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Which Supplements to Take?

May 31, 2016 10:05PM

The Value of MicroNutrient Testing

by Dr. Isabel Sharkar
Every day we are flooded with health information on the latest super-food and vitamin supplement that we should be taking because it’s good for us. How do you know for sure if the supplements you are taking are right for you? This is complicated by the fact that taking more of one nutrient may cause imbalances and actually induce deficiencies in other nutrients. Many medications deplete nutrients and intense exercise may increase nutrient requirements.

Nutritional balance is very important in optimal wellness, chronic disease prevention and managing the aging process. There is a micronutrient test that offers the most accurate, scientifically proven method for assessing nutritional deficiencies. The micronutrient test measures the function of 35 nutritional components, including vitamins A, all the B vitamins, C, D, E and K, minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, amino acids like glutamine and serine and antioxidants like Coenzyme Q10, glutathione and lipoic acid, to name a few. These are measured within the white blood cells. Scientific evidence shows that analyzing the white blood cells gives the most accurate analysis of a body’s deficiencies.

By assessing the intracellular requirements of micronutrients, we are able to assess the body’s needs for these micronutrients that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones, and other substances essential for proper growth, development and good health. Nutritional deficiencies have been shown to affect the function of the immune system, which in the long run, can contribute to degenerative processes. A micronutrient test provides the basis of a personalized, functional approach in addressing a broad variety of clinical conditions including arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular risk, diabetes, various immunological disorders, metabolic disorders and micronutrient deficiencies.

Sometimes eating a balanced diet, exercising and taking a multivitamin is not enough for complete health optimization. Many diseases have, at their root cause, a nutrient deficiency. Micronutrient testing is preventative care.  When seeking a higher level of wellness, it is important to have a personalized blueprint to supplement one’s schedule with targeted nutrient repletion recommendations for the deficiencies identified. Through micronutrient testing, you get a window into your body you normally wouldn’t have that provides important information on nutrient deficiencies you otherwise wouldn’t know exist. This testing can be conducted in many naturopathic clinics.

Isabel Sharkar, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit


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