Vitamin And Mineral Levels Testing
Optimal nutritional balance is essential for the function of every cell and system in your body. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that you are getting the right balance of nutrientsand the goal posts seem to change daily!
To assess your vitamin and mineral status, your Remède nutritionist, naturopath or doctor will start by performing a thorough assessment of your overall health and an examination of your daily dietary intake, which may include a diet diary, cellular health analysis and other tests to evaluate your vitamin and mineral status. This will give you a clear understanding of where any deficits may be and inform and empower you to make any necessary changes.
Your Remède practitioner may also recommend a nutritional profile test if you are concerned about your nutritional intake or if they are concerned about your overall levels and the impact of nutritional deficiencies on your health issues. The nutritional profile test requires a blood test.
Example of Nutritional tests include:
How To Choose A Home B12 Test At Home Kit:
As we touched on above, the most important things you need to consider when choosing an at-home testing kit for vitamin B12 include:
- Check if they measure active B12 levels or total B12 levels, and choose which you would prefer. Remember total vitamin B12 levels tests are not always suitable for diagnosing a deficiency
- Do they use accredited UKAS laboratories to test your samples? You dont want just any old lab testing your results, make sure they are the real deal
- Do they have doctors on hand to help interpret your results? Some aftercare is sometimes necessary, especially if you have confusing results, so check if they have a doctor on board to help if needed.
- Do they have good reviews? Check their brand website and the reviews they have received to see what other people think of their service.
Medichecks Vitamin D Blood Test
If you would like to check your vitamin D levels at home, this at home vitamin D test kit by Medichecks could be for you!
- Measures the major circulating form of vitamin D
- An easy and affordable way to check if your vitamin D levels are normal or you are deficient
- Simple finger-prick sample method, which is sent off and checked by accredited laboratories with a doctors interpretation
- Results in 2 working days from sample receipt at lab
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How To Determine The Vitamin D3 Level
You can measure your vitamin D levels by using a blood test to determine if you have enough vitamin D in your body. In fact, not the active form of vitamin D is measured, but the concentration of 25D in the blood.
The 25 D value is a precursor of vitamin D, in which form is is transported in the blood. If necessary, this form is converted into the active form of vitamin D .
The 25 D value shows how much vitamin D you got through nutrition or produced during sun exposure. But this value does not tell you anything about your vitamin D levels throughout the year, which will vary depending on the sun exposure and vitamin D uptake from food.
The half-life of 25 Vitamin D is 2 month. This means, that the vitamin D level will fall to half of its value, provided that you no longer get any vitamin D at all.
Best Labs To Check Vitamin B12 Levels
Serum Vitamin B12: This is a simple and fairly reliable way to measure vitamin B12 levels. Many doctors believe they can surmise B12 deficiency by looking at the shape of red blood cells. While this test a complete blood count can indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is not very reliable and does nothing to detect a functional deficiency. A functional deficiency is when you have a nutrient level that is considered normal by conventional standards, but the nutrient is not at an adequate level to do its job in the body optimally.
We like to see serum B12 levels at a minimum of 500 pg/mL, but prefer it to be above 900 pg/mL. We will often cross-reference this number with a urine MMA test.
Urine Methylmalonic Acid : MMA is a marker that, when elevated, indicates a vitamin B12 deficiency. We love to use this test in our practice because it shows if B12 is doing its job adequately. We have many patients who have normal serum B12 levels but an elevated MMA, meaning that they are functionally deficient.
Optimal urinary MMA levels should be below 1.0 mmol/mol. Some patients have serum B12 levels that are above the normal reference range, yet their MMA was elevated, indicating a functional deficiency. This is why functional tests like urinary MMA are so important.
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When To Take A Supplement
Most people can get the nutrients they need from diet alone. So if you dont have a nutrient deficiency, you shouldnt take a supplement just for the sake of it. Synthetic nutrients dont always match up to those found naturally in foods.
