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UCLA Exercise Physiology and Metabolic Disease Research Lab

Body Composition Profile (BCP) Analysis (Cost: $50)

The Exercise Physiology and Metabolic Disease Research Laboratory is offering DXA Body Composition Analysis at a reduced rate in Los Angeles, California- only $50 per scan!

Body composition by DXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) is considered the "gold standard" for body composition testing, including total lean body mass, total fat mass and bone density. Our DXA scanner also utilizes a "CoreScan" technology that provides an accurate measure of visceral fat (similar to MRI). The exam is non-invasive and takes roughly 15 minutes to complete. In addition, DXA body composition analysis is more convenient than other well-recognized methods, such as hydrostatic weighing.

By knowing your body fat percentage, you can take measures to improve your health, increase lean body mass, lose body fat, keep track of changes over time to monitor progress and in the long run reduce your risk for diseases such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Analysis (Cost: $100)

Using the same DXA technology enables us to offer a BMD scan to assist physicians evaluate and assess a patient's risk and status for osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. Osteopenia is defined as BMD that is lower than normal peak (per World Health Organization's standards), but not enough to be classified as osteoporosis.

BMD is a measurement of the level of minerals in the bones. A high level of minerals decreases your risk of fractures. Having osteopenia increases your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.

This BMD scan will provide patients with a bone mineral count from the lumbar spine, dual femur, and other regions of the body, in addition to measuring bone loss.

A comprehensive report will be given to each patient immediately after completion of their scan. This report can then be provided to the patient's primary care provider, physical therapist or personal trainer to better accommodate and target specific regions that are at risk for osteoporosis.

VO2max (Cost: Measured: $100, Estimated: $75)

Maximum aerobic fitness testing using metabolic cart for gas exchange is the "gold standard" method for aerobic fitness testing. Our methodology allows for testing the maximum oxygen consumption, threshold estimation, and maximum heart rate achieved during the test. Knowing your maximum aerobic fitness will allow for more precise exercise prescription and provide vital information on your cardiometabolic risk. The maximum fitness test takes approximately 60 minutes.

Resting Metabolic Rate, aka RMR (Cost $50)

The RMR test will estimate daily resting energy expenditure, allowing you to estimate your energy requirements, and repeated measurements enabling you to keep track of changes over time in response to changes in your exercise program and your weight. The RMR takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Why body composition

Most people are used to stepping on a scale at every visit to a doctor's office, but monitoring weight alone, while helpful, is at best a crude and an imprecise way to assess their health. Today's body composition measurement tools provide far more complete and precise information.

Information courtesy of GE Healthcare

How does body composition work?

The DXA bone densitometer uses small amounts of x-ray to produce the total body image. The x-ray is composed of two energy levels that are absorbed differently by bone, lean and fat tissues. These differences in absorption are used to determine bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition values. A computer software application assists in determining the amount of bone, lean and fat tissues across the whole body and in specific regions, including visceral fat surrounding your internal organs.

Information courtesy of GE Healthcare

X-ray dose comparison

Exam/activity Exposure Dosage(μSv)
Lunar iDXA (total body) ~3-4
Body CT Scan ~10,000
Natural annual background radiation ~2,400
(~7 μSv/day)(~1.5 fold higher living at altitude)
Lateral lumbar spine x-ray ~1,500
Mammogram 450
Round trip transcontinental flight 60
Dental X-ray 60
Chest x-ray 50
One week ski vacation 15

Your body composition results

Results are displayed for percent body fat, fat mass, visceral fat and lean body mass.

Your total body composition is calculated for various regions (arms, legs, trunk, total). Results are displayed for percent body fat, fat mass, and lean muscle mass. Your bone mineral density (BMD) may also be calculated, providing additional information about your bone health. Over time, these results can be monitored to better understand how changes in diet, lifestyle, exercise, or other interventions are influencing your body composition.

Information courtesy of GE Healthcare

What does DXA stand for?

