Bio-what? Why You Need to Understand What ‘Biomarkers’ Are Now

Biomarkers are the body’s biological measure. They’re objective medical signs (as opposed to symptoms reported by the patient, which can be confused or misleading) based on the medical reading of biomolecules such as DNA, RNA, platelets, hormones, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids to genes, enzymes, etc. Biomarkers can have molecular (biophysical properties that allow their measurements in biological samples), histologic (reflecting biochemical or molecular alteration in cells, tissues or fluids), radiographic (obtained from imaging studies), or physiological characteristics (measures body processes).

By looking at your biomarkers, tested through fluids such as the blood, saliva or urine, through tissues, neurons or other bodily organisms, physicians can assess and determine the best treatment to help you. The use of validated biomarkers in fundamental and clinical research and clinical practice is now an ordinary procedure, while the incidence of biomarkers as determining factors in clinical trials is now broadly accepted.

Biomarkers such as blood pressure, urinalysis and blood lead levels have been used by doctors for centuries, but modern research in biomarkers has dramatically intensified through the use of innovative technology over the last 20 years. With the rise of genomics, molecular biology and other advanced studies, new biomarker research is furthering the potential for early diagnosis and successful, individualized treatment of numerous illnesses. A biomarker can also be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition, acting as a highlighter. By continuing to discover new biomarkers, the medical world can continue to create new kinds of tests.

How Biomarkers Are Used
Biomarkers can confirm the presence of a disease (diagnostic), identify the possibility of a condition worsening (prognostic), or predict how you may respond to a drug or treatment (predictive): predictive biomarkers can detect which individuals are more likely than comparable individuals without the biomarker to have a positive or adverse effect from exposure to certain medicines or environmental agents.

Once therapy has begun, doctors can assess other biomarkers, including those related to response and safety, which show the effect of the treatment on your body. Through biomarker testing, doctors can discover the correct way to treat your disease through procedures such as genomic testing, molecular profiling or testing for mutations. Biomarker testing cannot offer a diagnosis of any disease – instead, it helps establish an understanding of the particular traits of the disease. A complex activity occurring in the body and related to your genes, proteins and hormones can be uncovered.

Biomarkers for Cancer Treatment
Biomarkers have numerous potential applications in oncology, including risk assessment, screening, determination of prognosis, differential diagnosis, prediction of response to treatment, and monitoring the progression of the disease. Because of the critical role that biomarkers play in all stages of the disease, they must be rigorously evaluated. In treating cancer, biomarkers provide information about a person’s risk of developing cancer and determine a prognosis once cancer is diagnosed. They are also used for predicting how a patient might respond to particular medications.

Biomarkers in Nutritional Assessment

Research in nutritional epidemiology has led to a stronger knowledge of the connection between diet and chronic diseases over the last ten to fifteen years. Nutritional biomarkers such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids provide a significant, alternative method for estimating food intake and its effect on the body. People are not usually able to accurately recall all foods they consume, nor to assess the specific components of the foods they eat. This means that other methods – specifically, an assessment of your biomarkers – is the best solution.

When trying to determine the relationship between one’s diet and health, a blood test is the best way to assess your current health condition and possible needs. Order your Biostarks Blood Test kit now to receive a detailed assessment by our experts of your biomarkers, accompanied by thorough, completely customised information and advice to suit your particular needs.

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