Many have never heard of the term, biochemical assessment, and have no idea of just what this term means.Generally speaking a biochemical assessment is a method nutritionists use in the determination of dietary nutrition. For instance, a chemist might make a biochemical assessment of the supply of vitamin B6 through analysis of the rate of excretion of this vitamin through urination or through analysis of blood level reflections.
Normally, these sorts of analyses do not necessarily make a distinction between a dietary deficiency and any other abnormal condition. The latter may be caused by an abnormal utilization or poor absorption of nutrition by the subject, or dependency from drug use, or from other possible causes.
Through the use of biochemical tests it is possible to measure more accurately the indications of vitamin B6. Such tests may allow the chemist to see metabolic changes in the blood with greater certainty. These changes, such as a tryptophan load test and transaminase activity measurements in the blood offers a more accurate degree of certainty in assessing the amount of deficiency of vitamin B6 in the blood than the normal reduction of vitamin B6 in biological fluids such as urine or blood tests as mentioned above.
In evaluating the results of these biochemical assessment tests, the analyst must also take into consideration the age group and sex of the subjects. This is of particular importance in the study of children.
However, a table has been created in an attempt to establish a more uniform method of controlled human studies, always in the hope at the same time to discover new improvements in methodology that may permit the chemist to improve these guidelines, particularly with regard to the study of those involving children.
Such testing and assessment of the nutritional conditions of populations have been established as far back as 1939. This testing includes observation and examination, of course, but also measurements of the different parts of the body as well as differences from any local norms. It includes biochemical measurement and finally, the dietary history of the subjects.
Experience has taught that for hospital patients, nutritional therapy can be as important and useful as other more traditional forms of physical therapy in the effort to get the patient back on his/her feet as quickly as possible. Tests and medical histories have proven that nearly half the patients admitted in hospital in the UK displayed anthropometric abnormalities and had biochemical measurements below the population norm at the time of the studies.
Some testing has been performed on patients who were considered at greatest risk and through the use of nutritional therapy, it was found that the conditions of these patients did improve leading nutritionists to develop new improved guidelines for nourishment in areas where this has been lacking.
In the past, these measurements were not taken and the problems went undiagnosed and were therefore not treated of corrected. The medical profession now generally understands the important role malnutrition plays in the development of a healthy child who will grow into adulthood in the best physical and mental condition possible.
While so far it has proven impossible to select patients solely on the basis of malnourishment due to the problems involved in arriving at a precise definition of exactly what constitutes clinical malnutrition, inroads are being made today as work continues in the biochemical assessment field. It is the hope of the medical and nutritional investigators to continue to improve their understanding of the problems and restraints that malnutrition may place in the path of those who are growing up in a world that, despite advances in nutrition and quality of life, many find to be increasingly hostile.
These are considerations every person should consider to be of vital importance for the future of mankind.