The importance of Internal Fitness
Damaged Gut vs Healthy Gut
People are complex systems, and optimal health is the result of having a healthy gut with the correct balance of biochemistry and microbes populating our bodies. We call having this balance being internally fit.
The correct balance of our gut microbiome improves energy levels and mood, keeps us from getting sick, and even helps to protect us from devastating disease. Internal fitness is a measure of this balance.
Maintaining a balanced gut microbiome is critical for staying healthy
Imbalances in the gut microbiome (called dysbiosis) have been associated with a wide spectrum of diseases such as:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Immune System Disorders
- Heart disease
- Acid reflux
- IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Cognitive impairment
A learning resource
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Ixcela can test your internal fitness
Ixcela’s proprietary pin-prick blood test is an easy and accurate way to measure your internal fitness
Ixcela has developed a simple pin-prick blood test to assess your gut microbiome balance and recommends a personalized wellness program to help you monitor and improve it.
Ixcela can help improve, track and maintain your internal fitness
Improve your gut microbiome health and track your Internal Fitness™ Profile
After analyzing your Internal Fitness™ test results, Ixcela formulates a customized natural supplement program to help optimize your internal fitness.
We send you a new test kit every 3 months to measure progress. Ixcela updates your profile page and makes adjustments to your monthly regimen to adapt to your body’s changing needs.
You receive a personalized monthly regimen of natural vitamins and supplements
We provide the highest quality, uniquely formulated supplements and probiotics customized with dosages for your unique profile.
Re-test and monitor your metabolites
Track your personal results and improvement over time as you achieve a more balanced and healthier you.
Improve your Internal Fitness.
It’s easy with Ixcela!
1. Order a test kit & send us your sample
2. Receive your personalized gut microbiome analysis report
3. Start improving your internal fitness with Ixcela’s monthly program
The 12 Key Metabolites We Test
- Indole-3-Propionic Acid(IPA)
- Indole-3-Lactic Acid (ILA)
- Indole-3-Acetic Acid (IAA)
- Total Indoxyl Sulfate (IDS)
- Uric Acid
- 4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid
Indole-3-Propionic Acid (IPA)
Proper IPA levels are the cornerstone of internal fitness. IPA has been shown to play a very important role in gut health. (1) IPA is also considered one of the strongest antioxidants identified.* Oxidative stress is a process that results in tissue damage and cell death. IPA has been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress damage, which plays an important role in brain health.* (2) IPA is a critical marker for a healthy gut microbiome (3) and plays a crucial role by maintaining and strengthening the tight junctions (contact) between cells lining the gut.* (2) This is important for maintaining intestinal structural integrity, and decreasing intestinal permeability which can lead to substances exiting the intestine into the bloodstream, leading to conditions such as food allergies.
Indole-3-Lactic Acid (ILA)
As a precursor to IPA, ILA is crucial to internal fitness.(4) ILA is a tryptophan metabolite which is heavily involved in the creation of neurotransmitters and antioxidants that are important to healthy brain and gut function. It is important to maintain the proper balance of ILA, as too low levels , may prevent the formation of adequate amounts of downstream metabolites such as IPA, whereas too high level High levels of ILA may lead to gut dysfunction and discomfort because at high levels, ILA can be toxic to the beneficial bacteria in the microbiome.
Indole-3-Acetic Acid (IAA)
IAA is also a precursor to IPAand is crucial in attaining and maintainin internal fitness. IAA has been shown to possess antioxidant activity (5) and is heavily involved in the creation of neurotransmitters (such as serotonin) and antioxidants that are important for healthy brain and intestinal function. Low levels of IAA may be an indication of gut dysbiosis. High levels of IAA have been reported to inhibit the growth and survival of the beneficial Lactobacillus which may help to inhibit the growth of some harmful bacteria. (6)
Tryptophan is important for emotional well-being and is one of the key building blocks for proteins that are essential for maintaining a healthy body. Tryptophan is also a precursor to many important metabolites: kynurenine, serotonin, and indole- 3-propionic acid. (7) Low tryptophan levels are linked to occasional difficulties sleeping and muscle aches and pains. High levels of tryptophan have been linked to mood swings, increased aggressiveness, and tremors.
Most of the body’s serotonin (~95%) is produced by cells in the intestinal wall. Serotonin is one of the most important signaling molecules within the gut. (8) It is crucial for normal functionality of the central nervous system and is essential for normal brain processes that affect mood, behavior, memory, and learning. Low levels have been linked to occasional sleep problems, muscle aches and pains, poor brain health, and poor gut health. (9) High levels of serotonin can be linked to shivering, diarrhea, restlessness, confusion, poor heart health, dilated pupils, muscle aches and pains, and headaches. (10,11)
Its primary function is to dilate blood vessels during an inflammatory response.* It is also a regulator of the immune system* (12, 13) and is used in the production of niacin (vitamin B3). Niacin (B3) is utilized by the endocrine system to produce certain hormones.* and is one of the essential human nutrients in DNA repair.* Low levels of have been linked to decreased energy and gut dysbiosis.
