By: Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
So last week we discussed different types of nutrients and how important it is to maintain balanced and adequate levels of these nutrients. I also listed several different ways in which we can develop nutrient depletions over time. You can click here to read last week’s article about nutrient deficiencies.
This week I’d like to let you know about getting your nutrient levels tested. Before we delve into discussing any testing, I think it’s important to mention WHY it’s important to have your nutrient levels tested.
“But Dr. Morsillo, I eat a very healthy diet, I’m sure my nutrient levels are great, right?”
– Even if you have a very healthy diet, it seems that this does not guarantee adequate nutrient status. The main reason for this is two-fold: (1) Over time, our soil has become quite depleted in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Even if we are incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into our diets, these likely contain only a fraction of the nutrient content as that of our grandparents. (2) Remember that adequate nutrient status doesn’t just depend on the nutrients that we take in through our diet; it depends greatly on our digestion and absorption of these nutrients. It’s very common for people to have digestive and absorption issues, causing nutrient depletions.
“But Dr. Morsillo, my doctor tested some of my nutrient levels and said they’re normal”
– If you’re lucky, your doctor will perform a couple tests to screen your vitamin B12 and your iron levels, but that’s only two nutrients. This means there are many important nutrients that are not being tested; in fact, I would say that 99% of my patients have never been tested for any additional nutrients!
“But Dr. Morsillo, I take a multivitamin, so all my nutrient levels should be pretty good”
– With some exceptions, many multivitamins can be poorly absorbed and will only contain a very small amount of each nutrient. On paper, it looks like you’re getting a long list of nutrients; however, most of the time the dosages are not sufficient to improve your nutrient levels.
You get the point, we can’t assume our nutrient levels are meeting our requirements. Deficiencies are very common and they can contribute to many health concerns. Every cell in our bodies is carrying out an astonishing number of reactions each second – and every process requires one or several key nutrients in order to function properly.
If you currently have any health concerns or if you don’t often follow a healthy diet – you should certainly consider checking for nutrient deficiencies. To test nutrient levels for patients, we use specialized lab testing that will analyze urine or blood samples for your levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. This allows us to pinpoint any nutrient deficiencies that may be contributing to your health concerns.
Dr. Michael Morsillo, ND
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor