Assessing Nutritional Status In The Clinical Chemistry Laboratory Health Essay

Malnutrition or malnourishment can be caused by many nutritionary factors that may run from the deficiency of certain cardinal foods in nutrient to insufficient nutrient consumption. To measure the cause of undernourishment in a peculiar individual, it is critical to analyze all the phases of nutrition like consumption, digestion, and assimilation ( Pollard & A ; White, 2002 ) . The most common cause of malnutrition is deficient nutrient consumption by persons who can non entree equal nutrient supplies. In such instances, the nutrient consumed can non supply the Calories required to run into the metabolic demands of the organic structure. Starvation is normally followed by a lack of certain vitamins and minerals required by the organic structure to work decently.

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Insufficient nutrient supply is nevertheless, non the exclusive cause of undernourishment. There are other critical factors at work, like illness, age, and fluctuations in the familial make-up of an single. Peoples who suffer from turns of chronic unwellnesss frequently lose their appetencies. This in bend, deprives their organic structures of indispensable foods. Certain sorts of unwellnesss compromise on the organic structure ‘s ability to digest efficaciously. This besides causes malnutrition ( Potischman & A ; Freudenheim, 2003 ) .

The human organic structure requires all the necessary foods in order to work efficaciously. But imbalanced diets lack some of these indispensable foods. Insufficient measures of vitamins and minerals in the diet in bend, have far-reaching nutritionary effects. The inauspicious effects of deficiency of vitamins and minerals are manifested more in turning kids and people with high energy demands.

The procedure of digestion of nutrient in the alimental canal and its subsequent assimilation is complex and it must transport on unhampered so that the organic structure is non deprived of the right balance of foods. Enzymes present in the organic structure command the procedure of digestion. These enzymes are in bend, controlled by cistrons ( Potischman & A ; Freudenheim, 2003 ) . Insufficient production of a specific enzyme or its inability to transport out its digestive function due to familial malfunctioning therefore consequences in undernourishment.

Assimilation or soaking up affects the organic structure ‘s ability to utilize foods. The rates of assimilation vary widely amongst persons. These rates besides increase or diminish in an single depending on the tissue where the procedure is taking topographic point. The concentration of foods in the enteric lms and the presence of stuffs like nutrient fibre besides determine the rate of soaking up of foods ( Pollard & A ; White, 2002 ) .

After soaking up, the foods are processed otherwise within tissues-the difference is the rate and extent of their transportation from one tissue to another. Plasma biomarkers assess the sum of specific food after consumption, digestion, and assimilation/ soaking up. However, the rates of digestion and soaking up “ vary depending on a figure of factors including changing homeostatic mechanisms, metamorphosis, attendant drug usage or the presence of chronic unwellnesss ” ( Pollard & A ; White, 2002, p. 5 ) .

But how can you state whether a individual is malnourished or non? It is non easy to accurately measure this from a individual ‘s physical visual aspect entirely. As has been mentioned earlier, malnutrition is a complex procedure that is influenced by a figure of different factors. There can be cases where thin people are well-fed while seemingly healthy-looking persons are found to be enduring from undernourishment ( Pollard & A ; White, 2002 ) . Therefore, to get at the right appraisal of the nutritionary position of an person, biomarkers are used in the clinical chemical science research lab.

Nancy et al defines a biomarker as “ any biological specimen that is an index of nutritionary position with regard to intake or metamorphosis of dietetic components as biochemical compound extracted from a tissue or blood whose measure is a contemplation of the sum of alimentary eaten in the diet. ” They further province that “ It can be a biochemical, functional or clinical index of position of an indispensable food or other dietetic component. Nutritional biomarkers may be interpreted more loosely as a biologic effect of dietetic consumption or dietetic forms such as the relation of dietetic vitamin Bc and serologic homocysteine ” ( Potischman & A ; Freudenheim, 2003, p. 1 ) .

Valid biomarkers for appraisal of nutritionary position in a individual are used for three rule grounds: “ ( 1 ) to counterbalance for measurement mistakes in dietetic appraisal, such as the consequence of nutrients eaten together, or the consequence of cooking on alimentary handiness ; ( 2 ) to counterbalance for restrictions in nutrient composing informations. The composing of foods in nutrient really eaten can differ well from the composing tabular arraies. ( 3 ) The biomarker is a more direct step of nutritionary position after soaking up and metamorphosis of the food ” ( Potischman & A ; Freudenheim, 2003, p. 2 ) .