High levels of IDS can lead to oxidative stress in numerous cell types including: vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and bone cells. (14) Improper levels of IDS have been associated with poor kidney and heart health. (14)
Tyrosine functions as a building block for several important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters regulate mood, behavior, and general feelings of well-being. Abnormally high or low levels of tyrosine can lead to poor brain health. (15)
Low levels of xanthine can lead to digestive discomfort due to the role xanthine plays in inducing digestive enzymes. Higher levels than normal have been linked to nausea, elevated heart rate, and poor heart health. (16)
Proper levels are important for maintaining the purine pathway which aids in the health of both our brain and digestive systems. High levels can be an indication of excessive caffeine intake and can lead to acid reflux. (17)
Uric Acid (UA)
UA is an indicator of the purine pathway which helps to protect our blood vessels from damage and aids in the health of both our brain and digestive systems.
4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid (4HBAC)
Low levels may be an indication that ingestion of natural, beneficial antioxidants is low. Too high levels can be an indicator of intestinal dysbiosis, intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome. (18)
(1) Venkatesh M, Mukherjee S, Wang H, Li H, Sun K, Benechet AP, Qiu Z, Maher L, Redinbo MR, Phillips RS, Fleet JC, Kortagere S, Mukherjee P, Fasano A, Le Ven J, Nicholson JK, Dumas ME, Khanna KM, Mani S. Symbiotic bacterial metabolites regulate gastrointestinal barrier function via the xenobiotic sensor PXR and Toll-like receptor 4. Immunity. 2014 Aug 21;41(2):296-310.
(2) Chyan YJ, Poeggeler B, Omar RA, Chain DG, Frangione B, Ghiso J, Pappolla MA. Potent neuroprotective properties against the Alzheimer beta-amyloid by an endogenous melatonin-related indole structure, indole- 3-propionic acid. J Biol. Chem. 1999 Jul 30;274(31):21937-42.
(3) Wiko WR, Anfora AT, Liu J, Schultz PG, Lesley SA, Peters EC, Siuzdak G. Metabolomics analysis reveals large e ects of gut micro ora on mammalian blood metabolites. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 10;106(10):3698-703.
(4) KEGG Pathway Database.
(5) Boltze KH, Brendler O, Jacobi H, Opitz W, Raddatz S, Seidel PR, Vollbrecht D.; Chemical structure and anti-in ammatory activity in the group of substituted indole-3-acetic acids, Arzneimittelforschung. 1980;30(8A):1314-25.
(6) D. C. Honey eld and J. R. Carlson. E ect of Indoleacetic Acid and Related Indoles on Lactobacillus sp. Strain 11201 Growth, Indoleacetic Acid Catabolism, and 3-Methylindole Formation, Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 May; 56(5): 1373–1377 PMCID: PMC184413
(7) Visser AK, van Waarde A, Willemsen AT, Bosker FJ, Luiten PG, den Boer JA, Kema, IP, Dierckx RA. Measuring serotonin synthesis: from conventional methods to PET tracers and their (pre)clinical implications. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2011 Mar;38(3):576-91.
(8) Joel C. Bornstein. Serotonin in the Gut: What Does It Do? Front Neurosci. 2012; 6: 16. Published online 2012 Feb 6. doi: 10.3389/ fnins.2012.00016 PMCID: PMC3272651
(9) Lee LT, Tsai HC, Chi MH, Chang WH, Chen KC, Lee IH, Chen PS, Yao WJ, Chiu NT, Yang YK. Lower availability of striatal dopamine transporter in generalized anxiety disorder: a preliminary two-ligand SPECT study. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2015 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]
(10) 15. Serotonin and GI Disorders: An Update on Clinical and Experimental Studies Marcus Manocha, PhD and Waliul I. Khan, MD, PhD, Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology (2012) 3, e13, doi:10.1038/ctg.2012.8 & 2012 the American College of Gastroenterology.
(11) 16. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases- conditions/serotonin-syndrome/basics/ de nition/con-20028946
(12) Wang Y, Liu H, McKenzie G, Witting PK, Stasch JP, Hahn M et al. (2010). Kynurenine is an endothelium-derived relaxing factor produced during in ammation. Nature Medicine 16 (3): 279–85.
(13) 20. Nguyen NT, Kimura A, Nakahama T, Chinen I, Masuda K, Nohara K et al. (2010). Aryl hydrocarbon receptor negatively regulates dendritic cell immunogenicity via a kynurenine-dependent mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (46): 19961.
