Vitamin and mineral deficiency testing
Organic chemical compounds are called vitamins when the body cannot make the compound in sufficient quantities. Then the compound must be obtained through diet. Vitamins are classified by biological and chemical activity, and not by their molecular structure. Each vitamin name refers to a number of compounds that all show the same biological activity. The term “vitamin” does not apply to dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.
Organic chemical compounds have diverse biochemical functions in your body, from hormone-like regulation of mineral metabolism (vitamin D) to regulation of cell and tissue growth and differentiation (vitamin A). Some vitamins, e.g. vitamin E and sometimes vitamin C, act as antioxidants. The B complex vitamins, the largest number of vitamins, function as coenzymes or substances that help enzymes as catalysts in metabolism.
Until the mid-1930s, vitamins were obtained solely through food, and changes in diet…for instance seasonally…usually greatly altered the vitamins ingested. Now, vitamins have been produced as chemicals as inexpensive semisynthetic and synthetic source multivitamin supplements and additives.
A vitamin deficiency can cause a disease or syndrome, usually referring to a long-term deficiency of the vitamin. A primary deficiency is caused by inadequate nutrition. Secondary deficiencies and underlying disorders may be caused by malabsorption, metabolic, or the result of lifestyle choices including smoking and alcohol consumption.
Dietary minerals are micronutrients that are needed for your body’s proper health. A deficiency may be caused by poor diet, impaired uptake of minerals, or a dysfunction in use of the mineral after it is absorbed. These deficiencies cause many disorders including anemia and goiter, and may be called by the mineral that is deficient, as zinc deficiency, iron deficiency, and magnesium deficiency.
Testing for vitamin and mineral deficiency
Vitamin and nutrition blood tests can detect gluten, minerals, iron, calcium, and other deficiencies, telling you which vitamins you lack and which you are getting enough of through natural sources.
A micronutrient test will comprehensively measure essential micronutrients. Such a test can provide the basis for a personalized, functional approach in addressing many metabolic disorders and micronutrient deficiencies. Based on the test results, your supplements and diet changes will support your comprehensive treatment plan.