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Body Composition Analysis

Body Composition Analysis (BCA)

Body Composition Analysis (BCA) measures one’s body tissues makeup in fat, muscle, bone and water. These components are provided as parts of the total body weight, and analysed as a function of height, age and gender. It can be performed for adults and children over the age of 5 years old.

To measure the body composition we use Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology. It involves passing harmless electric currents through the body to measure the tissue-specific impedance. BCA with BIA analyses the body as a whole (total body composition) and also per individual body segment, each arm, each leg and the trunk (segmental body composition). It estimates the percentage of fat inside the trunk of the body, known as the Visceral Fat, which is a higher predictor of health risk than total body fat. It analyses the distribution of the total body water in the extracellular and intracellular compartments of the body, important for distinguishing water retention and dehydration. BCA with BIA allows also the calculation of the Phase Angle, an indicator of health at cellular level. BCA with BIA test allows a more precise estimation of the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the amount of energy one’s body consumes at complete rest in order to support life. BMR is a very important functional parameter giving information on the ability of the body to process energy from diet, and is age and fitness dependent.

Body Composition Analysis (BCA) makes important distinctions in weight management. It distinguishes when excessive body weight is due to excess fat (obesity), excess muscle (hypermuscular), or excess water content (water retention). It distinguishes whether obesity is associated with other abnormalities like muscle wastage (sarcopenic obesity) and/or bone loss (osteopaenic obesity). These distinctions cannot be made using the traditional measure of Body Mass Index (BMI).

In short, BCA is a method of depicting what the body consists of. It takes into account fats, proteins, minerals and water. It is considered to more accurately measure weight than BMI. Body composition analysis is the best method for accurately showing changes in muscle mass, fats, and body fat percentages.

health check

The test can be performed clothed however one requirement is being bare feet and hands in order to make skin contact with the machine electrodes, to allow the bioelectric currents to pass into the body. It is recommended to have the test before a meal or exercise, or 2h after, with normal intake of fluids. The variation in the intake or loss of fluid through diet and exercise can alter the results of the test. We recommend serial repeated measurements over time in order to gauge trends and avoid the effect of these fluctuations.

Due to the passing of low-intensity electrical currents through the body, the test is not appropriate for people with implantable medical electronic devices like brain implants, cochlear or retinal implants, cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, nerve or spinal cord stimulators and other. The results of BCA with BIA technology may not be accurate enough in people with large joint replacements and metalwork for fracture repair.