Mineral research

Purchase instructions

Tests will be invoiced to you after you sub your test.

Pay attention:

  • If you do not indicate a doctor or other medical specialist as an applicant on your form, you will need to pay 21% VAT.
  • For all tests, a fee of € 7.50 is charged for custom clearance and taxes.

Description

Minerals and trace elements play important roles in many processes in the human body. Some perform important functions as cofactors in enzyme systems. An example is the function of magnesium in the phosphorylation of, vitamins B1, B2 and B6, whereby the active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate is formed from vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). A deficiency of one or more minerals means that body processes depent on them will not be as efficient and likely result in the developement of symptoms sooner or later.

Many minerals work as counterparts, or antagonists,  to one another e.g. sodium/potassium, calcium/magnesium and copper/zinc. If one counterpart enters a cell, the other must leave. This mutual relationship is important for a number of reasons.

The concentration of minerals inside and outside the cell can vary enormously, causing major problems to determine the correct balance. If blood cannot be drawn for a long period, serum values of tje minerals in question will be considerably higher. This may also occur if only a small amount of blood is drawn during blood collection. The vacuum left in the vial will cause some blood cells to break down, resulting in higher mineral concentrations. Likewise, you are advised not to have blood drawn  on a hot day or after exercising since these can also cause values to be higher than normal. Minerals are often bonded to a carrier during absorption, and also to  proteins in the body. The free mineral may actually be toxic to the body in larger concentrations. Iron is present in the body as ferritin; copper as ceruplasmin, iodine as Triodothronine (T3) or thyroxine (T4), manganese as superoxide dismutase (SOD) etc. During testing, such structures are destroyed and the free ions measured by flame photometry using ion-selective electrodes.

Minerals can be measured in the serum, plasma, whole blood and red blood cells and, in most cases, in 24-hour urine. This can make investigation of minerals complicated, hence it is important to make appropriate choices during the consultation process. This is why functional processes are often used to determine possible deficiencies. For example, in magnesium deficiency, ethanolamine and phosphoserine levels will be elevated and excreted in the urine while phosphoethanolamine will be greatly reduced.

Testing of minerals and trace elements in the blood can be used to:

  • Determine mineral deficiency or excess in the case of illness
  • Determine deficiency or excess of one or more minerals to prevent disease
  • Monitor the effect of mineral supplemenion in the case of deficeincy
  • Determine the toxic load of minerals such as aluminum, lead and cadmium, which can damage health and affect the functioning and absorption of other minerals

Values measured in whole blood usually most accurately reflect mineral status at the time of collection. Reduced levels of minerals occur in persons with increased needs or reduced supply from food such as:

  • Athletes in heavy training; employees who work at high temperatures;
  • People following specific diets e.g. weight loss, vegetarian, low fat;
  • People with a greatly increased psychological burden;
  • People taking certain medicines.

Nowadays, even healthy food contains less and less specific minerals, meaning that deficiencies can also arise while eating a  normal diet. An example is selenium deficeincy in a large part of the Dutch population. Iodine deficiency is also common in many young girls and women.

Complete mineral testing is only recommended for:

  • Poor general health with vague symptoms e.g. paleness, fatigue, itching
  • Psychological complaints e.g. psychosis (excess manganese)
  • Symptoms of overload with toxic substances
  • Problems in joints and bones
  • Heart and vascular disease
  • Glucose intolerance / hypoglycaemia