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Anthropometry (from the Greek anthropos "human" and metron "measure") concerns the measurement of the human body.
Traditionally this has involved simple descriptions of dimensions to describe body size and shape, but at XenoVida we also take advantage of new technology to go beyond this.
Body composition monitors allow analysis of a range of parameters.
Including Body Mass Index (BMI), bone mass, fat mass, muscle mass, skeletal muscle mass and levels of visceral fat. It is a safe, non-invasive and fast technique called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) that works by passing a tiny electrical current through the body. This signal is affected by the amount of water in the body which differs for example in bone, fat and muscle. By measuring this signal and using algorithms, body composition can be calculated.
Hormones are chemicals that are produced in the body that control or regulate the activity of cells or organs. They are secreted by specialist cells in a gland into the blood and circulate in the bloodstream. Consequently a hormone can send a chemical message remotely from one part of the body to another.
Hormones are essential for every activity of life, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control.
For example, the hormone insulin, which is used to regulate blood glucose levels is secreted by the pancreas but has actions predominantly on muscles, liver and adipose (fat) tissues. Adipose tissue secretes another hormone called leptin which sends a signal to the brain to indicate how much body fat is present which in turn regulates hunger or satiety.
Inflammation is an essential process in the body that is used to fight infection and repair injury. It is characterised by swelling, heat, redness and often pain and is mediated by specialist white blood cells which release inflammatory chemicals. The process of inflammation is usually self-limiting and resolves once the infection is cleared or the injury is healed. Unfortunately, inflammation is also a classic double-edged sword since unresolved or long-term inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases. Understanding inflammatory status, what causes inflammation and how to control it is essential to good health.
Blood lipids are fatty substances (for example cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides) found in your blood and body tissues. Our bodies needs lipids to work normally but only requires a small amount in the blood to meet those needs.
High levels of lipids in the blood can lead to fatty deposits on the walls of arteries known as plaques. When arteries become inflamed these plaques can become unstable and rupture.
This can then lead to a heart attack.
There are three main types of blood lipids - low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. LDL is considered "bad" cholesterol since high levels cause damaging plaque to build up in the arteries. In contrast, HDL is considered as "good" cholesterol since this helps prevent plaque deposition. Consequently, higher HDL and lower LDL levels are considered to be the most heart-healthy.
Triglycerides are the most common form of stored fat in your body, with usually only a small amount found in blood. High triglycerides are usually associated with low HDL or a tendency towards diabetes and so having high trigylcerides raises your risk for heart disease.
Understanding your behaviours towards food, for example your food choices and the triggers which cause you to eat unhealthily can be very useful when recommending dietary changes to improve your health. In addition, having an understanding of your medical history, your current lifestyle, for example how well you sleep and the amount of exercise you do, can also help us to make appropriate recommendations for lifestyle changes.
In order to understand your behaviours we use an online set of 7 validated questionnaires. These assess your attitudes to food, your general health and medical history, your lifestyle, your current diet, your commitment to exercise and also the amount of exercise you actually do.
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