Hormones & Hormone Testing: An Origin Story
featuring Mark Newman
Endocrine Essentials - Episode 1
Published April 19th, 2022
The DUTCH Podcast is a laid-back, relaxed space for integrative medicine providers and patients to expand their understanding of functional endocrinology testing and learn more about the body’s most complex communication system. Join us each week to hear from leaders in the industry like Jeff Bland, Tara Scott, and Deb Matthew along with our very own DUTCH experts. Together, they’ll cover the basics of functional endocrinology and testing, and provide unique perspectives to some very controversial topics.
On this first episode, the President and Founder of Precision Analytical, Mark Newman, takes listeners back in time for a brief history of functional lab testing, and he explains the evolution of the DUTCH Test from it's creation ten years ago to what it's become today. Mark will go over the basics of the different hormone tests currently being used by practitioners and he'll share the scientific research that led to the creation of the Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones - DUTCH.
About our speaker
Mark Newman, MS, is a recognized expert and international speaker in the field of hormone testing. Mark has spent the first 25 years of his career developing and leading urine and salivary testing labs. In 2012, he took an innovative approach to hormone testing and started Precision Analytical where he introduced the DUTCH Test to the functional medicine industry. Through in-depth hormone education and one-on-one clinical support, the team at Precision Analytical helps providers find answers to the most complex patient questions.
Mark has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed studies demonstrating the effectiveness of dried urine to accurately measure hormones and hormone metabolites. His goal is to make Precision Analytical the leader in functional endocrinology testing and fulfill his mission to profoundly change one life…and then a million more.
Please Note: The contents of this podcast are for educational and informational purposes only. Precision Analytical will be interviewing functional medicine key opinion leaders, the best and brightest in the field. The information is not to be interpreted as, or mistaken for, clinical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.
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Welcome to the first episode of the DUTCH podcast. We hope to create a laid-back, relaxed space for integrative medicine providers and patients like you to expand your understanding of functional endocrinology and testing. Each week we plan to bring you an engaging conversation on a range of topics, including estrogen dominance, cortisol metabolism, and menopausal hormone therapy from some of the most trusted leaders in the industry.
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Hi, I'm Noah Reed, and I'm not a doctor or an expert, and you might be asking why start a podcast in 2022? Hasn't everything already been said? Well, I'm glad you asked. Because of my job, I get the opportunity to speak with the leaders in functional medicine and ask all the questions that you wish you had answers to.
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And I've been in your shoes. I was new to functional medicine and wishing there was more clarity around the confusing or controversial topics that seem to have conflicting answers to the same research. Or as a patient who was told that everything was normal when I knew that it wasn't. During season one, we'll get to speak with experts like Jeff Bland, Deb Matthew, Tara Scott.
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Plus, we'll be joined by DUTCH test experts along the way to explain the ins and outs of hormone testing and answer some of your most common questions with this valuable education. We hope that you can profoundly change the lives of your patients through a deeper understanding of the body's most complex communication system. We're not new at leading the industry in hormone testing or in education, but we are a new podcast and we’d love your support.
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So please, like, subscribe and share the DUTCH podcast on your favorite streaming app and social media. You can also watch the full episodes by visiting DUTCHtest.com and clicking podcast at the top of your screen. This podcast is brought to you by the DUTCH test. DUTCH stands for dried urine test for comprehensive hormones, and it is a group of validated tests that provide the most complete evaluation of sex and adrenal hormones, including metabolites.
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The simple and convenient at-home collection for patients, and support on every comprehensive report from a team of hormone experts puts you in the driver's seat to helping solve your patient's most complex hormone issues. At Precision Analytical, creators of the DUTCH test, it is our mission to profoundly change one life and then a million more through testing and hormone education like this.
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So thank you for joining us. And now on to this week's episode. On this first episode, the president and founder of Precision Analytical, Mark Newman, will take you back in time for a brief history of functional lab testing and how the DUTCH test came to be. We'll ask him about the different hormone testing modalities currently being used by practitioners and discover the scientific research that led to the creation of the dried urine test for comprehensive hormones.
