The NRS Approach

The NRS approach is unique in that it deals with mechanisms of disease by analysing alterations in biochemistry. By a combination of blood and hair samples the reasons for the symptoms are elucidated and the mechanism of how the body's biochemistry has changed is uncovered. Treatment then involves short "top-ups" and longer-term corrections of the failed  mechanisms.

What causes symptoms?

Nutrient flow in cells

Ordinarily our bodies work transparently to us, just like a motorcar. We turn the key, the engine starts and we never have to understand about transistors, ignition, fuel injection, pistons, exhausts etc. We only take note when something goes wrong. Bodies are the same. Symptoms are cells crying out for help. Just like babies, if we can decode the cry, we can deduce why the baby is crying. There are four reasons why cells might cry for lack of a nutrient:

  • Reduced intake
  • Rapid loss
  • Poor tissue uptake
  • Intracellular blockade

The key to analysing a nutritional problem is to find out what is the process that affects nutrient flow.

In general each nutrient is carefully adjusted within a range. Low levels cause problems and there is evidence that high levels also cause problems.

  • Reduced Intake can be caused by any problem in the food chain that connects the environment to the gut. This includes poor food choices!
  • Poor digestive efficiency will lead to both malabsorption and lack of defence against the immunogenicity of food. Only inert molecules should traverse the intestinal wall. The very things one could give safely intravenously.
  • Rapid loss might mean enhanced liver excretion, lowered renal threshold, oxidation within the blood stream, or heavy menstrual loss.
  • Intracellular blockade means that the levels of a nutrient might be normal or high, but the function is "cancelled out" by another compound. For example mercury has a 1000 fold antagonism to zinc. This concept leads us to the idea of Nutrients and Antinutrients. In this situation, minerals are somewhat easier to understand because we could mentally imagine one mineral blocking another’s function within an enzyme. What is poorly understood is that Antinutrients can cause havoc within cells without being labelled as toxic i.e. below "toxic" levels. The definitions of toxicity are primarily defined by industry, not medicine. These industries wish to define toxicity by the least sensitive method of detection. Tissue mineral analysis is the most sensitive method of detection of heavy metals; hence industry will not use this tool. This spills over into the medical profession, who cannot understand why hair analysis is so useful for the improvement of health.

The point is this: you cannot understand the level of a nutrient unless you measure its opposing component. For instance, a normal ferritin in the presence of lead, will still give symptoms of iron deficiency. A normal red cell zinc in the presence of excess copper will still give the symptoms of zinc deficiency. A normal red cell magnesium in the presence of cadmium will still give symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Just measuring the blood levels and making assumptions about the opposing component will not always work. In fact it may lead to unnecessary and prolonged supplementation, with the eventual increasing of dose to control symptoms. If the copper is rising, then you need more Vitamin C over time to prevent say, bleeding gums. By using the questionnaire, we can determine the amount of cellular dysfunction. Moreover we can determine why it is wrong.

Diagnostic Process

Biochemical interpretation of symptoms and the relationship to nutrient flow.

This involves the concept of nutrient flow. From the environment to the final utilisation of the nutrient, Nutrient flow is vulnerable at any or indeed all points of this flow.

Nutrients come from our environment and their flow can be monitored and their functions characterised. The end result is that they perform a function, which is normally taken for granted by the organism. An analysis of the abnormal flow identifies where the block is and shows us how to rectify the problem by dealing with both the process that caused it and the compensatory mechanism that failed to prevent it.