How Does the Baze Approach Differ from DNA and Dry Blood Spot Analyses?

With so many methods for assessing nutritional status in the world today, what is it about our approach that stands out? Here at Baze, we want to take the guesswork out of nutrition. Therefore, it’s vital that our testing methods are accurate, allowing us to precisely dose our customers’ supplements. To demonstrate why our approach is the gold standard for reliably analyzing the 10 micronutrients we look at, let’s first go over a couple of testing methods that are popular within the personalized health space today.

DNA testing 

Nutrigenomics is a compelling, ever-growing field of study looking at the influence of diet on the genome, and how individual genetic variations affect nutrient metabolism and health outcomes [1]. 

Eugenia Alfine, a lead nutrition scientist at Baze, summarizes nutrigenomics well: “Genetic variability influences the way people process nutrients like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary cholesterol, folate, choline, lactose, starch, and caffeine among others [2]. Differential responses to nutrient metabolism can eventually have an effect on the individual’s health and risk of developing certain diseases. 

The relationship between nutrient metabolism and genetic variations among individuals is incredibly complex and research is still in its infancy. What is known is that identifying a specific variation in your genome will not automatically translate into a certain health outcome as there are many factors at play. Ultimately, think of your nutrition-related genetics as what could happen over the course of your lifetime, not what’s happening right now. 

For this reason, in order to get the full picture, genetic information must be paired with information on what’s actually going on in your body currently, such as blood data. Due to the early stage of research in this area and the fact that genetic information cannot be used as a stand-alone nutrition assessment, DNA is not the ideal assessment method.”

DNA can be collected via cheek (buccal) swab or through a blood collection. Cheek swabs do open the door for sample contamination, but it's not so much the collection method as it is the limitations of the results that make DNA analysis a limiting assessment method for the Baze approach.
DNA can be collected via cheek (buccal) swab or through a blood collection. Cheek swabs do open the door for sample contamination, but it’s not so much the collection method as it is the limitations of the results that make DNA analysis a limiting assessment method for the Baze approach.

As technologies advance, nutrigenomics no doubt shows promise in the future of personalized nutrition, but since DNA testing cannot be used to measure nutrient levels within the body, it would not be an appropriate method for us to use at Baze when assessing nutrient status. 

Dried blood spot testing

Ever had your finger pricked at the doctor’s office? If so, you are no stranger to the collection method for dried blood spot testing, often abbreviated as DBS. This test consists of collecting a small amount of capillary blood via a finger prick or heel stick, drying it on a piece of filter paper, then rehydrating and analyzing the whole blood sample. Overall, this method of blood collection and testing is relatively inexpensive, easy to administer, and minimally-invasive.

how to collect an acceptable blood spot specimen shows there are many possible pitfalls to sampling
There are many pitfalls with blood spot specimens.

Currently, DBS is used in clinical settings for newborn screenings, in epidemiological studies, as well as through a variety of at-home test kits. It is important to note that compared to traditional serum/plasma tests, less detail is available on nutrients in whole blood, meaning that at-home DBS test kits may offer less reliable results than serum/plasma tests, depending on the nutrient in question [3].

Additionally, dealing with finger pricking and filter papers increase the risk for contamination of the sample. These facts make dried blood spot testing a suboptimal method for us at Baze, where accurately measuring micronutrient levels is critical.

the most reliable way to assess your nutrient status is blood testing

The Baze Process 

Our FDA-approved device seamlessly collects a small sample of whole blood, used to determine nutrient levels of 10 micronutrients: choline, chromium, copper, magnesium, omega-3, selenium, vitamins B12, D, E, and zinc. 

The testing device requires a small 100 microliter blood sample and has been proven effective in published studies. It’s simple to use and allows for the convenience of an at-home capillary blood draw. Plus, it’s much more cost-effective as major national labs range between $800 and $1000 for similar micronutrient testing.   

In less than 10 minutes, blood sampling is complete. Once it’s mailed to our certified lab, the sample is then separated into its various components (serum/plasma and red blood cells), stabilized, and analyzed through a proprietary platform that is mass-spectrometry based. Mass-spectrometry techniques are well supported in the literature—vitamin D, omega-3, and certain minerals—and are the same analytical methods major national laboratories and doctors’ offices utilize. 

In addition, all of our methods have been validated using the highest standards in accordance with the guidelines set by the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use.

Baze's approach to blood nutrient testing is the most accurate nutrient assessment method on the market

Our successful approach 

For the first time ever, we are giving customers the opportunity to truly optimize their nutrient status—because the data is clear on the importance of doing so. 

And our 2019 internal customer impact data speaks to this. 73% of nutrient deficiencies were resolved after the first 3 months of personalized supplementation. It’s measurable, molecular change that can’t be argued.

Only Baze provides the unique targets, gets smarter and more accurate with re-testing, and can really show how the actions customers take overtime actually change their biometrics. This 360-degree approach is revolutionary while also being really simple, and it’s never been accessible in the way it is today.

References:

  1. Camp, K. M., & Trujillo, E. (2014). Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutritional Genomics. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114(2), 299–312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2013.12.001
  2. Kanter, M., & Desrosiers, A. (2019). Personalized Wellness Past and Future. Nutrition Today, 54(4), 174–181. https://doi.org/10.1097/NT.0000000000000354
  3. Holen, T., Norheim, F., Gundersen, T., Mitry, P., Linseisen, J., Iversen, P. and Drevon, C., 2020. Biomarkers For Nutrient Intake With Focus On Alternative Sampling Techniques.

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