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@ Everyone.

I am starting a separate thread on blood work testing, following on from discussion in the 'Supplements' topic.

I'll copy across some of posts from forums members.

KL - "I have a blood assay done annually; the only thing I use Medicare for. I get tested for the works (vitamins, minerals; testosterone, fasting fats/glucose, liver enzyme function, etc., etc."

Adurst - "Ask for general health testing: lipids, hepatic function, hormones.

And ensure they include the common weak links most athletes should test for:

RBC zinc, vitamin D, RBC Magnesium, C-reactive protein, and Hemoglobin A1C

If interested you can also get you DNA tested privately...Medicare won't cover this one.

Once You've got the raw genetic data...you can run it through http://livewello.com/ to spot any mutations."

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Maybe this is a bit redundant or obvious, but I will say it anyway.

This will vary greatly from country to country.

For instance, there is no way I can get my GP to meassure: RBC zinc RBC magnesium, or particle size of cholesterol. Of course it can be done privately but it comes with a very hefty price tag.

cheers,

Frederik

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I posted this in the other thread

If you guys are going to do blood tests.

My advice is to take 4 weeks off any supplements are are currently on....then get the blood tests

then you can tell if your base diet (eat normal) needs supplementing...rather then knowing your getting enough of something when your supplementing and pissing most of it out.

also...healthy minimum levels and optimal is not always the same.

@Frederik

Where do you live? These tests are not expensive in most countries. If your in the USA: https://directlabs.com/

Or move to a country with universal health care ;)

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I might be more interested if I could change my genetic inheritance... since I cannot, definitely not s need.

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@Adurst,

Denmark. Health care is free, and you can get blood work done at the GP if you want to. But, most of the tests you talk about are not available at least the ones regarding athletic performance: RBC zinc, magnesium and not testosterone either I think - also, most GPs do not test Vitamin D either. (no matter how persuasive you are).

I cannot find the prices for getting the above testing done at the moment, but if memory serves me right, and you include consulting fees it could be as much as 500 or 1000$?

cheers,

Frederik

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@Adurst,

Denmark. Health care is free, and you can get blood work done at the GP if you want to. But, most of the tests you talk about are not available at least the ones regarding athletic performance: RBC zinc, magnesium and not testosterone either I think - also, most GPs do not test Vitamin D either. (no matter how persuasive you are).

I cannot find the prices for getting the above testing done at the moment, but if memory serves me right, and you include consulting fees it could be as much as 500 or 1000$?

cheers,

Frederik

Doctors will definitely do this in your country...these are not just for athletes...but are basic to human health.

Vitamin D is critical to the adsorption and use of calcium in the bones...every post menopausal woman would get one.

Similar basic health issues with Zinc and Magnesium.

The tests are definitely available and funded in Denmark....you just need a doctor to order the tests.

I'd start by going to your current GP and ask for a full physical/health check...including blood work. You should get one every year as part of your health care system.

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I might be more interested if I could change my genetic inheritance... since I cannot, definitely not s need.

@kit

Yes definitely just for fun

Although I did find out that I have genes that mean I'm highly likely to

-process caffeine and alcohol effectively

-remain able to process lactose

-have a low risk of prostate cancer and colorectal cancer

Among many other disease risks, carrier status, and drug reactions associated with gene mutations.

And most importantly for my future....gasp! I don't have the ACTN3 gene...the one all the fast twitch athletes have...like sprinters. lol I'm just destine to be slow.

The ancestry stuff was fun as well. I'm slightly more Neanderthal then the average European ;)

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Interesting topic. My sense and opinion is that it is worth testing for things that will change what you are doing. So checking for mag and zinc in an athlete may be of help. Checking for particle siz e of your cholesterol may show you risks, but there's not much to do to change that, and no drugs, etc to change that, so why test for it. Doctors will generally do testing you would like, but they need a diagnosis that will allow insurance to cover it. They will not cover vitamin D, zinc, mag, etc without a diagnosis, which are all fairly specific and probably not had by you (thankfully). So likely, these sorts of "lifestyle" tests will need to be paid for by the patient. I would base testing on symptoms. if you are feeling well, probably no need to test for any of this if you are young and healthy. If you are having problems with fatigue, not recovering from workouts well, having restless legs at night, etc, then there may be a role. Sometimes doing more just costs more and does not improve outcomes. keep in mind that lots of this discussion in this thread is based on very little science and so one cannot say you are doing yourself a disservice by not doing it.

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My view - which is also what the medical profession would advise (if they're not particularly interested in making money out of you) - is not to get tests done unless you need to. These will be (in Australia at least) ordered by your GP and (at the moment) cost you nothing, and are based on clinical indicators, i.e. what diseases you might be at risk of. In my case, because of age (67), that includes cardiovascular disease, so they measure my cholesterol and lipid levels (HDL, LDL, triglycerides, etc), glucose (to test for diabetes), proteins, certain salts, measures of liver finciton (because I am on statins), etc. I have also had B12 and folate measured (they were normal) because deficiency may be caused by a drug I am on. As well I have an annual PSA test for prostate cancer, which is reckoned to be of marginal usefulness (again, many knowlegeable people will not get it done). This amount of testing is reckoned to be fairly interventionist; my brother in Canada, who is a medic (where they have a completely socialised system) gets none of this done. For males, who are otherwise symptom or risk-free (i.e. no family history), the only cancer screening which is worth having is a complete sigmoid colonoscopy done every several years. This is expensive and a nuisance, but (theoretically at least) is completely protective against bowel cancer (I get it done, even though I think I am low risk).

You shouldnt be on supplements anyway, if you have a healthy diet, unless there is something wrong with you.

Again, most people would say that genetic testing should only be done if there is a need. I wonder if Adhurst's test was the cheapo one at about $100. This looks at only certain points in certain genes and the results are completely overinterpreted (see the Radio National Health Report for a couple of months ago). There is simply not enough known to say with anything more than a minor confidence what the results mean. In addition, genetic testing should always be associated with genetic counselling. What would the outcome have been if they had found you were at increased risk of prostate cancer? The tests for early prostate cancer are pretty useless, so you would have been given a lot of extra worry for nothing.

As for me, I did ask for a test of my immune system - and they found an abnormal clone in my blood - which over time can progress to an incurable cancer with a certain probability (the specialist advised me the probability is low). Again, this has led to an enormous amount of further testing and worry, for no outcome (since the cancer is incurable anyway) and most likely wont occur. Am I better off for having this test, or not? I think not.

The answer: dont medicalise yourself unnecessarily. Have the major screening tests done if advised, but be aware that they generally have limited usefulness. The best you can do is exercise, keep a healthy weight, dont smoke (OF COURSE), have only a moderate alcohol intake (only a few units/week), eat a healthy varied diet of natural ingredients. After that, its all in the lap of the gods, and you cant do much about it.

All this is written in the context of a "normal" person - I have no specialised knowledge of people who want to become extreme athletes. But my guess the same will apply to them. I'll ask my son, who is a trainer for the Netherlands Olympic teams, if they do blood tests on their athletes. I havent heard so far that they do.

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