Nutrition Testing FAQ
Q: What is Nutrition Testing from Gluten Free Works ?
A: Nutrition Testing from Gluten Free Works uses Cellular Micronutrient Analysis. This is a next generation blood test that analyzes a person’s nutritional status by measuring 33 specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients within the individual’s white blood cells (lymphocytes). It is the gold standard for this type of test.
Q: How do lymphocytes provide a nutritional history?
A: Most lymphocytes obtained by venipuncture (blood draw) are in a resting state in terms of cell division. Since they have a 4-month to 6-month lifespan, the nutrient levels accumulated in these lymphocytes represent a history of an individual’s nutrient status. Thus, lymphocytes provide a history rather than a snapshot of nutrient intake.
Q: Why test nutrients?
A: Nutrient status is a vital foundation of health. Each nutrient plays an indispensable role in promoting optimal cell function. When some cells do not function at their best, the foundation of our health is compromised, setting the stage for the development of disease. Identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies is an important step in the long-term maintenance of optimal health. Vitamin deficiencies aren’t just a reflection of diet. Since we are all biochemically unique, nutrient deficiencies will vary from person to person, and do not necessarily correlate directly with nutrient intake, even among those with similar health conditions. Many factors beyond diet determine whether nutrient function is adequate. These include biochemical individuality, genetic predisposition, absorption and metabolism, age, disease conditions and medications.
Q: How is Cellular Micronutrient Analysis different from the standard blood tests doctors use?
A: Standard tests only measure static quantities of vitamins and minerals present in blood, primarily reflecting dietary intake. Cellular Micronutrient Analysis determines the actual status of nutrient levels within your cells. In this way it can show functional deficiencies when present. Test results take into account individual variations in metabolism, absorption rates, age, genetics, prescription drug usage and other factors, and in so doing, provide a powerful clinical assessment tool.
Q: What is a functional (or subclinical) deficiency?
A: A functional deficiency encompasses any of the factors that reduce the efficacy of a nutrient. Thus, a given nutrient may be present, but it may not be properly activated, appropriately localized or have sufficient cofactors to function at a normal level of activity. No matter what the cause, the result will be a defect in the biochemical pathways that depend upon that nutrient for optimal function. A deficient or defective pathway may operate at a sub-optimal level for many months, or even years, before a clinical symptom becomes apparent.
Q: How does the test work?
A: Blood is collected (no fasting is required) and sent to our laboratory. Lymphocyte cells are isolated and grown in a series of patented culture media. The cells are stimulated to grow in the control media containing optimal amounts of specific nutrients. As each nutrient is removed from the media, the cells must use their own internal mechanisms (reserves or metabolic processes) to grow. If cells grow optimally, they are functioning adequately and thus are not deficient. If cells do not grow optimally, then a deficiency is indicated. For example, when B12 is removed from the media and cell growth is not sufficient, this indicates that the lymphocyte cells have a deficiency of B12.
Q: What is SPECTROX™?
A: It’s a total antioxidant function test that assesses the ability of cells to resist damage caused by free radicals and other forms of oxidative stress. SPECTROX is the most accurate and clinically useful way to assess total antioxidant function.
Q: Why have I never heard of this type of nutrition test before?
A: Although Cellular Micronutrient Analysis was developed in the early 1990’s, nutrition is not a focus of standard medical care. We are partnered with the only clinical laboratory that offers this patented technology. We believe it is one of the most important medical developments in the last 100 years and is the only way to be absolutely certain where your nutritional health stands.
Q: So this is a blood test?
A: Yes, a blood sample can be taken by a hospital or health center near you and overnight shipped to our laboratory for analysis.
Q: How do I get my blood sample taken?
Q: Can I eat on the day of the test?
A: Yes. Eat and drink as you like. Eating will have no effect on the results.
Q: How long will it take for my Nutrition Analysis report to arrive?
A: The analysis process takes about two weeks. You can expect your report within three weeks of shipping your blood samples.
Q: How often should I do Nutrition Testing?
A: Your first test acts as a baseline. Future tests will be compared to the baseline to determine improvement or worsening of deficiencies. Since Nutrition Testing from Gluten Free Works measures long term health, wait six months before retesting to determine improvement. After that, we suggest making the testing part of your annual check up.
