Vitamins & Minerals

So many symptoms and health conditions are caused primarily by, or at the very least exacerbated by, nutrient imbalances. 


This page would be enormous if I discussed all of them so, instead, here are some useful resources where you can get some info about the different vitamins and minerals and their complex relationships.


These are resources I use all the time. There are many more but these are a good starting point:


ARL (Analytical Research Labs) in the US do hair testing and their resources are quite good. In fact, their test is very similar to the ratio one I offer from Mineral Check here.


Here is their Minerals page which details some quite interesting relationship stuff for toxic metals and minerals.


They have quite a few articles here too.


In fact, most of the labs do some good resources, mainly for practitioners.


Genova does a really good Nutrient Interpretive Guide, which is available on their site as a resource for the Nutrient & Toxic Elements test I favour, again on the Nutrients Tests page here.


That should start you off. I'll post some more here if I find anything else useful.

Vitamin & Mineral Testing

It is not as easy as you would think to test vitamin and mineral levels efficiently!


To help, I have written a Nutrient Tests Overview on the shop which should help you. Here's some of the links to read more about each test and they can all be purchased then on the shop here.



This is a really complex field and you would think it would be so easy! The fact is that different nutrients are best tested in different ways. However, thankfully, there are some good all-rounders. In this section, I have listed the most useful tests although I could have listed many more! Do ask if you need something else.

There are basically two main ways of testing nutrients: functional testing using amino acid analysis and metabolic testing to find functional issues with nutrient use in the body OR testing actual levels in blood, urine or hair etc. Nutreval below does both.

I am often asked to choose between the different methods. Put simply: I can't. It is like comparing apples with eggs, or something like that! They do completely different things, but both will give you an idea of which nutrient levels might be an issue.

You will also notice I have included the Low Stomach Acid Factsheet in Resources above. Why? because many people are deficient in vitamins and minerals simply because they are not digesting well enough. Sort that too.

Functional Tests

I rate the Nutreval (needs centrifuging) and the ONE Test, which is a smaller version of the Nutreval, but often gives people a good indication of what's going on. I like these particularly because they give you a suggested supplement level protocol based on your results which you can then follow more easily! Check the sample reports to see what you get with each one.

In effect, Nutreval includes body level testing of minerals as well as functional testing, extra antioxidants and fatty acids on top of everything you get in the ONE test. If I could choose a standard work-up, this would be it but it costs..

Body Level Tests

This is quite complex and there seem to be dozens of ways of looking for nutrient levels. To make life even more complicated, different test types are best for different minerals.

My main recommendation nowadays for minerals is Genova's Nutrient & Toxic Elements Blood Test because it measures the different minerals and toxic metals like mercury etc in the different ways, which I think is rather clever of them. Happily, this one doesn't need centrifuging but do please get it back within the 24 hours. (Incidentally, you can do this via Urine too but I think blood is better myself for the main minerals; this one might be useful if on a chelation programme though eg, for toxic metals). I haven't listed it to save confusion.

I would combine the Elements blood test with Biolab's Vitamin Profile and DD fingerprick Vitamin D status for a comprehensive look at nutrient levels, maybe adding the TDL Anaemia Profile and Genova Blood Spot Fatty Acids too if necessary (ie. fatigue, inflammation, pain, neurological issues present). Note: you can get much more complex fatty acid testing too but this, I think, is enough for most needs.

As an all-rounder and particularly good at assessing antioxidant status, Spectracell (UK only) is a cutting edge test using intracellular white blood testing. I have had good results with it and I like the graphical reports you get with it.


I told you this was complex! If in doubt, go for an overall test - either the ONE, Nutreval or Spectracell OR the Nutrient & Toxic Elements (blood), Vitamin Profile and Vitamin D. Add things like Anaemia or Fatty Acid levels as needed.


Specific Minerals

As I have said, you can test pretty much anything. The test list here could be as long as your arm so I am not listing much except the most popular ones. Ask if you need something else eg. red blood cell magnesium, copper, zinc, niacin, glutathione, selenium or whatever.

Iodine Loading is very useful, especially to help find reasons for thyroid hormone conversion problems. You can do standard iodine too, of course, but I am listing loading as I find it more clinically useful.


Heavy Metal Testing

This again is incredibly confused as there are several ways of looking for elements like mercury, cadmium, arsenic etc.

Hair tests give a 3-4 month recent history of exposure to the elements.  It gives an idea of what the body is possibly holding onto in tissues. A good one here is the DD Hair Elements Test. The Mineral Check hair test gives more info on ratios, so can be a better alternative if you are looking for general health indicators such as adrenal or thyroid issues as well as toxic metals. The reporting on the DD one is really good for where the minerals might be coming from, whereas the Mineral Check is good for the ratios and extra info. Here is a useful FAQ on hair testing from Mineral Check.

Fecal metals will give an indication of ongoing daily exposure from eg. dental amalgams. It also gives an idea of how well your liver/bile flow is getting rid of them. I can do a Doctors Data one on request if needed.

Urine tests generally help you find if there is an overall high retention of heavy metals in the body. You can do this chelated or un-chelated, but many experts prefer a chelated challenge test for validity of results.

Blood testing is most effective to check an acute, or ongoing exposure to the metals. You can do this in whole blood.

In essence, I prefer blood testing unless you are on a chelation programme which would then require urine testing. If you want to know if levels are currently high in the body, I would then choose blood or urine.

You can do a Genova whole blood Toxic Metals test or you can use the Nutrient & Toxic Elements test discussed above, which is much better value. I can also do the DD Urine Toxic Metals if needed.

Basket icon Click the picture to go to the Nutrient tests on the shop

Free Health Guide

Click the cover to get your free 30 page health guide and monthly updates...

Click here for more info on what's in it ...


Our most recent ebook! Click here for what's in it..

Have I Helped?

Then, please use the links on the site. Doing this helps us offer this free website and support to you and others. Thank you, we all appreciate it. Some people have asked for a donate button, which is lovely, so here it is. Thank you!

I am a member of ...

No Hassle Guarantee

I want to produce truly useful information that works for you. If you love something, let me and others know. If you purchase something and change your mind, let me know and we'll sort it. 


Please feel free to share material from this site (not paid-for items) as long as you do not alter it and give full credit plus a link back to this site. Enjoy. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


The information given is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a health professional. It is our opinion only, based on several years of natural medicine practice and research. We're sure you'll find it useful, but please use it wisely and always exercise common sense.

Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
Purehealth Clinic - Natural health services virtual and Looe, Cornwall © Michaela Rose 2000-2017