Nutritional tests can be a very broad range of testing that ranges from cholesterol and lipid testing to vitamins and minerals being tested. For the basis of this article we will discuss the main nutritional tests that surround the vitamins an anti-oxidants. Vitamins and antioxidants may go hand in hand when discussing nutritional tests. We will examine the net affects for each one of these blood tests and the reason why one would get blood testing for these nutritional tests.
Vitamin A and Vitamin E are 2 very critical vitamins that also act as antioxidants and are important nutritional tests. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that has several important functions in the body. It helps cells reproduce normally (called "cellular differentiation").It is essential for good vision and the first sign of a vitamin A deficiency is often poor sight at night. Vitamin A comes from two sources. The first source is a group of molecules called retinoids (which are derived from animal sources and includes retinol) and another group called carotenoids (which are derived from plants and includes beta-carotene). The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A. Severe vitamin A deficiencies are rare in the developed world: symptoms can include dry eyes, night blindness, diarrhea, and skin problems. While vitamin A is essential for good health, it can be toxic in high doses. Of all the nutritional tests, Vitamin A should always be considered.
Of the nutritional tests, Vitamin E is another important fat-soluble vitamin. It has eight different variants, each one has its own biological activity. Alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol) is the most active form of vitamin E in humans. It is a powerful antioxidant. It is sold in supplements as alpha-tocopheryl acetate. The synthetic form is labeled "D, L" while the natural form is labeled "D". The synthetic form is only half as active as the natural form. Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect cells against the effects of free radicals, potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism. Of the group of nutritional tests, Vitamin E provides you with the best quantification of your anti-oxidant protection.
One of the most common nutritional tests is the Vitamin b12 and Folates profile. Vitamins B12 and Folate belong to the B complex of vitamins. The body needs folic acid to make red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets, new genetic material (DNA) in cells, and for normal growth. Folic acid also is important for the normal development of a baby (fetus). Folate is found in green vegetables, citrus fruits, dry beans and peas, liver, and yeast. Vitamin B12 is found red meat, fish, poultry, milk, and eggs. Both B12 and folate are needed for RBC formation, cellular reparation, and DNA synthesis. A deficiency in either B12 or folate can lead to megaloblastic anemia. This disease is characterized by the production of fewer, but larger, RBCs called macrocytes. Macrocytes have a shorter life than normal RBCs and lead to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms of anemia. A lack of B12 can also lead to neuropathy and nerve damage affecting hands and feet.
The orange juice you drink always seems to be America’s most popular way of getting the recommended daily allotment of Vitamin C. One of the least ordered nutritional tests that is readily available is the Vitamin C test. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans, a large number of higher primate species, a small number of other mammalian species (notably guinea pigs and bats), a few species of birds, and some fish. The presence of ascorbate is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms, humans being a notable exception. It is widely known that a deficiency in this vitamin causes scurvy in humans. It is also widely used as a food additive.
Coenzyme Q10 is one of those nutritional tests that has grown in popularity. Ubiquinone or Coenzyme Q 10 is reduced form ubiquinol are present in virtually all cells. As part of the respiratory chain, Coenzyme Q10 is involved in mitochondrial electron transport and shuttles reducing equivalents from NADH dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase and fatty acyl-CoA dehydrogenase to cytochromes, which ultimately deliver electrons to molecular oxygen.
To round out the Nutritional tests we have Vitamin D. Oprah Winfrey caused a national craze when she had a show that promoted everyone to get vitamin D tested. This one show made a huge impact on the vitamin D testing done in the US. The Vitamin D test in blood and is normally ordered to identify a possible deficiency in vitamin D, when calcium is low or the patient has symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, such as bone malformation in children (rickets) and bone weakness, softness, or fracture in adults (osteomalacia). 1,25 di OH Vitamin D test in blood is usually is ordered when calcium is high or the patient has a disease that might produce excess amounts of Vitamin D, such as sarcoidosis or some forms of lymphoma. The vitamin D test can also be used to diagnose problems with parathyroid gland functioning since parathyroid hormone is essential for vitamin D activation. With all nutritional tests you do not have to visit your doctor to get a prescription.