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Phase Angle

“The phase angle was the best single predictor for survival.”

The phase angle is calculated using the measurements of resistance and reactance, which are indicators of cellular health independent of weight. Normal values vary with age and gender. As the body ages the phase angle tends to decline. Therefore phase angle can also be used as a marker to track physiological aging in the body and to assess if a patient is aging well or prematurely aging. It is important to note that phase angle is dependent on patient individuality. Therefore measurements are done by comparing the patient’s phase angle to previous readings from the same patient. Any increase is seen as an improvement in cellular functioning of the body.

  • Bioelectrical Impedance (BI) is composed of resistance and reactance which creates a mathematical ratio, called “phase angle”
  • Phase Angle (PA) measures the health of the cells of the body
  • Range of PA is 0 to 15 degrees – the higher the degree, the healthier the cells.

Range of Normal Values

There is a wide range of “normals” for phase angle within the population. Patients of smaller stature (i.e. petite females) may have a much lower phase angle than large males.  The phase angle value is dependent upon both the number of cells, and the health of the cells.  Therefore, two patients cannot be accurately compared to one another.  It is important to guage improvement based upon comparison from your current test to your previous test.

BIA approximates physical values.

For example – a patient may have a serious health condition where the BIA values may have no significance.  For example, a 33-year-old professional baseball pitcher recently died as the result of a sudden myocardial infarction.  Athletic, lean, young patients typically have excellent BIA numbers. Therefore, these physical values cannot rule out the risk of heart attack, stroke, or even cancer. However, the BIA values – especially phase angle – are highly correlated with survivability from illness or injury.

The major factors that can affect phase angle are:

  • mental emotional stress
  • excessive physical stress
  • insomnia (lack of sleep)
  • toxicity from exogenous sources (sources from inside the body)
  • toxicity from endogenous sources (sources from outside the body in the environment)
  • poor nutritional intake or micro-waved and processed foods
  • incomplete combustion cooking (excessive barbequed foods or foods cooked over flame)
  • lack of vegetable intake (especially dark green leafy vegetables)
  • lack of adequate water intake
  • coffee and alcohol intake
  • excessive sugar intake (soda pop, candy, chocolate, cookies, etc.)
  • lack of exercise or movement
  • frequent skipping of meals (especially breakfast)
  • drug use (recreational or pharmaceutical)

A low phase angle may indicate the following:

  • cell oxidative damage
  • non-specific or specific inflammation
  • chronic infections
  • auto-immune disorders
  • arthritic conditions
  • allergies
  • eczema
  • liver toxicity or stress
  • constipation
  • inadequate detoxification
  • digestive issues
  • chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • pre-mature aging
  • sleep apnea or inadequate sleeping patterns