Best Vitamin Blood Tests In 2022
At-home vitamin tests can tell you if youre deficient in several key biomarkers that impact your overall health and wellness. Vitamin deficiency can have a wide range of effects including chronic tiredness, mouth ulcers, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and more.
Through weeks of research of dozens of companies, weve found the best at-home vitamin tests that provide fast and reliable results and useful insights.
Our #1 pick is LetsGetChecked as youre provided with in-depth reports, great test variety, and access to support from experienced nurses around the clock.
Vitamin D Production Can Vary Significantly
The ability of each person to produce vitamin D through sun exposure or to increase the vitamin D level by taking vitamin d supplements, can vary significantly and depends on age, body weight, skin colour, sun exposure, and life style.
It is not said, that each person can reach the same vitamin D level by taking the same amount of vitamin D or having the same sun exposure. Some people may need more or less vitamin D per day to achieve the same level.
Therefore, the recommended rules for calculating the optimal vitamin D dosage are only indicative. To know your personal vitamin D level, a 25D blood test has to be performed. It shows you exactly how your vitamin D level is changing depending on the vitamin D intake and sun exposure.
Health Effects Of High Levels
It was long thought that high vitamin B12 levels werent harmful, but a significant number of emerging studies have linked high B12 blood levels and B12 supplementation to higher cancer risk and mortality.
However, much like the studies linking folic acid to cancer, the studies below are not conclusive. Many point only to an association, not causation. More large-scale and well-designed research is needed.
1) Associated with Higher Risk of Cancer
In a study of over 333,000 people without cancer, the risk of cancer increased with higher B12 levels and was highest during the first year of follow-up. The risk was particularly elevated for blood-, smoking-, and alcohol-related cancers .
Similarly, in over 476,000 people without cancer or vitamin B12 prescriptions , high B12 levels were linked to a higher incidence of cancer .
A large-scale study looked at 5,000 lung cancer-control pairs and reviewed genetic data of 29k cancer patients and 56k healthy people. Higher blood vitamin B12 was associated with higher lung cancer risk. In addition, genetic variants linked to higher vitamin B12 levels were also linked with higher overall lung cancer risk .
Two meta-analyses of 6 and 7 studies, respectively, linked higher vitamin B12 levels to a small increase in the risk of prostate cancer .
2) Associated with All-Cause, Heart Disease, and Cancer Mortality
Several studies of hospitalized patients found a link between higher B12 levels and mortality .
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Preparing For The Home Tests
Its possible to test your B-12 levels at home. Home test kits cost about $50.00 each and can be purchased online. Most home kits test your urine for the presence of MMA, which is linked to early stages of a vitamin B-12 deficiency.
You may need to send your urine sample to a laboratory. These kits will include a jar and mailing instructions. Others will include test strips that you dip into your urine sample yourself, allowing you to read your results right away.
Both high and low levels of vitamin B-12 may indicate an underlying problem. Low levels of B-12 can suggest anemia, an internal parasite, and hyperthyroidism. High levels of B-12 may increase your risk for cancer, according to Medical Daily.
High levels of B-12 can also be a sign of:
- liver disease
For urine tests, a normal range for MMA is under 3.8 mcg/mC. If you have higher levels, you may have B-12 deficiency.
The normal range for holoTC is 23100 pmol/L. Low holoTC is an early indicator of low B-12.
Is It Less Expensive To Test For Vitamin Deficiencies At Home
While we assessed the affordability of our recommended at-home vitamin deficiency tests, these arent covered by medical insurance. In some cases, you may be able to use your applicable FSA/HSA funds toward your purchases.
You can also talk with your insurance company to see if they cover nutritional deficiency tests performed at your doctors office or local lab. Comparing such costs can help you determine which option could be the most affordable.
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Best Labs To Check Magnesium Levels
Red blood cell magnesium This is the best way to measure magnesium levels. In the very rare instance that your doctor orders a magnesium level for you, it will most likely be serum magnesium. This test is practically useless in determining magnesium deficiency unless it is significantly deficient. This is because the body will borrow magnesium stores from other areas of the body, such as the bones and muscles, to maintain a normal serum level.
We believe optimal levels of RBC magnesium are between 50-70 mcg/g or 5-7 mg/dL, depending on the labs reference range.
Looking For Reference Ranges
You may be able to find your test results on your laboratorys website or patient portal. However, you are currently at Testing.com. You may have been directed here by your labs website in order to provide you with background information about the test you had performed. You will need to return to your labs website or portal, or contact your healthcare practitioner in order to obtain your test results.
Testing.com is an award-winning patient education website offering information on laboratory tests. The content on the site, which has been reviewed by laboratory scientists and other medical professionals, provides general explanations of what results might mean for each test listed on the site, such as what a high or low value might suggest to your healthcare practitioner about your health or medical condition.
