For the first time, I explore the fascinating world of  Functional Labs. Nichole Herms – a fellow Chemist who is a researcher at Spectra cell Labs.

In this podcast we explore how Lymphocyte Proliferation Assays (which is the technology Spectra cell uses) can go beyond testing your child’s current blood levels of nutrients to truly understanding:

– Bioavailability of the nutrient

– Accessibility (can your child use it)

– Functional Need for the nutrient

This means two people that eat the same diet and have similar lifestyles – may now show up with completely *functional need* values.

This discussion is phenomenal in its detail. You might just go running out to order a Spectra cell test.  www.spectracell.com



Listen On


Disclaimer: The information in this Podcast is for educational purposes only. Vaishnavi Sarathy, Ph.D. is an educator, not a doctor, specifically not your child’s doctor. Please consult your physician before implementing any supplement or diet recommendations.

Audio Transcription:


Hi friends welcome to this exciting episode of functional nutrition and learning for kids. This new year, I believe for the first time we are exploring functional labs. Functional labs are different from the regular labs that you will talk to my trend. And by that I mean your PCP, for example, CBC CMP, thyroid labs and even iron status, and so on. In functional labs, what we’re doing is testing to see if your body which is your child’s body is sufficient in nutrients, oxidative status, etc, to actually function. That word again, to actually function in optimal health, you could say, to be comfortable and stable.

We’re not necessarily testing a disease state. We’re testing to see if you are balanced. Now, this lack of balance might not quite show up in your doctor’s lab, but still can cause impulsivity, anger, lack of focus, moodiness, and so much more. So functional labs are what help in this area. Now, a side note, please do excuse my audio in this podcast. Frankly, it really sucks. I heard myself do a double-take. And it’s now hopefully better now. But I do want to give you a very warm welcome in this new year of functional nutrition and learning for kids.

How exciting to still have a podcast in 2022. If you’re here, you’re probably seeking answers for your child’s health and learning. And I am there every step of the way with you. Whether your child has Down syndrome is autistic has ADHD symptoms or is diagnosed with a learning disability you are in the right place. Because here we believe every child can learn and every child should learn. It is a human right.

Sound nutrition and equal education and the rested mind are the birthrights of every child. Now I’ve been there I’ve walked your path. And I continue to do so with my son and my students. And I can’t wait to discover more along this journey. If you’re one of the people have been waiting for nonlinear education to launch which is the course where we teach science and math to children of all abilities, but specifically children with disability, you are in luck. Right now it’s only available as a bonus with my other course.

My other course is called the roadmap to attention and regulation and enrollment is open for the next 10 days. You can sign up at functional nutrition for kids.com/roar. That’s R.O.A.R  functionalnutritionforkids.com/roar. Enrollment stops in 10 days. I am really excited to hear from Nicole Hearns today, let’s give her a warm welcome.

My guest today Nicole Holmes is an avid proponent of functional nutrition testing since she began working at Spectra cell labs in 2005. In the new sense, she has developed training materials for practitioners who wish to integrate functional nutrition diagnostics into their practice, with special emphasis on the role of micronutrient deficiencies in various diseases.

She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in business. And she understands both the scientific and practical aspects of lab testing in today’s shifting paradigm of healthcare. Nicole lives in beautiful northern Colorado with her husband and three sons. Welcome, Nicole. It’s always a pleasure to have a fellow chemist.

Nichole Herms:

Thank you glad to be here.


Yeah. And, you know, obviously, when anyone thinks about Spectra cell, the first thing that comes into mind is micronutrient testing. And micronutrient testing itself comes into prominence with ADHD, because there are so many studies that correlate symptoms of impulsivity, attention, hyperactivity with specific micronutrient deficiencies. But can you tell us a little bit more about the Spectra cell itself and what micronutrients you test for?

Nichole Herms:

Well, the Spectra cell. The Spectra cell test is at its heart is a lymphocyte proliferation assay that measures the functional status of 31 nutrients, plus four unique metabolic tests. So I know that’s kind of a mouthful, but basically, it’s a blood test that is done on lymphocytes. And it actually, we actually take whole blood, we isolate lymphocytes, grow them in a perfect nutritional environment. And that’s kind of the heart of our test, we have this.

