Testing for Nutritional Status
RoutineTesting can give quite a bit of information about nutritional status: For example, if your red blood cells are big, as revealed by a test called MCV, you need to be checked for B-12 and Folic acid deficiencies. If your LDL cholesterol is over 100, you need to change your eating patterns. If your blood sugar is rising over time, you need to completely reconsider your diet and lifestyle. But what of the person who is in good and stable health and simply wants to be sure she is getting the best nutrition? There are no routine laboratory tests that provide this information. I suggest the ION profile:
ION Individual Optimized Nutrition. This is the test I would love to have on all of my patients. It is a fairly comprehensive indirect assessment of nutritional status. The test uses both blood and urine. Rather than testing, for example, Vitamin C levels, it tests for metabolic byproducts that are elevated or diminished when Vitamin C and other antioxidant levels are low. The test is done through Metametrix Clinical Laboratory in Atlanta, and comes with a large interpretation guideline. In addition, the lab has people to answer all of my questions and help me determine the best path for you. The lab's web site has details about the test and what it covers, as well as some sample reports. The test is not covered by insurance, though sometimes if you pay ahead you can get some insurance companies to reimburse you for parts of it. It is expensive, but extremely informative.