Bone Turnover Biochemical Markers

With estimates that one out of two white women in North America will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture sometime in their life, prevention of osteoporosis should be a major health objective for all women (and men). In addition, especially in post-menopausal women it is useful to predict the rate of bone loss and to furtherContinue reading “Bone Turnover Biochemical Markers”

Detecting Levels of Iron Storage

Ferritin is the body’s major iron-storage protein and its levels in serum are parallel to iron stores. Normally, 1 ng/mL of serum ferritin is related to about 8 mg  of iron in storage. It rises somewhat in males and post-menopausal females. Any rise or decrease in levels of serum ferritin indicates available iron stores in theContinue reading “Detecting Levels of Iron Storage”

Heavy Metal Biochemical Assessments

MercuryMercury’s recent presence in the body can be assessed with blood and urine samples because the initial half-life of blood mercury elimination is 3 days. The half-life of elimination for whole body mercury is between 60 and 90 days. Generally, the levels of mercury are below 10 mcg per liter in urine and below 40Continue reading “Heavy Metal Biochemical Assessments”

What’s wrong with hair zinc analysis?

Hair used for nutritional status of a mineral can be flawed because of exogenous contamination–from water, dust, cosmetics, shampoos, etc–and because of endogenous, nonnutritional factors such as hair growth rate, color, sex, pregnancy and age. However, I do find it quite interesting that hair analysis could indicate a history of nutrition. Historical measurements would beContinue reading “What’s wrong with hair zinc analysis?”

Use of Organic Acids as Detoxification Markers

Environmental toxins, or xenobiotics, are foreign chemicals that enter our bodies and can potentially cause harm to our organs, tissues and cells. There are more than 60,000 known everyday chemicals that we are exposed to of which at least 200 are found in newborns at moment of birth. The most prevalent pollutants nowadays are phthalatesContinue reading “Use of Organic Acids as Detoxification Markers”

How to differentiate between a B12 and a folate deficiency

Despite whether or not megaloblastic anemia is caused by a deficiency of folate or vitamin B12 (cobalamin), large doses of folate will correct the anemia (1). Because this is the case, the extra folate can potentially “mask” symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency such as from pernicious anemia. Unfortunately, an undiagnosed chronic vitamin B12 deficiency canContinue reading “How to differentiate between a B12 and a folate deficiency”

What’s an ALT test?

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme that is concentrated in the hepatocytes. When the liver is injured or affected by disease, the enzyme is released into the bloodstream. When jaundice occurs, for example, elevated ALT levels can distinguish a liver injury or disease instead of red blood cell hemolysis. The test is performed on aContinue reading “What’s an ALT test?”

When You Have an Abnormal Lipid Profile

An abnormal lipid profile is a consistent indicator of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CHD). Blood lipids include total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C and triglycerides. Because each of these factors are ultimately affected by diet, it serves to reason to recommend dietary strategies to help lower total cholesterol and LDL-C, increase HDL-C and reduce triglyceride levels. ATPContinue reading “When You Have an Abnormal Lipid Profile”

When should prevention of atherosclerosis start?

I have three children, one boy, 13 and two girls, 10 and 11. As far as I’m concerned prevention of atherosclerosis should begin as early as possible. That means yesterday. However, I understand that there exists some uncertainty of exactly what age to begin prevention. It has to do partly with juvenile fatty streaks. WhatContinue reading “When should prevention of atherosclerosis start?”

When to use a C-peptide test

Normally, measuring insulin directly is more accurate with diabetics. But C-peptide levels more accurately reflect islet cell function in situations of insulinomas as well as cases of diabetics taking exogenous insulin (for treatment or secretly). C-peptide, short for “connecting peptide” is the protein connecting beta/alpha chains of proinsulin. The chains are separated when proinsulin becomesContinue reading “When to use a C-peptide test”