Vitamin and Mineral Tests

HOW TO ORDER LAB TESTS….

You can view details, sample reports, collection instructions and order all tests mentioned via Regenerus (RG), Medichecks (MC), via me (PHC) and Cyrex (Cyrex).

Use the search facility at each lab to find the test I’ve mentioned. Please direct all questions on doing tests, shipping, payment, getting results, interpretation etc to the labs. For Cyrex and PHC tests, you can contact me after reading the FAQ and tips on each page if you’re still stuck. You should get your results within 3 weeks (working days) direct from the labs (or me for PHC/Cyrex). Medichecks includes phlebotomy, Regenerus has a list of phlebotomy clinics where you can get blood samples taken.

For interpretation, please see the videos I am gradually adding to each page, or the You Tube channel here. There are also factsheets available here as I write them.

Unsure if you need a Vitamin or Mineral Test?

Nothing happens in the body without the right nutrient in the right place, in the right quantity and form and the right time! Simple as. You cannot function without the right nutrition in place. You’d have to go some to have no nutrition at all, of course – we all eat, however badly sometimes! – but the reality is that most health conditions are caused or at least exacerbated by a nutritional deficiency or imbalance in my view. It is always involved.

For example: think about fatigue. Very likely it is to do with poor adrenal, thyroid or mitochondrial function. It might also have to do with stress levels. All of those issues are dependent upon minerals – especially magnesium. So, you can test your adrenal or thyroid, you can take mitochondrial boosters, you can try and calm down BUT if your magnesium is low, you’re only going to get so far. Do you see? Nutrient levels are crucial.

I’d love to say if you eat the right diet, you’ll get everything you need, but experience has told me over many years, this just ain’t likely! Even if you think about what we’ve done to food production and how that has impacted on the nutrient levels in soil and therefore our food, many, many people are simply not digesting and absorbing well enough. That means the little they may be getting is not going anywhere.

Most people are eating a poor carb- and processed food- heavy diet, sadly, and not absorbing much of even that. I call it ‘starving in the midst of plenty!’ In other words, we eat far too much food, but it is so nutrient-poor and our absorption capacity so low that the body is still needing to plug a load of nutrient gaps. I often think this is why people are hungry a lot – the body makes us eat more and more until it can get enough of the basic nutrients. Any weight loss programme should have a really good supplement protocol as part of it for this very reason.

Anyway – rant over – we end up with hypofunction in some way – we’re just not firing on all four cylinders and our systems start to not work as efficiently. Think: cholesterol, weight, blood sugar control for a start. Let alone how rubbish we might be feeling energy-wise.

So, do not underestimate the importance of nutrition – and of absorbing well enough – I would ask that you sort that out as a priority too. Check these:

Low Stomach Acid

Acid Reflux

Acid & Enzymes Factsheet

Testing Summary

This is a toughie because it depends what you want. Each test seems to have a different collection of nutrients, of course! In general, I would go for the DD Hair Toxic and Essential Elements (RG), especially if you are looking at toxic metals. Hair will show you recent levels of about 3 months ago. For minerals, choose the DD Red Blood Cell Elements (RG) so you can actually see what the cellular levels is rather than serum, which will just show you what’s in the system. For vitamins, choose the Essential Vitamin Profile (RG) which includes Vitamin A, Vitamin  B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin, Vitamin Q10, Vitamin C, Homocysteine and Carotenoid, plus the B Complex Profile (RG).

Then, add on anything else you need such as Fatty Acids (erythrocytes ie. cellular levels) (RG), Vitamin D (RG) , Active B12 (RG) etc to those using the ideas I’ve given below.

Testing Specific Nutrient Types

You would think it would be pretty easy to test nutrient levels, wouldn’t you? Well, it’s not – if you’re going to do it properly! There are tons of tests out there that would be cheap and easy to use, but often they are not looking in the right places in my view – and I’ve done a lot of work on this. There seem to be dozens of ways of looking for nutrient levels. Let’s start with minerals…

Mineral Tests

Minerals are most often measured in serum. However, I think that only gives you a snapshot of what’s in the body, whereas red or white blood cell, or even whole blood, will give you more of an idea what’s happening in the cells ie. have you got enough to actually do something with in the right place? For example, if you measure magnesium in serum, it will give you a very different picture to red blood cell magnesium – and the same goes for most minerals. It’s not perfect by any means, but I would choose intracellular if you can, every time. And, by the way, fingerprick tests will also likely be incomplete, sorry, don’t shoot the messenger!

Here is a technical, but useful overview of nutrient testing that might help you choose which test to do – they are all available via (RG).

My main recommendation for minerals is the DD Red Blood Cell Elements (RG). For times when you don’t want to do a blood test, you can do this via urine using the Essential Elements Test (RG), although I don’t think it is as good.

Magnesium is the most crucial mineral in my mind and, as I said above, it is best tested as red blood cell. You can do it separately as Magnesium Red Blood Cell (PHC) or it comes as part of the mineral test above.

Iodine is another really important one, especially if your thyroid is playing up. Have a read of the Thyroid Tests page, but essentially I would do Urine Iodine Loading (RG) rather than straight Iodine.

Heavy Metal Testing

Toxic minerals and heavy metal testing is a whole other ball game. Go for the DD Hair Toxic and Essential Elements (RG) – hair is the best for measuring toxic metals in my view. If you prefer urine testing, do the Urine Toxic Metals (RG) – note no challenge substances are provided.

