Since I have been confirmed as having several nutritional deficiencies, this forum looked like a good one for me
I know that many people wonder what they may be deficient in and what supplements they need to beef up on. I was wondering the same thing. I knew I had some deficiency issues but just couldn't quite get my head around which ones they might be. This has really been a frustrating ordeal.
After a lot of research, I learned that regular serum blood testing is pretty much no good for testing these things. But, Intracellular Nutrient Level Testing is. If you haven't heard of this, here's some information on it.
I imagine there are several other labs that do this testing. I haven't looked them up though because this is the one near me and the one I found when looking this stuff up online. I learned about it from a nutrition teacher at a medical school who posts to the medical boards on google.
The way this testing works is you take a blood sample in special tubes and they test the nutrient levels in the white blood cells. Since white blood cells have an average lifespan of 3 months, it gives you an average of what your intracellular levels have been over the previous three months. (Very similar to the method of hemoglobin A1C testing used for diabetes monitoring). Intracellular levels are much more accurate for determining deficiency status than circulating serum levels because serum levels are held within tight parameters to protect vital organs.
This test gave me some great information. I tested normal on all my serum tests. With this test, I showed deficiencies in calcium, zinc, B2, glutathione, and oleic acid. And, after looking up symptoms of these deficiencies, I fit the descriptions. They have panels where they test several nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), glucose/insulin interaction, fructose sensitivity, and antioxidant functions. Compared with plain ole lab testing, the price was not bad at all. It cost me about $200 for my panel and it tested:
B1 - thiamin
B2 - riboflavin
B3 - niacinamide
B6 - pyridoxine
Serine (amino acid)
Glutamine (amino acid)
Asparagine (amino acid)
Oleic acid (fatty acid)
Choline (essential metabolite)
Inositol (essential metabolite)
Total Antioxidant function
They mailed the results to me and gave me a comprehensive report showing each one tested and the degree of deficiency or normalcy. It was really a great test. I believe they have added selenium, VitaminD, VitaminC and a couple of others to a slighly larger panel for an additional $45. I haven't retested yet, but hope to soon. I didn't need a doc's order either; I ordered this test on myself.
The only catch I have noticed is that just taking supplements won't necessarily replete deficient nutrients. Since they are involved in several chains of reactions each, if there is an imbalance in hormones, or other systems, repletion may involve more than just supplementation sometimes. However, this testing definitely gave me a additional piece of the health puzzle, and the supplementation is still necessary even though it isn't the only thing I need to do.
Sorry this was so long, and thanks for listening. I am just so passionate about this since I was really surprised by the results I got from this testing. I think it has the potential to really help people in piecing together their nutritional needs. Hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me.