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Nutritional Status - Fat Soluble Vitamins; serum

Doctors DataSKU: A2814

Nutritional testing of circulating levels of fat-soluble vitamins provides a good indication of their status throughout the body. The primary fat-soluble vitamins are involved in a vast array of protective and regulatory functions. The thoroughly intertwined and complementary actions among some of the fat-soluble vitamins is equally impressive with respect to optimization of health and disease prevention. Although overt deficiencies...

Full Description

Doctor's Data offers a wide range of nutritional testing profiles used to assess nutritional status and to monitor patient response to nutritional interventions.

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Please contact us at (714) 864-3730 or to order your test.

Nutritional Status

Proper nutritional intake is essential to overall health and provides the raw materials the body needs to function in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Nutritional testing from Doctor's Data can give you a clear view into nutritional status. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and used as energy. Protein is broken down into individual amino acids and used to build and repair muscles, the immune and nervous systems, hormones and organs. The body requires fats which function within the membranes that surround all the body’s cells and are needed to signal hormones. Vitamins and minerals typically function as co-enzymes and have protective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

The typical Western diet contains too many carbohydrates and saturated fats, and is often low in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Poor dietary choices can cause nutritional deficiencies and imbalances which may require dietary changes or nutritional supplementation.

Detailed Information

Nutritional testing of  circulating levels of fat-soluble vitamins (FSV) provides a good indication of their status throughout the body.  All  FSV have vital independent physiological functions, but there are also very important interactive functions among the FSV that should be considered.  Beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant and excellent indicator of fruit and vegetable consumption, is the primary plant source (precursor) of vitamin A (retinol).  Beta-carotene has other functions and its conversion to vitamin A varies significantly among individuals. Low thyroid function may slow the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A, and a significant percentage of the female population has diminished capacity to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A. The levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A are regulated independently, emphasizing the importance for assessing the status of both vitamin A “vitamers” through nutritional testing.

Vitamin E and CoQ10 are the primary anti-oxidants among the FSV and they protect against oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes and circulating lipoproteins; oxidized LDL is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  Among the E vitamers, α- and ᵧ-tocopherol have complimentary roles as anti-oxidants with ᵧ-tocopherol having a greater role in protection against reactive nitrogen species. Over consumption/supplementation with α-tocopherol lowers ᵧ-tocopherol status, emphasizing the need to assess the levels of both primary forms of tocopherol. One also needs to pay attention to very high levels of vitamin E as they may prolong clotting time.  That is especially important with poor vitamin K status (elevated undercarboxylated osteocalcin) that may impair with the normal coagulation cascade. 

Due to the heightened awareness of the vital regulatory roles of vitamin D, coupled with a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in North America, there has been a significant increase of vitamin D supplementation.  Indeed low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased risk of hip fractures, depression, and cardiovascular disease. However, addressing vitamin D status without attention to that of vitamins K and A may be consequential in the long run regarding bone health and undesirable calcium deposition. Vitamin K-dependent calcification of specific proteins, such as osteocalcin, is very important for several physiological functions including and bone and vascular health. A high serum level of undercarboxylated osteocalcin indicates a functional deficiency of vitamin K in the body, and should be addressed along with clinical intervention to optimize vitamin D levels.

Usage Directions

Before You Start:

Please read all of the directions, and familiarize yourself with the collection procedures.

It is recommended that the blood be drawn before breakfast after an overnight fast (8 hour minimum). Please refrain from taking non-essential medications and dietary supplements that contain fat-soluble vitamins for 24 hours prior to the specimen collection unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Never discontinue prescription medications without first consulting your physician.

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