Micronutrient Testing

Micronutrient testing is a clinically effective diagnostic tool for the early detection of subclinically deficient nutrients as well as their cellular function. Micronutrient testing provides an objective method for the prevention and management of chronic disease conditions through dietary and nutritional support. There is overwhelming scientific evidence confirming that nutrient deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function contributing to chronic disease including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, thyroid dysfunction and various cancers. Micronutrient testing is an innovative and accurate way of testing for micronutrient function and deficiencies including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and phytonutrients within white blood cells.
How do white blood cells (lymphocytes) provide a nutritional history? Most white blood cells obtained through blood draw are in a resting state. In other words, they are not actively growing or dividing, and since their average lifespan is 4 to 6 months (during which time they accumulate numerous nutrients), they contain an accurate history of micronutrient intake.

Once these resting white blood cells are stimulated to grow inside the lab, their growth depends on the amount of micronutrients accumulated over their lifespan. Hence, an assessment of nutrient accumulation and/or subclinical deficiency can be determined.
What is a subclinical deficiency? A subclinical or functional deficiency includes any element that reduces the overall effectiveness of a nutrient, cofactors or their specific biochemical pathways including sub-optimal levels. Regardless of the cause, the result will be a defect in biochemical pathways that depend on optimum nutrient levels and functioning cofactors.

An individual can have sub-optimal levels of nutrients for many months or even years before experiencing clinical symptoms.
Why test micronutrients? Many factors influence nutrient levels and function including age, medications, diet, absorption and metabolism, genetics, disease conditions and biochemical individuality.

Therefore, nutrient deficiencies will vary from individual to individual regardless of diet, lifestyle or nutrient intake even among those with similar health conditions.

Micronutrient status plays a vital role in cellular function and our overall health. Therefore, evaluating for specific nutrient deficiencies, revealed through white blood cell testing, can alert the practitioner to imbalances or deficiencies setting the stage for immune system suppression and disease.
What if you are already taking supplements? Research shows that approximately 50% of people taking a multivitamin or mineral supplement are subclinically deficient in one or more essential nutrients vital to cellular function and optimum health.

Taking supplements is fundamentally a very good idea, but unless what you are taking is being properly absorbed, assimilated and utilized by the trillions of cells within your body, then not only is money being wasted, but nutrient deficiencies can be present long before the negative effects are realized.

Assessing whether you are taking too much or not enough, or if your supplements are working inside your system to prevent oxidation, degeneration and cellular dysfunction, is a potent insurance policy against chronic disease.
Don't I get all the nutrients I need through food? The simple answer is absolutely not. Most foods are deplete in vital nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals secondary to processing, irradiation, chemical treatments, handling and storage.
What if you are taking prescribed medication? Many prescription drugs rob the body of precious nutrients creating deficiencies and cellular dysfunction. Although there are too many medications to mention, some common drugs that cause nutrient deficiencies are: anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, statins for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure medications including diuretics, and hormone replacement drugs.
What is being tested?

Vitamin A
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K2
Biotin
Folate (folic acid)
Pantothenate
Calcium
Copper
Magnesium
Zinc
Inositol
Asparagine
Glutamine
Serine
LIpoic acid
CoQ10
Cysteine
Glutathione
Selenium
Carnitine
Choline
Chromium
Fructose sensitivity
Glucose metabolism
Insulin metabolism
Oleic acid
Spectrox™ – total antioxidant function (see below)
Spectrox™ (Antioxidant Function)

The function of antioxidants is to protect each cell from oxidative damage. Spectrox measures the cells' antioxidant ability to prevent and repair damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules formed inside the body from natural biochemical reactions and from environmental sources like smoke, radiation, pollution, toxic heavy metals, chemicals and rancid fats.

Antioxidants are endogenous enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase) and chemical compounds like glutathione, alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10, and exogenous nutrients such as vitamins C, E, selenium, cysteine, and dietary nutrients. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals protecting cells and DNA from damage. Research indicates that individuals with antioxidant deficiencies are vulnerable to various diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases.
Isn’t this test part of my annual blood tests? No, in fact, most physicians do not test for micronutrient deficiencies, and those that do, typically only test serum levels of a few like vitamins B12 and D. However, serum testing is not the same as white blood cell testing mainly because serum testing provides transient levels rather than long-term intracellular levels, deficiencies and function.
Does insurance pay for this test? Most private insurance companies pay for micronutrient testing including PPO, EPO and POS plans. Patients who have not met their deductibles or have a co-payment are billed by the lab.