This was developed 30 years ago, at the University of Texas at Austin, and we grow the lymphocytes in the perfect nutritional environment. And then we assess each nutrient individually to see that like, for example, we are testing for vitamin b1. We grow the lymphocytes in the perfect environment and then we grow them in an environment that does not have b1. So when we expose them to a culture that doesn’t have b1, then the cells have to use their intracellular reserves of vitamin b1 In order to, you know, perform all the metabolic functions necessary to replicate, and grow and do what a cell is supposed to do.

If the cell is deficient in B one or can’t use the B one that it has, it will be functionally deficient in the growth will be compromised. And so we compare that growth to growth of the lymphocyte in the perfect environment and the difference, if there is a significant difference, then the cell is deficient. If the growth rate does not significantly different, then the cell is not deficient in that nutrient because it had the nutrient the reserves of that nutrient in order to proliferate. And so, that’s the heart of their test. It’s it really is a very advanced test, but simple in its sort of clinical utility, it basically measures how well the cell is utilizing the 31 nutrients that we test. In a nutshell.


I really like Danny, it’s such a very controlled test. But can you tell me why lymphocytes specifically?

Nichole Herms:

It’s a good question, um, one of the biggest reasons is that lymphocytes lymphocyte, health and we do this on T lymphocytes. So, T lymphocytes, which are our white blood cells that basically, you know, the kind of the general of the immune system, and lymphocyte health or the ability of lymphocytes to respond to their environment is very, very connected to systemic health. And this is, there are 1000s, probably 10s of 1000s of papers in the medical literature that tie lymphocytes that tie, limp, lymphocyte proliferation assays to general health. And so, so, number one, it’s a good cell to correlate to the cells of other tissue, I mean, to the health of other tissues into the general health.

Another big reason, though, is that it’s a nucleated cell. So because it’s a nucleated cell, anything that would affect growth, from a genetic perspective, or, you know, whatever, or an epigenetic perspective, would affect the lymphocyte growth, because it’s a nucleated cell, as opposed to if we were looking at red blood cells that don’t have Nicholas, it’s not going to tell us really anything about how nutritionally-replete those cells are. So because it’s nucleated, that takes into account the whole genetic component, which is huge of cell health. And then it’s the third reason is that a lymphocyte proliferation assay is like I had mentioned before, it’s very established in the literature as a method for stimulating cell growth.

In other words, it’s not a lymphocyte proliferation assay is not a test that Spectra cell invented, we invented a way to measure nutritional status using this method, but the lymphocyte proliferation assay is has been used in, you know, cancer research immune research for decades. So it’s a well-established marker for measuring cell growth. And then, you know, finally, they’re, you know, relatively easy to collect. I mean, if we, you know, you know, brain tissue might be a really good marker of systemic health as well, but you can’t do you know, you can collect brains, you know, obviously, blood cells are relatively easy to collect.


Right? And this, this doesn’t involve a full blood draw, correct?

Nichole Herms:

It does, it’s, it has to be its peripheral lymphocytes that we use and it has to be collected via venipuncture. So we have to get the blood of the vein and we get that we have that question a lot of you know, why can’t we just do a finger prick test? You know, that would be convenient but the thing is, it’s although it presents a logistical hurdle that we have to do a phlebotomy blood draw the reason why our test is so great is that we are looking at live lymphocytes.

We actually, we have the blood drawn in our lab is based in Texas, so any, you know, we have to anywhere in the United States, we can get blood within 24 hours but basically, we need to have the blood in our lab within 24 hours of being drawn because we’re taking the whole blood removing the lymphocytes and growing the lymphocytes This is a very you know, in-depth test and so because we’re using whole lymphocytes, I mean whole blood and growing lymphocytes we need to have fresh blood if you will, and we need to have enough to culture it so we do need venipuncture blood that’s why we can’t do it. You can’t do a finger prick test because it’s more advanced to test.


The net product. So, so far I’m just to drive a couple of reasons that, you know, testing lymphocytes is so useful is because they are particularly sensitive to representing micronutrient deficiencies. And secondly, it’s because the cell is mediated. So it gives a good reflection of what the effects of genetic epigenetics might be. Would that be right?

