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The Downside of Creating an Action Plan With Old Results

By Catherine Roy, October 14, 2019

optimization-scoreInsideTracker is built to create a truly personalized approach to health and wellness through blood-based biomarker testing. The most important thing about blood biomarkers is that they are dynamic. Unlike genetics, blood biomarkers change over time and often can be influenced by diet, activity, and lifestyle habits.1-3 This also means that, unlike DNA results, blood tests merely offer a snapshot of your health, and eventually become obsolete as time goes on. The remedy? To refresh your results!

 

Following old recommendations is a major time waster

When your bloodwork comes in, we encourage you to set an Action Plan, a self-designed tool to improve your health using strategies that work for you. You will also see a "goal optimization score" (like in the image above), which summarizes how close you are to optimizing the levels of the biomarkers associated with your goal. Depending on the results, you may have very little or quite a bit of work to do to reach 100%.

Next, we take this score, the daily actions you’ve chosen, and our scientific database to develop a personalized timeline. This timeline lets you know how long you should stick to your action plan before retesting to see what progress you've made in reaching your chosen goal—some of the recommendations you choose to follow may extend or shorten your timeline.

Having multiple blood test results allows us to evaluate whether a recommendation is making an impact on your biomarkers over time. This is crucial information—it doesn't make sense to continue on a specific path if it just isn't working for you. But the only way to know if this is the case is to measure the progress!

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Using old results as your benchmark can be dangerous

When you use old blood work, you run the risk of potentially receiving recommendations that are no longer relevant, applicable, or safe for your current biochemistry. For example, you may have required a supplement last year, but your blood work doesn’t show a need for one now. Or a dietary suggestion may have made sense before, like red meat to improve iron, but now red meat should be limited due to high cholesterol. On the flip side, you may be trying to optimize a biomarker or goal that you have already achieved! Your body is always changing, and it's important to respond to these changes to reach the healthiest version of yourself.

 

Your body is like a car—routine maintenance is critical!

Today, the average lifespan of our vehicles is at an all-time high—almost double that of the vehicles made in the early 1970s!4 The research shows that the relatively new practice of routine maintenance (every 5,000 miles or so) has made all the difference.5 Checking under the hood and making adjustments before there are big problems has proved to be incredibly useful for protecting our cars—and investments in them. 

This logic also applies to our bodies. Periodically measuring our blood biomarkers can provide the same objective analysis and opportunity to correct small imbalances or issues before they become larger problems. It also gives us the chance to fine-tune our bodies so they run at optimal potential. Just like our cars, our bodies’ needs change as we put in more mileage. 

 

InsideTracker's science is constantly updating

Our team is always poring over scientific publications and journals to ensure all of our recommendations are backed by the most up-to-date scientific research. If you aren’t seeing the result you want, feeling your best, or totally satisfied with your InsideTracker experience, you may want to take a look at the date of your most recent blood test. The more current the blood work, the more relevant, accurate, and actionable you’ll find our recommendations.

This is why we give you a timeline for when you should retest, reminders to retest, and recommendations that include retesting. There’s also an option in our store to buy multiple tests at once for a discounted price. We know the price of a test isn’t cheap—that’s why we also have a DIY option to upload new blood data from your physician. So, if you’re looking to get the most out of your InsideTracker experience, retesting is the way to go. 
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References

1. Mayeux R. Biomarkers: Potential Uses and Limitation. NeuroRx. 1(2), 182-8 (2004).
2. Hagander B, Asp NG, et al. Dietary fiber decreases fasting blood glucose levels and plasma LDL concentration in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients. Am J Clin Nutr. 47(5), 852-8 (1998).
3. Dibaba DT, Xun P, et al. Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels: meta-analysis and systematic review. Eur J Clin Nutr. 68(4), 510-6 (2014).
4. Culver M. Average Age of Light Vehicles in the U.S. Rises Slightly in 2015 to 11.5 years, IHS Reports. IHS Automotive. (2015). Retrieved from: https://news.ihsmarkit.com/press-release/automotive/average-age-light-vehicles-us-rises-slightly-2015-115-years-ihs-reports
5. Hardie C, Tait H, Craig S, Chase JG, Smith BW, Harris G. Automated tuning of an engine management unit for an automotive engine. Proc Instn Mech Engrs. 216(D), 841-49 (2002).