Q: Who can benefit from Nutrition Testing?
A: You can be deficient in nutrients and not even know it. Studies have shown that 50% of patients taking a multivitamin are functionally deficient in one or more essential nutrients that are vital to long term health. Scientific evidence also confirms such deficiencies are associated with disease processes and the overall condition of your health. Deficiencies suppress the function of the immune system and contribute to degenerative processes. So, anyone who is interested in feeling his or her best can benefit from these tests.
Q: But I eat right and maintain a “healthy” lifestyle? Why would I need this test?
A: People with healthy habits can have deficiencies. Biochemical individuality, absorption, chronic conditions, age, and lifestyle influence individual nutrient requirements. Even a healthy-looking person can have nutrient deficiencies that may only be revealed through testing.
Q: I plan to become pregnant soon. Should I do the testing?
A: Yes. Pregnancy is a huge strain on the body as the developing baby needs good nutrition to grow and develop properly. Knowing where you stand before you become pregnant will help you adjust your diet and supplements to make sure you have what you need so both you and your baby experience a healthy pregnancy.
Q: I am pregnant and/or breastfeeding. How will nutrition testing help me?
A: Pregnancy and breastfeeding are strains on the body. Your nutrition testing report will tell you which nutrients are low and what you need to take more in order to be healthy and give you baby what it needs.
Q: I am an athlete. How can Nutrition Testing help me?
A: Sports require you to be healthy to perform optimally. Strength, stamina, speed and avoiding injuries are dependent on good nutrition. Knowing your nutrition status will tell you where you need to improve to build strength and prevent injuries.
Q: I am older than 50 year of age. Will know my nutritional status benefit me?
A: Yes. Our body’s ability to digest, absorb and use nutrients decreases with age. Chronic diseases such as osteoporosis increase the need for nutrients. In addition, many medications interfere with, or deplete, nutrients.
Q: What diseases or conditions are linked to nutritional deficiencies?
A: Arthritis, Parkinson’s, alcoholism/substance abuse, behavioral disorders, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, chronic fatigue, macular degeneration, diabetes, immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and cancer are some that have been linked to nutrient imbalances. Studies published in 2002 in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirm the connection between nutrient deficiencies and disease processes.
Q: I take medications for a chronic illness. Can this affect my nutrition?
A: Yes. Many medications deplete nutrients, so knowing your nutritional status is extremely important. Here is a list of common medications and the nutrients they deplete.
Q: What do I get when I order Nutrition Testing from Gluten Free Works?
A: Test materials. You will receive a test kit and instructions in the mail. Instructions will also be emailed to you. Your test kit will contain test tubes that your local health center or hospital will use to draw your blood sample. FedEx will pick up your sample and overnight them to our laboratory where they will be analyzed.
Report materials. In two to three weeks, you will receive a report detailing exactly where you stand with regard to 33 different nutrients, a repletion schedule telling you which supplements you need to take and how much of each depending on what you are deficient,
Educational materials. You also receive 2 booklets and informational sheets to help you tailor your diet and nutritional supplements to your needs as indicated by your report:
- a copy of “Nutrient Guide” that will teach you about all the nutrients in the test: function in the body, deficiency symptoms, recommended dietary allowances, dietary sources highest in the nutrients, toxicities, etc.
- a copy of “How to Take Nutritional Supplements & Get the Most Value for Your Money.”
Q: Does the blood draw and FedEx overnight shipping cost extra?
A: No, the blood draw and FedEx overnight shipping costs are included in the price. Once you order, everything is paid for.
Q: I do not find a draw center location near me on the Draw Center Locator page. Can Gluten Free Works locate one for me?
A: Yes, just call us at 800-577-5609 or email us your zip code and we will obtain a draw center in your area. (Note: The testing is not available in New York State at this time. Draw centers in adjoining states may be used.)
Q: Will my insurance cover Nutrition Testing from Gluten Free Works?
A: No. We are a direct-to-customer service provider.
Q: Do you sell vitamins, minerals or any supplements in addition to Advanced Cellular Nutrition Analysis?
A: No. Gluten Free Works does not sell dietary supplements of any kind. We feel to do so would present a conflict of interest with our nutrition testing.
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