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Nutrient Deficiency - What do These Lab Tests Mean?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023


Happy functional medicine Friday, Dr. Julie McLaughlin here from McLaughlin care. We're gonna be talking about another lab test panel, the deficiency panel. If you missed some of our previous ones, be sure to check 'em out in our playlist on YouTube at McLaughlin care. And we have all kinds of videos on there for you.

The deficiency panel. So we're gonna talk about some blood tests that we do that look for different deficiencies. Deficiencies can also be called anemia. We look at B12 and folic acid. Both of these supplements are water soluble and the leading nutrient deficiency in the world.

In 2004, a study came out that said many parts of the world, including US, India, Mexico, central America, south America and Africa have the highest amount of deficiencies for these nutrients. Folic acid is also known as B9 and it's really important for sensitizing DNA, producing new cells, supporting your nerves, brain and your immune function and the conversion of folic into folate is dependent on a gene called M T H F R.

Sometimes if we have that gene and we can't convert it, we have a little problem so we always wanna look for that. With your B12, we want to have that greater than 900, and on the lab forms those are really the deficiency ranges. They're testing people who are not supplemented. So if you have a really high B12, it's totally good because it's water soluble. You're not going to be going crazy with it, but it's gonna be utilized every single day in your body.

When we look at the folic acid, we really want it greater than 20. And the folic acid helps us with our brain and our nervous system so these are really important. And these two vitamins deficiencies can also be called pernicious anemia. So we don't wanna have an anemia where we're deficient in our blood.

Some of the other things we're gonna look at is our vitamin D. And we know the vitamin D is huge. It supports our immune system, our heart, our bones, our brain, and it even can help with cancer spreading prevention, specifically melanoma, which is interesting, cuz we all say we get a lot of vitamin D from the sun. But really we're not getting as much as we think. Unless you're supplementing, you're probably deficient. The range that we like to see this in is between 60 and 80.

Some people just barely getting over into the range at 30, 31. They think that they have enough. But really you wanna be in this better range. And then on the other side, you don't wanna go too high. If you go too high, you can have a risk of getting kidney stones. So I would recommend getting your vitamin D checked regularly because it is something that different people absorb and hold onto vitamin D differently. And you don't know unless you test right.

The next one we're gonna look at is CoQ10 and we want it greater than 1.4. CoQ10 is probably one of my favorite supplements. It gives us energy and it's great for the heart. It's great for anti aging and magnesium. Magnesium, we want between 2.2 and 2.6 and it supports our brain, muscles, bone, and heart function. We'll do another video coming up on the different types of magnesium there's seven different types. And we'll talk about that a little bit later.

Let's talk about the benefits of vitamin D. It's gonna aid in weight loss and belly fat reduction, right? That's an awesome benefit. So immune system risks of cold and flu are reduced with it. It's gonna reduce your risk of osteoporosis, especially if we combine it with something called K2, another vitamin. It's been very beneficial in building bone and it doesn't have the risk that the calcium has that we now know about of hardening in the arteries and plaquing if you're taking too much calcium.

It's also great for heart health. It helps with our cholesterol. It helps prevent blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin D helps stop the spreading of cancers. Hopefully you're not getting 'em in the first place. And then it also helps brain boost. So it's gonna help you with seasonal affect disorder, insomnia, things like that.

So we wanna make sure we got plenty of vitamin D. You're going to also get it from food, but still not enough, so you're gonna wanna supplement, but these are some of the good sources in food: salmon, tuna, mushrooms, fortified milk, cod liver oil, fortified cereals, eggs, and of course sunlight.

We use supplements from a company called zymogen and they're pharmaceutical grade. You can't just buy 'em on the internet. They have to go through physicians. So if you are interested in vitamin D or the multi-active essentials where it has those B vitamins in it you can go to You have to have a passcode. Ours is gethealthy. And of course the doctor's name is McLaughlin.

So let's talk about the benefits of CoQ10. I love CoQ10, by the way. It is awesome. So it improves your natural energy. It helps with free radical damage. It protects your cell membrane. And it helps fight those free radicals that kind of happen with age. It slows down the aging effect and it slows down muscle degeneration. It also has a great heart health benefit. It offsets the side effects of statins. We know that people taking statins a lot of times can get muscular skeletal aches and pains. We see 'em a lot here in our office. The CoQ10 is what the statin depletes. So by taking it, you can minimize those aches and pains, it's a great combination. The brain, it helps with cognitive disorders and improves your energy.

Now, magnesium, it's a natural muscle relaxer and it boosts your performance in athletics. It helps with immune system. It helps alleviate PMS. And again, there's different forms for different things, but magnesium overall is an excellent supplement. It helps improve blood sugar. It helps reduce blood pressure. It helps enhance sleep and reduce insomnia and helps with the brain. Prevents tension, migraine headaches, and it fights against depression.

The last deficiency we're gonna look at is the essential fatty acid. So omega three and omega six. Essential fatty acids may control many vital organ systems and reduce overall inflammation. They're great anti-inflammatories, the omega threes, right? Omega three is fish oil. This is an essential fatty acid that's not produced by the body. So you have to either get it in your diet, like from fatty cold water fish or from a supplement. In a lab test, you'd want that greater than 4.5. Now there's two parts in that omega three, there's something that's called the EPA. And if you're one of my patients, we talk about this all the time.

You want that greater than 50 in the blood, but that helps lower the LDL cholesterol and some people, depending on their genetics, if they take the DHA form of the fish oil, it can raise their cholesterol. So we don't want that, but the DHA is great for brain health. And we see that a lot in infant formulas. We see that a lot giving that to kids. And we want that level to be greater than a hundred. Monounsaturated fats. We want that greater than 22 and it helps lower cholesterol and inflammation. Almonds, avocados, and olive oil are a good example of things are high in monounsaturated fats or the healthy fats. And then the ALA, these are also good fats are walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seed oil.

So the benefits of some omega threes is gonna aid in kidney function. It helps with dry eye and age related disorders like macular degeneration, especially in the omega six category. And we don't wanna have too much six without having enough three, we'd need that balance. It helps with chronic skin problems and eczema, heart health because it can help lower cholesterol. It is anti-inflammatory and it also thins the blood to prevent blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. And it helps with the joints because being anti-inflammatory. And because of the DHA, it helps memory cognition, and mood disorders, anxiety and depression.

There's tons of studies on the benefits of these nutrients as well. So some good food sources are gonna be flax seed, walnuts, sardines, salmon, avocados, almonds, shrimp, and olive oil. One thing I wanted to say is, some of these things are easy to eat a lot of 'em, right? So if you had almonds and they taste pretty good and you wanna eat a bunch, you don't want too much.

Everything in moderation. So average serving size, like almonds would be like 10 almonds. If you had just two or three walnuts, because they're so dense in calories. And in these oils, you don't need much. So just be careful with your quantities on eating some of these healthy foods. So that's it for the deficiency basket.

And if you have any questions, just let us know. At 847-234-2346. Be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel and like us on Facebook. And we'll be seeing you in the next video.

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