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The condition to obtain a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) certificate, as I did, is "learn to fix yourself so you can fix others". 

The required lab tests to run on myself were: 


A coach was assigned to me, wherein her requirement was that I proceed with an extra test, called metabolic typing.  This test was done via questionnaires. 

According to my coach this would help determine my oxidation rate and therefore what type of diet was best for my health. 

Based on the questionnaire, it was determined that I was a fast oxidizer and I was given a diet for fast oxidation rate, which comprised of high fat and lots of meat and a list of supplements from Ultra-Life, the supplement supplier for the Healthexcel System of Metabolic Typing.  

Throughout the FDN course, I was also encouraged to do a GI Pathogen Screen – BH #401H.   This stool analysis determines the presence of ova and parasites such as protozoa, flatworms, and roundworms; Cryptosporidium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia antigens; bacteria, fungi (including yeasts), and occult blood; and Clostridium difficile colitis toxins A and B.  

No parasites in my stool were found which made me and my coach very perplexed. 


Thus, after so many different diagnostic tests, I asked my coach to be tested for a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA).  The lab used by FDN was then Trace Elements (TEI).

In between doing diagnostic tests, I was on a protocol of diet and supplements recommended by my FDN coach.  When I received my HTMA results, it indicated, amongst other things, a copper toxicity. 


Based on the HTMA results, it became clear that the protocol given to me by my FDN coach was making my biochemistry worse, although at the time I did not know it.  

I was taking black licorice or other stimulating supplements, which only made it worse.  

Also, in view of the "copper toxicity " and some other toxic metals, the GI Pathogen Screen – BH #401H was also not accurate. 

In fact, I learned later that stool exams, which can cost a client a lot of money, are used commonly, but are notoriously inaccurate.

The reason is that the laboratory only analyzes a small amount of the stool. 

The lab test may not contain the parasites, even though they are present in the body. 

Parasites also go through live cycles, and an exam done at the wrong time of the month, so to speak, will miss the eggs or ova or the entire parasites for this reason, as well.

Due to what appeared as copper overload, I was then asked by my coach to do a pyroluria urine test. 

The kit was delivered to my home by the FDN head office, located in San Diego. 

Once I collected the urine, I was to pour it into an amber vial with ascorbic acid preservative and keep it in the freezer until I was ready to ship it. This test is usually only available in the USA because of its traveling time of only 24 hours. 

I shipped my sample via Fedex from Canada, hoping it would arrive on time at the US lab, and I was advised by the FDN head office that it had arrived on time, even though I had contacted the lab the day before to be advised it was not in their data base. 

Upon my consultation with Reed Davis, founder of FDN, he advised me that the pyroluria urine test indicated positive. 

Davis proceeded in giving me another protocol, this time for pyroluria, which included mega-doses of Vitamin B-6, zinc and magnesium. 


My coach, having learned of this diagnose, was very thrilled that her FDN efforts of "investigation" proved to work, since now she felt she knew the answer to my symptoms, which appeared then to be related to pyroluria.

Unfortunately however, Davis advised me a few days later, that he had made, "oops a mistake."  My urine test was negative.

I did not ask for an apology because oops a mistake happens, and it was caught on time before ordering more supplements. 

​I did however send an email to my FDN coach to advise her of the oops mistake.  No reply was ever made on that issue and no further health consultation was requested from me by my coach or by the founder of FDN.  



"Functional Nutrition is related to the field of functional medicine, which according to the IFM (Institute of Functional Medicine) is a personalized medicine wherein it acknowledges that, in many cases, diagnostic testing might be superior to guesswork and speculation on which underlying functional imbalance may cause the patient’s signs and symptoms.  The philosophy is based on helping the body help itself with the application of holistic natural protocols and lifestyle modification." 

In other words, FDN is a way of thinking about the human body and life as we know it.  It's a method or a process to assess with lab testing the vitality of a client based on the following four parameters:

1. immune function;
2. digestion;
3. detoxification; and
4. hormones.

It is a type of detective work that seeks to identify and correct the underlying causes of a disease instead of treating symptoms.  It is an emerging field and body of work that bridges the gap between clinical nutrition and functional medicine.   

Once healing opportunities are identified, FDN's engage each client in a process of healing using their own protocols."

Suffice to say, that while diagnostic lab testing may work for some people, most lab tests work best within the same country the sample is collected and even then, it is often not accurate. 

Also, these tests do not reveal your toxic metals and level of minerals and as a result, any protocols given are usually often in conflict with our biochemistry. Certainly, this was the case for me, as I was given stimulants for my adrenal glands, which should not have been recommended. I was wired when I needed to let my adrenals rest.


Upon the diagnostic lab tests and consequent oops mistake, I contacted Dr. Lawrence Wilson so he could read my HTMA results himself from Trace Elements (TEI).  What I learned is that I was a slow oxidizer and not a fast oxidizer and that I had mineral level patterns which Trace Elements do not recognize.  

I must say that I was not familiar with Metabolic Typing until I took the FDN course. 

I was advised later that Dr. Paul Eck, a biochemist by trade and founder of nutritional balancing science, expanded our understanding of the
oxidation types from Dr. George Watson, who had first described a group of individuals as slow and fast oxidizers.

​During the 1970's, Dr. Eck researched Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) and its relation to body chemistry.

​Eck was intrigued by Dr. Watson's oxidation concept and began experimenting with ways to identify the oxidation type via (HTMA). 

Based on Dr. Eck's findings and years of research, he was able to settle on a definition of oxidation rate, whether slow, fast or mixed, by accurately calculate the mineral ratios, on a properly performed hair mineral analysis. 


After some consideration, I decided not to proceed in taking further courses with FDN, such as becoming a Metabolic Typing practitioner. The voice of reason prevailed!


I am most very grateful for having completed my FDN certification course and gone through all the lab tests and I am mostly grateful for being awaken to something less costly and better for me and for my clients. 

I find that the accuracy of a HTMA is reliable and from my experience, I find that a properly performed and properly interpreted HTMA is just as good, and usually far better than any hormone tests. 

I also find that hormone tests may not be sensitive enough, and do not give the same information as a correctly interpreted hair mineral analysis. 

The mineral analysis not only tells a great deal about the status of the adrenal glands with mathematical precision, but it often tells us why the adrenals are not functioning properly. 

​The test also tells a lot about the sympathetic nervous system, which is intimately connected to the adrenal glands and their functioning, something that cannot be tested with simply hormone saliva tests.


Without a doubt there is a huge market for diagnostic lab tests and many nutritionists and even doctors are recommending it because, amongst other things, many people do not have time to really look after their health (bills to pay, things to do, things to see, etc.) and thus have no time for retracing old infections and prefer looking for anti-aging formulas that are in my opinion, simply a gimmick. 

By searching for quick fixes, you can reasonably expect to eventually suffer from chronic-degenerative diseases, as you get close to your 40's and 50's.


You may think, Josephine is being biased ~

However please know that, I have no reason to be biased.  Upon completion of my FDN course, I was excited to offer lab tests to my clients. However, upon further investigation, I found, amongst other things, that the costs associated with these tests were exorbitantly high, not to mention that hormone tests are not sensitive enough, and do not give the same information as a correctly interpreted hair mineral analysis. As a result, I made the decision not to offer these tests to my clients.

Based on the above, I continue to recommend a Hair Mineral Analysis from Analytical Research Labs Inc. 


The beauty in all of this is that the choice is yours!

Your faithful servant,


Copyright © 2014-2015 Josephine Certified Holistic Nutrition, CHN, FDN

The choice is yours!

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