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Mark is a recognized expert and international speaker in the field of hormone testing. Mark spent the first 25 years of his career developing and leading urine-salivary labs. And in 2012, he took an innovative approach to hormone testing and started Precision Analytical, where he introduced the DUTCH test to the functional medicine industry through in-depth hormone education and one-on-one clinical support.
00:03:17:00 - 00:03:41:21
The team at Precision Analytical helps providers find answers to the most complex patient questions. Mark has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed studies demonstrating the effectiveness of dried urine to accurately measure hormones and hormone metabolites. His goal is to make Precision Analytical the leader in functional endocrinology testing and to fulfill his mission to profoundly change one life and then a million more.
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Mark, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. Yeah. So why don't you go ahead and just take us back to the beginning, the origin story of what is the DUTCH test and catch us all up on what was going on with you ten years ago. That's a big question. There's no moment in time. What we do is some sort of amalgamation and sort of continuation of the things that I've done vocationally since the very beginning, which was getting out of grad school and going to a place that was part of the origination story of 24-hour urine testing so that, you know, the big urine jug and let's see how many things we
00:04:24:23 - 00:05:01:06
can measure that are interesting. And that's kind of where I got my start in this fun little industry that we live in at looking at the things you can test in urine. Both the pros and the cons so I was there for a while and then bounced around to a place where there was the origination of dried urine, which we were looking at organic acids and I was you know, the method development guy trying to find new and interesting things to measure and then just sort of stumbled into new and interesting ways to collect the samples to make it a little bit easier for the patient.
00:05:01:06 - 00:05:30:08
And so that was that was part of the concept that we now do was the idea of just making collection a lot easier than it had been in my previous life, which was, you know, the urine jug of shame when you're trying to collect a 24 hour urine and you have to work that day or whatever. So and then from there, you know, working with Dr. David Zava, who can you can make an argument that he's the origination story of saliva testing
00:05:31:06 - 00:05:58:14
I would say probably the first to do it. Well, and the first to really take it sort of to the masses, I think in a meaningful way and in and doing it as well as anyone had done it so all along the way, kind of piecing together in my mind like, gosh, what's maybe a better way to do this, this being getting as much interesting information as you can about a patient.
00:05:59:20 - 00:06:25:14
And probably the most fun part of what we do along the way is to watch like these brilliant functional medicine providers do amazing things. And you know, the ones I think that have always impressed me can actually do pretty brilliant work without even having the lab test where they're just taking all of this information and sitting down and listening, listening to someone's story.
00:06:25:21 - 00:06:56:06
And so they're talking about insulin and blood sugar and cortisol and stress and your life history and your diet and your and all of these things. And then what's dysfunctional? Like, what's sort of wrong with you? And some of them can weave a story from that that results in like these profound stories of change, which is, I think even to this day, the thing that really drives what we do is seeing someone who's in a really bad place in terms of their health and seeing that transformation happen.
00:06:58:04 - 00:07:20:05
And then you start overlaying the lab information and seeing what a meaningful piece of that it can sort of bring to light. And that's the fun part of what we do. But the places I was in before in terms of what we were looking at and the information you're trying to glean about a particular patient, always somewhat limited in terms of how much information you're able to get.
00:07:20:05 - 00:07:38:19
So what do you do is go get a different lab test and you look at any health. If budget isn't an issue, you can look at all of these different things and then these brilliant doctors bringing this all into one sort of cohesive picture and one cohesive story, which then leads to a solution that hopefully leads to a profound change for that patient.
00:07:38:19 - 00:07:59:20
And that's like an amazing thing. And so that was, I think for me, the thing I've always been chasing is what's the best tool we can give those people that are out there trying to make a change in someone's life? Because a lot of times you'll find that the lab testing overlays really nicely with your sort of clinical guess after you hear their story and put all of that together.
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And in that sense, it's confirming it's helpful and it's motivating for the patient. But in a decent fraction of those patients, the lab story gives a little bit of a different angle or maybe a completely different story that once you understand it, it also overlays with now your new interpretation, and now you're going in a better direction as opposed to sort of confidently going in the wrong direction because, you know, hormones and all these different hormone families, the symptoms of dysfunction overlaps a lot, right?
