Have you ever wondered about the accuracy of micronutrient testing?
You know, the laboratory tests that evaluate a patient’s vitamin and mineral status.
They sound incredible, but are they too good to be true?
We investigated the accuracy of micronutrient testing and found some interesting information.
In this article, we're going to focus on what we found on one of the more well-studied and popular micronutrients in the Functional and Nutritional Medicine industry - magnesium.
But first, let’s cover some basics.
Quite simply, the word micronutrient refers to all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the human body to function properly. Everything from all the B-vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamins D, E, and K, as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, molybdenum, and even boron. Each of those is a micronutrient. Micro means small, and nutrient is something...
Measuring vitamin D has become quite popular in recent years for a couple of reasons.
Number one, the whole process is simple. Run serum vitamin D levels, compare the result to a reference range, if levels are low . . . supplement. Done. Easy.
Secondly, vitamin D has been dubbed as some sort of panacea. Who needs it? Everyone. Need immune support? Vitamin D. Want to improve your bone health? Vitamin D. Have aches and pains? Vitamin D. Feeling blue? Vitamin D. Have a chronic disease? Vitamin D.
This enchanting combination of a turn-key system for an all-healing wonder supplement has elevated vitamin D to super-hero status. It's paved the way for talk shows, blogs, podcasts, and everyone from health enthusiasts to well-trained professionals recommending the vitamin D “Test – Supplement – Done!” approach.
We have made vitamin D too simple.
Selenium is a critically important, yet often misunderstood element.
On the one hand, selenium has many important roles having to do with proper immune system function, glucose regulation, reproduction, mood, cancer prevention, as well as for optimal functioning of specific selenoenzymes necessary for proper thyroid hormone synthesis and glutathione use.
On the other hand, selenium is said to have a ‘narrow therapeutic window’, and according to research, exceeding this optimal intake level might lead to some of the very same issues selenium deficiency prevents.
Despite this narrow window between deficiency and excess, clinicians and practitioners are quick to recommend selenium supplementation to their patients for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, thyroid-improving, and glutathione-boosting properties.
This is problematic and could cause patients more harm than good.
As part of this research, we took a close look at a popular...
The short answer is, no.
Unless you need it, demonstrated by proper lab testing (which most people aren’t doing)
Iron is a somewhat paradoxical trace element. It is essential for almost every form of life, and in humans is necessary to synthesize ATP (energy) and DNA. However, it is also highly reactive, accepts and donates electrons with ease, and can quickly cause significant damage to fats, proteins, cells, or just about anything it comes into contact with.
Because of this, iron is tightly regulated in the body to ensure it is used for the right things, while not damaging the wrong things.
Before answering this question, consider the following: