Amanda has access to a wide range of genetic and pathology tests from private laboratories, which are valuable tools for assessing health and tailoring very personalised nutrition programmes.  Please click on the links below, or scroll down for details of some of most commonly used tests, which include:

Genetic profiles

FitGenes Health & Wellbeing Genetic Profile Report

23andMe Conversion

Carb Choice

Pathology Tests

Complete Microbiome Stool Test

SIBO Test (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)

DUTCH Plus Hormone Test (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones)

Organic Acids Test

CardioION Panel (Individual Optimal Nutrition)

Kryptopyrroles Test

ALCAT Food Intolerance Test

Comprehensive Thyroid Profile

Methylation Profile

Genetic Profiles

FitGenes Health & Wellbeing Genetic Profile Report

Genetic profiling offers unique insight into how your body responds to diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. A FitGenes Health & Wellbeing genetic profile report is based on the science of nutrigenomics, which considers the interaction between your genes, nutrition and lifestyle and how these influence gene behaviour.  While we cannot change our genes, we can modify the way that they express themselves i.e. how they switch on and off and communicate with all cells of our body, to determine our health.

By linking our individual genetic signature with our family’s health history, our personal health history and current pathology testing (e.g. blood cholesterol, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, vitamin D), we can identify an individual’s predisposition towards certain health risks and make early interventions with regard to nutrition, lifestyle and exercise, before clinical symptoms start to appear.

The FitGenes genetic profile analyses a select range of genes that are key influencers of your general health, wellbeing and physical performance.  They have been carefully selected on the basis of solid supporting scientific evidence, which demonstrates ways that we can modify their expression.  As an accredited FitGenes practitioner, Amanda is able to interpret the results in conjunction with your personal health history and to offer practical advice on how to address any potential health issues, or to promote healthy ageing. A genetic profile is an invaluable tool in improving the gap between life expectancy and health expectancy i.e. rather than just living longer, aiming to extend your enjoyment of good health well into your later years of life.

The genes analysed are divided into the following categories:

Cell Defence – how your body protects cells and DNA from damage caused by oxidative stress

Inflammation – your body’s natural defence mechanism, which if uncontrolled, can be a key driver of almost all major diseases

Vitamin D receptors – present in all cells, these are a key influence on bone health, immunity, skin and the nervous system

Methylation and Homocysteine Metabolism – reflects the health of our cells and risk of chronic disease

Cardiovascular Health – the effectiveness of the system delivering oxygen and nutrients to every cell

Fat and Cholesterol Management – influences healthy weight management, appetite control and satiety

The test requires a simple DNA sample taken in clinic, from a mouth swab.  You will receive a copy of your genetic profile with supporting information and Amanda will help you to interpret the results, to create a highly personalised health plan.

23andMe Conversion

Do you have a 23andMe profile but don’t know what to make of the results?  The data from your profile can be imported into the FitGenes software to provide an in-depth analysis of the genetic variations that influence the way your body responds to what you eat, how you exercise and the way you live.  Amanda can then interpret the results to create a personalised health programme.

Carb Choice

FitGenes has developed Carb Choice, a personalised genetic profile report based on your salivary amylase, AMY 1 gene, which determines how well you break down and tolerate starch from carbohydrates. This has a knock-on effect on many areas of health, so by understanding your Carb Choice gene profile, you can best manage health issues including weight management, diabetes, gluten intolerance and dental decay.

Using your Carb Choice genetic profile, Amanda can design a personalised intervention plan, including recommendations on the type and quantity of carbohydrates that you are best suited to consume.

The test requires a simple DNA sample taken from a mouth swab.  You will receive a report containing your AMY 1 gene copy number variation and further supporting information, with dietary and lifestyle recommendations.

Pathology Testing (prices vary according to different markers requested)

Complete Microbiome Stool Test 

This test provides the most comprehensive assessment available for digestive health and is the appropriate choice for patients presenting with sub-optimal gut function, but also anyone experiencing inflammatory symptoms, mood disorders or hormone imbalance.  It uses forensic technology to measure:

  • digestive, absorption and metabolic markers
  • markers of inflammation, including a measurement of increased permeability of the gut lining or ‘leaky gut’
  • immune reaction to gluten and a general marker for gut-immune function
  • presence of hidden blood or mucous in the stool
  • markers relating to liver detoxification of bacterial toxins
  • levels of beneficial bacteria and the presence of 35 potentially harmful bacteria including Helicobacter pylori, which can cause stomach ulcers
  • presence of yeast, including Candida, Geotrichum and Rhodotorula species
  • parasitic or worm infection – checking for 14 different species

Expand for details of how to complete the complete microbiome stool test

Please read through test kit instructions carefully.