DXA stands for Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry. However, it is sometimes refer to as bone desitometry. DXA scans have become the "gold standard" way of determining the bone density, thus allows for accurate assessment of bone health, such as osteoporosis. Our laboratory operates a GE Healthcare iDXA.

How does a DXA test work?

DXA works by emitting small amounts of X-ray into your body. The X-rays themselves are produced by the machine and uses small amounts of radiation to form X-ray beams. X-rays are one of the oldest techniques used for imaging in the healthcare industry. However, the X-rays that are given off by a DXA, are actually much safer than standard X-rays; due to lower amount of radiation being used.

What should I wear?

Comfortable clothing is highly recommended when having a DXA scan performed. Clothing should be devoid of metals, such as standard buttons on jeans. We have clean gowns we obtain from the Ronald Reagan Medical Center for use.

What should I expect when I arrive?

Please arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment to accommodate enough time for consent and a pregnancy test for all female customers.

How is the procedure performed?

The entire DXA scan procedure typically takes 10 to 20 minutes. The scan uses 2 types of X-ray beams; a higher energy beam and a lower energy beam. The higher intensity beam is absorbed by both bones and soft tissues, whereas the lower energy is absorbed by soft tissue.

Does a DXA scan hurt?

Getting a DXA scan is a painless, non-invasive procedure:
  1. There are no injections or medications involved.
  2. The procedure takes place in a private room.
  3. DXA is an open machine - patients are not enclosed at any time.

What other methods can be used to measure body fat?

  • Body Fat Scales
  • Handheld BIA Device
  • Calipers
  • Hydrostatic Weighing

How long will the procedure take?

The entire scan time should be no longer than 20 minutes; this includes discussing a lifestyle questionnaire to determine your risk of osteoporosis and preparing for the scan itself.

Do I have to make any special preparations?

There are no special preparations. You may eat and drink as you would normally. We do ask that you wear as little metal as possible, especially around your waist area. Under-wired bras need to be removed, as do body piercings.

When will I get my results?

Results are obtained instantly, after your scan is completed. We will go over the print-out, which you will keep for your own record.

Can I bring a relative or friend?

Yes, you may bring along 1 person. We have a break room with water on hand to make their wait more comfortable.

Will you be able to tell me if I have osteoporosis?

If you are interested in your bone mineral content, please ask for a Bone Mineral Density, or a BMD. After getting your BMD scan, you will be given a report. The staff will go over the values with you to see if you are suffering from osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.

We advise that you take this report to your primary care physician (PCP) so that he/she can go more in-depth with you. Together, you and your PCP can develop a strategy with either medication or therapy to retard your bone loss.

A typical BMD scan can cost up to $250. We are offering the same technology at only $100!!!

Is there a package if I would like to do multiple scans?

The service we offer is already at a subsidized rate. However, we can discuss a multi-scan deal on an individual basis.

How many scans is too much?

Your exposure to X-rays is minimal. Therefore, multiple scans should not pose any danger or health risks.

Why DXA for Bone Mineral Density testing?

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the most accurate way to measure BMD. The standard BMD test scans 2 regions of your body where the risk for a fracture is high: lumbar spine and dual-femur. When you get your BMD with us, these are the 2 regions you would get comprehensive reports for. We can perform a BMD on other regions. Please inquire further with us.

There are other methods of detection for bone loss, such as peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (P-DEXA), dual photon absorptiometry and quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Limitations of these tests are higher radiation dosage, higher-cost, longer scan time, and/or less accuracy.

What can my BMD report tell me?

A BMD test measures the density of minerals (such as calcium) in your bones. Results of the BMD are reported as T- and Z-scores. These scores are expressed as a standard deviation (SD), a statistical measure of how closely each person in a group is to the average of the group. The average BMD is determined by measuring the bone density of a large reference group of healthy 20-30 year olds. Almost all young adults have a BMD value within 2 SDs of this average. Your T score is a comparison of your score of this reference.

A negative (-) T score indicates that you have thinner bones (lower bone density) than the average 20-30 year old.

A positive (+) T score indicates that your bones are thicker and stronger than an average 20-30 year old. The following table shows the World Health Organization’s current definitions of osteoporosis, per BMD T-scores.

