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MICRONUTRIENT TESTING

What are Micronutrients?

Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and protection of the body against oxidative stress and cellular damage. 

Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, co-factors, amino acids, metabolites, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. These nutrients are found in small amounts in foods and are essential for human health.

A Micronutrient test is a one-of-a-kind nutritional screening tool to assess direct measurement of both intra- and extracellular nutrient status of common vitamins, minerals, co-factors, amino acids, essential fatty acids and more.


Individuals who have the following symptoms, diagnoses, or risk factors should consider testing their extra- and intracellular micronutrient status:


  • Advanced age
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Hair Loss
  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Weakened immune system 
  • Digestive disorders with malabsorption (Celiac, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis)
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • Long-term use of prescription medication
  • A diet high in processed foods
  • Obesity
  • Intense athletic training
  • Following a vegan or vegetarian diet
  • Neurological symptoms (impaired memory, confusion, ataxia, loss of balance, tremors)
  • Stubborn weight gain
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Digestive abnormalities: diarrhea, constipation, excessive bloating


* This holistic view of nutrient status can aid in differentiating between dietary, genetic, and other factors that impair nutrient metabolism or absorption. 


VITAMINS

These are essential organic nutrients, most of which are not made in the body, or only in insufficient amounts, and usually must be obtained through food. When dietary intake of a vitamin is inadequate, deficiency disorders result. Although vitamins are only present and required in minute quantities, compared to the macronutrients, they are just as vital to health and need to be considered in the context of nutrition quality.


Minerals

These are inorganic nutrients that also play a key role in ensuring health and well‐ being. They include the trace elements copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc together with the macro elements calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. As with vitamins, minerals are found in small quantities within the body and they are obtained from a wide variety of foods.



  • No single food contains all of the vitamins and minerals we need and, therefore, a balanced and varied diet is necessary for an adequate intake of all micronutrients.

Extracellular Micronutrients 

These extracellular micronutrients are a static measure of what is in your blood at any given time. These are dependent on your short-term intake of supplements or diet and give a direct assessment of your baseline micronutrient levels.

Extracellular nutrient tests reflect a person’s diet over a relatively narrow time frame.


Intracellular Micronutrients 

Intracellular micronutrients are the micronutrients absorbed by your circulating white blood cells and red blood cells.

Cellular micronutrient absorption is an important step in maintaining and promoting optimal functioning of all our cells.

It is important to understand that, even though you may be consuming an adequate or healthy diet or supplements, your cellular intake levels of those nutrients may not be sufficient and may still provide risks for deficiencies and the disorders associated with them.

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ROLE OF MICRONUTRIENTS

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Almost every physiological function in your body requires micronutrients to function optimally. Vitamin, minerals and anti-oxidants play a key role in:


  • Producing and releasing energy.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Reducing systemic inflammation.
  • Protecting against free radical damage.
  • Maintaining a healthy hormonal balance (i.e. thyroid, sex hormones, adrenal hormones, neurotransmitters/brain hormones, etc.).
  • Maintaining insulin sensitivity.
  • Slowing down cellular aging.
  • Promoting the health of all tissues: skin, bone, brain, breast, gut, prostate, heart, muscle, organs, etc.
  • Protecting against the development, progression, and recurrence of cancer.

WHY TEST FOR MICRONUTRIENTS?

The Benefits of Extracellular Testing Include:

  • Identifying baseline nutritional deficiencies.
  • Detecting higher than normal levels of vitamins and minerals in your blood.
  • Identifying excesses of nutrients caused by uncontrolled supplementation, to prevent the increased risk of certain chronic diseases or nutrient toxicity side effects.
  • Avoiding unnecessary spending on costly supplements.
  • Providing a short-term nutritional status of the last few days.

Extracellular micronutrients have been well studied and deficiencies have correlated to multiple chronic diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Testing extracellular micronutrients also play a role in patient management for such chronic diseases.


The Benefits of Intracellular Testing Include:

  • Identifying functional deficiencies in intracellular micronutrient levels (cellular nutrient absorption deficiency).
  • Identifying essential micronutrient absorption deficiencies which cause or increase the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Providing a long-term nutritional status of the previous 4-6 months.

Intracellular micronutrients have been studied scientifically and have long been considered a more sensitive tissue measure of micronutrient absorption. For example, vitamin C levels in lymphocytes have been found to be deficient in Type 2 diabetes patients as compared to plasma levels. 5 RBC folate and magnesium are clinically more significant than whole blood measures of these nutrients. 6 RBC omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid levels have been found to be markers of accelerated structural and cognitive aging.

Knowing both your extracellular and intracellular micronutrient levels are key to a thorough understanding of your nutritional requirements at a foundational level, which may contribute to your risk for disease, while simultaneously and positively impacting your overall health and well-being..