If you have taken antibiotics or anti-fungal medication, you must wait a full 2 weeks before testing. Avoid taking probiotic supplements for 1 week and avoid fermented or probiotic foods.  3 days before testing, avoid any over the counter anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen, as well as laxatives, digestive enzymes, detox/liver herbs and minerals, amino acids or any other gut-associated supplements.

2 days before testing eat as varied a diet as possible. Make sure you include a variety of protein (e.g. fish, meat or eggs), fats (e.g. salmon, avocado, coconut or olive oil), carbohydrate (e.g. quinoa or rice); and both raw & cooked vegetables over the weekend, prior to completing the sample.  You will also need to include gluten in your diet, in order to assess for any immune reaction.

Day of testing. Complete the stool sample any time on a Sunday or Monday.  Use the spatulas in the lids of the two pots to collect samples from different parts of your stool, picking up traces of any blood, mucous or undigested food, if present.  Do not discard the fluid in the taller pot and add a small amount of stool, until the fluid reaches the ‘fill line’ indicated on the side.  The smaller pot with white lid does not contain any fluid and should be filled 1/2 to 2/3 full.  Label both the collection tubes and keep the two samples in the fridge (not freezer), inside the padded white envelope, until ready to be couriered.  Courier collection must be on a Monday or Tuesday. 

You will need to phone your local branch of NZ Couriers to arrange for a pickup. Please note that Post Shops will not accept NZ Couriers packages, so this needs to be collected from your home or work address, or dropped at an NZ Couriers depot.

Please ensure that you enclose the test request form along with your samples, having completed your details and if not already completed, adding in details for Amanda Nutrition.

SIBO Test (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) 

Excess bacteria in the upper part of the digestive tract produces gas via fermentation of dietary sugars and starches, that can then lead to symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, abdominal discomfort and nausea, as well as constipation or diarrhoea.  SIBO is found to be present in 70% of IBS patients and the build-up of gas in the intestines can be triggered by easily fermentable foods e.g. high FODMAP foods, refined carbohydrates and sugars; by foods which are hard to digest, such as grains, dairy, meat or raw food; and also by insufficient chewing, stress, or over-eating.

The SIBO breath test checks for the production of hydrogen and methane gases, indicating if bacteria have overgrown in in the small intestine, where they are not usually found in large numbers.  The results will help to tailor your nutrition programme, according to which type of gas is being produced and usually in conjunction with a stool test, which analyses the health of the colon, or large intestine (see Complete Microbiome Stool Test above).

Expand for details of how to complete the SIBO test

The SIBO breath test can be completed any day of the week, but requires you to avoid dairy products for 2 days before testing and then to follow more specific dietary guidelines for one day beforehand (2 days if you are constipated and do not have a daily bowel movement).  After following the restricted diet, you must fast overnight for at least 12 hours before testing. The aim of the diet is to clear any residual fibre from your gut (hence white rice and no fruit, vegetables, nuts or seeds on the menu) and then when you drink the lactulose solution, which is an indigestible fibre, you gain an accurate picture of whether the fibre is fermented by bacteria in your small intestine.

Do not complete the test if you have taken antibiotics or had a colonoscopy within the past 2 weeks.  Continue with any prescription medication, but avoid taking probiotic supplements or any digestive support products such as digestive enzymes for at least a week before testing (preferably longer) and avoid all other supplements for 3 days before testing.

The test takes 3 hours, so set aside a quiet morning to complete it.  Brush your teeth as soon as you wake and do not eat or drink anything other than water for the duration of the test.  Prepare the lactulose drink by mixing the entire bottle of lactulose with 300ml water, but DO NOT DRINK IT YET. 

  1. One hour after waking, collect a baseline breath sample (see test kit instructions for diagram of how to complete breath samples).
  2. Rinse your mouth out with the mouthwash provided and collect a second baseline breath sample.
  3. Drink the 300ml lactulose/water solution and immediately set a timer for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, collect a breath sample and continue to collect samples at 20 minute intervals until you have filled all 11 glass collection tubes.

Please note down any symptoms that you experience during testing on the test requisition form, which needs to be returned along with the samples (place glass tubes in bubble wrap envelope provided and send using the pre-paid courier bag). This test is sent via Courier Post so you can arrange for a collection from your home or work address, or drop at a Post Shop. 

DUTCH Plus Hormone Test (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) 

An advanced hormone test, using cutting edge technology to provide an extensive profile of sex and adrenal hormones, along with their metabolites i.e. showing not only what your hormone levels are, but also how your body is breaking them down and excreting them, which is often of greater significance when investigating anxiety, depression, weight gain, hormonal symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, PMS, PMDD or menopausal hot flushes, low libido and insomnia.

