We’ll level with you: Nutrients support every cellular function in your body.
“They help your cells create energy, clean up inflammation, support hormone production, optimize mood and mental function, among many other things they do for the body,” says Lifeforce Physician Dr. Julia Afridi, DO. Put simply, “You cannot survive without nutrients.”
Of course, our goal is to help you not only survive, but thrive. “Optimizing nutrients is vital to optimizing how you look and feel,” says Dr. Afridi. Unfortunately, nearly a third (31%) of Americans are at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia.
When your nutrient levels aren’t optimal, “it can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, pain, and set you up for more chronic conditions,” says Lifeforce Physician Dr. Susan Grabowski, DO. “The only way to know if critical nutrients are playing a role is to get them tested regularly.”
That’s where the Lifeforce Diagnostic comes in. Unlike many other blood tests, Lifeforce tests for optimal levels, which is “the level that the cellular functioning related to that biomarker is operating at its best,” says Dr. Grabowski. She notes that this is very different from “normal levels,” which are based on the average of people who get that lab done.
In Lifeforce’s critical nutrient panel, we focus on three biomarkers that can have a significant impact on your health (including one you may not have even heard of before). Learn why these nutrients are vital to your energy levels, immunity, heart health, and cognition — and how to improve your levels.
3 Critical Nutrient Biomarkers You Need to Know
This biomarker might not be on your radar, but it should be. It’s the key to understanding your own B vitamin levels. “Homocysteine is an amino acid byproduct that is recycled by the body when you have an adequate amount of vitamins B2, B6, B9, and B12,” explains Dr. Grabowski.
If your homocysteine levels are high, it means you may not be getting enough of these essential B vitamins. This is important because “elevated homocysteine increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and dementia,” she says. And yet, it’s often left unchecked on routine lab testing.
Optimal levels: 5-10 umol/L
How to optimize it: “Chronic stress, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain drugs can all increase your homocysteine levels,” says Dr. Grabowski. To bring your levels down, she suggests focusing on reducing stress, weight management, getting quality sleep, and regular movement. You can also add more B-vitamin rich foods to your diet, including lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs, mushrooms, and leafy greens.
Dr. Grabowski also recommends supplementing with Lifeforce Methylation. It enhances the methylation cycle, which regulates levels of homocysteine, in addition to supporting the detoxification process and your nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems. Dr. Grabowski adds, “Lifeforce Methylation contains vitamins B2, B6, B9, B12, betaine, and glutathione, which is a very powerful antioxidant.”*
2. Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy
Testing for 25-Hydroxy (25-OH) — a form of vitamin D produced in the liver — is the most common way to measure how much vitamin D is in the body.
We’ve all heard of vitamin D — aka the sunshine vitamin — but you may not realize how far-reaching its effects are. Let’s shine a light on it: “Vitamin D has hundreds of critical roles in the body such as regulating gene expression, aiding in calcium and phosphorus absorption in the GI tract, stimulating bone cell mineralization, optimizing thyroid function, and helping prevent insulin resistance,” says Dr. Grabowski.
Dr. Afridi adds even more accolades to D’s impressive resume. “It is used as the backbone to create hormones in the body, it helps reduce inflammation, and it supports energy and mood,” she says. “If you think about how you feel when you are basking in the sunshine, that’s similar to how optimizing your vitamin D level will make you feel.”
Unfortunately, too many of us are missing out on that feeling. Studies show that nearly 40% of Americans have insufficient vitamin D.
Optimal levels: 50-100 ng/mL
How to optimize it: Soak up the sun to help your body produce more vitamin D. Dr. Afridi suggests spending about 20 minutes outdoors at mid-day with your arms and legs exposed. You can also eat more vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, eggs, and mushrooms.
If you need an extra dose of D, you can also turn to Lifeforce Vitamin D + K. This one-of-a-kind formula is clinically proven to raise vitamin D levels three times faster than regular vitamin D supplements. Plus, the addition of vitamins K1 and K2 ensures that calcium is deposited directly in the bone for the best results. Dr. Afridi explains, “Lifeforce Vitamin D+K has a unique form of vitamin D that is better absorbed into the body than other over-the-counter vitamin D products, so you can use less to get to optimal levels.”*
Vitamin D goes hand in hand with magnesium. Research shows that low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective. This is especially alarming because nearly 50% of Americans are magnesium deficient.
In addition to helping metabolize vitamin D, magnesium has its own important functions. “Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme activations in the body, including energy production, muscle and nerve function, immune health, bone formation, metabolism of nutrients, protein synthesis, glucose uptake, and blood pressure regulation, to name a few,” says Dr. Grabowski. “It also plays a role in sleep, relaxation, and mood.”
Optimal levels: 1.6-2.3 mg/dL
How to optimize it: Dr. Grabowski recommends loading up on dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, legumes, and bananas. She also suggests limiting soft drinks that contain high levels of phosphates, which can deplete magnesium levels.
You can also unwind with regular epsom salt baths. “Your body absorbs the magnesium right through the skin,” says Dr. Afridi.
Still, you may need more support to achieve optimal levels. “Most people benefit from taking extra magnesium because our soil, and therefore food supply, has less magnesium than it did historically,” Dr. Afridi notes.
Lifeforce Magnesium can help fill in any gaps. It has a comprehensive blend of the most bioavailable and highest quality forms of magnesium to support relaxation and help bring on calm.* “It matters what kind of magnesium you’re supplementing with,” says Dr. Grabowski. Make sure you’re giving your body the best.
Take the Critical First Step
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lifeforce nutraceuticals are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
This article was medically reviewed by:
Susan Grabowski, DO, ABAARM Board Certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine
Julia Afridi, DO, ABIHM Board Certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine