Why Get Nutritional Testing
Nutrients play a vital role in almost every physiological process in the body, from metabolism and immunity to digestion and hormone regulation. Over time, nutritional imbalances can lead to symptoms such as weight gain or loss, muscle mass and/or bone density loss, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, poor memory and focus, insomnia and even life-threatening diseases.
All too often, patients suffering from these ailments have their concerns brushed aside by physicians. In reality, they may be on track to developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease. A simple blood test is a powerful tool that can help identify nutritional problems early and prevent the development of disease.
Even patients who do not suffer from uncomfortable symptoms may be deficient in certain essential nutrients. Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium are among the most common nutrient deficiencies in the United States and can be easily identified with a blood test for nutritional deficiencies. Modifying your diet or adding in supplements is an easy way to correct deficiencies and achieve optimal health.
What Our Customers Think
Lauren0 Great quality 5/5 stars
I was looking for an active b12 test rather than serum b12 and happy to find it from Holland and Barrett online! Very pleased with price of the test as it came cheaper than the manufacturer. Delivery was great too. Medichecks itself was good with the feedback as it was clear and prompt.
What Should I Expect From My Vitamin Test
A vitamin test is a simple procedure. A small sample of your blood will be drawn and sent to a lab for testing. Then in a few days you will receive your results. One thing to note: our labs will include a reference range for each vitamin. Meaning a value for high and low level so that you can easily read your test results on your own. However your doctor or nutritionist might have another range that they use for their patients. Either is fine, but if youâre following a specific treatment plan then use the range provided in that plan.
Don’t Miss: Can Prenatal Vitamins Increase Fertility
What Are The Consequences Of Vitamin Deficiencies
While the exact health concerns vary by the type of nutritional deficiency you have, the consequences may go beyond feeling fatigued.
For example, an extremely low intake of iron could lead to anemia, and a long-term vitamin D deficiency could impact your bone health and overall inflammation in the body.
What Nutritional Supplements Should I Take
Most people dont need to take supplements because a diet rich in carbohydrates, a variety of fruit, vegetables, beans, and pulses as well as good sources of protein should provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
However, it is recommended that everyone in the UK should take a vitamin D supplement, particularly during the winter months because of the lack of sunlight.
You can find out more in our blog on supplements.
Recommended Reading: Which Vitamin Is Good For Face
Letsgetchecked Vitamin B12 Test
For quick, yet accurate vitamin B12 testing, consider this kit from LetsGetChecked. Like Everlywells B Vitamins Test, LetsGetCheckeds Vitamin B12 Test requires a blood sample via finger-pricking. The company also offers a video to show you how to conduct your test.
This vitamin B12 test may be right for you if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, and if youre experiencing symptoms of a possible deficiency such as chronic fatigue, brain fog, and digestive upset.
Before collecting your sample, the company recommends that youre fasting, and that you complete the test before 10:00 a.m. Once youve sent the test back, you can expect your results in 2 to 5 days. These are also reviewed by board certified doctors.
The LetsGetChecked Vitamin B12 Test has multiple 5-star reviews noting quick and accurate results. They also use CLIA-certified labs.
Perhaps the biggest downside is the higher price for testing a single micronutrient. However, if you have a history of low vitamin B12, you may consider a subscription to test every 3 months, which also includes a 30% discount.
What Happens If There Is A Deficiency
When a lack of micronutrient occurs, depending on which one it is, the patient suffers from a deficiency disease. The effects of these diseases can sometimes be crippling as seen in the cases of Rickets, which is a lack of Vitamin D and Scurvy- a lack of Vitamin C.
Additionally, certain nutrients are required to be present in an expectant mother while a fetus is forming, a lack of which causes serious birth defects. There are many forms of supplements that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms.
Minerals such as folic acid have been used in the prevention of birth defects, in particular, Neural Tube Defect which occurs during the formation of a fetus. According to a study on NCBI consumption of foods rich in folate as well as a dosage of 0.4mg a day of the iron supplement preconception, significantly reduced the occurrence of birth deformities.
Some studies show, however, that these dietary supplements should be taken in measured doses as overconsumption does affect a persons health in the long term. In fact, these studies show that over-consumption of some of these supplements could lead to an increased risk of developing cancer.
Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing websites.
Also Check: What Vitamins Cause Weight Loss
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.
What Percentage Of The Population Has Vitamin D Deficiency
According to our own data, 27 % of people have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D. Deficiency is defined at less than 25 nmol/L while insufficiency is 25-49 nmol/L.
Almost three-quarters of people had vitamin D levels which fell below the optimum recommended for wellbeing. Both men and women are at risk of vitamin D deficiency in the UK and it can have unwanted health consequences for both genders, including:
Also Check: What Is Liposomal Vitamin C Vs Ascorbic Acid
Vitamin And Mineral Blood Tests
15th Jul 2022 7 min read
Vitamin and minerals are micronutrients you need in tiny amounts. If you dont get enough of these it can lead to a nutrient deficiency. A home blood test can be done to diagnose a deficiency. If you know youre deficient in something, we offer premium vegan supplements that can support your health and help you feel your best.
Do Home B12 Blood Tests Work
If you go with a reputable home blood test brand that sends out clear instructions, good kit, 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 key!
What Is Vitamin B
Vitamin B-12 is needed to maintain normal brain function. Its also involved in the production of red blood cells and helps to create and regulate our DNA. Every single cell in your body relies on vitamin B-12 and its key role releasing energy by helping your body absorb folic acid.
Your body produces millions of red blood cells every minute, but they cant multiply properly without vitamin B-12. If your levels are too low, the production of red blood cells reduces which, in turn, can result in anaemia.
Could Your Tiredness Be A B12 Deficiency
So, where does B-12 come from? Why are some of us lacking this vital vitamin and what does B-12 deficiency look like?
With our busy and stressful lives, its not surprising that we often feel tired. But could there be more to it than lifestyle?
Its estimated that around 6% of the UK population is deficient in Vitamin B12. And, with more people turning to a plant-based diet, that number could well be on the rise.
How does this link to feeling tired? Vitamin B-12 is essential for your health. Playing a critical role in the production of red blood cells and in helping your nervous system to function properly, this water-soluble vitamin is extremely important for regulating much of how your body functions day-to-day. If youre deficient in B-12, you can experience a whole host of symptoms, from tiredness to memory problems.
So, where does B-12 come from? Why are some of us lacking this vital vitamin and what does B-12 deficiency look like?
You May Like: What Does Vitamin B6 Do For You
How To Choose An At
People may wish to consider these factors before buying a test online:
- The nutrients tested: Many companies offer comprehensive panels, which test for several vitamins and minerals. However, some tests only check levels of certain vitamins. A person should pick the test that best suits their needs.
- The collection method: Anyone uncomfortable drawing a finger-prick blood sample may prefer a test that relies on a saliva sample instead, for example.
- The timing of results: Some tests have shorter turnaround times, but these may be more expensive.
- Price: Different at-home vitamin deficiency tests fit different budgets.
Most People Don’t Need Vitamin D Testing
ROCHESTER — Nearly nine out of 10 upstate New Yorkers have no medical reason to have their vitamin D levels tested, yet health care providers and patients continue to frequently request the test, according to an analysis released today by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
Last year, 641,000 upstate New Yorkers had their vitamin D levels tested, and about 42 percent did so without a medical indication for it. Typically, only people with certain conditions, including but not limited to osteoporosis, kidney and liver disease, malabsorption syndromes, bone disorders and certain endocrine conditions, are candidates for testing. Older adults and some pregnant or lactating women also can expect to have their doctors recommend vitamin D testing.
Even with a medical indication to test for vitamin D deficiency, its valid to question the need for the test, because the outcome wont necessarily change the treatment, said Matthew Bartels, M.D., Excellus BCBS medical director for health care improvement. If your doctor suspects a low vitamin D level, taking an over-the-counter supplement or getting more vitamin D from your diet may be sufficient.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin in how our bodies function. It helps our bodies absorb calcium, which keeps our bones and muscles including the heart healthy and strong. Most people get enough vitamin D through the foods they eat and the time they spend in the sun, said Bartels.
