Why an INbody Analysis Machine Scan is Beneficial
What is an INbody Analysis Machine?
Today there are many approaches to analyzing one’s health. Most people would think that stepping on a scale would provide them with the necessary information: 1) gained weight, 2) lost weight. That number on the scale does not reveal much about what is happening in the body. In the past, BMI (Body Mass Index) used a formula that included height and weight, and age. However, this tool, BMI, was never able to be used as a diagnostic tool.
Furthermore, the usual BMI approach cannot tell you or your doctor what is happening internally in your body. It gives a range of numbers that for an individual are not very enlightening. Issues such as too much water in the body or visceral fat (fat surrounding the abdominal organs) go undetected. Indeed, a person can have a flat stomach and visceral fat!
Visceral fat surrounds organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. The fat contained within the body (visceral fat) can be compared to the fat underneath the skin (subcutaneous fat). Visceral fat is far more dangerous and puts you at risk for severe medical conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. (According to a Harvard Health newsletter, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and a significant cause of disability). Links have been found between visceral fat and breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. Such fat causes inflammation of the body’s tissues and organs. Additionally, visceral fat can make it more challenging to lose weight.
Visceral fat is also associated with insulin resistance. The body needs insulin. Insulin helps regulate the release of hormones. “Insulin resistance,” a result of visceral fat, interferes with the cells’ ability to respond to normal insulin levels. Visceral fat can cause metabolic disorders: this happens when the liver or pancreas, for example, does not function properly. The pancreas releases a hormone that carries glucose (sugar) into the body’s cells. The disruption of normal levels of hormones creates higher glucose levels in the blood, which then can lead to diabetes.
“Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It’s appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it’s becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.”
What can be measured by the INbody Analysis Machine?
The INbody Analysis Machine can measure various things that a scale will not reveal. It can identify muscle imbalances and low levels of dry lean mass. Dry Lean Mass combines the weight attributed to protein and bone minerals in your body. Dry Lean Mass includes weight from:
- Body Water (intracellular and extracellular)
- Muscle Mass
The INbody Anaylsis Machine can measure the lean body mass in each body part separately. It can identify areas of inflammation, underdevelopment of the muscular skeleton, and imbalances. The INbody Analysis Machine can also give you the basal metabolic rate or the number of calories burned at a resting rate and a picture of how your body uses energy.
Why understanding body composition is important
“Body composition is key to maintaining good general health and longevity. It can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices… Significant decreases in bone mineral density signify osteopenia and osteoporosis, while reductions in skeletal muscle mass increase the risk of developing sarcopenia.”
Height, weight, and age do not reveal the condition of a person’s body. These simple measurements lack the ability to analyze fat mass, bone mineral content, and skeletal muscle mass. According to the NIH, body composition “assessments enhances the diagnosis of obesity and the monitoring of responses to obesity treatment program” (especially important is obesity-related chronic diseases.) “Body mass is divided into two components: fat mass and FFM (fat-free mass). The constituents of FFM are skeletal muscle, body cell mass, total body water, and bone mineral mass.”
As the body ages, the fat mass increases, and the FFM and those aspects of the FFM gradually decrease. A significant concern for physicians in the US and Europe is the number of women and men who experience osteoporotic fractures. “Osteoporosis is a major public health problem contributing to fractures, loss of independence and early mortality (death).”
How does the INbody Analysis Machine Work?
Using bioelectrical impedance (small electrical currents that move through the body) and alternating low and high-frequency electrical currents, the body’s water measurements are obtained. The impulses then measure how fast the currents travel through different parts of the body. In this way, the frequencies can “accurately determine extracellular, intracellular, and total body water. These measurements have been found to be highly precise. The measurements are divided into five body parts: left arm, right arm, torso, left leg, and right leg. Thus, the body can be fully measured. “[INbody] measures body composition without relying on empirical assumptions based on age, sex, ethnicity, or body shape, producing accurate and precise results validated to gold standard methods.”
The INbody Analysis Machine provides individual readings on everybody. The Body Mass Index categories do not consider the differences in body types regardless of whether two people are the same height, age, or weight. Nor does this approach reveal the internal condition of the bodies being measured. As mentioned earlier, a person with a flat belly may have more significant visceral fat internally. This condition (a flat stomach with high visceral fat) means a low skeletal muscle mass and a higher body fat percentage. Without a thorough analysis of body fat percentage to the skeletal muscle mass, it is difficult to determine the health of the body if the person’s weight is low.
For more information and consultation about the benefits of INbody analysis, call to speak to one of our professional, trained staff to schedule an appointment today. You want to understand how to best get healthy.
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.