00:08:31:22 - 00:09:03:12
If you've got a patient who has fatigue is that your cortisol? Is at your testosterone? Is it a B12 deficiency? You've got all this overlap. And so the lab testing can be pretty illuminating and more so if it's comprehensive. And so that's I think for me where that game sort of began of like trying to find the best way to arm these providers with the best tool that they can have to illuminate what's going on in someone's health story so that they can initiate profound change in their lives.
00:09:03:12 - 00:09:29:08
And that's, I think, still the fuel that drives what we do with the DUTCH test. You use the word that I find that we use a lot at Precision Analytical, creators of the DUTCH test, the word comprehensive. That word seems to be a word that you chase quite often. It's in the name of the DUTCH test. So why don't we start with where did you come up with DUTCH as what is the DUTCH acronym?
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And where did you come up with DUTCH as the acronym of the testing that we do. It wasn't actually the name when we launched. I actually, to be honest, don't remember what we called this thing that we do. It was dried urine, something, something. And a friend of mine had a series of lectures in Australia and New Zealand and had to back out of it.
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And so they went looking for someone else to talk hormones across the country. And so I said yes and ended up on a plane that was 13 hours, I think between I forget where in Sydney. And so I had a whole lot of time and a sheet of paper and I started sort of acronyms searching and I don't know, mid-flight or so I thought, oh, that actually works.
00:10:15:02 - 00:10:36:02
And then I had, you know, still six more hours for it to grow on me. And so we actually didn't launch the DUTCH test. We launched the straight year and thing that we do, which is actually a bit different than what we do now because it's become more comprehensive over time. But, you know, the dried urine test for comprehensive hormones comes came from that super long flight.
00:10:36:11 - 00:10:57:10
And then we ran with that and it became, as you marketing guys call it, sticky, I guess. And so, yeah, it came from a really long flight to Sydney. Did it always work as a name or has that name ever backfired on you in any way? Um, no. I think it, it just took a while for it to grow on, on our team.
00:10:57:10 - 00:11:17:03
And then, you know, and it's one of those things where, you know, it's like, I don't think of Rice Krispies as being crispy pieces of rice very often until I see the generic version of crispy rice and like, oh, okay. Yeah, you don't even think about what the name is. And that's, you know, become how the test is sort of evolved where people sometimes are years into it
00:11:17:03 - 00:11:35:10
and then they're like, what is the name? Where did it come from? And then they run into that, spelled out acronyms somewhere, you know, and then and then they understand. So yeah, so it's become kind of one of those Kleenex sort of sort of things, which is, which is the goal of marketing, I suppose. But at the time it was just, you know, trying to find some something that we could, we could call this thing.
00:11:35:10 - 00:12:06:23
And that worked. Yeah. So that's how it was named. Have you ever had like an aha moment as you've been going through the science and evolving the test from its origination prior to starting the company? Has there been like an aha moment that sticks out to you that this is why we do what we do? The aha moments are like twofold for me as an analytical guy and as a guy who likes data trying to figure out what is actually a meaningful measurement.
00:12:08:03 - 00:12:27:03
And then there are those aha moments where again, you find like profound change in someone's life and that's that's like more motivating, but from a from a data standpoint, there was a really big movement within saliva testing. So saliva is your best place to go look at your little cortisol pattern, right? You're up and down curve throughout the day.
00:12:27:03 - 00:13:07:21
That's been the way our industry has done it historically. And there were really big groups being really successful, looking at the concept of weight gain and obesity and cortisol and getting pretty good traction. And, you know, hundreds of thousands or millions of tests later, you know, I went sort of digging through data and clinical outcomes and then through the literature and only to find out that there really isn't a relationship between free cortisol and weight gain or BMI or obesity or whatever it is, which it was sort of this kind of slap-you-in-the-face sort of moment because I'm not, you know, lecturing on some of this stuff.
00:13:07:21 - 00:13:28:06
This is before the origination of the company. Um, you know, I'm out lecturing on some of these things and realizing like oh sure, you're not off, you're way off on this topic in terms of where there's meaning. And at the same time, I was playing around with some of the things you can measure in urine other than free cortisol and looking at the metabolites.
