Dragonfly 360 Blog

Micronutrient Testing: The Truths the Values Reveal

by | Feb 7, 2023 | Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition

The body is very complex, and when dealing with chronic health issues, it’s not always easy to find the underlying cause. Solving these complexities is one of my favorite parts in helping others, and micronutrient testing is a major tool that helps me do just that.
I get comments frequently that switching from an engineering career to a career in naturopathic medicine had to be a big change. While this may be true, the problem-solving aspect of my engineering degree is something I use everyday in my practice to help those in need. Let me explain further how the micronutrient test helps me solve and understand the intricacies of the body.

The Micronutrient Test

Micronutrient testing looks at both serum values and cellular values for 48 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fats. The serum values depict what is available for the body to use and the cellular values depict what the body is actually using.
This helps me differentiate between a true deficiency or malabsorption issues which may be due to intestinal malabsorption, genetic variations, or oxidative stress.
Here is what the patterns in the values may indicate:
  • Serum Normal/High | Cellular Deficient: Reflects an issue getting into the cell
  • Serum Deficient | Cellular Deficient: Reflects a deficiency
  • Serum Deficient | Cellular Normal/High: Reflects nutrient is getting into the cell but there is not a lot of back storage available to use

Example: Vitamin A

This image shows an example of one of the fat-soluble vitamins, Vitamin A, from the Micronutrient Test Report.
(A full sample report can be viewed here.)
We can see from this example that the serum values of Vitamin A are normal, but the cellular value is low. This is a case where there is an issue with this nutrient not getting into the cell, so the body is not able to use it. Your body not being able to utilize Vitamin A may cause issues with eyes, hair and skin as well as immune system and thyroid function.

Looking for Patterns

From here, the question becomes: Is it all fat-soluble vitamins that have this pattern? If so, then there is potentially an issue with absorbing fats. Supporting the body with the appropriate digestive enzymes or a liver detoxification may help correct that issue.
If only Vitamin A has this pattern, and the other fat-soluble vitamins are normal, then it is very likely there is a genetic variation that is affecting the utilization of this nutrient. In this case, I would want to make sure the right form of Vitamin A is consumed in the diet and in supplement form as well. Plant-based foods contain beta-carotene which is a precursor to Vitamin A or retinol. If someone is having issues converting beta-carotene into retinol, I would check to make sure they were consuming animal products to get retinol or supplementing the correct form.
That is one example (of many) of how the Micronutrient Test helps me get to the underlying cause of micronutrient deficiencies or malabsorption. With problem-solving such as this, it can be possible to find the underlying cause of chronic health issues, which makes naturopathic medicine stand apart from medicine that only treats symptoms.

Dragonfly 360: Helping to Solve The Body’s Complexities

Currently, we are running a 10-15% off sale for online orders of micronutrient tests, as well as other functional lab tests, that help you begin to feel like yourself again. When you order from us, we will contact you to schedule your personal lab review with Dr. Melanie. You may also book online after ordering, if you wish.

Please, feel free to contact Dr. Melanie MacLaren at (317) 344.9840 to learn more about and how she can help, or request an appointment. Virtual consultations are available by appointment.

Dr. Melanie MacLaren is a naturopathic doctor and registered yoga teacher who is passionate about natural health and the individualized needs of each of her clients.

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