What is a BIA?
(And why do you need one?)
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis or
Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA) is a method of assessing your “body
composition” – the measurement of body fat in relation to lean
body mass. It is
integral part of a health and nutrition assessment.
is body composition Important to My Health?
Research has shown that body composition is directly
related to health. A
normal balance of body fat is associated with good health and
longevity. Excess fat in
relation to lean body mass, a condition known as altered body
composition, can greatly increase your risks to cardiovascular
disease, diabetes and more. BIA
fosters early detection of an improper balance in your body
composition, which allows for earlier intervention and prevention.
BIA also provides a measurement of fluid and body mass that can be a
critical assessment tool for your current state of health.
BIA also serves to measure your progress as you
work to improve your health. Improving
your BIA measurement, or maintaining a healthy BIA measurement, can
help keep your body functioning properly for healthy aging and
reduced risk to illness. With
your BIA results, we can recommend a personalized dietary
plan, nutritional supplements, and exercise to help you support
optimal health and well-being for a lifetime.
Does a BIA work?
BIA is much more sophisticated than your bathroom scale, but just as
painless – and almost as quick.
BIA is a simple procedure that can be
performed right in our office in a matter of minutes with the help
of a sophisticated, computerized analysis.
This analyzer “calculates” your tissue and fluid compartments
– using an imperceptible electrical current passed through pads
placed on one hand and foot as you lie comfortably clothed on an
exam table. In just
minutes, we’ll have very accurate measurements to help create an
effective, personalized program to improve your health status.
Your BIA Results
Dr. Peters will go over your results in detail.
Briefly, here are the measurements your BIA will provide:
Angle – Calculated using the measurements of resistance
and reactance, which are indicators of cellular
health independent of weight.
Normal values vary with age and gender.
Capacitance - The body’s energy storage amount due to
intact cellular membranes.
– The flow of electrical current related to body water found in
healthy cells. Since fat
cells contain very little water in comparison to healthy cells, a
higher resistance indicates more fat mass.
Healthy lean tissue is indicated by a lower resistance.
– The ability of cells to store energy (related to body
capacitance). A low
reactance indicates a breakdown in cell membranes’ selective
permeability. A higher
reactance means healthier cells.
Cell Mass – The “living" cells of the body, such
as those found in muscle, organs, blood and immune cells.
Also includes intracellular water (water contained within
Mass – Includes bone, cartilage, ligaments and
non-metabolically active tissues along with extracellular water.
Mass – A measurement of total nonfat body compartments
(also called lean body mass). Contains
most of the body’s water.
Mass – The amount of stored fat in the body.
– Ratio of extracellular mass (ECM) to body cell mass (BCM).
A lower value, indicating a higher ratio of living to
inactive mass, is desirable. Normal
values are near 1.0 (a 50/50 distribution).
Mass Index (BMI) – A ratio of weight to height used as
a quick measurement of health status.
Values from 19-24 are desirable.
Metabolic Rate – Based on fat-free mass, the numbers of
calories your body uses each day, not counting the extra calories
you burn though exercise.
Water (ICW) – Water volume of body cell mass (i.e.,
water in the “living" cells).
Water (ECW) – Water volume outside the body call mass.
Body Water – Sum of ICW and ECW.
Mass – The percentage of fat-free mass that is water.
weight – The percentage of total weight that is water.
Your healthcare provider may recommend a series of follow-up BIA
tests to monitor your health or measure your progress.
Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) is a reliable method of
measuring body composition, including percentage of body fat and
lean body mass. Measurements
are taken with bioimpendance analyzer, which uses electrodes similar
to EKG electrodes. The
machine passes a harmless, ultra-low level electrical current
through the body. Lean
tissue, which is over 70% water, is a good conductor of electrical
current. Fatty tissue
– low in water, is not. Thus,
the resistance to the flow of electrical current measured by the
analyzer can be used to calculate body composition.
Participants will need to remove their right
shoe and sock or stocking. The
electrodes are placed on the right hand and foot while the
individual is lying down on an exam table.
This whole procedure takes only a few minutes and a computer
prints out the results. Optimal
body fat ranges from 12%-25% for woman, and 5%-20% for men.
Over 100 independent studies, conducted by
researchers over the pat 20 years, have demonstrated that
bioimpedance analysis can provide an accurate and clinically useful
assessment of body composition.
However, for the most accurate results, the following
guidelines should be followed.
- Do not eat for 4 hours
prior to testing.
- Do not exercise for 12
hours prior to testing.
- Do not consume alcohol
for 24 hours prior to testing.
- Drink at least 1 quart of
water one hour before your test (you may void as needed).
- Do not drink caffeine the
day of your test.
- Do not wear pantyhose.
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