I’m sold on Genova Lab’s GI Effects Stool Test. It really is the best …and I’ll tell you why.
I’ve been using this lab for over 30 years now, if you can believe that. They’ve really made great strides in staying up-to-date by including state-of the-art testing options in this test. I started using GI Effects profile a lot recently and find it to be extremely informative.
In previous years, their stool tests that I ran for my patients were cultures only. Now they make use of PCR testing as well. You see anaerobic organisms don’t grow in culture, so having DNA testing is far more accurate.
What is PCR testing?
PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction.
It is used to amplify selected sections of DNA or RNA for analysis. Previously, this procedure required cloning of the segments of interest into vectors for expression in bacteria. It took weeks.
But now, PCR is done in test tubes. It only takes a few hours. This means that this advanced stool test is able to provide immediate, actionable clinical information.
Their PCR molecular assay is optimized for stool testing. It assesses 24 commensal bacteria associated in scientific literature with health and disease. It gives us valuable insight into the human microbiome.
I’m also very impressed by the enhanced test reporting that they do. On the very first page there’s an overview that you can understand at a glance. It highlights biomarkers in three main areas of gut health: Infection, Inflammation, and Metabolic Imbalance. This makes it very easy for lay people to understand and to see what areas need attention.
I also like that the GI Effects Comprehensive Profile includes very important markers:
This is an invaluable biomarker that can effectively differentiate between Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
(b) Ova & Parasite Detection.
They use the gold standard for parasite identification.
You can choose as to whether you want a 1 or 3 day collection, based on how likely there is an issue relating to parasitic infection.
If low or no suspicion of parasites, then a one day sample is adequate.
Only if there is a high likelihood of parasites that a 3-day sample collection is needed.
Add-On Options to GI Effects Stool Test
I like the way they make certain valuable add-ons available.
Some pathogenic bacteria testing can be extremely expensive. So, by excluding them in the original test, but offering them as ‘add-on’s’ is a great idea.
The specific bacteria add-on tests that can be run are:
- Clostridium difficile,
- Escherichia coli EIA,
- Helicobacter pylori EIA and
- Fecal Lactoferrin.
Zonulin Tests for Intestinal Permeability
Their most recent add-on is Zonulin.
Zonulin is a protein modulator of intestinal tight junctions that is used to assess intestinal permeability.
Up until now, the only way we could test for intestinal permeability was by using a stand alone test … another expense and not a very pleasant procedure.
We had to drink pre-measured amounts of lactulose and mannitol and then evaluate the degree of intestinal permeability or malabsorption that was reflected in the levels of the two sugars recovered in a urine sample that needed to be collected over the next 6 hours.
We know from recent peer-reviewed literature about the significant role that intestinal permeability plays in many chronic gut problems, particularly Leaky Gut with symptoms like bloating, gas and cramps.
Intestinal Permeability will also have an impact on IBS, food sensitivities, joint pains, skin rashes and auto immune conditions.
Then there’s added problems associated with intestinal permeability for Cardio-metabolic diseases like type 1 and 2 diabetes, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and even insulin resistance.
Being able to add the Zonulin test on to the GI Effects Profile is a win. One less test, added financial savings and less hassle.