We’ve had some exciting advancements in the Eve Lab this year. Our clever team of scientists have developed a new hormone testing method that makes the collection and returns process even easier for everyone involved (yay!).
To help explain the new method, and the science behind it, we asked our lovely Head Laboratory Scientist, Dr. Sri Shastri, to give us a run down.
1. What is the new method?
From now on our lab can analyse key sex hormones and their metabolites using dried urine, a collection method that involves saturating a filter card with urine and allowing it to dry. This is a common collection method used to analyse many different chemical compounds.
2. Why dried urine?
We have made the switch from wet to dried urine for many different reasons:
- Simpler collection: Like our original test, this can also be done at home, however many people will find it much easier to saturate a small piece of paper rather than urinating into a small pottle. It takes very little urine to saturate the filter paper meaning the sample does not need to be taken with a full bladder.
- Easier shipping: the metabolites in liquid urine are not as stable, meaning it needs to be shipped while frozen. In comparison, dried urine samples are incredibly stable. This means the new test does not require freezing and can be sent as soon as it is dry (after about four hours). It also means you can send it without ice packs and on any day of the week. It also means that international customers can access Eve testing—which we are hoping to launch very soon!
- Better stability: our laboratory team has done many stability tests on dried urine samples and we have found that they can be left at room temperature for around three weeks without compromising the values of the hormones and metabolites. Wet urine isn’t nearly as stable which means we sometimes ask customers to retake their samples if there has been any issues with the return courier to the lab.
3. How accurate is the new method?
Our laboratory team has done many experiments to ensure that the values of dried urine correlate with our current liquid method. The results of these validation experiments indicate that both methods produce the same results.
We work closely with our Scientific Advisory Board to ensure our testing methods and laboratory processes are accurate and reliable and are backed up by independent, peer reviewed research.
4. What do you use to analyse the samples?
(Warning: science talk incoming...)
For both of our tests, we use liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). This has been well recognised as an accurate methodology to measure sex and stress hormones.
The advantages of LC–MS/MS as an analytical technique include high specificity, the possibility of simultaneously measuring multiple analytes, and the ability to assess the specificity of the analysis in every sample.
Our reference ranges are established from literature reviews and internal testing. We conduct literature reviews and then collect published reports from laboratories around the world that do similar testing. Collated reference range values are then tested in our laboratories to check for accuracy, repeatability, and uncertainty of measurements using our own analytical methods.
If you have any questions around the science or method used by the Eve Wellness lab, please get in touch. We are happy to answer any queries from our wonderful lab down in the Hawke’s Bay.