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.
That should start you off. I'll post some more here if I find anything else useful.
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 it...click 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.
I rate the(needs centrifuging) and the , 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 isbecause 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 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 and DD fingerprick for a comprehensive look at nutrient levels, maybe adding the TDL 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,(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.
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.
Click here for more info on what's in it ...
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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.