General Lab Tests
Increased gamma-globulin is found in certain chronic inflammatory or autoimmune conditions, certain cancers, acute infections, chronic liver disease, and an overactive immune system.
- Reference Range: 0.4-1.8 g/dL
Magnesium is one of the body’s most important minerals. It is required as a co-factor in hundreds of enzymatic processes within cells. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, is necessary for healthy cardiovascular function, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong (Galland 1988; Jahnen-Dechent 2012; Castiglioni 2013). Magnesium also helps maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels and is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis (Cinar 2008; Veronese 2016; Guerrero-Romero 2009).
- Reference Range: 1.6-2.3 mg/dL
- LE’s Optimal Range: 2.07-2.31 mg/dL
Red blood cell (RBC) magnesium is the most precise way to assess intracellular magnesium status, and free RBC magnesium has been shown to be inversely related with hypertension (Resnick 1984; Geiger 2012; Rosanoff 2005; Volpe 2013).
- Reference Range: 4.2-6.8 mg/dL
- LE’s Optimal Range: >6.0 mg/dL
Selenium (serum or plasma)
Selenium is a trace mineral and one of the body’s critical defenses against oxidative stress (Tinggi 2008; Rayman 2000). Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make selenoproteins, which are important free-radical quenching enzymes (Genc 2017). Selenium has also been shown to help regulate thyroid function and play a role in the immune system, DNA repair, and detoxification of heavy metals (Hoffmann 2008; Bera 2013; Whanger 1992; Ventura 2017).
- Reference Range: 91-198 µg/L
Vitamin C (serum)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the body’s most important defenses against oxidative stress (Sorice 2014). Vitamin C is critical for protection against damaging free radicals, and is essential for tissue healing, immune function, fertility, cardiovascular health, and prevention of the common cold (Hemila 1992; Padh 1991; Bendich 1995; Chambial 2013). Low values occur in scurvy (Burhop 2018), malabsorption syndromes (Lykkesfeldt 2014), inflammatory bowel disease (Imes 1986), alcoholism (Majumdar 1981), pregnancy (IOM 1990), certain thyroid conditions (Moncayo 2008), and kidney failure (Granata 2015). Smokers have also been shown to have lower levels than non-smokers (Schectman 1989; Smith 1987).
- Reference Range: 0.2-2.0 mg/dL
- LE’s Optimal Range: >1.2 mg/dL
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy (serum)
Vitamin D is essential for human life, so much so that our bodies manufacture this critical nutrient in the skin upon sun exposure (Nair 2012). However, most people do not get enough sun exposure to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D in their bodies; risks of skin cancer and sun damage dissuade many of us from spending much time in the sun (Norman 2008).
But sun exposure is not the only way to increase vitamin D levels. Supplemental vitamin D efficiently boosts blood levels of vitamin D, which are typically measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This is fortunate because research over many years has firmly established vitamin D as a key mediator of health throughout the body. Classically, vitamin D was thought to primarily support calcium homeostasis, but it is now known that vitamin D has many other crucial functions, including helping to balance the immune system (Bscheider 2016), suppress abnormal cell growth (Ness 2015; Watanabe 2015), and support brain health (Groves 2014).
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a host of diseases ranging from cancer (Kurylowicz 2007; Nabi 2015) and cardiovascular disease (Mozos 2015) to osteoporosis (Sahota 2000) and cognitive impairment (Etgen 2012). Thus, maintaining an optimal blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is of paramount importance.
- Reference Range: 30-100 ng/mL
- LE’s Optimal Range: 50-80 ng/mL
Zinc (serum or plasma)
This test is used to evaluate zinc deficiencies since the body does not store this important mineral (Jurowski 2014). Levels may be low in malnutrition, malabsorption, alcoholism, extensive burns, some chronic and genetic conditions, and after the use of certain drugs (Prasad 1985), estrogen therapy (Herzberg 1996), and in anxiety, depression and stress (Gronli 2013; Russo 2011), and heart disease (Hashemian 2015). Zinc deficiencies may result in abnormal development (Black 1998), poor immune function (Prasad 2008), and hormone imbalances (Favier 1992). Additionally, people with low levels of zinc often report altered taste and smell (Tomita 1996), impaired night vision (Miao 2013), and emotional instability (Russo 2011).
- Reference Range: 56-134 µg/dL
- LE’s Optimal Range: >85 µg/dL