Our doctors regularly ask clients to step on the InBody scale. But it is much more than just one number. It gives us metabolic bio markers that tell us what your risks are, where you’re holding muscle mass and fat mass – and these are all trackable. Your weight (in pounds) can fluctuate based on a female cycle, what you ate, what time you step on the scale, water retention, etc. All of these don’t add up to a picture of health – but the following biomarkers are a look under the hood!
What biomarkers we look at (closely) –
- Visceral fat
- Muscle mass
- Body fat (% and distribution)
Visceral fat is on a scale of 1 – 30 approx. but for optimal health and to reduce ones risk of inflammatory, metabolic and heart disease, we have clients get under 10. Visceral fat is the fat surrounding your organs (leaner individuals can also have higher visceral fat!). The problem is that it is metabolically active – which means it is infiltrated with adipocyte (fat) cells that secrete inflammatory cytokines. As well, it inhibits the uptake of glucose in cells (insulin resistance), leading to high blood glucose levels. High levels increase an individual’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
This is a biomarker that we track closely. Low visceral fat is good and we aim for optimal (4 – 6).
Our weight can go up and down – but we won’t know if the changes are due to muscle or fat. Being able to track muscle mass and look at % of our body that is muscle is important, especially as we age. In elderly, or those looking to lose weight – muscle mass is an important number to track. We want to preserve muscle mass to ensure an individual can maintain movement and mobility. Additionally, low muscle mass is correlated with higher fracture rates during falls and accidents so tailoring an exercise regime is important. We can also look at muscle distrubution and whether you have an imbalance on either leg.
This number allows us to track and adjust exercise, physiotherapy (and mobility), and nutrition to build, maintain and optimise.
Body fat % (and distribution)
We look at how much of your weight is body fat, as high BPF can reduce mobility and increase pressure on joints. Furthermore, we look at where the fat is being distributed as we know certain areas of fat distribution (i.e.) around the waist is due to certain hormones. We can therefore adjust nutrition and exercise regimes, and track the results.
Body fat % numbers are different for men and women, athletes and non-athletes. We can guide you to optimize and reduce your body fat percentage, and explain what range you should be in.
Bone mineral content is proportional to muscle content in the body. Minerals are crucial – especially for those who are aging and need to ensure optimal mineral intake (calcium, magnesium, potassium) to ensure bone health. It can therefore be a biomarker for low mineral content, and we focus nutrition and exercise to increase muscle mass. Particularly for women, low estrogen in post menopausal women is correlated with low bone density, so maintaining sufficient bone minerals is important.
Covered by major medical, this is a 5 minute scan. We offer a brief review after and make recommendations based on your results!