The complete alcohol test can now be done using nail clippings if hair is not practical.
Hair samples can identify chronic alcohol consumption and dependency.
Drinking alcohol over a long period of time profoundly affects the brain, which adapts to the intoxicant and causes withdrawal symptoms when consumption stops. Alcohol affects the process of signalling in nerve cells, which leads to anxiety, agitation, and in extreme cases, seizures.
It is estimated that in North America, over 30 million people routinely abuse the consumption of alcohol. This becomes a serious problem because alcohol is responsible for a wide range of physiological and psychological problems with complex socio-economic impact. While there are substantial differences in the alcohol tolerance of individuals, and body weight is a factor, as a general rule, the routine ingestion of more than the equivalent of 60 grams of ethyl alcohol a day typifies an alcoholic.
When alcohol is ingested, it is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and carried to the liver where it is metabolized by enzymes. The initial metabolism is a conversion to acetaldehyde, caused by alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is then converted to a variety of substances in a further series of detoxification reactions. A certain amount of acetaldehyde is conjugated with glucuronic acid to form ethyl glucuronide. This compound becomes a biomarker of ethyl alcohol when it reaches the hair follicle, and by osmosis, is deposited and retained in the cortex of the hair shaft.
The levels of EtG found in the cortex are then quantitatively linked to the levels of alcohol consumption:
|Less than 25 pg/mg||Negative|
|25-50 pg/mg||Mild to Moderate consumption|
|50-80 pg/mg||Excessive consumption|
|80+ pg/mg||Serious Alcoholism|
PROGRESSIVE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL
|0.01-0.029||• Average individual appears normal||• Subtle effects that can be detected with special tests|
|0.03-0.059||• Mild euphoria
• Sense of well-being
• Decreased inhibition
|0.06-0.10||• Blunted Feelings
• Depth Perception
• Distance Acuity
• Peripheral Vision
• Glare Recovery
• Sexual Performance
• Emotional Swings
• Anger or Sadness
|• Reaction Time
• Gross Motor Control
• Slurred Speech
• Loss of Understanding
• Impaired Sensation
|• Severe Motor Impairment
• Loss of Consciousness
• Memory Blackout
|0.30-0.39||• Severe Depression
• Death possible
|• Bladder Function
• Heart Rate
For further information or to order a free sample collection kit, contact us by telephone at 416-691-4167 (Toll free: 1-877-842-4827) or email.
THE PRECISION OF THE VIAGUARD HAIR ALCOHOL TEST
The analysis of hair for alcohol consumption starts by taking a sample of hair from the scalp or the body. The hair is washed to remove dirt and external deposits and the EtG marker that measures alcohol use is extracted and analyzed. The analysis is performed by a sensitive technique known as Gas Chromatography/Mass-Spectrometry The Etg marker is derived from the metabolism of alcohol in the liver. EtG provides a precise indicator of average alcohol consumption over a 90-day+ period.
The accepted standard for excessive consumption of alcohol is a result in excess of 0.25 pg/mg of EtG (ethyl glucuronide). To obtain a positive result, an individual on average will be consuming in excess of 60 grams of ethyl alcohol daily. For example, consuming 400 ml of beer with an average content of 5% alcohol would result in ingestion of about 20grams of ethyl alcohol, drinking a litre of beer (1000 ml) would result in ingestion of about 50 grams of ethyl alcohol. A positive result for alcohol ingestion means that the average consumption has been in excess of 60grams of ethyl alcohol daily.
The EtG level indicated by the test will show how excessive the consumption actually is.
VIAGUARD BLOOD TEST FOR ETHYL ALCOHOL
The Viaguard blood test uses a few drops of blood from a pinprick , phosphatidyl (peth) in blood is formed from ethanol and incorporated into cell membranes. peth gives a precise level of alcohol cosumption over the previous 4 week period. free collection kits are available from viaguard, or samples can be taken at our lab.
HABITUATION AND THE COMPULSION TO DRINK
Excessive consumption of alcohol is a complex socio-environmental problem, but extensive studies indicate that there is a genetic predictor of vulnerability that encourages excessive consumption of alcohol.
The CYP2E1 gene located in the terminal region of chromosome 10 plays a major role in the metabolic processing of alcohol. The gene is linked to a low sensitivity to alcohol, and increased risk for compulsive alcoholism.
The strength of association between CYP2E1 and alcoholism is very strong depending on which haplotype of the gene an individual carries. This genetic linkage presents considerable potential in not only dealing with, but preventing behavioural alcoholic vulnerability.
NEW FINGERNAIL CLIPPINGS OPTION
In circumstances where hair testing is not possible, Viaguard Accu-metrics has a technology that allows nail clippings to be tested.
The test results using nail clippings are identical to hair sample based tests and provide a 90 day precise, quantitative record of the levels of the substances tested. There may be circumstances where securing an appropriate hair sample is not possible. This happens if the scalp hair is not of sufficient length and underarm or genital hair is not feasible.
Like hair, fingernails (and toenails) are essentially keratin. Keratin is formed from genetically programmed epithelial skin cells during a process of keratinization. Hair and nails are examples of keratinized cells. Alcohol and alcohol metabolites make their way to the blood stream and is deposited into keratin.
As the nail grows, the metabolites of various substances diffuse into epithelial cells and the epithelial cells evolve into keratin embedding alcohol and its metabolites. Toenail clippings which grow at less than half the rate of fingernails will give the same precise usage level of alcohol but over a much longer period of time, often up to 8 months.
In the past the difficulty with using fingernails as a source for alcohol and metabolite testing has been the complexity of the extraction process needed to isolate and analyze these compounds from their keratin coating. Keratin is an extremely hard material in nails because of the formation of cysteine disulfide bridges which form very strong internal bonds. The Viaguard extraction process is based on the exclusive Accu-Keritinase Enzymitic Hydrolysis System which ensures complete extraction and precision results.
The sample collection kit has complete instructions.
The test result and reports are identical to the hair results described on this site. Cost $175.00.
Call Viaguard at 416-691-4167 or toll free at 1-877-842-4827.
COLLECTING NAIL CLIPPINGS
Use a nail clipper, cuticle or other scissors and ensure the scissors are clean by wiping off with soap and water, rinsing and drying with a tissue.
Use Finger or Toenails
Clip the equivalent of 1/8 to ¼ of an inch from each of 6-8 fingernails or toenails. Since composite volume of nail clippings is important it is better to submit the maximum amount if possible.
Insert the clippings in the collection envelope, seal, return to us in the mailing envelope along with the filled out form.
HABITUATION AND THE COMPULSION TO DRINK
Binge drinking among adolescents and young adults under the age of 25 can cause serious damage to a brain that is still under development. Studies indicate that consuming 4 or 5 drinks at one time leads to cortical-thinning of the pre-frontal cortex. This section of the brain is related to such functions as attention span, planning and making decisions, processing emotions, and controlling impulses. Repetitive drinking in the form of binge drinking among adolescents is not only neurotoxic to the neuron cells but is associated with cortical thinning and affecting a range of developmental factors.