Optimal - The Blog

November 30, 2021

Even if You Hate Chemistry, You’ll Love Blood Chemistry!

What is blood chemistry analysis?

Sometimes, something is just in your blood…whether you know it or not!

Blood chemistry analysis is the process of obtaining a blood sample and measuring the amount of certain components present at a given time. Results are compared to a standard or optimal reference range and evaluated as high, low, or within range.

Some basic components measured in the blood include:

Glucose 

  • A simple carbohydrate used by the brain, nerves, red blood cells, and muscles

Proteins 

  • Such as albumin, storage proteins, carrier proteins, binding globulins, immunoglobulins, etc.

Fats 

  • Such as cholesterol, triglycerides, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids

Lipoproteins

  • These carry lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Examples include LDL, HDL, VLDL, apolipoproteins

Enzymes

  • Proteins that facilitate metabolic reactions 
  • Examples include GGT, alkaline phosphatase, ALT, AST

Micronutrients

  • Vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients/phytochemicals including:
  • Vitamin D, vitamin C, B12, folate, etc.
  • Iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, iodine, selenium, etc.
  • Accessory nutrients such as CoQ10 and bicarbonate 

Cells

  • Complete blood count (CBC): White blood cells, red blood cells
  • Characteristics of white and red blood cells (type, size, content)

Hormones

  • Thyroid hormones, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA
  • Insulin

Advanced Blood Chemistry Markers

More advanced blood chemistry analysis includes components that may reflect metabolic imbalance and increased risk of disease. Examples of more advanced markers include:

C-reactive protein, hs-CRP

  • A protein that increases when inflammation is present

Hemoglobin A1C

  • Hemoglobin (a protein) that has become bound up with glucose (glycosylated) due to excess glucose in the blood

Homocysteine

  • An amino acid that builds up if its processing is impaired by insufficiency of folate, B12, B6, and betaine 

Oxidized LDL

  • A measurement of how much LDL has become oxidized due to lack of antioxidants or due to exposure to toxins or oxidative stress.

TMAO

  • A compound produced from choline by the action of certain gut bacteria, excess TMAO may contribute to atherosclerosis

What impacts blood chemistry?

Blood chemistry reflects what is consumed and absorbed as well as what is produced internally. It reflects how the body metabolically processes an extensive number of compounds. 

Blood levels can vary depending on exposure/consumption and organ function including kidneys, liver, intestines, thyroid, pancreas, etc. Hydration can also affect results and must be taken into consideration.

Lifestyle, diet, nutrition intervention, and other treatment protocols can have a profound impact on blood chemistry. It’s important that practitioners and patients/clients remember this. Your everyday choices can make an impact on your overall health! 

For example, if glucose is consistently above optimal range and insulin is also elevated, that should trigger a further investigation into other blood chemistry markers of glucose regulation and insulin resistance. It should also prompt further evaluation of the person’s diet and nutrient intake, body weight, adiposity, medications, toxin exposure, and physical activity. Healthy adjustments in lifestyle and nutrition can help return glucose parameters to a healthy optimal range before insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, or full-blown diabetes sets in.

The nuts and bolts of ordering blood chemistry tests

Blood work can be ordered through a physician, however, what health insurance covers may be limited.

Most individuals have some routine blood work done annually though it may only include basic chemistry panels. These panels can provide a glimpse into metabolic balance and offer clues as to what further testing may be beneficial.

Additional blood work can be ordered directly and paid for out of pocket at discounted rates in most states. In this case, results are provided directly to an individual or even directly to their healthcare practitioner if they so desire. Some direct access labs can import results into the ODX software which can save time.

The ODX software will analyze results through an optimal lens and identify values that are out of range. Blood reference and conditions guides provide clinical information about the different biomarkers and what an elevation or depletion can mean.

The practitioner must use their skill and expertise to put the entire picture together. They can then determine what changes can be made to help restore balance, promote optimal function, and ultimately prevent those preventable chronic diseases we are all too familiar with including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.Bring real meaning to your patient's lab tests. FBCA Mastery

Optimal Takeaways

  • Any blood is good blood, even a basic blood chemistry panel and complete blood count can be a starting point.
  • Basic panels provide some information about organ function, metabolic balance, and hydration. More advanced panels provide more clues.
  • Advanced testing/biomarkers can help identify metabolic dysregulation, nutrient insufficiency, hormone imbalance, disease risk, and much more.
  • Blood work can be obtained through a physician using health insurance, however, coverage may be limited.
  • Direct access testing is paid for out of pocket but offers an array of labs and panels that can sharpen the clinical picture.
  • Using functional blood chemistry and optimal ranges can help both the individual and the practitioner forge a road map to better health and better living.
The knowledge and tools for your practices success
Tag(s): ODX

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