Nutrition

Order nutrition tests to detect mineral, iron, calcium, electrolytes, and other deficiencies that can tell you which vitamins you lack and get enough of through diet and natural sources.  Ulta Lab Tests provides quick, affordable, reliable blood work and confidential testing, so order today!     


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27 Essential Vitamins and Minerals to Spot Deficiencies

  • Calcium [ 303 ]
  • Carotene [ 311 ]
  • Chloride [ 330 ]
  • Cholinesterase, Serum [ 37965 ]
  • Copper [ 363 ]
  • Iodine, Serum/Plasma [ 16599 ]
  • Iron, Total [ 571 ]
  • Magnesium [ 622 ]
  • Molybdenum, Serum/Plasma [ 6213 ]
  • Phosphate (as Phosphorus) [ 718 ]
  • Potassium [ 733 ]
  • QuestAssureD™ 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3), LC/MS/MS [ 92888 ]
  • Selenium [ 5507 ]
  • Sodium [ 836 ]
  • Vitamin A (Retinol) [ 921 ]
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), LC/MS/MS [ 90353 ]
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) and Folate Panel, Serum [ 7065 ]
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Plasma [ 36399 ]
  • Vitamin B3 (Nicotinic acid) [ 91029 ]
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) [ 91030 ]
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal Phosphate ) [ 926 ]
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) [ 391 ]
  • Vitamin C [ 929 ]
  • Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxy, LC/MS/MS [ 16558 ]
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherol) [ 931 ]
  • Vitamin K [ 36585 ]
  • Zinc [ 945 ]
     


Serum albumin measurements are used in the monitoring and treatment of numerous diseases involving those related to nutrition and pathology particularly in the liver and kidney. Serum albumin is valuable when following response to therapy where improvement in the serum albumin level is the best sign of successful medical treatment. There may be a loss of albumin in the gastrointestinal tract, in the urine secondary to renal damage or direct loss of albumin through the skin. More than 50% of patients with gluten enteropathy have depressed albumin. The only cause of increased albumin is dehydration; there is no naturally occurring hyperalbuminemia

Collection Instructions

Allow sample to clot for 30 minutes, spin at 3,000 RPM for 10 minutes and transfer serum to plastic, amber vial. If amber vial is not available, wrap tube in aluminum foil to protect from light. Freeze within 30 minutes and send frozen.


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C-Peptide is useful in the evaluation of pancreatic beta cell function and for determining the source of insulin in patients with hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia.

C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs CRP) Useful in predicting risk for cardiovascular disease.


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Serum calcium is involved in the regulation of neuromuscular and enzyme activity, bone metabolism and blood coagulation. Calcium blood levels are controlled by a complex interaction of parathyroid hormone, vitamin D, calcitonin and adrenal cortical steroids. Calcium measurements are useful in the diagnosis of parathyroid disease, some bone disorders and chronic renal disease. A low level of calcium may result in tetany.

Apolipoprotein A1 is the primary protein associated with HDL cholesterol. Like HDL cholesterol, increased concentrations are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are two major forms of Apolipoprotein B, B-100 and B-48. B-100, synthesized in the liver, is the major protein in VLDL, IDL, and LDL cholesterol. B-48, synthesized in the intestines, is essential for the assembly and secretion of chylomicrons. Patients with increased concentrations of Apolipoprotein B are at increased risk of atherosclerosis.

To assist with control of blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended glycated hemoglobin testing (HbA1c) twice a year for patients with stable glycemia, and quarterly for patients with poor glucose control. Interpretive ranges are based on ADA guidelines

An elevated concentration of Homocysteine is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

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Insulin is useful in diagnosing hyperinsulinemia in hypoglycemic patients. Hyperinsulinemia may be due to an insulin-producing tumor (insulinoma), syndrome of insulin resistance, or persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy.

This is the most common Lipid Panel. Components include those useful in the detection, classification, and monitoring of patients with hyperlipidemia.

Elevated concentrations of Lp(a) are associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease.

There is a correlation between increased risk of premature heart disease with decreasing size of LDL particles. Ion mobility offers the only direct measurement of lipoprotein particle size and concentration for each lipoprotein from HDL3 to large VLDL.

Cardio IQ Lp-PLA2 Activity

Clinical Significance

Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), also known as platelet activating factor Acetylhydrolase, is an inflammatory enzyme that circulates bound mainly to low density lipoproteins and has been found to be localized and enriched in atherosclerotic plaques. In multiple clinical trials, Lp-PLA2 activity has been shown to be an independent predictor of coronary heart disease and stroke in the general population. Measurement of Lp-PLA2 may be used along with traditional cardiovascular risk factor measures for identifying individuals at higher risk of cardiovascular disease events. Clinical management may include beginning or intensifying risk reduction strategies. The activity assay is an enzyme assay run on an automated chemistry platform.


Beta Carotene, a fat soluble nutrient, is a precursor to vitamin A. Deficiencies may lead to vitamin A deficiency. Excessive vitamin A intake may lead to headaches, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea, skin changes, and potential birth defects.