Nichole Herms:

That is absolutely correct. Yes. Right.


So I had a few other questions. But I think that because we’re going in this direction. Let me talk to you about the questions that I have with respect to the testing. Now, you’ve already told us what makes Spectra cell different from other tests, but I am kind of curious to know a little bit more because often when, when I want to measure my son’s zinc status or magnesium status I suppose I go to his PCP, what I’m hearing about is serum zinc, sometimes.

Sometimes we hear about plasma measurements. What is the IV know that Spectra cell measures lymphocytes? Can you tell us a little bit more about the actual difference we’re seeing between all of these different words, serum plasma lymphocytes,

Nichole Herms:

Yes, so when you go, if you go to the hospital or your primary care physician, you’ll usually you know, a lot of people intuitively understand when they get a serum, magnesium, for example, or a serum vitamin D, because you’re drawing blood and you’re looking at the amount of vitamin D that is floating around in your bloodstream, people understand that. And consequently, your vitamin D or serum measurements will always be measured in like nanograms per milliliter or a mass per unit volume, because you’re just looking at what is existing there at the time of the blood drop, right? So the sectional test is really fundamentally very, very different.

We, first of all, it’s not measuring what’s present in the blood, like floating around your blood, we’re measuring how well the cell can use what is there. So in the case of vitamin D, for example, we’re measuring how well your cell can use the vitamin D that is available to it. In other words, maybe you have a lot of vitamin D, a very, you know, a lot of vitamin D in your blood, but it can’t be it’s, you’re not effectively transporting it across the cell membrane to get into the cell, well, then it doesn’t matter, the cell can’t use it, it’s you’re going to be deficient in it.

Maybe for some reason, magnesium is a good example. Because you might be ingesting a lot of magnesium, but maybe you’re not absorbing it through your gut. And so it wouldn’t make it to the sale. Or maybe you’re taking a medication that depletes you of magnesium, so you have more of a need than maybe someone else. So even though you have you might be ingesting a lot. It’s not, your cells are still needing more or their cells cannot use it. So basically specter cells measure how well your cells use, what is there, regardless of how much is there, whether it’s a lot or a little.

A serum test is simply measuring what is present from a ball in a mass, just mass per unit volume. And as a result that the Spectra cell test, we report it in percent, which a lot of that’s a common question we have is why zoom report, say, you know, my magnesium is reported in percent we report it qualitatively as deficient or borderline or normal.

Then quantitatively, we measure we report it in percent. And that is because we are measuring the growth rate of the cell when in an environment that doesn’t have the nutrient and then carrying that to the growth rate of the cell in the perfect environment. And because it’s a ratio of cell growth, it’s measured in percent. And so I want


That nichel. Yeah. Yeah. And I love that we’re talking units because I’m feeling really happy about that. But, yes, so the unit of measurement. But yeah, that actually makes sense. It’s the percentage of an ideal growth rate. Right. So yeah, so and so you’re seeing that the difference as trying to I, one of the ways that I understand things is by classifying and categorizing. So as trying to categorize the ways in which you were talking about how a lymphocyte test or a Spectra cell test is different from the serum test, and the three things I got for one of them is the accessibility of the cell to the nutrient how well it can use it. One is bioavailability. How well I suppose that’s the right word, how well it gets into the cell. And the third one is maybe the actual need itself,, which could be greater or more depending on your individual biochemical situation.

Nichole Herms:

That’s exactly right. And it’s, that’s the beauty of the spec shell test is it will tell you if your cells are deficient in a nutrient regardless of the reasons, you know, the reason could be something, it could be genetic, it could be, you know, you could have an eight-year-old, you know, two-pack a day smoker and a 25-year-old elite athlete, and they’re both deficient in the same nutrient for obviously very different reasons. You know it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s not like an algorithm where you’re plugging in, this is what I’m eating, this is the medications I’m taking, this is my lifestyle, it really is assessing your personal cell nutritional status.

