Micronutrient Testing

WHAT ARE MICRONUTRIENTS?

Micronutrients, as opposed to macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), are comprised of vitamins and minerals which are required in small quantities to ensure normal metabolism, growth and physical well‐being.

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.

Blood stream

EXTRACELLULAR MICRONUTRIENTS

Micronutrients that are free floating in your blood and exist outside the cells, determined in serum are called 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.

Your genetics, aging, lifestyle, chronic illness, and medications all affect your cellular nutrient absorption. The intracellular portion of the micronutrient test takes all the above factors into consideration to identify your cellular nutrient absorption status. This test can reveal a person’s functional nutritional status over a much longer time (4-6 months) than extracellular testing.

ROLE OF MICRONUTRIENTS

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.