00:13:28:06 - 00:13:53:10
And what laid out in the literature is that there's a really strong relationship between the metabolites of cortisol. So cortisol, as it finds itself in urine, not as free cortisol, which is also there, but the metabolites that you can only measure in urine were changing fairly dramatically as people became heavier, skinny or whatever. So there was some some meaningful information there that was being attributed to the wrong piece of the puzzle.
00:13:53:16 - 00:14:16:07
And so that's that's the origination of the concept of shouldn't we be looking at the pattern of free cortisol over time along with the end products which better imply how much cortisol you actually made today. And so that that was really the origination concept is like tough to take cortisol from a two-dimensional picture to a three-dimensional picture.
00:14:16:22 - 00:14:38:02
And then we started having some really big aha moments. When you started mixing those with the clinical pictures of real life. Right. Of a patient whose I had a friend can't even at this point remember who it was, but they were taking thyroid medication and we had this, this kind of classic picture of the free cortisol is low, the metabolites are high.
00:14:38:02 - 00:14:54:13
And she said, well, what causes that? And I'm like, well, the main story that leads to that, that led me to the test is obesity, which isn't a really fun thing to tell your female friend who's actually very skinny. Right. And so then there's an interesting story there, but I don't look very smart because I can't quite tie it together.
00:14:55:11 - 00:15:22:08
And the other thing that leads to that picture, which is sort of a completely different story, but the same picture is having an overactive thyroid. Right. To which she responds, Well, I have an underactive thyroid. So now again, and I'll look very smart. And so the story ended and then she called me back, I don't know, days later or something, and said, oh, like I just like went back and checked my notes with my doctor or whatever, and he put me on thyroid medication to take once a day.
00:15:22:23 - 00:15:51:04
And I misunderstood, and I'm taking it twice a day. And so so she had this induced hypothyroidism that was leading to a unique picture where her free cortisol was low and her metabolites are high. And it made this interesting story, but it didn't make any sense in our initial conversation, but it caused us to dig further and when she did it actually like the clinical story and what was going on overlayed perfectly, which didn't mean she necessarily had anything wrong with her cortisol in that story.
00:15:51:11 - 00:16:20:21
Like pointed to the fact that she had a thyroid issue that was creating a cortisol story. And so she, you know, of course stopped taking too much medication and those results rebounded to then what was actually a fairly normal cortisol pattern. And so that was a really that was really early on and sort of was a nice light bulb moment of like, wow, you get some actually really profound stories where um, the way I used to describe that to people is you can confidently run in the wrong direction as a provider.
00:16:20:21 - 00:16:48:19
When you have one piece of that story and not the entire story. And that like those types of moments were really big for us to sort of affirm and confirm that this thing that we were building was really useful in these, especially in these handful of complex cases where there are a lot of things going on. And so you need a lot of information to sort of unpack the story so that you're characterizing them well as it relates to, in that case, cortisol.
00:16:48:19 - 00:17:08:09
And then there were sort of parallel, interesting stories about estrogen and androgens as you look at not just the hormones but also the metabolites that those turn into and trying to piece that all together to try to figure out what's going on with a specific individual and then hopefully help them. And that's the whole purpose of endocrine essentials.
00:17:08:09 - 00:17:34:12
Everything that you just talked about that we're going to be laying out over the next 16, 17 weeks. We we get to hear about the estrogen detox and the circadian rhythm and what is metabolize cortisol in the cortisol, the waking response and how all of this was developed. And and those stories are really what we're here to share and learn more about and be able to dive into it.
00:17:34:16 - 00:17:56:16
And it kind of rings the bell for me on something that you just changed you just recently took a look at our core values and our mission statement and you tease it out a little bit more. So maybe you can kind of unpack for us. What is that mission statement? Why does Precision Analytical, creators of the DUTCH test, why do they exist and what are you trying to accomplish here?
00:17:57:14 - 00:18:23:13
Why do we exist that I think was not articulated well in our mission statement, which is why we made a little bit of a change. So the mission statement has to do and I quote it, I probably quote it wrong but now it's retired, so that's okay. But it has to do with us leading the functional the functional endocrinology world in on the testing side of it so that we can change lives.