In the truest sense of the word, it is truly taking your biochemical individual individuality into account. And I did want to mention one other thing about lymphocytes, I forgot to mention, which is really important. We use peripheral lymphocytes, which have a lifespan of about four to six months. So the Spectra cell test is actually a long-term marker. Because we’re taking, we’re taking cells that can be anywhere from four to six months old. In other words, if you eat a bunch of something, or you take a bunch of supplements a few days before, it’s not gonna affect the spectrum because it takes a while to drive those nutrients into the cell for functional utilization.

Conversely, if you do serum testing, if you just do testing on, you know, day one, and you take a ton of supplements, you know, a couple of days later, your serum tests can fluctuate wildly, because it’s really a very transient measure. It totally is subject to, you know, short term pores, short term, you know, differences in what you eat, and that kind of thing. And another thing that complicates serum testing is that if a person has inflammation, for whatever reason, whether it’s they ran a marathon, or they just got COVID, if you have inflammation, your steering testing may be misleading, because what happens is, when your body’s inflamed, particularly with minerals, your body will tell will pull the minerals from their cellular stores and move them into the blood so they can go where they’re supposed to go to, like, do what they’re supposed to do. And so, a lot of times, you know, doctors,


like a buffering of the blood, maybe?

Nichole Herms:

That’s exactly right. Yes, it’s, it’s so it’s misleading, because you might have very high during a very highly inflammatory state, sometimes you have high minerals on a serum test, which seems like that doesn’t make sense. But really, your body’s pulling those minerals to try to, you know, move them throughout the body, the special test isn’t affected by that directly, or at least in the short term, because we’re looking at cell growth, not how much is present in the blood, it’s a very fundamental, because


I have been studying that blood, you know, has this tendency to stay in homeostasis. So which makes me sad, it’s really not going to get that much we still don’t see deficiencies known then. But that makes a lot of sense. So Spectra cell is more of an average measure, maybe like the analogy that I’m thinking of is your fasting glucose with, as opposed to your hemoglobin evens kind of thing?

Nichole Herms:

That’s exactly it’s a good analogy, where hemoglobin m and c is a little bit more of a long-term, it is a longer-term marker, and fasting glucose can fluctuate wildly. That’s the same with serum versus a functional growth test. And, you know, it’s not to say that serum isn’t useful. But it’s, it can be misleading, you know, and there’s a lot of literature that, that, you know, shows for, for example, magnesium, if you do, if you look at intracellular levels of magnesium versus serum levels, in many cases, the intracellular levels will correlate with clinical conditions, but serum levels may be in the normal range, the quote-unquote, normal range for the population, where that there’s still a functional magnesium deficiency because this there might be enough in the serum that makes you fall into the normal range, but the cells either need more or can’t use it, or aren’t getting it transported for whatever reason, the cells are still deficient. And so the special test is like, what is a much deeper look into cell health.

The beauty is, it’s if you correct those deficiencies, the results can be great, you know, really, really amazing. Whereas serum it’s, it’s not as it’s, it’s, you for subclinical deficiencies, the serum is not going to be as useful when you have a massive gross deficiency than serum will, you know, may show that, but we’re talking about, you know, like, for example, scurvy, you know, Scurvy is a gross deficiency of vitamin C. But before you get to scurvy, there’s going to be a long time of years where you may have a subclinical deficiency and that’s Respect still comes in Spectra cell is a deeper look at what’s going on before these sort of acute deficiencies manifest.


That makes sense. That makes sense. I mean, I think and a lot of times in functional lab testing, we’re actually that is our goal. We’re looking at functional deficiencies that were not. I mean, if at all, there were a serious clinical deficiency at that point, it would probably go beyond the function and doctor’s office already. Yeah, so I do have a, which brings me to a question I think you mentioned vitamin D in the beginning, what is the deal with vitamin D? How come everyone’s deficient in vitamin D, because I thought that the markers of I took it for a structural self-test, this might be different because you’re not, you’re not basing it 100%.

When your idea levels are not based on other people coming into the labs, but serum levels are often based on aren’t your upper and lower limits of sufficiency based on you know, kind of an average of the number of people it’s like a box and whisker plot of the number of people coming into for testing. And I just, it oftentimes kind of stumps me as to how we’re seeing this level of vitamin deficiency. I don’t know that I’ve met many people that actually have one remember that?