The relationship of the biomarker to dietetic consumption is really important in measuring the nutritionary position of a individual. It may be that merely a peculiar component in a diet affects the degrees of the biomarker. In such instances, mensurating the cumulative dietetic consumption utilizing this biomarker does n’t assist in measuring the hazard of diseases. “ If the biomarker does non impact disease hazard, so the biomarker degree adds nil to the measuring of true dietetic consumption. If dietetic consumption affects disease through tracts independent of the biomarker, every bit good as through the biomarker, so measuring of both adds to truth of nutritionary position ” ( Potischman & A ; Freudenheim, 2003, p. 2 ) .

Since there are fluctuations in the manner metamorphosis of foods take topographic point, a biomarker needs to be chosen consequently. There are fundamentally three types of biomarkers: a short-run biomarker such as radioactive C-13 milk sugar digestion trial will react to dietetic consumption within hours ; medium-term biomarkers such as the usage of ruddy blood cells to mensurate the degree of folic acid respond within hebdomads or months ; and long-run biomarkers respond after a longer continuance, like months or even old ages. The illustration of long-run biomarkers includes analysis of hair to find the content of hint elements.

There may be times when the dietetic consumption that has been reported is non a true index. Then, biomarkers are used to get at the right appraisal. But for this appraisal to be accurate, the biomarker has to be significantly modified by alterations in diet. This is because there is close relationship between the biomarker, dietetic consumption, and disease. Using biomarkers lends the weight of statistics to a survey and this in bend, makes it easy to get at decisions.

A instance in point is the survey of the function of fruits and veggies in cut downing the rates of diabetes, arthritis, coronary bosom disease, and shots utilizing vitamin C in blood plasma. Vitamin C and carotenoids found in fruits and veggies have of import antioxidant belongingss which are indispensable for suppressing lipid peroxidation and oxidative harm of cells. Lack of vitamin C has far-reaching effects. In add-on to the common malfunctions known to be triggered by its lack, surveies indicate that it may be linked to coronary bosom disease.


Vitamin C consumption can be measured utilizing two different methods: dietetic appraisal methods and serum vitamin C. Dietary appraisal methods include nutrient frequence questionnaires, diet history questionnaires, 24-hour dietary callbacks, and weight records. Food frequence questionnaires are the most normally used tools to measure long term dietetic food exposure. The 24-hour dietetic callbacks and weight records are used to find short-run nutritionary exposure over definite periods of clip. These records are maintained over a period of a twelvemonth and the combined consequence is taken to bespeak the mean dietetic consumption of an person. Weight records are the “ gilded criterion ” for dietetic consumption in little epidemiological surveies ( Pollard & A ; White, 2002 ) .

Since “ Vitamin C is quickly captive and is transported in the plasma from the site of soaking up to the tissues ” ( Pollard & A ; White, 2002, p. 6 ) , the most appropriate tool for measuring biomarker is the 24-hour dietary callbacks taken over a 4-day period. Plasma degrees of vitamin C are used as alternate of vitamin C consumption via fruits and vegetables- the most enriched beginnings of this vitamin. Significant alterations in the degrees of vitamin C in the blood plasma will be noted with alterations in the ingestion of fruits and veggies. It is so possible to pull a correlativity between the consumption of vitamin C and the degrees of vitamin C in blood plasma. It is expected that the degrees of vitamin C should lift in the blood plasma hours after consumption of fruits and veggies.

Surveies show that vitamin C is an indispensable component in the formation of collagen, gristle, and musculuss. Ascorbic acid helps in the formation of blood vass and plays a important function in the soaking up of Fe. Failure to metabolise vitamin C consequences in albinism and lack notably consequences in scorbutus. Vitamin C is involved in enzymatic procedures that result in the formation of collagen. Lack in ascorbic acerb consequences in weak collagen and weak collagen in bend, leads to weak gums. Chronic lack of ascorbic acid can besides take to reopening of lesions as the membrane becomes weak and cryings apart ( Pollard & A ; White, 2003 ) .


Measuring the nutritionary position of a individual requires accurate tools and the biomarker method has proven to be built-in in such cases. Using biomarkers, one can do a more accurate and dependable analysis of the nutritionary position of an person. This is much better than the traditional manner of observation which is frequently deceptive.