The reference ranges for your tests can be found on your laboratory report. They are typically found to the right of your results.
If you do not have your lab report, consult your healthcare provider or the laboratory that performed the test to obtain the reference range.
For more information, please read the article Reference Ranges and What They Mean.
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What Is A Vitamin B12 Test
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin required for brain and nerve functioning, while playing a key role in hair quality and red blood cells development. The vitamin B12 test measures the levels of the vitamin in the body and determines risk of vitamin deficiency.
Since a deficiency can be caused by several factors, it is best to get a complete vitamin profile done to determine causes of vitamin deficiencies. Also since a test of Vitamin A is equally as important as a test for Vitamin B12 or D3, the right approach is to get a complete vitamin profile done.
Can I Take The Test At Home
Several at-home test kits are commercially available that allow you to provide a blood sample for vitamin D testing. Some kits test only your vitamin D levels, and others test vitamin D in combination with additional measurements, such as other vitamins and minerals or C-reactive protein.
Vitamin D home collection kits may be purchased online and include the materials you need to take a finger prick sample of blood that is returned by mail to the testing company to analyze. Your at-home vitamin D test results are usually reported to you via a secure online platform.
At-home testing can be convenient and enable you to participate in your health care, but at-home tests cannot replace working with a health care professional. If you have symptoms of an abnormal level of vitamin D, be sure to share your concerns with your health care provider. If an at-home test detects a vitamin D deficiency, insufficiency, or toxicity, your doctor will likely recommend retesting your vitamin D level to confirm the result.
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Best Labs To Check Vitamin D Level
25-hydroxyvitamin D This is the best measure of inactive vitamin D in your blood and the test most likely to be ordered by your doctor. We like to see levels between 35-60 ng/mL and around 50 in patients with autoimmune disease, as it appears to have a protective effect.
1,25-hydroxyvitamin D This is the active form of vitamin D and helps indicate if your body has appropriate amounts. This test isnt often ordered, but can be useful in helping determine stealth infections and autoimmunity. Normal levels are between 40-110 pmol/L, while levels above 110 indicate a possible infection or autoimmune disease.
What Is Nutrition Testing
Nutrients can be separated into two distinct categories:
Nutrition testing can be used to evaluate the levels of these macronutrients and micronutrients in the blood. Test results can be compared to a reference range of normal values, and help doctors diagnose nutritional deficiencies.
Nutritional testing has many uses in functional medicine, such as in assessing blood chemistry, hormone function, gut health, metabolic function, blood sugar regulation, food sensitivities and allergies, organ function and more.
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Best Comprehensive Test: Baze Vitamin Test Kit
- Time for Results: about 3 weeks
Bazes Vitamin Test Kit assesses your levels of nine different micronutrients: choline, chromium, selenium, copper, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, omega-3, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and magnesium.
More expensive than other tests
May take 3 weeks for results
Some measurements only disclosed in ranges
Baze is another individualized supplement service. Like Rootine, its supplements are specially formulated for each customer based on their test results. Baze offers the most comprehensive test, checking for nine different nutrients: choline, magnesium, chromium, selenium, copper, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, omega-3, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
The Baze blood test can be ordered online for about $199 and shipping is free. Subscribers to the Baze service get discounted retests at roughly $149. The company recommends repeating the blood test every three months, but youre able to push this back to every 12 months if you wish. Note that you cant use FSA or HSA funds to pay for Bazes test right now.
The kit features an easy-to-use device that can be placed directly on your arm to collect your blood sample. However, results take roughly three weeks. Their lab protocols meet International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use guidelines.
Reviewers like the customization provided by Baze, but do express frustration at how long it takes for the blood test results to be returned.
Treatment For Vitamin D Deficiency
Treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D — through diet and supplements. Although there is no consensus on vitamin D levels required for optimal health — and it likely differs depending on age and health conditions — a concentration of less than 20 nanograms per milliliter is generally considered inadequate, requiring treatment.
Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine increased the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D to 600 international units for everyone ages 1-70, and raised it to 800 IU for adults older than age 70 to optimize bone health. The safe upper limit was also raised to 4,000 IU. Doctors may prescribe more than 4,000 IU to correct a vitamin D deficiency.
If you don’t spend much time in the sun or always are careful to cover your skin , you should speak to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.
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What Is Vitamin D Deficiency
A Vitamin D deficiency is the tested levels of the vitamin that are lower than normal range. Levels that are lower than 20 and 40 ng/mL may be termed as a deficiency for the vitamin. If you are experiencing symptoms of deficiency then it is best to get tested immediately.
