Owen Davis | 29 Sep
Put simply, a blood chemistry test analyses a blood and urine sample to measure the contents of both the blood and
urine. The contents are known as 'biomarkers'. A blood chemistry test will typically measure key biomarkers like; vitamins,
minerals, fats (lipids), sugars, hormones,
enzymes and electrolytes. The purpose of a blood chemistry test is to help formulate a
clear picture as to how the body and its organs are functioning. Ultimately, a health practitioner will use a blood chemistry test to
understand what health challenges the body is facing and what is required to overcome those challenges.
When the blood chemistry test results indicate that biomarkers are within optimum ranges, the body is functioning
optimally and is resistant to disease. However, when the blood chemistry test results indicate elevated or lower
levels of these key biomarkers, it suggests that the body is not functioning optimally. In many instances, these imbalances
signify the presence of a disease or health challenge (precursor for disease).
In essence, blood chemistry is a diagnostic tool, rather than a test, that allows us to measure one's health
(or lack thereof). It can also be used to measure elite performance in athletes.
An example of how blood chemistry analysis is used to indicate emotional stress.
At Nutrition Diagnostics, we analyse 128 markers in the blood and urine and use this blood chemistry analysis to
assess the following facets of health:
Analysing these key areas allows us to paint a complete and accurate picture of an individual's health, allowing us to identify the driving forces behind poor health and disease. More importantly, blood chemistry analysis tells us what the body requires to get healthy. Thus, we consider blood chemistry a roadmap or blueprint to health.
Biomarkers that indicate mercury and heavy metal toxicity. By bringing outliers (orange and red dots) into optimum ranges, heavy metal toxicity can be corrected.
A reference range is used to give context to blood chemistry test results. It is a bracket defined by an upper and lower limit. Optimal or normal blood chemistry results will sit within this bracket, whereas suboptimal results will sit outside this bracket. Essentially, blood chemistry reference ranges are designed to benchmark results against healthy individuals. For each of the 128 biomarkers in our blood chemistry test, there will be a reference range that we consider normal and another that we consider optimal. When biomarkers are outside (above or below) these reference ranges, it indicates sub-optimal body function that presents a health risk.
Normal reference ranges in blood chemistry are determined by the average health of society in a particular country, state and laboratory. There are also sometimes differences between normal reference ranges for women and men. For instance, the normal reference range for iron in females is lower than it is for males. This is not necessarily because females should have lower iron levels than males. Instead, the average female in society does not consume as much red meat at each meal and can experience an abnormal iron loss with heavy menstruation, compounded by pregnancy and childbirth.
The point being; 'normal' references ranges in blood chemistry can be very misleading and often don't paint an accurate picture of health. For this reason, we have developed our own 'optimal' reference ranges to guide us at Nutrition Diagnostics.
Though it may sound simple to assess health based on blood chemistry reference ranges, the reality is that it is incredibly complex. This is because biomarkers cannot be viewed in isolation. Instead, each of the 128 biomarkers must be analysed with respect to the other 128 biomarkers, as they all affect one another.
Take vitamin D, for instance. A blood chemistry test may return a low vitamin D reading. Suppose you were to look at this marker in isolation. In that case, you may (incorrectly) assume that this person is suffering from vitamin D deficiency and that correcting it is simply a matter of prescribing a vitamin D supplement. Interpreting blood chemistry in this simplistic way fails on two fronts, as:
Ultimately, interpreting biomarkers in this way leads to misdiagnosing and mistreating conditions. Low vitamin D does not necessarily indicate a vitamin D deficiency. Instead, low vitamin D readings in blood chemistry are often the result of free calcium excess (where there is too much calcium in the body). This happens because the body requires vitamin D to absorb calcium effectively. So, in the instance of free calcium excess, the body lowers its vitamin D levels to protect itself from excess calcium being deposited into vital organs and joints, which causes them to calcify and leads to a host of health problems.
By prescribing someone a vitamin D supplement in this instance, you may have some success in elevating vitamin D
to optimal levels according to blood chemistry, but to what end? Raising vitamin D in this instance isn't going to achieve homeostasis
(balance). The underlying causes of low vitamin D will prevail, and the person's health will not improve. This is
typical of the 'disease
that most practitioners operate under, and it is a big part of why we are faced with so many chronic illnesses in
Unfortunately, many health professionals fail to analyse and interpret blood chemistry correctly. Instead of looking for the relationships between biomarkers, they look at them in isolation - particularly the well-known markers like glucose, insulin, HbA1c, cholesterol, TSH, vitamin D, ferritin, and cortisol. What's more, most health practitioners only test for a small fraction of biomarkers (instead of the 128 we test for). This prevents them from building a complete and accurate picture of health, as they are only dealing with a small percentage of the available information. Giving health advice based on isolated blood chemistry markers is akin to building a house without any foundations - it may look good for a while but will inevitably collapse.
Analysing only a small fraction of biomarkers prevents health practitioners from gaining a deep and accurate understanding of health, as they cannot identify relationships between markers. This is perhaps why we see so many people on medication to reduce cholesterol - because most medical practitioners have not taken the time to properly analyse blood chemistry to determine why cholesterol was elevated in the first place.
This is why we analyse a total of 128 biomarkers during our blood chemistry tests. This is the only way to build a complete and accurate
picture of health and treat the cause rather than the symptoms.
Imbalanced blood chemistry is an expression of imbalanced inputs and is often driven by dietary and lifestyle factors that throw the body's chemicals out of balance. Such factors can include:
While disease can certainly exacerbate blood chemistry imbalances, we contend that it is not the cause of these imbalances. Poor dietary, lifestyle habits and toxic exposure are the primary causes of blood chemistry imbalances. It is these blood chemistry imbalances that cause disease, not the other way around. In our experience, imbalances in blood chemistry set the stage for six primary health defects. It is these major health defects that cause nearly all disease. We call these the 'six subclinical defects':
We use blood chemistry analysis to inform all of our tailored health programs. By assessing toxic footprints, immune health, metabolic markers, protein, and iron status, we can build a 360-degree view of our client's health. Based on an individual's unique body chemistry, we can prescribe a tailored health plan that addresses their specific imbalances. To learn more about our tailored health plans and how they are informed by blood chemistry analysis, click here.