Live Blood Analysis? It doesn’t work

Posted 13 March 2014

Edzard Ernst is professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula medical school at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth. In this article published in The Guardian in 2005, Prof Ernst points out that the claims are nonsense, i.e., this test is no more than a scam. In fact, this is not new – the claims being made for this test in 2014 were rubbished as far back as 1980s!


A new era of scientific discovery?
Intrigued by the spectacular claims made for Live Blood Analysis? Don’t be. It doesn’t work

Edzard Ernst
The Guardian, Tuesday 12 July 2005

According to its supporters, Live Blood Analysis marks “a new era of scientific discovery” which is presently conquering the UK. One of the growing number of websites advocating this latest diagnostic tool describes its impact thus: “As the horse gave way to the horseless carriage, so Read the rest

9 comments to Live Blood Analysis? It doesn’t work

  • Luanna

    LBA changed my life for the better! I don’t think article is correct at all. My friend with cancer was diagnosed and it has helped my whole family. I think it is a fantastic tool!

    • Harris

      Readers should be aware that Luanna appears to really believes this. This may in fact simply be confirmation bias ( The fact is that there is simply zero physiological basis for the claims for this test (with the exception of a few conditions), and therefore a diagnosis of e.g., cancer (with exceptions of a few types of blood cancer), is simply one of chance. In other words, if the “technician” informs enough people that the test shows that they may have cancer, the chances are that they will be right every now and then for a certain percentage of people will have cancer. I do have sympathy for Luanna’s belief – but it should not sway you to believe that the test is valid. Even haematologists who study blood full time, will point out that they cannot make the predictions that this test claims to do because it is physically/physiologically just not possible.
      “Dark field techniques allow for the viewing of live blood samples. Utilized primarily by alternative healthcare practitioners, blood microscopy is not accepted as a valid technique by most doctors, researchers, insurance companies or the FDA.”

      Wikipedia also discusses a range of aspects of this test.

  • Michelle Stiekema

    I am looking for some honest professional reviews on DNA Adduct Testing, its reliability and its usefulness.
    Thanks for your trouble.

  • Michelle Stiekema

    According to Dr Myhill from the UK, she uses these tests to indicate which chemicals have stuck to the DNA of her patients. They are particularly useful when treating her cancer patients, apparently. She then proceeds to get rid of these toxins with chelation therapy, detox regimes or beneficial mineral supplementation. Acumen Labs does the tests for her. It does not sound like ‘Alternative’ stuff. It could be quite interesting, but there seems to be very little info about it.

  • Michelle Stiekema

    Thank you for your trouble Dr Harris. But while this stuff about Dr Myhill is all rather disturbingly interesting, I really want some good medical opinion on the validity of DNA Adduct Blood Testing for the average health-concerned individual. Clearly there has been a fair amount of research in such fields as genotoxicity involving DNA Adduct Testing and you will probably find this testing done in other research projects. It’s relevance in Drug Testing and Enviromental Pollution is not hard to understand. Acumen Labs, however,(as far as my understanding goes) is one Contract Research Organisation (there may be others) who will conduct what could be routine blood tests to ascertain what toxins have attached themselves to which genes in your cells. Let me put it this way: Are there any trusted Medical Practitioners in SA who would recommend these DNA Adduct Tests for their patients, and under which circumstances?

    • Harris

      This is a test I know noting about, so I had to do some research (and I have asked colleagues to do likewise).

      My research shows that some research was done on DNA Adducts decades ago, but little since then. It is not a routine test offered by laboratories throughout the world. Although DNA Adducts have been associated with e.g., pollution, etc., in fact, “While there may be adduct levels at which there is no observable biological effect, there are at present insufficient data on which to set a threshold level for biological significance.” ( In other words, even if you find them present in the blood, they may not be harmful – at what level do they become harmful?

      Other research also argues that DNA adducts may not be a useful test, e.g., one study found there was no correlation of WBC adduct levels with the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the work atmosphere [1] (1993) in contrast with another that reported that “elevated levels of PAHs, with the Tongliang power plant being a significant source, is associated with reduced fetal and child growth in this population“. (2006)[2] Note the “in this population” clarification.

      The most recent research article, and one that reviewed previous papers (“We pooled 11 studies (3,600 subjects) in which bulky DNA adducts were measured in human white blood cells“), makes these very pertinent points:

      Factors that have been reported to be related to DNA adduct levels include smoking, diet, body mass index (BMI), genetic polymorphisms, the season of collection of biologic material, and air pollutants.” [my emphasis]

      In this large pooled analysis, we have found only weak associations between bulky DNA adducts and exposure variables. Seasonality (with higher adducts levels in winter) and air pollution may partly explain some of the interarea differences (north vs. south Europe), but most inter-area and interindividual variations in adduct levels still remain unexplained.

      Impact: Our study describes the largest pooled analysis of bulky DNA adducts so far, showing that interindividual variation is still largely unexplained, though seasonality seems to play a role.” (2010) Published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. [3]

      My conclusion is that DNA adducts testing is still a research tool, that there is insufficient data to draw firm conclusions, and as with many other pseudo-scientific tests, that inaccurate extrapolation of real scientific facts are made to support claims being made to sell the test.


  • Michelle Stiekema

    Interesting reading, Dr Harris. Thank you. I have emailed basic queries regarding Adduct Testing to addresses I found on websites of Acumen Labs and Nordic Labs. I’m awaiting responses. Will let you know if anything interesting emerges.

    Michelle Stiekema

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