December 14, 2018

Am I Vitamin Deficient? Here's How to Find Out!

Wondering if you are deficient in any vitamins? Here is how to find out with vitamin level testing!
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I previously partnered with Health Testing Centers to test for food sensitivities. It was an at-home blood test that let me know a few foods that I am sensitive to that I had no idea about. I recently had the chance to try out a different test from Health Testing Centers and chose the comprehensive vitamin panel which tests your body for different vitamin levels. I had been wondering if I was deficient in any vitamins and had the perfect opportunity to find out if I was.

You can use either LapCorp or Quest Diagnostics lab centers. I went with Quest Diagnostics because it was within a 30 minute driving distance of my home and conveniently located in a Walmart store. My experience was excellent here in case anyone local needs blood work. They were super professional, fast and courteous. Since there was so many vials, I was worried about feeling faint as I have a history of this with a large blood draw. The staff helped me so much so that I didn't have to worry and luckily, I felt totally fine.

This Health Testing Centers comprehensive vitamin panel tests for many different vitamins including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D 25- Hydroxy, Vitamin K1, Ferritin, Iron with TIBC (total iron binding capacity) and Zinc. It tests for deficiencies of these important vitamins.

What I was most looking forward to seeing is my vitamin D levels. Since I live in Michigan and year-round sun is non-existent, low levels of vitamin D can be very common and vitamin D supplements can be needed to raise your levels. 

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Vitamin Testing Results

-Ferritin- 44 (normal)
-Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity- 152, 314 (normal)
-Vitamin A- 45 (normal)
-Vitmain B12- 477 (normal)
-Folate- 18.2 (normal)
-Vitamin B6- 13.5 (normal)
-Vitamin C- 1.2 (normal)
-Vitamin E- 10 (normal)
-Vitamin K- 816 (normal)
-Zinc- 60 (lowest end of normal)
-Carotene- 52 (normal)
-Thiamin- 23 (normal)
-Vitamin D- 31 (low end of normal)

Vitamin Testing Results Explained

I was very happy to see that everything was in the "normal" category. What I got from my results is that all of the healthy foods that I eat (fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, lean proteins) are helping me a lot! I was happy with most of my vitamin levels that are related to eating produce and I know they are helping me.

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I went over each results and noticed two things that made me want to make a couple of changes in my diet and supplements that I take. My zinc levels were 60 which is the lowest end of normal. Normal results are 60-130. I will be incorporating more zinc-rich foods into my diet now. Some of these foods include meat, chicken, cashews, eggs, almonds and yogurt.

As I mentioned, I was interested in seeing what my vitamin D levels were. While my level was technically "normal", I still want to increase it. Normal levels are 30-100 and mine was 31. I live in Michigan where we get minimal sunlight during the winter months and if my vitamin D levels are that low in November, what will they be after little sunlight for months?

Sunshine, please come back! We miss you.
I will be increasing my vitamin D supplements as vitamin D is not as easy to get in foods. Some foods that do have vitamin D are fortified orange juice, milk which is fortified, fortified cereals and salmon. I did my Master's thesis on vitamin D levels and how it can affect mood and other issues so to me, having an optimal vitamin D level is super important. I will also try to get sunlight when it is out even if it is a cold day.

I loved taking this vitamin panel test as it helped me to learn that what I am doing is working in terms of good nutrition. As a dietitian, it is even hard to say how your labs will look so it was really fun to see what my own vitamin panel looked like. If you think you may be deficient in a certain vitamin, you may want to talk to your doctor about and look into vitamin panel testing.

This post was sponsored by Health Testing Centers. All opinions are my own.

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