A good approach is to monitor your vitamin and mineral levels with a blood test. If youre low in a certain nutrient, you can up your intake of foods rich in these nutrients. However, supplements are definitely necessary in some cases.
Vitamin D supplements During autumn and winter, Public Health England advises that everyone should consider taking a 10 mcg daily vitamin D supplement from October to March. And if youre more at-risk, they recommend taking them year-round.
If youre someone who doesnt get much sunlight during the summer months, wear sunscreen top to toe, or have darker skin, then its recommended that you take a supplement all year.
Vitamin B12 supplements If youre a vegan or vegetarian then youre more at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. If a blood test shows that youre deficient or if you follow a strict vegan diet then its recommended that you take a supplement.
A cyanocobalamin supplement is a good choice as its a form that your body can easily use. Its also possible to get a vitamin B12 injection this is especially useful if your deficiency is caused by absorption issues in your stomach. The form of hydroxocobalamin can be given every three months.
What Is An Adequate Level Of Vitamin D
Adults under the age of 70 are advised to get 15 mcg of vitamin D per day. If you are 71 years of age or older, 20 mcg is recommended.
Previous research has explored the potentially protective relationship between vitamin D and COVID-19. A study published in August highlighted vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 patients who experienced acute respiratory failure. An October study on 50 COVID-19 patients linked a high dose of a type of vitamin D with lower rates of intensive care unit treatment.
Given that vitamin D is involved in many bodily functions and plays an important role in immune health, Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, a nutritionist from California, recommends getting your vitamin D levels checked.
“Vitamin D concern is something I’ve seen become increasingly of interest over the last three years in my practice due to the fact so many individuals across the U.S. have low vitamin D levels,” Shaw tells Verywell. “As with everything, 2020 and the pandemic has definitely increased the public’s interest.”
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, bone and joint pain, and depression.
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Reverses And Prevents Anemia
This study has found that chronically low levels in vitamin D can cause anemia. This is interesting as we mostly think of anemia as a result of low iron and/or vitamin B12. We now know vitamin D can also play a role. Symptoms of anemia include deep fatigue, rapid heartbeat, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, pale skin, leg cramps, and insomnia.
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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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.
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.
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Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency
Signs you may be missing key vitamins and minerals, and how to reverse deficiencies
Everyone knows that we need vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies healthy. But how do you know when you aren’t meeting your body’s needs?
“There are many telltale signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” says Patricia Graham, MD, an internal medicine specialist at Rush University Medical Center. “But the good news is that often, if you take steps to address the deficiency, the symptoms will either improve or go away altogether.”
Here, Graham walks through six red-flag scenarios, and how you might reverse any deficiencies found.
Recommended Ranges And Dosages Of Vitamin D
If you go by the ranges found in labs or given by traditional doctors, healthy blood levels of vitamin D are from 30 to 100 ng/ml. If you are below 10, pretty much everyone agrees that you are severely deficient, and if you are below 30, the Endocrine Society and the Vitamin D Council still maintain that you are not getting enough.
Functional medicines recommended range for healthy people is 60 to 80 ng/ml, especially so for people with a family or personal health history of cancers and autoimmune conditions.
If your levels are below 60 ng/ml, functionally trained doctors recommend a dose of vitamin D3 in the range of 5,000 to 8,000 UI per day. It may take 3 to 4 months to get into a healthy range. You can then switch to a maintenance dose of 2,000 UI per day. You can easily get a blood test done to confirm it.
For people with Hashimotos Disease , its very very important for your vitamin D levels to be in the upper ranges of 60.
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About Our Vitamin Mineral & Nutritional Tests
Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients. These nutrients are the raw materials that the body needs to perform important functions like healing wounds, supporting the immune system, and even converting food into energy. If the body has too many or too little vitamins and minerals, it can severely throw off daily functions and create health issues.
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.
