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Comprehensive Blood Elements

A window to nutritional and toxicity status of the blood and serum

Test Indications:

  • Suspected toxicity and nutrient deficiencies.
  • To get a baseline values before heavy metal detoxification protocols are performed.
  • Accurate assessment of essential element status in the most appropriate compartment is recommended for determination of appropriate supplementation.

Test Summary:

  • Measurement of thirteen essential and eleven toxic metals in the circulating extracellular fluid compartments and in red and white blood cells
  • Note: overnight fast highly recommended

Measuring Blood Elements

Blood elements analysis assists in determining deficiencies, excesses and imbalances of essential elements, as well as recent or ongoing exposure to many toxic elements and metals. Whole blood analysis measures total levels of elements that circulate in both extracellular fluids (serum/plasma) and in cells (red blood cells and lymphocytes). Some elements are measured in serum because they are transported by serum proteins, or have important extracellular functions in blood. The combination of the whole blood analysis and the serum analysis provides a comprehensive evaluation of the status of elements.

The absorption, transport and metabolism of essential elements is highly integrated and regulated. Inappropriate supplementation or dietary imbalance of elements can have significant adverse health effects. For example, excess intake of zinc or molybdenum can result in copper deficiency and excess assimilation of manganese can have serious neurotoxic effects that are expressed as Parkinson’s-like disease.

Measuring Intracellular and Extracellular Elements of Blood

Whole blood analysis is an excellent test for measuring the levels of both intracellular (inside the cell) and extracellular (outside the cell) circulating elements. Extracellular elements have functions in serum/plasma or are transported to tissues in serum/plasma associated with specific proteins or albumen. Intracellular elements have very specific functions since they act as enzymes in red blood cells and lymphocytes. Some essential elements, such as selenium, are portioned in and have important physiological roles in both the intracellular and extracellular compartments. Likewise, the toxic metal lead is transported in both the fluid and cellular (red blood cells) compartments of blood. Therefore measurement of elements in both blood compartments permits a more complete evaluation of total blood element levels.

In contrast, some essential elements/electrolytes such as calcium, sodium, potassium and iron are best assessed in serum because they are transported by serum proteins, or have important functions in the extracellular compartment of blood. Also, the differential analysis of some elements, such as magnesium, in both whole blood and serum can provide important clinical information about aberrant metabolism of this extremely important element that is involved in over three hundred different intracellular reactions.

Blood elemental analysis is available in whole blood, in serum and as a Comprehensive Blood Elements profile which is comprised of both whole blood and serum elements.   It is highly recommended that blood and serum specimens be collected after an overnight fast to avoid the acute influence of a meal.