Your body needs enough vitamin D to prevent diseases, improve mood regulation, and strengthen bones long-term. You can get enough Vitamin D through sunlight, foods fortified with vitamin D, dairy, and meat. Supplementation is also a good strategy for those with lower D levels.
In chronic cases, the deficiency of Vitamin D is also associated with rickets, which can weaken bone development for children. Individuals can also get chronic bone pain, weak bones, and bone deformities if they aren’t getting enough vitamin D.
Everlywell B Vitamins Test
This test from Everlywell measures three common B vitamin deficiencies: B6, B9 , and B12. You may consider this test if you eat mostly a plant-based diet or if youre experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, mood changes, and skin health concerns.
The Everlywell B Vitamins Test is blood-based. In your test kit, you will receive a lancet that takes a small amount of blood via your fingertip. You will then place the blood on the test card before sending it back.
Once you order and receive your kit, make sure you register online before sending your sample back. Everlywell uses CLIA-certified labs to process all samples for their home test kits, ensuring accuracy in their results.
After your test is processed, an independent, board certified medical doctor from your state of residence will review your results for quality and accuracy. Your results will then post to your confidential account.
As a bonus, Everlywell also hosts educational webinars related to the tests they offer, where customers may also submit questions.
The B Vitamins Test has mostly 5-star reviews on the companys website. One downside is the popularity of this test, as it tends to sell out quickly.
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Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
You may wish to ask your doctor or other health care provider questions about your vitamin D test results, such as:
- Do my vitamin D test levels indicate a deficiency or insufficiency?
- Do my test results show that I have been taking too much vitamin D as a supplement?
- Will additional testing be needed?
- Do my test results indicate that treatment is needed?
What Is The Vitamin D Blood Test Used For
The vitamin D values shown when doing a blood test are usually the 25-hydroxy vitamin D values. This is the main circulating form of vitamin D in the blood. The 25D value hardly change day-to-day, with exposure to sunlight or with dietary intake and the measurement is relatively easy.
The vitamin D blood test is asked and may be a help in case of suffering:
- Bone problems or disease
- Low or limited exposure to sunlight
A high level of vitamin D in the blood is not common and may be related to vitamin D toxicity due to a daily use of high-dose vitamin D supplements.
A low value of vitamin D in the blood may be related to a low intake of vitamin D or a low exposure to sunlight.
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Ways To Increase Vitamin B12
The most important thing is to work with your doctor to find out whats causing your low vitamin B12 levels and to treat any underlying conditions.
Discuss the additional lifestyle changes listed below with your doctor. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes!
1) Get More Vitamin B12 in Your Diet
If your diet is low in vitamin B12, try and boost your dietary B12 intake.
Common sources of B12 include animal products such as red meat, fish, poultry, yogurt, and milk. Vitamin B12 is poorly absorbed from eggs .
A couple of studies suggest that algae may also be a viable source of B12 .
However, keep in mind that vitamin B12 levels are often low due to underlying conditions, such as impaired nutrient absorption due to gut-associated disease. In these cases, a simple dietary change wont help increase B12 levels.
2) Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol consumption can reduce B12. Avoiding it will prevent further decreases in B12 levels .
3) Avoid Smoking
Smoking can also lower B12 levels and should be avoided .
4) Alternative Drugs
Knowing that your drugs likely decrease B12 levels can help if you take action and supplement accordingly. Metformin in diabetics is a good example .
Review your medication with your doctor or another healthcare professional, and discuss alternatives for those that are decreasing your B12 levels.
Natural or biologically active forms are a better option than synthetic cyanocobalamin.
Why Is Vitamin D Important
This at-home vitamin D blood test lets you test for vitamin D deficiency or toxicity in the comfort of your own home with just a simple finger prick. But why does vitamin D matter in the first place?
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the bodyâs ability to regulate the absorption and levels of calcium and phosphorus. It also greatly influences your ability to maintain a healthy bone structure, reduce inflammation, and promote cell growth.
Commonly referred to as the âsunshine vitamin,â vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in the fatty tissues of the body, which is then released when not in direct sunlight. We typically get 50-90% of our vitamin D from the sunlight itself, with the remainder coming from our diet, where it is mostly found within fatty fish , egg yolks, and fortified dairy products.
Lack of vitamin D or severe vitamin D deficiency is also believed to cause an increased risk of serious illnesses like:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Muscle Weakness or Pain
Your results will contain your personal level of vitamin D and whether it is low, normal, or high as compared to someone who shares a similar demographic profile as you .
If your results indicate that you may have vitamin D insufficiency, we can provide guidance and general recommendations to help improve low vitamin D levels. We might also suggest other lifestyle changes that are often helpful in getting your bodyâs levels within the recommended range.
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