For Mercury, the best nowadays is Quicksilver’s Mercury Tri-Test (RG). This is because it is the only test I know of that can differentiate between the types of mercury. ie. is it coming from your amalgams (the most damaging type: inorganic mercury) or fish/seafood (methyl mercury)? And it will also measure how effectively you are detoxifying it.

A hair test can show mostly methyl levels (fish) but a bit of swallowed amalgam mercury. Challenge tests, which can mobilise mercury before you are ready to detox it are thankfully no longer necessary. Blood tests will also measure mainly methyl/fish again. Urine tests all inorganic (amalgam) mercury. With the Tri-test, you get to measure all of it so much easier! You can see the collection instructions here and a sample report here. There is also a great intro video here. The Tri-Test can also be done on children – obviously bear in mind it needs a blood sample, not fingerprick, so very young children may not like that much!

You can read much more about this on my Mercury Factsheet.

The Implant Metals test (RG) can be useful if you want to check the circulating levels of some of the most common metals used in dentistry eg nickel, cobalt etc.

background beautiful blossom calm waters
Here’s a lovely calming picture for you to have a rest for a minute…

OK, let’s continue…

Vitamin Tests

Go for the Essential Vitamin Profile (RG) which includes Vitamin A, Vitamin  B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin, Vitamin Q10, Vitamin C, Homocysteine and Carotenoid. B vitamins are almost always done separately because they need different treatment. Use the B Complex Profile (RG).

Ensuring Vitamin D is becoming more and more crucial. You can do a simple 25-OH fingerprick Vitamin D test (RG).

Another useful addition is Fatty Acids (erythrocytes) (RG), too if necessary (ie. especially fatigue, inflammation, pain, neurological issues present). You can get much more complex fatty acid testing too but this, I think, is enough for most needs.

An extra word on Anaemia and B12 testing. The Tiredness and Fatigue Check Plus (MC) is a good option here. It includes a full iron panel, active B12 (not just serum), folate and an inflammation check as that can affect how you interpret the results. Personally, I’d like it to have red cell folate rather than serum and MMA (methylmalonic acid), a functional B12 test, but you can always do those separately if you need to – Folate Red Cell (MC) and MMA urine (RG).

Those of you on statins should be checking your CoQ10 levels since those meds are known to deplete this important DNA, heart, energy and brain nutrient. A lack of CoQ10 is also thought to be a possible cause of the common muscle pain side effects. Do the Coenzyme Q10 Test (MC).

Genetic Tests

Finally, there can be some genetic reasons why some people struggle with certain nutrients. I found, for example, that I have a weakness on absorbing Vitamin D from sunlight – who knew?!

Here, you might like to do the Optimal Health Pro (RG) here. Simply fascinating – and more importantly, give you some real clues as to what ‘weaknesses’ you may have that you can address and prevent issues from in future.

Caveat though: just because you have the SNP on a gene does not mean you will get a problem. But it does answer some questions for some people – like WHY CAN’T I LOSE WEIGHT?!!

HOW TO ORDER LAB TESTS….

You can view details, sample reports, collection instructions and order all tests mentioned via Regenerus (RG), Medichecks (MC), via me (PHC) and Cyrex (Cyrex).

Use the search facility at each lab to find the test I’ve mentioned. Please direct all questions on doing tests, shipping, payment, getting results, interpretation etc to the labs. For Cyrex and PHC tests, you can contact me after reading the FAQ and tips on each page if you’re still stuck. You should get your results within 3 weeks (working days) direct from the labs (or me for PHC/Cyrex). Medichecks includes phlebotomy, Regenerus has a list of phlebotomy clinics where you can get blood samples taken.

For interpretation, please see the videos I am gradually adding to each page, or the You Tube channel here. There are also factsheets available here as I write them.

Testing Summary

This is a toughie because it depends what you want. Each test seems to have a different collection of nutrients, of course! In general, I would go for the DD Hair Toxic and Essential Elements (RG), especially if you are looking at toxic metals. Hair will show you recent levels of about 3 months ago. For minerals, choose the DD Red Blood Cell Elements (RG) so you can actually see what the cellular levels is rather than serum, which will just show you what’s in the system. For vitamins, choose the Essential Vitamin Profile (RG) which includes Vitamin A, Vitamin  B6, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin, Vitamin Q10, Vitamin C, Homocysteine and Carotenoid, plus the B Complex Profile (RG).

Then, add on anything else you need such as Fatty Acids (erythrocytes ie. cellular levels) (RG), Vitamin D (RG) , Active B12 (RG) etc to those using the ideas I’ve given above.

Testing Tips…

Q: Do I have to stop taking anything for an anaemia or active B12 test?

A: Stop any iron or folate supplements for 48 hours before unless monitoring on them. The active B12 lab advises stopping B12 supplements for 2-3 weeks before this specific type of B12 test.

Q: Can someone with thalassaemia have a red blood cell mineral test done OK?

I checked with the lab and they said that neither the size nor shape of the cell matters as they break them open anyway to do the test process. However, if the cell is too fragile and breaks during centrifuging (which some tests needs to have done), and there are regularly signs of haemolysis, then there would be a problem. In that case, they advise whole blood testing instead rather than red blood cell.