Rather than looking at a single snapshot of hormones measured at one point in the day, the DUTCH Plus test analyses 24 hour urine samples and assesses the cortisol awakening response (CAR), using saliva samples.  The CAR is a ‘mini stress test’ based on the pattern of cortisol production after waking and offers insight into health issues such as chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, depression, seasonal affective disorder, blood sugar dysregulation, weight gain, digestive issues, chronic fatigue and psychological burnout.

The comprehensive test includes:

  • 2 progesterone metabolites
  • androgens (testosterone and DHEAS) & 8 metabolites 
  • 3 forms of oestrogen & 10 metabolites
  • total free cortisol, total metabolised cortisol and total cortisone across the day
  • 3 cortisol metabolites
  • melatonin
  • 6 organic acids markers relating to liver detoxification, B vitamin deficiencies and neurotransmitter production (dopamine, adrenalin & noradrenalin)  
  • 8-OHdG, a marker for DNA damage

Expand for details of how to complete the DUTCH Plus hormone test

Please read through test kit instructions carefully.

For women, the DUTCH hormone test is meant to be completed between days 19-22 of a typical 28 day menstrual cycle, but this can be adjusted for longer or shorter cycles.  Men and post-menopausal women can complete the test on any day of the month.

Please avoid taking all supplements for a minimum of 3 days, but preferably a week before testing.

Avoid eating avocado, banana and fava beans for 48 hours before testing and the results are most accurate if you are not overly hydrated, so it is recommended to limit your liquid intake to around a litre the day before completing the test and make sure that no more than 250ml is drunk after 8pm the evening before testing.  Please see the test kit instructions for periods in between samples when you need to avoid food or fluid intake completely, or even brushing your teeth. 

If you wake in the night to urinate, please tick the relevant box on the test requisition form to say you did so. You do not need to collect this overnight sample.  

The urine samples are collected directly onto the filter paper cards and need to air dry for 24 hours.   The saliva samples require you to hold a cotton swab in your mouth until it is saturated with saliva and they then need to be frozen as soon as you take each one.  The samples are stable, so can be completed and kept frozen, or air drying for as long as you need, until ready to be couriered.  Amanda will give you a step by step set of instructions which she has compiled to try to make the testing schedule clear – so either use this, or the one included with the kit.

There is a pre-paid Courier Post bag in the box. Make sure you enclose the completed test requisition form, along with the frozen saliva samples and dried urine samples.  You can either drop the package at a Post Shop, or arrange for a courier pick up on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Organic Acids Test

The organic acids urine test is a valuable diagnostic tool for investigating underlying causes of a wide range of health issues, as it enables us to assess metabolic dysfunction.  To use a car analogy, just as dashboard warning lights warn us about potential mechanical malfunction, the body has certain chemical indicators, known as organic acids, which can alert us to subtle biochemical imbalances that trigger the onset of symptoms of poor health.  The test assesses:

  • energy production within cells (including whether you are converting fats & carbs to energy in an efficient way)
  • detoxification demands (liver health)
  • neurotransmitter activity (brain chemical production)
  • stress hormones
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • intestinal health
  • oxidative stress and antioxidant need

Relevant for anyone who is chronically ill, tired, overweight, inflamed, stressed, anxious, has skin issues, neurological disorders, a compromised immune system, dysregulated blood sugar or other hormonal symptoms.  Or simply anyone wishing to optimise their health – it is ideal as an annual health check.

Expand for details of how to complete the organic acids test

Please read through test kit instructions carefully.

This needs to be completed on a Sunday or Monday morning (first urine of the day) and then the samples should be frozen overnight, before being couriered on a Monday or Tuesday.

2 days before testing  Avoid: alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee or any other caffeinated drinks e.g. energy drinks), fruit juices, chocolate, avocado, banana, eggplant, kiwi fruit, butternut squash, pecans, walnuts (and associated nut butters), pineapple, plantains, fava beans (also known as broad beans and plums.  They don’t specify cranberries on the test kit instructions, but please avoid these too.  Avoid over the counter painkillers and supplements. Please continue with all medication unless agreed otherwise.

1 day before testing  Continue to avoid food and drinks listed above.  To avoid the sample being too dilute, limit your fluid intake to no more than 1 litre across the day and no more than 250ml after 8pm.

If you happen to wake in the night to urinate, collect your mid-stream urine in a clean container (rinsed and air dried) and combine this with the morning sample the next day. You are aiming to capture all the breakdown products which are excreted in your urine over a 6-9 hour period as you sleep.

