Professional Products

Point of Care (PoC) Testing is one of the fastest growing areas in diagnostic care. This is largely driven by the popularity of near-patient testing in US medical practices. There are inherent advantages to having early access to test results. Chief amongst these is the ability to react without delay while the nuances of the patient/client consultation are fresh. 

Apart from demand, one reason for the fast growth of this type of testing is radically improved technology. This has been driven largely by the introduction of Monoclonal Antibodies (MCA). These can be calibrated to show a positive result only at a precisely determined level (giving a qualitative or semi-quantitative yes/no answer - such as pregnancy or coeliac disease) or to work with an electronic reader which reads and translates the test score into a clinically usable result (e.g. Vitamin D, cholesterol). 

In the Irish healthcare systems (North and South), most diagnostics are conducted centrally in hospital or commercial laboratories. 

Nutricentric is focussed on the much smaller area of professional tests in PoC format. Our customers include GPs, nutritional therapists and nutritionally-oriented pharmacies (a growing minority). For most tests, the kit includes all equipment required. Point of Care tests are generally not funded by the healthcare system.

Some of our customers are new to diagnostics, so we can also give a simple guide to taking a fingerprick blood sample and Standard Operating Procedures - more detailed guidelines on conducting the tests - as well as patient/client Consent and interview forms. These help ensure that you test the right people with the appropriate test

We can also provide distance learning modules on particular aspects of testing. For pharmacies we usually carry out on-site training so that as many staff as possible are able to offer appropriate advice. As any lab scientist will affirm, it's not just the test that matters but what you do with the result. 

Our most popular tests are related to food intolerance (sometimes known as non-IgE mediated food allergy) and respiratory allergy (IgE-mediated allergy) each of which affect upwards of one in five of us. Comparative studies between poorer and wealthier countries (which mirrors my own experience in Korea, China, mainland Europe and Ireland) show that the incidence of these ailments is considerably higher in more affluent countries. Indeed, affluence has also led to an upsurge in conditions that involve inflammation, from underactive thyroid to coeliac disease. 

For nutritional tests, non-nutritionists are required to also complete a short multiple choice questionnaire (pass mark 85%).  

FOOD INTOLERANCE

Food Detective Professional

40-minute ELISA test for elevated IgG antibodies against over 50 foods. RCT-supported basis for designing the Elimination-Rechallenge diet that treats food intolerances. SOPs available.

COELIAC DISEASE

Xeliac Pro

5-minute screening test to detect the anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies (IgA & IgG)

LACTOSE INTOLERANCE

Lactose Intolerance DNA test

Saliva DNA test (post to lab) testing for European gene governing lactose tolerance

RESPIRATORY ALLERGY

ImmunoCAP rapid (adult/child)

30-minute test to detect IgE antibodies against the top 10 inhaled allergens in Europe (incl dust mite, pets, pollens). 

VITAMIN D

25-hydroxy Vitamin D

The internationally preferred measure of Vitamin D status. Many Irish people are deficient in Vitamin D with potential fallout for bone health. Low Vitamin D is relatively easy to remedy.

PREGNANCY

Instant hCG

5-minute fingerprick screening test for hCG of 10mIU/ml and above. Simple visual result reading. Used in French hospitals in triage situations and elsewhere as a screening service. 

PROSTATE SCREENING

ProstaQUICK

15-minute screening showing if PSA is mildly (4 ng/ml) or strongly (10ng/ml) elevated. For mildly (4ng/ml) elevated results, the test should be repeated after a month as a single elevated PSA result is not adequately diagnostic of prostate cancer.

Nutricentric's Pop-Up Lab

Nutricentric has also developed a Pop-Up Lab a portable secure mini-laboratory unit for conducting laboratory testing in rooms that were not originally designed for that purpose. It allows for secure handling and avoidance of inward or outward contamination.

We also have a range of blood tests suitable for screening for pregnancy and low Vitamin D levels.


Further information:

Food Detective Professional 

The FD Pro is a professional food intolerance (non-IgE mediated food allergy) diagnostic test that provides rapid results using ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) diagnostic technology. All that is needed is a fingerprick blood sample. The pack contains all the equipment needed to conduct the test and provide the patient's report.

The FD Pro detects elevated levels of IgG antbodies against over 50 of the most commonly implicated food allergens, including cow's milk, yeast, egg, gluten, wheat, nuts and many more.

Tests should only be carried out on people who suspect they suffer from food intolerances (symptoms where the timing of flare-ups suggests that food is involved) as low levels of IgG antibodies can be present without triggering symptoms. However, the double-blind studies of IgG testing show that it is a reliable method for designing a Food Elimination Diet (followed by food re-challenge to confirm the link) without avoiding other foods unnecessarily.

The FD Pro is manufactured in the UK by Cambridge Nutritional Sciences, a subsidiary company of Omega Diagnostics, and registered as an in vitro diagnostic with EU and Irish health authorities.

we also have Tests for Coeliac Disease, Lactose Intolerance

ImmunoCAP Rapid

This test was featured recently on the BBC TV series "Embarassing Bodies" where it was used to quickly screen an entire school class for allergies related to hay fever and wheezing. It provides rapid detection of IgE antibodies against the 10 most common respiratory allergens in Europe, including cat and dog dander, pollens and household allergens (including house dust mite). It is also used as a GP PoC test in the USA.

While it may not be possible to avoid all allergens (e.g. pollen), most sufferers also react to other common allergens too and their suffering is due to their combined effects. Reducing exposure to some of these may bring the reaction level beneath the threshold that causes symptoms. 

Seven out of 10 children (and 60% of adults) who suffer from perennial or seasonal rhinitis are allergic.

ImmunoCAP Rapid is a lateral flow test using newer gold nanoparticles (as opposed to the traditional dyed latex). As a result, results are clearly readable only 20 minutes after collecting the fingerprick blood sample!Click on the following image to view ImmunoCAP rapid videoclip.

Conducting the ImmunoCAP rapid test

ImmunoCAP Rapid is manufactured in the UK by Phadia Diagnostics Ltd. and registered as an in vitro diagnostic with the UK and Irish health authorities. It comes in two versions, child and adult 

  • Wheeze/Rhinitis - Child: detects IgE antibodies against cat dander (fur and skin debris), dog dander, house dust mite, egg white (IgE), cow's milk (IgE), common silver birch, mugwort, Timothy grass, olive pollen and wall pellitory
  • Asthma/Rhinitis - Adult: detects IgE antibodies against cat dander (fur and skin debris), dog dander, house dust mite, cockroach debris, household mould common silver birch, mugwort, Timothy grass, olive pollen and wall pellitory 
It compares well with traditional skin patch testing. 

Other Screening Tests: 
Coeliac screening: About 1% of Irish people have coeliac disease but many cases are only diagnosed after many years of treatment of other conditions that are actually symptoms of coeliac disease. Only about half of coeliacs show classical signs of being gaunt, underweight and malnourished in addition to gastrointestinal symptoms. Some don't even have gastrointestinal symptoms. Coeliac is more common amongst people suffering from anaemia or infertility. This test screens for the characteristic anti-tissue transglutaminase IgG and IgA antibodies.While 20% of Irish people carry the predisposing HLA gene marker, other factors are necessary in order to develop coeliac disease - not just gluten. Our modern Western diet is undoubtedly a major contributor.

Thyroid Screening: Underactive thyroid is common and often involves symptoms of low drive and energy, including depression and loss of mental focus. Dry, coarse skin is common as are brittle hair and nails. Weight gain is common. Long and heavy periods are possible in women and it can have a significant adverse effect on fertility. The test detects TSH levels ≥5µIU/ml which is considered the upper limit of normal. Nowadays, especially if other inflammatory symptoms are present, it is accepted that symptoms can also occur below this level. If hypothyroidism is involved in infertility, the treatment goal will generally be to further lower TSH levels (using levothyroxine) to about 2µIU/ml. The test takes under 15 minutes. 

Anaemia Screen: Anaemia is also common, affecting 10-40% of women of child-bearing age. Symptoms include lethargy, shortness of breath, palpitations, nail damage, restless leg syndrome and pale complexion. As with hypothyroidism, it can have profound effects on fertility. Adequate iron levels are necessary for conception as well as during the pregnancy. The test screens for the most reliable marker for iron-deficiency anaemia in Ireland - ferritin - and detects levels below the normal threshold of 20ng/ml.

hsCRP: Inflammation is the fuel for most modern lifestyle diseases. hsCRP is one of the most reliable predictors of future health problems associated with inflammation, before these problems manifest. It is an important marker for use in general health screening and elevated levels point to the need to make lifestyle and dietary changes. 

Prostate Screening (PSA): Prostate screening is to be treated with caution as slightly elevated levels may be temporary, so a second screen is advised after a month. Slightly elevated levels would not generally trigger a need for biopsy, just a need to take note and to improve diet and exercise. However, very elevated levels are generally a sign that prompt action, including biopsy, is warranted. The test has two cut-offs and shows if PSA levels are slightly or greatly elevated.

Vitamin D: Ireland is generally not blessed with sunshine. Vitamin D levels are low in significant portions of the population. It is of particular concern for bone health (risk of osteopoenia or osteoporosis), immune health (most respiratory infections tend to occur when Vitamin D levels are lowest) and mental health. While inadequate levels are treated in infants, the time for supplementation is before the infants are born, as studies in Canada have demonstrated. Inexpensive supplements exist to correct the problem. This test - for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the most reliable marker of Vitamin D status - has to be posted to a laboratory.

Lactose intolerance: Lactose intolerance affects about 3% of Irish people but is the norm for most populations worldwide. It is not a disease, merely a gene selection. Most people worldwide are lactose intolerant after infancy - milk is purely for infants in most cultures. Countries with low community levels of lactose tolerance can generally only take milk products in fermented form (yoghurt and similar) as the lactose is mostly consumed in the fermentation process. This test involves a DNA swab taken from saliva. It is posted to a laboratory for DNA determination. 

Temporary lactose intolerance is sometimes also found in coeliacs as auto-immune damage to the gut villi can also stop production of lactase enzyme. In these cases, adopting a gluten-free diet generally restores lactose tolerance. 

Please enquire for further information.
ThyroidScreen, CoeliacScreen, hsCRP. H pylori



To learn more about how you can help patients/clients suffering from these very troublesome conditions, and steer them towards better control, contact Peter on +353 86 348 3592 or by e-mail peter@nutricentric.com.


 

Watch Peter Conry's talk (IACPT 2013) on



Contact Nutricentric HealthCare