 Specimens from children less than 4 years of age (i.e., less than 48 months) are not appropriate for this test. The test for children 4 years of age and younger is the Celiac Disease Comprehensive Panel, Infant (test code 15981).

Includes

Tissue Transglutaminase, IgA with Reflexes; Total IgA with Reflex

IMPORTANT - Note this is Reflex Test which if additional tests are run you will be charged for the specific tests that the lab peforms. Additional test will be run if the following criteria are met.


If the Tissue Transglutaminase IgA is positive,

1. Endomysial Antibody Screen (IgA) will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 86255).

If the Endomysial Antibody Screen (IgA) is positive, 

2. Endomysial Antibody Titer will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 86256).

If the Total IgA is less than the lower limit of the reference range, based on age

3. Tissue Transglutaminase IgG will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 83516).

Clinical Significance

Celiac disease is caused by an immune response to gluten in genetically sensitive individuals. The diagnosis is largely based on a biopsy of the small intestine, but serologic tests also help support a diagnosis and may assist identification of patients who may require biopsy.

Tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG, IgA) is a marker with 95% sensitivity and specificity. Total IgA is measured because 2-3% of celiac disease patients are IgA deficient. Because tTG, IgA, and anti-Gliadin IgA tend to decrease in patients on a gluten-free diet, these markers are also used to assess dietary compliance.

The endomysial antibody (EMA, IgA) assay has high specificity for celiac disease and is used to confirm positive anti-tTG results.


Serum chloride is the major extracellular anion and counter-balances the major cation, sodium, maintaining electrical neutrality of the body fluids. Two thirds of the total anion concentration in extracellular fluids is chloride and it is significantly involved in maintaining proper hydration and osmotic pressure. Movement of chloride ions across the red blood cell membrane is essential for the transport of biocarbonate ions in response to changing concentrations of carbon dioxide. Chloride measurements are used in the diagnosis and treatment of electrolyte and metabolic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and diabetic acidosis.

Clinical Significance

Urine chloride excretion approximates the dietary intake. The chloride content of most foods parallel that of sodium. An increase in urine chloride may result from water deficient dehydration, diabetic acidosis, Addison's disease, and salt-losing renal disease. Decreased urine levels are seen in congestive heart failure, severe diaphoresis and in hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis due to prolonged vomiting.


Approximately 1 in every 2500 individuals has inherited a defective enzyme or a deficiency of the enzyme (Pseudocholinesterase) that metabolizes succinylcholine (an anesthetic agent). With a "normal" dosage, these individuals have prolonged apnea. Such individuals are responsive at much smaller concentrations of this anesthetic agent than the general population. Low concentrations of Pseudocholinesterase are observed in individuals exposed to organophosphorous insecticides and in patients with hepatic dysfunction.

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)


See individual tests

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Copper is an essential element that is a cofactor of many enzymes. Copper metabolism is disturbed in Wilson's disease, Menkes disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, and Indian childhood cirrhosis. Copper concentrations increase in acute phase reactions and during the third trimester of pregnancy. Copper concentrations are decreased with nephrosis, malabsorption, and malnutrition. Copper concentrations are also useful to monitor patients, especially preterm newborns, on nutritional supplementation. Results of copper are often interpreted together with ceruloplasmin.


Did you know almost 10% of people in the United States have nutrition deficiencies? The most common deficiencies are iron, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.

You can have nutritional deficiencies and not even realize it. For this reason, nutrition lab tests are essential tools for managing your health.

When you get nutrition tests, you also get insight into improving your health the right way. Keep reading this guide to learn more about nutritional deficiencies and nutrition lab tests.

What are Nutritional Deficiencies

There are many nutrients we take in daily that are important for our overall health. Most of the time, our body can get these nutrients from the foods that we eat. 

But when your typical diet lacks in fruits and vegetables and is high in sugar and saturated fats, then nutritional deficiencies become more common than you realize.

Different health problems can cause a diet that is lacking in vitamins. Kidney disease or celiac disease can cause you not to absorb the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

Food intolerances due to inflammatory bowel disease or a problem with malabsorption in your gut can lead to big problems with nutrition. There are types of nutritional deficiencies that lead to disease, including:

  • A lack of calcium can lead to rickets and osteoporosis
  • An iodine deficiency leads to a goiter
  • Iron deficiency can cause iron deficiency anemia
  • Zinc deficiencies can cause stunted growth
  • Vitamin C deficiencies can cause scurvy

It's also important to remember that every person is an individual, and some people may require more of certain vitamins to prevent disease than others.

Risk Factors for a Nutritional Deficiency

Surprisingly, nutritional deficiencies can happen to anyone and aren't specific to certain countries or locations. Risk factors for nutritional deficiencies include:

  • Anemia
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Pregnancy
  • Drinking heavily
  • Smoking
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Chronic illness

Your socioeconomic status is also a risk factor. Many people cannot afford proper nutrition and end up eating alone.

What Causes a Nutritional Deficiency

Any deficiency in vitamins or minerals can cause a nutritional deficiency, but the basic causes are an inadequate intake or absorption of nutrients and vitamins. 

