If it’s time for your cholesterol check, consider one simple blood test that gives you cholesterol readings plus glucose levels, measures for kidney, liver and heart functions, potassium, uric acid, electrolytes and iron. And while you’re at it, in the same test, get a complete blood count to identify anemia, platelet and hemoglobin levels as well as a full range of essential vitamins and mineral measures.
Measure vitamin and mineral levels
The Vitamin Deficiency test is one blood draw that provides a myriad of measures, including magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that is found in every cell of the body and is vital to energy production, muscle contraction, nerve function, and maintenance of strong bones. About half of the body’s magnesium is combined with calcium and phosphorus to form bone.
Vitamin D for bone health
The Vitamin Deficiency Panel also measures Vitamin D—a common vitamin deficiency in Americans. Classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D acts more like a hormone to balance calcium in the blood and build strong bones. It also maintains healthy cellular growth and regulates the immune system. Vitamin D prevents excessive inflammation that can lead to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, periodontal disease, multiple sclerosis and irritable-bowel diseases.
Vitamin B for energy
Take this test to get a read on vitamin B levels. The B family of vitamins helps the body release energy stored in food components like carbohydrates, fat and protein. Vitamin B is essential in generating energy to power all the organs; a deficiency may put you at risk for organ damage.
Folic acid for cell growth
Folic acid is part of the B vitamin family—and another common deficiency in Americans. Folic acid helps synthesize DNA used in new cell formation. Folic acid helps lower homocysteine levels, which can cause damage to the heart. Lack of folic acid can impair protein synthesis and cell division. Long-term use of aspirins and antacids can cause low folic acid levels.