Bone Mineral Density
T-score
Normal: Less than 1 standard deviation (SD) below the young adult reference range (more than -1)
Low bone mass (osteopenia): 1 to 2.5 SDs below the young adult reference range (-1 to -2.5)
Osteoporosis: More than 2.5 SDs below the young adult reference rang (-2.5 or less)

Your BMD report will also show a Z-score. A Z-score is comparing your BMD value to other people whom are in the same age, sex, and race as you.

A negative (-) value means you have thinner bones, and thus less mineral content than most people in your age group. The higher the negative value, the less bone density you have.

A positive (+) value means that your bones are thicker and stronger than most people in your age group.

X-ray dose comparison

Exam/activity Exposure Dosage(μSv)
Lunar iDXA (hip and spine) ~5-6
Body CT Scan ~10,000
Natural annual background radiation ~2,400
(~7 μSv/day)(~1.5 fold higher living at altitude)
Lateral lumbar spine x-ray ~1,500
Mammogram 450
Round trip transcontinental flight 60
Dental X-ray 60
Chest x-ray 50
One week ski vacation 15

What factors can affect my results?

  • Incorrect positioning if your body during the scan.
  • Having an x-ray test with barium contrast within 10 days of the BMD test.

Citations
Qaseem A, et al. (2008). Screening for osteoporosis in men: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians.Annals of Internal Medicine, 148(9): 680-684.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2011). Screening for Osteoporosis: Recommendation Statement.
Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf10/osteoporosis

Who would this test be recommended to?

  • Women who have gone through menopause and are at high risk for fracture.
  • People who are suffering from metabolic dysfunction, such as hyperparathyroidism.
  • People who are suffering from auto-immune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • People who are on long-term corticosteroid, such as prednisone, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone.

Citations
Qaseem A, et al. (2008). Screening for osteoporosis in men: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians.Annals of Internal Medicine, 148(9): 680-684.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2011). Screening for Osteoporosis: Recommendation Statement.
Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf10/osteoporosis

What is VO2max?

VO2max (also referred to as Vo2peak) is a measure of the maximum aerobic fitness and determines the maximum amount of oxygen, in milliliters, a person can use. This measures how efficient an individual is at utilizing oxygen to produce energy. VO2max is considered the standard indicator of cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory fitness.

What’s the difference between measured and estimated VO2max and how is the test performed?

The measured Vo2max test includes measurement of gas exchange using a metabolic cart to quantify oxygen consumption. This method is an accurate determination of oxygen consumption. During this test, the individual breathes into a mouthpiece that collects and measures exhaled gases while cycling on ergometer (bike), with increasing load speed until the individual is unable to maintain a given pedal cadence.

The estimated test uses a standard testing protocol on a treadmill and the time one is able to continue to walk/run against an increasing speed and grade is recorded. This time is entered into a validated equation used to compare with the direct measurement.

How often should I get tested?

Depending on how often you’d like to measure your aerobic fitness, having the test done at 3-6 month intervals is a good timeframe, allowing ample time to detect changes in aerobic performance.

What is it?

RMR: Resting metabolic rate or daily resting energy expenditure is an estimate of your energy requirements, and repeated measurements enable you to keep track of changes over time in response to changes in your exercise program and your weight.

What does the test consist of?

You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to allow for you to lay down flat to rest prior to the commencement of the rest. After a thorough calibration of the machine, a canopy will be placed over your head. You will be asked to breathe normally as the machine analyzes your gas exchange. We ask that you stay awake and alert during this time in order for our system to calculate an accurate report. Data acquired will be calculated to provide you with an RMR value.

What do I have to do to prepare?

Since the RMR test is used to assess your resting metabolic rate, we ask that you not consume any food or beverages prior to your appointment, although water is permitted. Please also abstain from caffeine and tobacco products. Do not exercise for at least 12 hours prior to the test.

What can I do with my RMR values?

By knowing your RMR, you can better prepare and plan your daily caloric intake to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

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