Inadequate nutrient status is associated with inflammation and chronic disease. Overt micronutrient deficiencies appear to be unusual in our patients, but “insufficiencies” or “subclinical deficiencies” are not.
As part of a comprehensive assessment, testing micronutrient status inside cells, where metabolism occurs, can help us piece together patterns, identify root causes to the patient’s health issues, and focus our efforts appropriately to provide targeted nutrition therapy.
It is our job to identify what is contributing to these nutrient insufficiencies…why are the nutrients are being used at a higher rate? Inadequate nutrient intake? Stress? Surgery? Immune function? Exercise? Medications that interfere with nutrient status? Poor digestion and absorption? Low HCl? Genetic variants? Combination of the above?
Piecing together what we know about the patient with micronutrient insufficiencies can identify causes and effects of the patient’s concerns and chief complaints. Looking for patterns guides us in the right direction.
- For example, you might associate insufficiencies in zinc, magnesium, B12, folate, amino acids, vitamin A and/or K with low HCl, inadequate digestion, poor gut health, and/or dysbiosis.
- Or with insufficient chromium, vitamin D, and/or niacin… is blood sugar dysregulation an issue?
- When you see inadequate folate, B12, and/or riboflavin, are there variants in the methylation pathway to work around?
- Could the nutrient insufficiencies be at least partially due to side effects of medications? There are many offenders in this regard. Statin use contributes to insufficient CoQ10, magnesium, zinc, Vitamins D, E, K, and niacin. Antibiotics can lead to inadequate B vitamins, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron.
Considering these sorts of associations along with the patient’s food intake, supplement routine, and lifestyle over the last 6 months, allows you to suggest effective, individualized nutrition and lifestyle interventions to replete nutrient stores and guide your patient to ideal health.
Learn more about the Cellular Nutrition Assays, including the Cellular Micronutrient Assay, by visiting us here.