(14) Fellype C. Barreto, Daniela V. Barreto, Sophie Liabeuf, Natalie Meert, Griet Glorieux, Mohammed Temmar, Gabriel Choukroun, Raymond Vanholder, and Ziad A. Massy on behalf of the European Uremic Toxin Work Group (EUTox), Serum Indoxyl Sulfate Is Associated with Vascular Disease and Mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients; Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 4: 1551–1558, 2009. doi: 10.2215/CJN.03980609
(15) Tyrosine. University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved 2011-03-1
(17) http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/ methylxanthines-for-chronic-obstructive- pulmonary-disease-copd
(18) Nicholson, J.K., Holmes, E., Kinross, J., Burcelin, R., Gibson, G., Jia, W., Pettersson, S. Host-Gut Microbiota Metabolic Interactions. Science, 2012 336: 1262-1267
Our Internal Fitness™ Supplements
Supplements are an effective and healthy way to raise metabolite levels that are currently insufficient or out of balance in your body.
Ixcela Supplements are:
1. Safe 2. Personalized 3. Customized to your needs
Our supplements are produced at an FDA registered, GMP compliant facility and contain no harmful fillers.
Ixcela Supplements are FREE OF:
Ixcela supplements are not tested on animals
Ixcela supplements are vegetarian
Probiotic + Prebiotic (FOS and Inulin)
Internal Fitness Benefits: Probiotics promote a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system.
Probiotics are commonly known as “friendly,” or healthy bacteria. Probiotics consist of live beneficial bacterial microorganisms that can help repopulate the gut microbiome especially after insult from antibiotics, stress or poor diet. Ideally, probiotics consist of a variety of different families of bacteria and/or yeasts.
Consuming probiotics that are in an “enteric coating” are thought to be the most effective because the capsule does not dissolve in stomach acid, killing the organisms in the capsule. Rather, it dissolves in the intestinal tract, releasing the bacteria into the intestinal tract.
Our Prebiotic (FOS and Inulin)
Internal Fitness Benefits: Prebiotics serve as a “food” for bacteria and can help them to grow and thrive.
Prebiotics such as FOS (Fructo-oligosaccharides) and Inulin are derived from plant fibers that beneficially nourish the good bacteria in the gut. The human body is not capable of digesting these fibers, however bacteria can use the fibers as a substrate (food source) to live on. These same fibers can also assist in keeping bowels regular.
Internal Fitness Benefits: L-Tryptophan can help to support relaxation and restful sleep.
L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. It must be obtained either through diet or supplementation.
L-Tryptophan plays a role in the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, as well as in hormones involved with mood, stress response and sleep. L-Tryptophan is also a precursor to kynurenine, which plays a role in raising general immunity.
L-Tryptophan can also convert biochemically to niacin, which supports circulation, a healthy nervous system, the metabolism of food, and the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system.
5-HTP + Vitamin B6
Internal Fitness Benefits: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) may assist with emotional health, occasional sleep disturbances, and muscle aggravation.
5-HTP is an amino acid that converts to serotonin in the human body. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, which assists to relay signals from one part of the brain to another. In the body, 5-HTP is converted from Tryptophan and is able to cross the blood barrier.
Internal Fitness Benefits: Vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper function of the nervous system and immune health. It is involved in the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is believed to help promote the release of stored energy, thus helping with protein metabolism and glucose metabolism.
Studies have shown Vitamin B6 supports synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, and is critical to myelin formation. Vitamin B6 assists in the conversion of tryptophan into niacin.
NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) + L-Methionine +Selenium
NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) Internal Fitness Benefits: NAC is a powerful antioxidant used by the liver and lymphocytes to help detoxify the body. NAC also boosts protective enzymes in the body. It is thought to assist with decreasing oxidative stress. NAC is also known to inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is a sulphur-containing free form amino acid. It is derived from the amino acid L-cysteine. NAC is biochemically more stable then L-cysteine and is important for the production of glutathione. NAC has the capacity to modulate expression of genes in the inflammatory response.
Internal Fitness Benefits: L-Methionine may promote healthy growth and metabolism. It supports the creation of certain neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin). Studies have indicated that L-Methionine may help support liver and bladder health.
L-Methionine is an essential amino acid, which means that it cannot be manufactured by the body. It must be obtained through diet or supplementation. L-Methionine supports the production of the cellular antioxidant, glutathione, and thereby assists in the detoxification processes. In the body, L-Methionine can also be converted into SAM (S-Adenosyl Methionine), a compound that may support healthy joints.
Internal Fitness Benefits: Selenium is an important free radical scavenger. It supports the health of the thyroid gland and helps a number of antioxidant enzyme systems in the body.
