DNA Damage Testing
DNA Damage testing is also known as Oxidative Stress testing and it is a:
*Biomarker of DNA oxidative damage/stress measured in 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine in urine
*First morning urine specimen
*Highly sensitive and specific test
What is DNA Damage/Oxidative Stress?
DNA damage or oxidative stress is the result of damage caused by oxygen molecules that are released. Think of them like stray bullets in an aluminum can. They cause a whole bunch of damage.
DNA damage/Oxidative stress is involved in many of the body’s processes, aging and cancer. Oxidation of DNA occurs readily at the guanosine bases (part of the structure of the DNA) and the measurement of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine in urine provides an excellent way to test the ongoing oxidative damage/stress in the body.
Why Test DNA Damage/Oxidative Stress?
Testing and stopping DNA damage/oxidative stress are very important parts of any serious prevention program for optimizing health and longevity.
Urinary 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is an excellent bio-marker of oxidative stress and a risk factor for a variety of diseases including cancer. This is because the breakdown of DNA is what is responsible for the changes in your genes that lead to cancer.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced as a result of normal oxygen metabolism or exposure to environmental toxins. Excessive levels are associated with oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA (basically everything we are made of).
ROS-induced damage to DNA occurs readily at the guanosine bases that are removed by DNA repair mechanisms and excreted in urine. This is why testing the urine is a good idea.
8-OHdG is the most frequently detected and studied oxidized piece of DNA that is considered to be premutagenic (before the mutation) due to its potential for turning on and encouraging the growth of cancer.
What problems are associated with high levels of 8-OHdG?
Bladder and prostate cancers have been associated with high levels of 8-OHdG.
Oxidative stress and high levels of 8-OHdG have also been associated with numerous diseases including: cystic fibrosis, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.
In addition, high levels of 8-OHdG have been associated with high blood sugars and have been positively connected with HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1 C – a marker used to identify Type II diabetes) and the seriousness of kidney disease and retina disease in diabetics.
Environmental factors, life style choices (e.g. smoking, recreational drugs), and some pharmaceutical drugs also have been associated with high urine levels of 8-OHdG.
Known environmental factors include exposure to ionizing radiation (e.g. indoor radon), asbestos, toxic metals and metal fumes (e.g. manganese, chromium and vanadium), diesel exhaust, benzene, styrene, toluene and xylene.
In grade school children exposed to toxic/carcinogenic metals released from coal-fired power plants the measurement of those elements in their urine was clearly linked with urine levels of 8-OHdG.
What Nutrients Can Help Lower 8-OHdG levels?
Moderately high levels of 8-OHdG have been associated with not enough carotenoids (orange vegetables and fruits like carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.), antioxidant-rich foods and supplemental antioxidants.
What should You Do If Your Levels Are High?
If one finds of an elevated level of 8-OHdG in a first morning urine void then one should find the source(s) of oxidative stress/inflammation and assess glutathione levels (Also a test that we offer).
The way to check whether or not the treatment is working is to re-test urine 8-OHdG, and possibly, glutathione levels again.
At Green Health Acupuncture we offer testing using modern diagnostic techniques, natural treatment using the wisdom of Chinese medicine and follow up to make sure that what we are doing is working. Don’t just settle for subjective measures of how your body is functioning. Test, treat and re-test to insure that you and your children or loved ones get the best possible care.
Call today to make an appointment today: 310-831-2202