You May Like: How Much Vitamin C Is In A Kiwi Fruit
Best For Rapid Results: Letsgetchecked Mineral Test
Get 25% off with code VERYWELL25
- Time for Results: 25 days
LetsGetChecked offers results in as little as 25 days after the sample is received by the lab.
More expensive than comparable tests
Doesnt include iron
LetsGetChecked is a well-known and reputable home testing service offering a range of home health testsfrom hormone and nutrition tests to STI screens. Their Mineral Test measures your magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc levels.
It costs roughly $149 with free shipping, and can be purchased in any state except for New York. You can use FSA or HSA funds to purchase the test, as well.
The labs that LetsGetChecked uses to read its test results are CLIA- and CAP-certified, helping to ensure result accuracy.
There is also a simple testing process that first involves activating your kit on the app or website. After you collect your sample and mail it off, you may have your results back in as little as two to five days after the lab receives it.
Reviewers are impressed with LetsGetCheckeds speed and customer service but do express that theyd like more follow-up and personalized advice for abnormal levels.
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.
Don’t Miss: What Foods Provide Vitamin C
Vitamin Test At A Lab Near You
Need a vitamin deficiency test? Through Accesa Labs, you can order affordable vitamin level lab tests online, get tested at one ofthousands of affiliated lab locations, and get your test results electronically in as soon as 3 business days.Our vitamin test prices include a lab order, all lab fees, and a copy of your results and most of our customers have alab nearby .
Vitamin And Mineral Screens
Checking that your vitamin and mineral levels are optimum is a sensible precautionary measure that can help to keep your health in check. Vitamins and Minerals have far reaching health consequences in the body and optimum levels can help to reduce risk of disease and deficiencies can highlight potential problem areas that need to be addressed.
Vitamins and minerals fall neatly into different categories and testing can involve just one of these categories or a combination of all of them.
It is possible to test for a single vitamin or mineral, If you are interested then please do enquire. The cost will differ depending on which vitamin or mineral you want to test for as the procedures involved can vary.
Recommended Reading: What’s Vitamin D3 Used For
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.
What Vitamins And Minerals Do Vegans Lack
Despite some of the benefits of a meatless diet, vegans and vegetarians are at an increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Thats because vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. So, it is vital to plan a vegan or vegetarian diet properly to make sure you dont miss out on essential nutrients.
Iron is another nutrient which individuals who follow a meat-free diet can become deficient in, especially women who are already at a greater risk. Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells, particularly for the formation of haemoglobin, the red pigment essential for carrying oxygen to requiring tissues.
You May Like: What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin E Oil For Skin
Symptoms Of Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies
As theres such a wide range of vitamins and minerals, the symptoms of a deficiency can vary. Here are some of the most common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies outlined below.
Iron is a mineral that your body needs to make red blood cells these carry oxygen around your body. If you dont get enough iron you might:
- feel weak
- get heart palpitations
- get headaches
Blood loss is a cause of iron deficiency so women are more at risk due to periods and pregnancy. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you might also be at an increased risk because plant-based sources of iron are harder for your body to absorb.
Vitamin D deficiencyVitamin D is used by every cell in your body and is essential for your bone and muscle health, as well as for supporting your immune system. If you dont get enough vitamin D you might:
- feel tired
- have weak bones putting you at risk of osteoporosis long-term
- have muscle pain
- feel anxious or depressed
You get most of the vitamin D you need from sunlight, but its also found in foods like eggs, oily fish, liver, and dairy although its hard to get enough from diet alone. In the UK, low vitamin D levels are common because you dont get enough sun exposure during winter.
You can prevent or treat a deficiency with our vegan vitamin D supplements.
- feel tired
- have difficulty remembering things
- feel depressed
You can prevent or treat a deficiency with our vegan vitamin B12 supplements.
How To Get The Best Results From A Home B12 Kit
Here are a few tips on how to get the best results from any home blood test kit:8
- To accurately determine deficiency or low levels of vitamin B12 you must stop taking any vitamin B12 supplements a few weeks before your test. Ask your doctor about this if it is prescribed to you.
- You should also avoid taking biotin supplements for at least 2 days before you test again, check with your doctor if its prescribed to you
- Follow instructions accurately for your specific blood test kit
Recommended Reading: Should You Take Vitamin D In The Summer