Selenium is a trace mineral found in soil and water. It is also found in certain foods like Brazil nuts, yeast, whole grains, and seafood. It has been well studied and is recognized for its importance in human health. The body needs selenium for normal growth and health. Selenium is needed for certain enzymes that help with normal body functions.
Internal Fitness Benefits: Melatonin is well documented to be involved in the body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycle, as well as regulating a variety of body functions. It has also been shown to be a very strong antioxidant.
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body from the Tryptophan-Serotonin pathway and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness. Normal production peaks around midnight and gradually tapers off by morning. Natural production of melatonin decreases with age. It helps tell your brain when to sleep but does not increase your need for sleep.
Vitamin B Complex
Internal Fitness Benefits: B vitamins are essential vitamins needed for the conversion of cellular energy, the manufacturing of hormones and proteins, and the repair and maintenance of nerve structures.
Vitamin C + Zinc
Internal Fitness Benefits: Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, which is believed to support immune system health. Vitamin C may assist with prenatal health, heart health, eye health, and preserving skin elasticity.
We need vitamin C (a strong anti-oxidant) for the growth and repair of tissues. It is involved in the absorption of iron and the formation of collagen. It also assists in the maintenance of cartilage and bones (including teeth).
Internal Fitness Benefits: Zinc is considered to be a powerful antioxidant. It supports normal growth and development, is required in the catalytic activity of dozens of enzymes, and plays a role in wound healing, cell division, protein and DNA synthesis, and immune function.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is present in some foods naturally, however, the body has no specialized zinc storage system, so daily intake is required to maintain a consistent amount.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) + Leucine, + Isoleucine + Valine
Internal Fitness Benefits: These three BCAA are among the nine essential amino acids necessary for humans. These three amino acids account for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40% of the amino acids required by mammals. The three BCAA may help counter balance excessively high Tryptophan and Tyrosine diets. They may also assist in building muscle mass and increasing energy.
IXCELA’S INNOVATIVE SCIENCE
The Ixcela story
Ixcela was co-founded by Dr’s Erika Ebbel Angle and Wayne Matson with a group of outstanding scientists (see the biographies of our amazing co-workers). All of us had developed technologies and methods for the study of a range of diseases for diagnosis, predictive diagnostic risk factors and specification of therapy (personalized medicine).
After deep analysis of the complex biochemical profiles for over 1000 compounds in several thousand subjects, it became clear to us that the microbiome (the some 6-10,000 species in the gut – second largest organ in the body) was a critical part of the biochemical web distinguishing normal from disease subjects. Understanding these webs could also allow the prediction of therapeutic response. Additionally, the biochemistry of the microbiome had direct links to the function of other organs including the brain.
This led us beyond the ideas of diagnosis and therapy to the concept of promoting biochemical wellness (“internal fitness”) through measurement and control of the microbiome with specific, personalized intervention based on testing.
Ixcela and the “Omic web”
The basic scientific concepts behind Ixcela are:
- Biochemical wellness or “internal fitness” is based on optimum operation of the “Omic web” which consists of the:
- interaction of the Genome (30,000 some genes)
- Transcriptome and Proteome (some 100,000+ RNAs and Proteins)
- Metabolome (some 10,000s of small signaling and process molecules)
- Microbiome (some 6-10,000 species).
- That the composition of the competitive species in the Microbiome is genetically determined initially, but offers the easiest and most significant part of the Omic web for intervention.
- That the Omic web is “holographic” and can be well if not completely described by measuring a small subset of critical metabolites
Ixcela’s innovative technology was developed to allow for the measurement of this critical subset of metabolites from just a small drop of blood on a piece of special filter paper. The process:
- Using an Ixcela Internal Fitness™ Test kit, a small drop of blood from a finger stick is placed on a filter paper pad.
- The kit is closed and the blood is rapidly dried to stabilize critical compounds.
- On receipt the exact amount of blood is determined using proprietary Ixcela technology.
- The 12 key metabolites of interest are then extracted from the blood on the filter paper.
- The metabolites are then analyzed using a liquid chromatography (LC) technique employing Electro chemical Array Detection (ECA) originally invented by Dr. Matson, which he modified for the Ixcela test for greater sensitivity (a few thousandths of a trillionth of a gram).
- A small amount of the extracted sample is archived for possible evaluation of any individual specific abnormalities.
- A report is generated from the analysis of the 12 key metabolites and evaluated against what is considered to be a normal, healthy range of levels
- To promote and facilitate internal fitness by the process of easy measurement of an individual’s biochemical state of several key metabolites
- To make appropriate suggestions of dietary or life-style changes
- To make appropriate personalized suggestions of supplements when needed
- Re-measure the individual’s profile periodically to monitor the beneficial effects of the changes, with the goal of improved internal fitness leading to overall better health and well-being