This can be for many reasons, but the most common causes for this include:

  • Being vegan, vegetarian, or following a strict diet
  • Overcooking your food constantly
  • Medical conditions that interfere with vitamin absorption
  • Drinking alcohol can lead to a vitamin C deficiency
  • Taking certain medications like antacids and seizure medications

Smoking can also decrease vitamin C as it tends to decrease the amount your body can absorb.

Symptoms of a Nutritional Deficiency

Eating well-balanced meals has benefits beyond maintaining a healthy weight. Eating a balanced diet keeps your body healthy and able to fight off disease and illness.

The symptoms and signs of a nutritional deficiency include:

  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Mouth ulcers or sores in the corners of your mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Dry and scaly skin patches
  • Dandruff
  • Hair loss

Nutritional deficiencies also can cause a condition called restless leg syndrome. This is a nerve condition that causes unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in your legs, along with a constant urge to move them. The link is not completely understood, but there seems to be a relationship between blood iron levels and restless leg syndrome.

Diagnosing a Nutritional Deficiency

If you suspect you might have nutritional deficiencies, it's important to make an appointment to see your doctor. 

Your doctor will ask you about your past medical history, your current symptoms, and do a physical exam. Most likely, your doctor will order bloodwork to assess your current nutritional state and check for any deficiencies. 

Over time, imbalances in your nutrition can lead to weight loss, loss of muscle mass, and even bone density. For this reason, blood tests are the most powerful tool to help identify nutritional problems early on and prevent disease onset. 

Treatment for a Nutritional Deficiency

Treatment depends on if your nutritional deficiency is minor or more severe. Many times a simple change in eating habits can correct any deficiencies you might have.

People with iron deficiency anemia are often advised to eat more meat, poultry, eggs, and iron-fortified grains and cereals. If your deficiency is more severe, you may be referred to see a registered dietician and asked to keep a journal of the food you're eating each day. 

A dietician will go over your diet in detail and help you to modify your habits by making recommendations based on your needs. Many times you'll be asked to add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet. 

Some deficiencies need more than just a change in diet alone, and you may need to take a vitamin or mineral supplement. Your dietician will work together to determine how often you should take your supplements and if they're safe, along with any medications you may be taking.

Lab Tests to Screen for Nutritional Deficiencies

Ulta Lab Tests has a huge selection of nutrition and vitamin panels you can choose from, depending on your needs.  

One of the best panels to start with is a vitamins and minerals panel. This panel includes a group of tests that measures important blood, vitamin, and mineral levels. A complete blood count (CBC) checks the levels of your blood cells, platelets, white blood cells and will detect conditions like anemia.

Next is a comprehensive metabolic profile (CMP) which measures your protein level, electrolyte levels, calcium, kidney, and liver function. This test gives a good indication of nutrition by checking how your organs are functioning. 

Having a low iron level can contribute to health problems like anemia and restless leg syndrome. You'll need to have your total iron level checked to rule out conditions like iron deficiency.

Vitamin B12Zinc, and Vitamin D levels should also be evaluated. Vitamin B is found in milk, eggs, red meat, fish, and is essential for normal red blood cells. In addition, low zinc levels can cause slow wound healing and a decrease in immune system function. And Vitamin D is essential for the overall health of your bones.

Normal magnesium levels are critical for almost all of the chemical processes in your body and keep your bones strong. Magnesium is also essential for normal heart function and blood pressure regulation.

Other Lab Tests

Omega-3 and 6 are essential fatty acids that your body needs to maintain its daily functions. Your body doesn't make these fatty acids on its own, so you must consume them in your diet.

You can find Omega-3 and in foods like salmon, nuts, seeds, and sunflower oil. These fatty acids are essential for heart health and to lower your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

Iodine is an essential element that your body needs to make thyroid hormones. Measuring your iodine level is a great way to see if your dietary intake is enough. And vitamin K is essential for healthy bones, tissues, and normal blood clotting.

FAQS About Nutritional Deficiencies

Did you know the foods you eat can have a huge impact on chronic health conditions? For example, if you have arthritis, you should avoid processed foods, and saturated fats, increasing the pain you experience.

When you have arthritis, certain foods and nutrients can be beneficial, like:

  • Beans are full of fiber which help lower inflammation in your body
  • Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for heart health
  • Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants
  • Nuts and seeds improve inflammation

Where is a good resource to find what nutrients to take in each day? It's a good idea first to take a look at the dietary guidelines established for Americans. You can check these guidelines for new recommendations for infants, toddlers, pregnant women, adults, and older adults.

Can magnesium prevent headaches? Some studies suggest that people who consume more magnesium in their diet may decrease their chances of getting migraines. You should talk to your doctor before trying this, as taking too much magnesium can cause health problems.

Nutrition Lab Tests With Ulta Lab Tests

Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate tests, allowing you to make the best decisions about your health.

Here are a few great things for you to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You'll always get secure and confidential results
  • You never need health insurance
  • You don't need a physician's referral
  • Always affordable pricing
  • A 100% satisfaction guarantee every time you order

If you order your nutritional lab tests today and your results will be provided to you securely online within 24 to 48 hours in most cases.

It's time to take charge of your health and visit Ulta Lab Tests today!