BioImpedance Analysis

Why would you want to have a BioImpedance Analysis done?


BioImpedance Analysis (BIA) is a detailed look at your body composition. Some of the key measures you obtain:

  • Body Fat Percentage

  • Free Fat Mass Index

  • Bone Mineral Content

  • Phase Angle

  • Intra & Extra Cellular Water

Why are these measures important?

Body fat percentage:

BMI (body mass index) is the prevalent means to determine appropriate weight. It is a simple means to gauge health risk with just weight, height, a look-up table and no equipment other than a weight scale and tape measure. It is “practical” to implement.

The health concern is really about the amount of body fat one has. BIA technology can assess a person’s body fat where as BMI does not. Is it true that as BMI goes up, body fat goes up? For the general population (not athletes) yes. But one can also have a normal BMI and have high body fat that would go undetected. A recent study by researchers from the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville discovered that people with a normal BMI but high body fat are more prone to prediabetes or diabetes, when compared with people deemed overweight according to their BMI but have a lower body fat percentage. BMI does not take into consideration individual differences in muscle and bone mass that become more important to seniors.

We now know that in addition to storing fuel for energy, body fat functions as an endocrine organ issuing signals important to body functions such as lipids/cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. When fat cells are overfilled, they become dysfunctional and rather than providing appropriate signaling (adiponectin) they produce signals of inflammation.

This is the result of adiponectin testing from Boston Heart (a lab we use). You can see adiponectin levels have dropped. They should be greater than 13. The person associated with these results had a BMI of 37 (obese) with a body fat of 47.6% of weight. In this case we can see the individual “does not have a normal BMI”. So the high body fat percentage and low adiponectin would be initiative.

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The National Institutes of Health has stated that a high percentage of body fat can put one at risk for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. A healthy body fat percentage can lower your risk of developing the above conditions and has other positive benefits such as increasing energy levels and improving flexibility and function.