Newborn Digestive Health

Get More From Your Baby’s Cord Blood

Gain valuable health insights with ViaCord

ViaCord is revolutionizing cord blood banking by offering parents the option of gaining additional health insights from their newborn’s cord blood. Unlike other cord blood banks that simply process and freeze stem cells, ViaCord can mine the abundance of health information found in cord blood to provide useful insights to help manage the future well-being of the child. 

When it comes to your family’s health, knowledge is power. ViaCord can help put your family in a position to make more informed decisions.

Introducing Newborn Digestive Health

For Celiac Disease and Primary Lactose Intolerance (Lactose Intolerance)

ViaCord is pleased to introduce Newborn Digestive Health as its latest offering in this new and exciting “health insight” segment. Our new health screen provides genetic insights into a child’s predisposition for both celiac disease and lactose intolerance. 

An important and unique benefit of Newborn Digestive Health is its ability to aid physicians in accurate diagnoses for children suffering with digestive issues. Though celiac disease and lactose intolerance share many symptoms, e.g. diarrhea, gas, bloating and vomiting, the cause, severity and intervention are very different.129

How Does Newborn Digestive Health Work?

We make it easy for families to take advantage of this valuable offering by performing both celiac and lactose intolerance screens using a small sample of your newborn’s cord blood - no additional collection required. Plus, the sample used for testing has no impact on the quantity or quality of stem cells banked for your family. 

As part of ViaCord’s cord blood process, a sample of cord blood is isolated and the test performed on microarray at ViaCord’s CLIA-certified laboratory.

Screening for Celiac Disease 
Newborn Digestive Health identifies the presence of two HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) genes: HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The presence, absence, or a combination of these genes has been shown to be indicative of a predisposition for celiac disease.130 

Screening for Lactose Intolerance 
Newborn Digestive Health identifies variations (polymorphisms) in a region of the LCT gene. The LCT gene provides your body instructions for making an enzyme called lactase, which helps to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. These variations have been shown to be indicative of a predisposition for lactose intolerance.131

What Will I Learn From The Health Screen?

Celiac Disease Results
Families receive a positive (+) or negative (-) for the presence of the HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) gene alleles HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. A negative finding means your child cannot develop celiac disease or pass it on to their children. A positive finding doesn’t mean your child will develop celiac disease, but your doctor may determine the need for additional monitoring or testing.

Learn more about the genetics associated with Celiac Disease >>

Lactose Intolerance Results
Families receive a finding of low, average, or increased risk for developing lactose intolerance based on variations (polymorphisms) identified in the tested region of the lactase (LCT) gene.

Learn more about the genetics associated with Lactose Intolerance >>

Why Screen For Celiac Disease And Lactose Intolerance?

Untreated, celiac disease can lead to other serious health conditions and autoimmune diseases. Although 97% of those with celiac disease go undiagnosed, earlier diagnosis lowers chance for developing other conditions. Testing for celiac provides health insights to families and physician on potential for further testing, increased monitoring or intervention.132 

Although the health implications of primary lactose intolerance are considered less significant than celiac disease, lifestyle alterations can improve quality of life and overall digestive health.133 

Having genetic insight into both conditions enables accurate diagnosis and appropriate lifestyle changes.

How Will I Receive Results of Newborn Digestive Health?

Results will be included as part of ViaCord’s Cord Blood Results Letter generated 6-8 weeks after the cord blood has been tested and processed.

Who is Eligible for ViaCord’s Newborn Digestive Health?

Currently, Newborn Digestive Health is available to all families collecting cord blood excluding collections taking place in the State of New York.

Celiac disease is a serious, hereditary autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small finger-like projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body. Celiac disease can develop at any age after people start eating foods or medicines that contain gluten. Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to additional serious health problems.134 

Primary lactose intolerance is the inability to produce lactase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose. This disorder may present from 2 years old, depending on race and ethnicity, with around 65% - 70% of the population being affected at some point in life. Although not life threatening it can be very unpleasant, especially for young children, with upset stomachs, excess gas and potential for vomiting and diarrhea.135

IMPORTANT NOTE: Not for use in Diagnostic Procedures. The content shall not be used to make a diagnosis or to replace or overrule a health care provider’s judgement. Always consult with a qualified and licensed physician or other medical care provider.