00:18:23:13 - 00:18:50:14
And but the way that it was worded really didn't didn't strike at the core of what our cause is as a company. Like, why do we actually show up to work every day? And so we spent actually some months sort of trying to tease that out in terms of taking a mission statement and splitting it into two different statements, one being what we do, which is to lead the functional endocrinology testing world and then why we do it, which is obviously a different question.
00:18:51:12 - 00:19:16:19
And that really, I think, clarified as as we as we work through what really is the fuel that drives what we do on a daily basis, which is to profoundly change someone's life like on an individual basis. Like those those are the things that really drive what we do is the profound change of one life. And if we just stop right there, obviously that's not a very lofty goal.
00:19:17:14 - 00:19:47:00
So then our are sort of causal why statement became to profoundly change one life and then a million more. And that's that's I think the fuel that really drives what we do from a daily basis of like, hey, make sure we get this right today. But then also stepping back from that and looking at it from that, you know, 30,000-foot view of like how do we make this better so that we're more likely to profoundly change the next life that pees on some filter paper and sends it to us.
00:19:48:11 - 00:20:09:07
You know, how how do we change that life? And so that's that's what drives you know, our method development is trying to add to the story of what what began as just hormones and their metabolites. And then we started adding to that picture of like, gee, melatonin plays into that picture and oxidative stress plays into that picture and and some nutrient deficiencies play into the same story.
00:20:09:12 - 00:20:25:21
And so continuing to add to build in the different pieces of that story so that when these really capable providers are trying to characterize their patient, their patients dysfunction, well that we're giving them the most powerful tool that we can to do that effectively.
So Mark, April 17th, 2012 Andy Tyssen goes to the state of Oregon and files articles of incorporation for Precision Analytical.
00:21:13:15 - 00:21:21:06
It's been ten years what are you most proud of in the last ten years to getting us to where we are today?
I don't know if any one thing stands out to me because there are so many pieces to trying to build what we're trying to build. Um, you know, we just got a paper accepted for publication that shows that, hey, our test actually works in terms of monitoring. In this case, transdermal estrogen gel therapy right?
00:21:52:10 - 00:22:10:09
So that's like one little thing, um, that was done on the top of my list of things that we're proud of. But the, like, there are so many different pieces to it that are important. One is just building the thing that you want to build, which is still a moving target because it's never as comprehensive as we want it to be.
00:22:12:10 - 00:22:47:19
But then proving that it actually works. And so with each of those steps, I think it adds confidence and adds clarity to how to do this thing best that we do, which is building in and then using the testing that we have. So which all falls apart if you don't have the culture to support it. And that's probably close to the top of my list is just like these this awesome group of people that we have that have been able to build a culture where we can do something that's impactful and continue to improve it over time.
00:22:48:01 - 00:23:08:00
And so it does become this continuum where there's there's no moment in time. And that's actually part of our core value. Core value number four is always advancing, right? And so I don't want there to be a moment in time where someone relaxes and says, hey, we're done. Like we we're there because there is never here. It's always, you know, upward and onward and sort of a thing.
00:23:08:21 - 00:23:30:05
And so so for me, there is no one thing. It's really the the collective whole that we've almost accomplished. And I think if that's the mindset that I want, it's to always keep because, you know, for me, I'm going to get bored the day we ever just park this thing and say, hey, like we've we've arrived. There is no arrived.
00:23:30:05 - 00:23:49:17
Because there's always one more piece to the story that, you know, the way our testing works today, if you went back and applied our test today to those first 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, whatever patients that use our tests like, they would have been better served by our test today than they were on day one. And I don't ever want to lose sight of that.
00:23:49:17 - 00:24:11:21
So I guess the thing I'm proudest of is the thing we're where we get to do, which is, is to continue making this thing more useful, to be more impactful in in more lives. And there are a lot of different pieces to that and all of those pieces, you know, contribute to the whole in, in pretty meaningful ways.
00:24:12:15 - 00:24:37:01
So we're going to get to this in detail in one of the last episodes that will come out in July but what's next? What are you working on that you're excited about that's advancing the company to be next? What's next? We're always looking at ways like the phrase I've been using recently, but a lot is meaningful differentiation, right?