Nichole Herms:

Yes, I vitamin D, I sort of call it the nutrients that are getting all the glory, because there are so many studies on it. But well, first of all, it’s interesting. When we look at all of the results of the, you know, 1000s and 10 1000s, of spectra cells that we’ve done, Vitamin D is a common deficiency we see as well, not. Some of the other really common ones would be zinc. Zinc is very commonly deficient on the Spectra cell test. But vitamin D is I mean, it’s, you know, common, probably, you know, around 20% of the results probably have a vitamin D deficiency or a borderline vitamin D deficiency.

The question is, why is the population so deficient? You know, it’s a, that’s a broader question. But one thing about vitamin D, that’s unique is its vitamin D is a little unusual, and that it’s not really a vitamin, it’s more like a hormone. And so it, there’s many tissues of the body have vitamin D receptors, I don’t, I mean, like, you know, dozens of tissues have vitamin D receptors. So it’s a very systemically utilized nutrient, not that other nutrients aren’t but so many of our tissues are using vitamin D, and Vitamin D has such broad functions from you know, the conventionally studied bone health to inflammation, which is huge.

It moderates and regulate inflammation, to immunity, and even mood, that type of thing. And so I think, honestly, I think because so many people are, you know, chronically inflamed, I mean, I think that, that in the US, there’s, you know, a lot of people have chronic inflammation. This makes sense because a lot of people are vitamin D deficient, I don’t know, if it’s the chicken or the egg. Which ones first Are you inflamed? Because you don’t have enough vitamin D? Or do you not have enough vitamin D, because your body’s inflamed and sort of, like using up the resources or needs more?

We don’t know. But because, you know, I would say that we, we haven’t, I don’t want to say an epidemic of inflammation, but we are, you know, many people are inflamed, they don’t know it, you know, because people think of inflammation like you’re you have a cut and it’s painful. But if you think really, anybody who has chronic pain is probably inflamed. And so that’s a lot of the population or anybody who has any type of kind of chronic problem, you know, you know, diabetes, or, you know, even headaches or things that you don’t really tend to link right away with inflammation, you know, we our bodies are designed to basically be pain-free and healthy. And so if, if you have any kind of pain, I mean, that is a signal, you know, which can be, you know, related to inflammation, but, you know, I think because, I guess in a nutshell because vitamin D is such a broad nutrient from the, from a body standpoint, from a tissue standpoint, that


it’s just easier to be deficient. I feel like even though magnesium is not a hormone, you could probably argue similarly for magnesium, right? Because we see such a spectral self-testing as well, but there’s a lot of magnesium deficiency around.

Nichole Herms:

Yeah, and I think it’s, you know, it’s interesting because, um, you know, there are certain nutrients on the special test that you don’t quite see as often that are deficient in. But magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D are certainly common deficiencies. It also just might be, you know, magnesium and zinc are used in over 100. They’re cofactors to over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body. So because they’re so widely used, there are so many ways they could be, you know, used up, or there’s if there’s such a high need for them in the body, whereas some of the other nutrients maybe are a little bit more specific to tissues, if you will. So they don’t show up as systemic deficiencies quite as much. But I think it’s just because they’re so like I said, they can magnesium are used in so many different reactions. There are a lot of places they can be used up, if you will. That makes sense.


Yeah, you recommend follow-up testing to see if the nutritional status is back up? And how long does it usually take? I’m guessing when people repeat themselves? They’re usually using micronutrient supplementation of some sort. Hopefully, they’re also using diet. Right?

Nichole Herms:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, of course, you know, hopefully, they’re using diet because you can’t, you know, eat a junk food diet, and then supplement your way to help, you know, but yeah, the thing is, the beauty of the cell is this, this test is appropriate for, you know, acutely ill, or healthy, because if you think about micronutrients are so fundamental, that it’s a very fundamental test. And it’s, it’s, and so, okay, so if you get a Spectra cell test, you’ll see, you know, deficiencies or it’ll, it’ll show you deficiencies, and usually, we recommend, six months, is the soonest you would probably retest because the cells have done on, you know, live four to six months. So to change your cell health, it takes a while, it’s, it’s unlike serum, like, if serum, if you were deficient, you could just take a bunch of that nutrients, and your serum levels would change pretty quickly within a matter of days or weeks.