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Ask A Laboratory Scientist
This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.
Do Home Vitamin D Blood Tests Work
If you go with a reputable home blood test brand that sends out good testing kit, clear instructions, and uses accredited laboratories to test your blood samples, and details/communicates your results clearly, then yes, they should work.
Obviously, you have to take ownership of following instructions correctly and completing your part at home, as this is the most important bit to get right!
Best For Accuracy: Letsgetchecked Micronutrient Test
Get 30% off with code Verywell30
- Time for Results: 2-5 days
The Micronutrient Test from LetsGetChecked is our top pick for accuracy because its labs are CLIA-approved and CAP-accredited.
Checks your levels of seven micronutrients
Labs are CLIA and CAP approved
Results in 25 days
Pricier than other micronutrient tests
Only tests one B vitamin level
More involved sample collection process than others
The Micronutrient Test from LetsGetChecked assesses 7 different micronutrient levels: magnesium, copper, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. It is roughly $199 with free shipping and will arrive at your door in about five days. You can use FSA or HSA funds to pay for the test. Note that the test isnt available in New York.
Using the LetsGetChecked app or website, you should activate your test before you collect your sample. After collecting it, mail the sample back to the lab and youll be notified when your results are ready.
Reviewers are satisfied with the test, but some LetsGetChecked customers wish that there was more individualized advice available after you receive your results.
For optimal test accuracy, all LetsGetChecked tests are analyzed in a CLIA-certified and CAP-approved lab.
Vitamin Deficiencies And Nutrition Levels From Blood Testing
Last Reviewed Date: Nov 18, 2021 Nov 18, 2021 Aug 22, 2017
Chapter 1: Healthy Body: Nutrition Basics Chapter 2: Dieting and Your Health Chapter 3: Hormones and Your Weight Chapter 4: Trending Diets: What You Should Know About Them Chapter 5: How to Avoid Hitting the Wall: Nutrition Guide for Athletes Chapter 6: Vitamins and Your Health Chapter 7: Gluten Testing: What You Need To Know Chapter 8: Vitamins and Your Weight: Are They Linked? Chapter 9: Dietary Supplements: Friend or Foe? Chapter 10: Overdosing on Vitamins: Too Much Of A Good Thing Is Possible Chapter 11: Commonly Asked Questions about Nutrition and Vitamin Supplements
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How Do I Know If I Have A Vitamin D Deficiency
The best way of diagnosing a Vitamin D deficiency is with a blood test. You can do this blood test at home use a home vitamin D test kit that you can order online from Superdrug Online Doctor. Its a pin-prick blood test that means you only need to collect a few drops of blood and then send your sample
Readers Say Vitamin Levels Should Be Checked Yearly
Processed foods, mineral-depleted soil, overcooked vegetables, increased stress levels — all of these increase the chances of having a vitamin deficiency, according to a vocal majority of MedPage Today readers who commented on last week’s poll.
We asked readers if and when patients should be assessed for vitamin deficiencies. Of the more than 2,200 votes, 69% said that patients’ vitamin levels should be assessed at least annually.
“I cannot remember how many patients have been rescued from dementia and psychosis by B12, especially when I have a geriatric focus,” said one doctor, who also touted vitamin D, calcium, fish oil, and thyroid testing. “Everybody deserves a look about once a year.”
But once a year was not enough for some and too much for others. One cardiologist said he or she tests vitamin levels every six months with a “pick up rate over 25%.” Another commenter said that yearly testing seems too frequent. “Getting a baseline every five years with additional testing as needed seems better.”
We received several anecdotal accounts about vitamin deficiency being caught, but only when the patient requested the test.
“I was diagnosed with severe insufficiency of vitamin D and only had it tested because I requested it,” said one woman, who added that her mother and daughter were subsequently found to be vitamin D-deficient.
But what is the root cause of vitamin deficiency? “We need to start with nutrition,” was how one physician simply put it.
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