diet, and someone else lost weight on the traditional Asian diet, someone else loses weight on the paleo diet. That’s why it’s so different because different physiologies respond differently to different stimuli, and we’ll find that out with labs.
Hut: Great! Well, we hope you got some valuable information out of that, and we look forward to sharing our next video with you here soon.
Dan: Stay tuned, guys!
P.S. from Hut: Make sure you open all the e-mails I send you on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, and whenever we have our new Lab-Based Nutrition program ready to launch, you’ll be the first to know.
About our Lab Analyst & Nutrition Program Supervisor, Dan Garner:
Dan is a Nutritional Consultant for professional athletes across the NFL, MLB, NHL and UFC, with a roster of more than 1,000 personal-coaching clientele. He is also an international nutrition-education lecturer. Dan holds over 10 of the top certifications in training and nutrition, and he is a nutrition & training specialist for physique transformation and athletic performance.