Driving that into the cell, from a functional standpoint, takes longer in, you know, the good news is that if it is true can be curative. In some cases, you know, this is it’s, it’s your cells are lacking in nutrients, or cannot use a nutrient you correcting that can completely change the health of the cell permanently. But because the cells are four to six months old, six months is probably the soonest, but a yearly test would be ideal this isn’t something you would get every month or whatever, but a yearly test would be ideal.

You could supplement accordingly, you get the test, you look at what your deficiencies are, supplement, or change your lifestyle accordingly. Or just, you know, I mean, that’s a big, big picture when you look at your test, because a lot of times, you know, some of the deficiencies are caused by medications. And so it’s a, it’s a very broad picture. But when you’re just looking at your deficiencies, and you want to correct those, you supplement accordingly. And then you would see if you did target your supplementation, you should see a change in about six months. There are a few analytes that maybe are a little bit quicker, but it’s about six months to replete a cell A lymphocyte. That’s six months,


what you said about the about a being an average representation of what’s going on in that. Yeah, that makes sense. What are other conditions that Spectra cell testing has been used for in kids? And we talked about ADHD?

Nichole Herms:

Yeah. Well, we there’s you know, we’ve some pediatricians that have used it for children with autism. But and those are probably the most because, you know, kids don’t present with chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes and hypertension and that kind of thing. Sometimes, like headaches and stuff. But, and then a big one is immune health, you know, kids that have chronic infections and they really have you know, get a lot of, you know, pathogen whatever colds and flu and stuff. Well, this test is perfectly appropriate for that, I mean, it’s done on a lymphocyte. But all of that our whole immune system is dependent on micronutrients to function.

There’s a lot of cellular communication and feedback that makes your immune system effective. And the thing about the immune system is ideally your lymphocytes. You want them to respond to their environment, and then settle back down when the thread is, you know, taken care of, or whatever. And that’s, that’s the thing is a lymphocyte, we’re measuring how well the lymphocyte responds to its environment.

Meaning you want, as I said, you, you don’t want just the immune system to just, you know, be in high gear forever, obviously, that, you know, will start coming into autoimmunity, and then you have these, you know, your immune system is hasn’t settled down. And so we are looking at really your lymphocyte response to a stimulant, a growth, a growth stimulant, not just the lymphocyte, like being turned on and not being turned off. And so that’s important.

In that translates to the pediatric population, you know, we want them to have a, an immune system that is sensitive to ramp up and to ramp down, it needs to be sensitive to outside cues. In both directions, that makes sense. And so this test is appropriate for that because it’s, it’s, you know, lymphocytes are micronutrient dependent, for all of their functions. And if you are deficient in a nutrient, your lymphocyte can, you know, not work like it’s supposed to work? And that is fundamental, obviously, to our immune system. But


Yeah, no, that makes sense. Now, we know that like common deficiencies and supplementation that works for ADHD symptoms, omega threes, and though technically not a micronutrient, is omega threes measured in any way by the Spectra cell tests.

Nichole Herms:

Wait, no, they’re not. It’s and that’s a big, you know, Omega three, status is huge. There are other tests that are really good for omega, but the Spectra cell does not measure any omega-three fatty acids. It’s just it’s I mean, we measure 31 nutrients plus for metabolic tests, that just happens to be not one of them, we don’t measure everything on that, you know, every measure everything. And the reason is, like adding a nutrient to our panel, it’s a very, very big investment of like research, and you’re really you have to this, this test was developed, you know, in, in the University of Texas, and it really was the culmination of like decades of research, it was based on you know, Roger Williams, the father of biochemistries, in the 50s, a lot of his research kind of, was, was used in this test, which was developed in the 80s, in the early 90s.

The heart of our test is this culture medium that we grow the lymphocytes in, it’s patented, it’s in the thing is that we add nutrients, we have to invest in changing that. And so it’s, it’s a, it’s a very, very big deal. We’ve added nutrients over the past 30 years, but there, it’s a lot of investment to do that. And there are other tests that are really good for omega-three fatty acids. So our test isn’t measuring, but I definitely for the, you know, ADHD and autistic population. I think measuring omega-three fatty acids is absolutely important. Good idea, right? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah.