00:24:37:01 - 00:24:59:11
We don't want to add noise to the DUTCH test. It's comprehensive, which means it's a handful for people, especially on their first sort of go through it and so that's why we've become so passionate about education as we need to help people, you know, properly leverage the information that we're giving them. So we want to add information that's meaningful and not just noise.
00:25:00:11 - 00:25:24:10
So the things we're looking at adding in the near future are a buy. It's a deficiency marker, a neuroinflammation marker, and potentially some marker for an indication that something might be going on in your gut. So each of those three things adds to our story in a pretty different way. It's a whole different category of information, right? I'm a woman.
00:25:24:15 - 00:25:48:20
I'm losing my hair. I'm going to my doctor, my doctor says, hey, the DUTCH test is great because, you know, I'm going to go do a thyroid panel because thyroid relates to potentially the hair loss. Maybe that's it. Maybe isn't. You know, sometimes medicine is a process of elimination. Um, am I making a lot of DHT? Well, urine test is a pretty nice way to look at whether my androgens are turning into that really potent androgen DHT that causes hair loss.
00:25:48:20 - 00:26:17:07
And that's that's a piece of the puzzle we've always had. Right. But what if an overt biotin deficiency is part of your story as it relates to hair loss? Well, wouldn't it be nice if when you did your blood thyroid panel and you mixed it with a DUTCH test to look at your androgen metabolism, you also had a biotin deficiency marker staring at you such that the one-out-of-ten or 20 or whatever it is of your hair loss patients that have an overt biotin deficiency that needs addressed.
00:26:18:10 - 00:26:38:03
If your hormone test had that, wouldn't that be nice? So that's one thing we're adding because one, we don't want to miss biotin deficiency, but we also don't want providers treating things that don't exist, right? We don't want as a provider, we don't wanna throw the kitchen sink at people in ignorance, you know, give ten people extra biotin because one of them might be deficient, right?
00:26:38:03 - 00:27:00:17
So we, that's our goal is to give the most comprehensive look at those things that we can. Neuroinflammation is another topic where we really wanted a marker. There's a nice urine marker when a clinic acid kind of like cleanliness that is specifically indicative of inflammation, specifically neuroinflammation. So that's that adds to a lot of the stories of patients that that we're looking at.
00:27:00:17 - 00:27:29:18
And then and then hormone levels particularly like high estrogen levels can be related to having gut issues because the estrogen circulates because of what's going on in your gut. So having some sort of indication, particularly for those providers where DUTCH is their first line of sort of testing as a way to sort of figure out what's going on with somebody and maybe testing that relates to the gut isn't in their first line of attack in terms of, you know, using their patients money to try to uncover what's going on.
00:27:29:18 - 00:27:53:09
So those are the three areas where we're looking at adding some meaningful markers in the near future to bring the DUTCH test even more into that comprehensive realm of getting as much information as we can that relates to your potential dysfunction that's hormonally related okay.
Well, that's great. I'm really looking forward to this this opportunity in season one to take all the things that we're talking about here. Boil them down to the essentials of the endocrine system.
00:28:16:04 - 00:28:32:18
It's going to be a great space. We're going to have some amazing guests that we've already kind of talked about and that we're bringing into the show. This first season is going to be be great to get everybody on that level playing field or one of the basics, one of the essentials of the endocrine system through the lens of the DUTCH test and understanding what the DUTCH test is.
00:28:32:18 - 00:29:00:08
So, Mark, thanks for joining episode one. Ready to kick this off. It's been a long time coming. I'm excited for it. I hope you're excited for it, too. Yes, it's going to be a lot of fun. Thanks, Noah.
Thanks for joining us today.
00:37:59:01 - 00:38:17:04
And I look forward to all of the upcoming episodes that we have planned. It's been great having you on the show to talk about the history of the DUTCH test and the basics of hormone testing. And a big thank you to all of our listeners who joined us for this first episode. So stay tuned for next week's episode where we have our very special guest, Dr. Jeff Bland.
00:38:17:10 - 00:38:36:02
And Mark will be back in studio to ask the godfather of functional medicine himself what exactly is functional medicine and why is functional testing so important for providers? Don't forget to like and subscribe so that you don't miss any of these new episodes. And I’m Noah Reed. Thanks for joining us today. Until next time.