Vitamins and minerals are organic and inorganic nutrients that are crucial to appropriate nutrition and normal body function. Your body does not make most nutrients and requires consumption in your daily diet. Some vitamin and mineral deficiency disorders or toxic excesses can be evaluated through blood tests, urine or tissue sample testing. Results of your tests might require monitoring your diet to increase vitamin-rich foods or to decrease foods or supplements contributing to toxicity.
Water-soluble vitamins including vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, and the B complex vitamins are not stored in the body, but are excreted in the urine and require daily replenishing in your diet. Deficiencies and toxicities are usually diagnosed based on signs and symptoms but some lab testing is available. Plasma vitamin C testing measures your body's ascorbic acid level and B-12 and folic acid are tested together to determine a disease called megaloblastic anemia.
The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K, with no daily consumption required and storage in fatty tissues. Vitamin K, produced in your intestines, aids in clot formation and is measured by a prothrombin time test or PT. Other tests available include vitamin A, or retinol, and carotene as well as vitamin D-3, or cholecalciferol, the primary form of vitamin D. Vitamin E excesses affect vitamin K by increasing K requirements with PT monitoring.
Macrominerals, needed in large amounts in your body, include sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Measuring concentrations in the blood is achieved with a test called basic metabolic panel or BMP as well as a complete metabolic panel or CMP. Individual mineral components can also be tested. Deficiencies or excesses can reflect kidney disease or failure, respiratory disorders and complications of heart disease and diabetes.
Microminerals, called trace elements because of the small but necessary amounts your body requires, can be evaluated for concentrations through individual blood testing. Microminerals include iron, zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, fluoride, manganese, chromium and molybdenum, states Lab Tests Online. Iron and iodine are commonly tested if symptoms of deficiency appear and are associated with anemia and thyroid disorders respectively. Wilson's disease, a hereditary disorder, is associated with high copper accumulation in tissues and low levels in the blood.
Some vitamins and minerals, traditionally tested individually, can be grouped together if symptoms indicate a need. One test, the vitamin and mineral panel or VMP, includes: A, B-1 or thiamin, B-2 or riboflavin, B-6 or pyroxidine, B-12 or cyanocobalamin, folate, C, D, E, ferritin or iron and zinc, states the IBS Treatment Center. Vitamin and mineral testing can include urine samples for sodium and potassium, and tissue samples for copper, and the results are compared to blood values.