No, but I mean, it’s still a thank you for this, you know, fantastic information. I did learn a lot of stuff that I didn’t know. And I think it’s one of the four metabolic factors that it measures.

Nichole Herms:

And it’s one of them is called spectra rocks, and it measures your cell’s ability to resist oxidative stress. So we measure in individual interactions in the panel, you know, like vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, coenzyme, q 10, these antioxidants, but we also do a test that just basically we subject the cell to oxidative stress and see how well it fares. So it’s a total inactive budget, which is really important, especially in ADHD, see a lot of low-spec drugs, basically, the cells cannot handle oxidative stress. So that’s one of them. This other one is called the immune index.

The naming index is a very special sort of, it’s very underrated because it’s not quite as intuitively understood. But it is a measure of your total immune function. It’s basically the first step of every m&t where we take the lymphocytes and grow them in the perfect environment. And so that measure we put on a report that is called the immune index, it’s basically the best your lymphocytes can grow. And that’s really important because it’s very, closely tied to systemic health.

Total Immune Function is the second one and then the other two are metabolic tests that assess carbohydrate metabolism. One of them is called the glucose-insulin test. It’s not a measure of insulin deficiency, it’s a measure of the cell’s ability to use insulin. So it’s more like an insulin sensitivity assessment, which is a very valuable test.

They’re all they’re like for superstar kind of tests. And they, they’re there. It’s almost like we don’t even talk about those because nutrients are so much more intuitively understood. But anyway, the fourth one is called fructose sensitivity. And fructose sensitivity is measuring not fructose deficiency, it’s measuring a deficiency in the ability to metabolize fructose in yourself, which is manifests, you know, with fatigue, sometimes. attention disorder, that kind of thing. Fructose sensitivity can be very clinically problematic. So yeah, so one of them antioxidant punch, and one of the immune function. And then one of them is, how will your cells use insulin, and one of them is how well your cells can metabolize fructose, those are the four metabolic tests.


Got it? And I can already see a lot of, I’m not going to say full overlap, but I can already see a lot of areas that I was depending on an organic acid test, which I probably look at Spectra cell going forward. And especially because it’s like you said it’s more of an average measure than urine metabolites as well. Right? Yeah. Well, thank you so much for this information.

Before we wrap up this podcast, how could clients order these tests?

Nichole Herms:

Well, we, you can order them directly through our website, you can actually just go on and order the micronutrient test, and you get what you, you get like a kit shipped to you. And so you’ll have to take that kit and go get your blood drawn. Now, we have a thing on our website that lets you find a phlebotomist basically. So you can’t, you know, you can’t just get this kit at home and send it back, you get the kit. And then you take it to a phlebotomist or anywhere a draw site, we call them and so you find a draw site and get your blood drawn. And then all of the shipping instructions, because it has to be overnighted to our lab, is all of that is included in the kit, like the overnight FedEx thing and everything.

You give it to the phlebotomist, and they return it to our lab. So you can order directly in or, you know, a lot of people order through their doctors, we used to just sell to doctors, you know, for like 25 years, but you know, things are changing in healthcare where people want to order their own labs, they want to be able to get their own testing and not have to go through a doctor.

We do now offer the test directly to the public, which makes it a lot you know, easier for some people who don’t, because a lot of people don’t go to a functional doctor, or there you know, their doctor isn’t familiar with the Spectra cell test or whatever. And so they, but they still want to get it done. You can just go to the website, get a kit, go get your blood drawn and send it back to us.


I see. Okay, that’s easy enough. Yeah. Yes. Thank you so much, Nicole, for joining us. I think this was a really nice conversation I’m really grateful for your time today. My pleasure. This was a beautifully detailed discussion. Anyone that discusses units with numbers is my best friend already. I always tell my chemistry students no numbers without units, and Nicole had me at nanogram per deciliter.

Now, remember, enrollment to roll stop soon. So if you want to learn more about the floor and get an LE as a bonus, or nonlinear education as a bonus Sign up today at functional nutrition for kids.com/store Talk soon. I hope you have a fun time exploring functional labs and checking out Spectra cell bye.