Advanced Nutrition Panel
Some of the labs included in nutritional testing are described below. These are outside of the comprehensive Nutreval mentioned elsewhere on the site.
1. Iron Panel
Serum iron, total iron binding capacity and ferritin levels reflect iron status. Iron levels may be low in cases of chronic blood loss such as excessive menstrual bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding or in cases of nutritional deficiencies or absorption. Low iron levels can cause symptoms such as fatigue and restless legs. When iron levels are low, often additional labs need to be done for the root cause of deficiency.
High iron levels on the other hand can also become problematic and may indicate iron storage diseases such has hemochromatosis. This condition is common in people with Irish heritage and must be further evaluated.
2. Vitamin B levels
Vitamin B1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12 play key functions in metabolism and if levels are low or sub-optimal, can result in various symptoms such as fatigue, neuropathy, memory problems etc. People with consistently low vitamin levels must be further evaluated for malabsorption and metabolic disorders. Excessive alcohol consumption often leads to deficiency of these vitamins.
3. Vitamin C levels
Vitamin C levels can drop with age and if/when dietary intake is not sufficient. Low levels can give rise to skin bruising, mucosal breakage, bleeding and joint problems.
4. Vitamin D levels:
Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent. Sun is the biggest source of Vitamin D and since most people do not get enough sunlight, levels are often low. In addition, various studies show that generalized inflammation in the body can further lower the levels. Vitamin D is such a potent and key player in several metabolic functions, bone health, and epigenetic expression of thousands of genes that it is considered to be a hormone in some sources. When supplementing with Vitamin D, levels must be monitored to avoid the opposite extreme of Vitamin D toxicity which can cause skeletal damage.
5. CoQ 10:
CoQ 10 levels are often checked when mitochondrial dysfunction is suspected which often occurs either as a part of the aging process or due to medication use such as lipid lowering statins. Low levels can cause all symptoms associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, the biggest of which is fatigue.
Glutathione is considered to be one of the most potent anti-oxidants in the body. Made of three amino aids (cysteine, glycine, gluatmine), this compound is involved in various metabolic, detox and regenerative mechanisms. Supplementation is often recommended in people suffering from disorders which indicate or lead to oxidative stress and metabolic dysfunction.
7. Amino Acids:
Comprehensive amino acid panel is a part of Nutreval is often indicated when nutritional deficiencies, neuro-biologic disorders or metabolic dysfunction are suspected.
8. Fatty Acids:
Levels of various fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) and the balance among these is a good representation of one's nutritional status. Fatty acid panel is a part of Nutreval panel.
Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese and key players in metabolic function and abnormalities (too low or too high) can cause a variety of symptoms.