Day of testing. Please see test kit instructions for how to use collection tubes. Collect your first urine for the day into the small container with yellow lid and draw up samples into the two collection tubes, which need to be labelled.  Freeze both the tubes until ready to be couriered on a Monday or Tuesday.

You will need to phone your local branch of NZ Couriers to arrange for a pickup. Please note that Post Shops will not accept NZ Couriers packages, so this needs to be collected from your home or work address, or dropped at an NZ Couriers depot.

Please ensure that you enclose the test request form along with your samples, having completed your details and if not already completed, adding in details for Amanda Nutrition.

CardioION Panel

The CardioION profile is a nutritional analysis which measures over 125 key nutrient biomarkers, enabling us to identify nutritional imbalances that may be a root cause of complex or chronic health conditions. The test evaluates:

  • organic acids  – chemical indicators of metabolic dysfunction, relating to energy production, liver detoxification, neurotransmitter production, B vitamin deficiencies, antioxidant requirements and digestive health
  • fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E, plus CoQ10
  • minerals such as zinc, copper, selenium, magnesium, chromium and iodine
  • toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel and arsenic
  • markers of oxidative stress –  which can lead to DNA damage within cells
  • markers relating to cardiovascular health – including not only cholesterol and CRP, but other markers which contribute to inflammation and qualify the risk of cardiovascular disease, including lipoprotein (a), homocysteine, lipid peroxides and the blood clotting protein fibrinogen
  • markers relating to hormone production, including insulin, testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin
  • ratios of essential fats such as omega 3, 6 and 9 in relation to saturated and trans fats 
  • detailed information on amino acids, which are crucial building blocks for immune cells, muscle and brain chemicals

This test provides actionable insight and personalised treatment plans in relation to a wide range of health issues including depression, fatigue, weight gain, hormone imbalance, anxiety, mental health disorders, chronic pain, inflammatory skin conditions, allergies, osteoporosis, recurrent headaches or migraines, low libido, insomnia, hypertension, elevated cholesterol and diabetes. It is also the ideal comprehensive health check for people wanting to take a proactive approach to their health.

Expand for details of how to complete the CardioION Panel

There is a significant waiting list for the blood draw appointment, so please call Labtests Mt Wellington on 09 574 7399 and book a Tuesday morning blood draw, specifying that it is for the NutriPath CardioION profile.  You can then work backwards re timings for the urine part of the test, which will need to be done either on the Sunday or Monday morning prior to the blood draw and frozen at least overnight.

PREPARATION FOR URINE COMPONENT OF CARDIO ION TEST (to be done one or a maximum of two days before your blood draw appointment at Mt Wellington Labtests)

 2 days prior to urine testing.  Avoid: alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee or any other caffeinated drinks), fruit juices, chocolate, avocado, banana, eggplant, kiwi fruit, butternut squash, pecans, walnuts (and associated nut butters), pineapple, plantains, cranberries and plums.  Avoid over the counter painkillers and any supplements.

1 day prior to testing.  Continue to avoid food and drinks as above and limit fluid intake to no more than 1 litre across the day, with no more than 250ml after 8pm. 

Important to note: If you wake in the night and need to urinate, please collect a sample of this urine in a clean plastic cup and add this to the morning sample the next day. You are aiming to collect all the breakdown products which are excreted in your urine over a 6-9 hour period as you sleep.

Day of testing. Collect first morning urine into the 50ml yellow pot and use the pipette to transfer it to the white collection tube, which needs to be labelled.  Place the urine collection tube and the large freezer block in the freezer.

PREPARATION FOR BLOOD DRAW COMPONENT OF CARDIO ION TEST. 

Night before blood draw. Fast for 8 hours over night and until your blood draw appointment.

Morning of blood draw. Ensure that you drink some water in the morning, so you aren’t dehydrated for the blood draw.  Attend your phlebotomy appointment, taking the freezer block and frozen urine sample with you in the white cooler box.  The lab will send the sample off for you and there will be an additional charge for the blood draw service.

Kryptopyrroles test

The kryptopyrroles test indicates the level of what is more simply called ‘mauve factor’ in your urine.  It is the result of abnormal production of haemoglobin, of which the by-products are pyrroles, that then bind to vitamin B6 and zinc, causing large amounts of these nutrients to be excreted from the body.  As a result, deficiencies occur, enzyme reactions cannot take place efficiently and pyrrole disorder is commonly linked to a wide range of symptoms, primarily mental health disorders (including anxiety, but also schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) and also elevated histamine. 

