Blood test Vitamins and Minerals; Vitamins and minerals belong to the group of micronutrients. Unlike macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, these are not used for energy production and are needed by our bodies in part only in small quantities. However, this does not mean they are not essential for our bodily functions. These vitamins and minerals must be in sufficient concentration in our bodies. Find out below which micronutrients are important and why you should measure them regularly.
Why are Vitamins and Minerals so important for our bodies?
Vitamins and minerals are important for many of our body functions. They are essential and can lead to disease in a poor state. Despite their importance for us and our bodies, many people suffer from a vitamin or mineral deficiency. This is usually an unbalanced and poorly varied diet, an unhealthy lifestyle, or environmental influences.
Vitamins and minerals always work together in our bodies. Since both groups are micronutrients, they must be available in sufficient quantities and a balanced ratio to each other. Vitamins and minerals also perform some tasks in your body together. For example, they are jointly responsible for the production of neurotransmitters. The cooperation of these two micronutrient groups is always necessary since a mineral, in turn, needs other minerals, vitamins, and vital substances to complete its tasks in the body.
Blood test Vitamins and Minerals – You can measure these values
Measuring vitamins and minerals with a blood test is easy at home. But which biomarkers can be measured with a self-test at home, and for which values does it make sense to test them regularly?
Minerals and trace elements
If you have looked closely at a portion of food and checked its nutritional values, you have probably already noticed that a distinction is made between minerals and trace elements.
Trace elements: belong to the group of minerals but are called differently because the body needs them only in small quantities. However, this does not affect their importance. For example, iodine belongs to the group of trace elements. Still, it plays a significant role in the formation of thyroid hormones.
Minerals: occur in high concentrations in the organism. Since they are needed in large quantities in your body, we speak here of so-called bulk elements or colloquially minerals.
From the group of minerals, it is possible to measure calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphate. Iron, iodine, copper, selenium, and zinc are trace elements that are also worth regularly checking to see if they are within the normal range.
Your body can only produce essential vitamins in small quantities or not at all. Therefore, it is important to take them in through various foods. We differentiate between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. They differ in terms of absorption, transport, storage, and excretion.
Fat-soluble vitamins: can be stored in your body. This means that they do not necessarily have to be taken regularly. They are excreted through the intestines.
Water-soluble vitamins: can hardly or not be stored in the body. Therefore, you should take them continuously with your food. As you can see from the name, these vitamins dissolve in water and are excreted through the kidneys.
Vitamins D, K, B12, and folic acid can be measured easily and quickly at home with the help of blood tests for vitamins.
In what combination does the measurement of Vitamins and Minerals as a blood test make sense?
If you want to know how your blood level of vitamin D3 is doing, it also makes sense to determine your vitamin K2 level. Why is this so? Vitamin D, a hormone, has enormous importance for our health. It influences not only the normal functioning of our immune system but also muscle activity and bone stability. Especially concerning your bone structure, vitamin K2 also plays an important role. It activates proteins with the help of which vitamin D – in this case, the effective D3 – can perform its tasks in bone metabolism. Therefore, when it comes to the health of your skeleton, you should always measure the vital substance duo D3 and K2.
A blood test for vitamins and minerals also plays an important role in your immune system. Our immune defense is a complex system of organs, tissues, and blood cells, which is continuously busy to avert damage from us and “clean up.” For this to happen without major incidents, your body needs some indispensable biofactors. Magnesium and the trace elements iron, selenium, and zinc play a major role.
Which values can I not measure with blood tests for Vitamins and Minerals, and why?
If you decide to carry out a blood test for vitamins and minerals, it will, of course, only ever provide a snapshot. Explained using the example of vitamin C: Vitamin C is water-soluble and has a short half-life of only about two hours. Accordingly, a laboratory value can only represent a very small time window. Thus, the individual blood value of vitamin C has only a very limited significance. Due to its water-solubility, the vitamin is not only used up quickly but there are also hardly any real stores for it in your body. The same applies to various B vitamins. Measurement of these values would rather provide information about what you ate a few hours ago. Therefore, a blood test for vitamins would hardly be meaningful in most cases.