Deficiency of vitamin B6 can lead to the development of depression, nausea, fatigue and mental confusion, while zinc deficiency can cause poor immune function, acne and skin rashes, poor appetite, low stomach acid and attention or motor disorders.  Low zinc, B6 and magnesium deplete production of the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, which promote a sense of calm in the body, hence anxiety is one of the most common symptoms.

Expand for details of how to complete the Kryptopyrroles test

Please read the test kit instruction booklet carefully, taking note to wash your hands before completing the test; not to discard the powdered preservative in the tall, dark coloured collection tube; to label both the tall dark tube and the thin monovette tube with yellow cap before completing the samples; and for women not to submit samples if you are menstruating.

4 days prior to testing. Stop taking any supplements, including protein powders (if you are taking zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese or evening primrose oil and can avoid them for a week, this would be ideal). There are no dietary restrictions to be aware of.

This is a time and light-sensitive sample and the test needs to be completed on a Sunday, in the dark, so will be best done late in the evening.  It requires you to be well hydrated, so if you are completing other tests which require fluid restriction, it would be best to complete them on different days.  

Collect a mid-stream urine sample in the short, wide pot with yellow lid and then pour some urine into the tall dark-coloured collection tube, filling it two thirds full.  Replace the lid and immediately wrap the tube in the piece of tin foil provided.  Place the tube in the freezer, along with the ice pack and freeze them both overnight.  Return to the bathroom to complete the next sample, following instructions on how to use the monovette tube to draw up 10ml of the remaining urine from the short, wide pot.  The monovette collection tube does not need protection from the light, but also needs to be labelled and kept in the freezer overnight. 

The samples should be couriered on a Monday to ensure no issues with sample spoilage.  You will need to phone your local branch of NZ Couriers to arrange for a pickup (you cannot call the 0800 number from a mobile phone, only a landline, but details of your local branch are on their website). Please also note that Post Shops will not accept NZ Couriers packages, so this needs to be collected from your home or work address, or dropped at an NZ Couriers depot.

Complete the patient questionnaire, fill in your details on the test request form, adding in details for Amanda Nutrition if not already done.  Ensure that you enclose both forms along with your samples – place both frozen collection tubes inside the padded white envelope, along with the ice pack, before placing into the courier bag.

ALCAT Food Intolerance Test

There are many ways to test sensitivity to foods, but this blood test is a comprehensive and accurate way of measuring the reaction within your cells to over 450 substances, including foods, additives, environmental chemicals, inhalants and moulds.  The results from the ALCAT test can help to determine which foods and other substances may trigger unwanted inflammation and associated gastrointestinal, metabolic or neurological disorders.

 

Comprehensive Thyroid Profile

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is one of the most undiagnosed or misdiagnosed health problems.  TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is the medical gold standard for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid dysfunction. Unfortunately, TSH alone does not provide a complete picture and controversy remains over what is used as a ‘normal’ TSH reference range.  Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an auto-immune disease where the body attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. It is a leading cause of hypothyroidism, yet mainstream thyroid tests rarely check thyroid antibodies.

A comprehensive thyroid profile, based on a blood sample shows:

Unbound levels of T4 and T3 – these reflect the active components of thyroid hormone. This hormone assessment can identify not only overt hyper-and hypothyroidism, but subtle sub-clinical manifestations of thyroid dysfunction.

Reverse T3 –  levels of which can increase when conversion of T4 to active T3 is impaired. Thyroid imbalances may arise from nutrient shortages, heavy metal exposure, adrenal stress, enzyme deficiencies, and other chronic illness.

Thyroid antibody levels – which help gauge autoimmune response and may reflect metabolic irregularities and hypothyroidism even when TSH and T4 levels appear normal. Thyroid antibody levels may rise in response to trauma, bacterial imbalance, inflammation, or progressive thyroid degeneration.

Methylation Profile

The methylation cycle is a biochemical pathway that manages or contributes to a wide range of biochemical functions including detoxification, supporting DNA (turning genes on and off), producing energy, reducing inflammation and synthesising neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). Inadequate methylation capacity can lead to birth defects, depression, cognitive decline, and cancer.

There are multiple variations of the test to choose from, but some of the most important markers are:

Homocysteine – an amino acid associated with atherosclerosis that can become elevated when there is a need for folate, vitamin B6 and/or vitamin B12

S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) – involved in many different reactions in the body

 S-Adenosyl Homocysteine (SAH) – a key component of the methylation cycle, of which elevated levels are a risk factor for cancers and neurodegenerative diseases

5-methyl tetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) – the active form of vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, which is best known for protecting against neural tube defects in pregnancy