Dreaming About Nutritional Diagnostics

For the past 7 years, I have been wondering why my annual physical examination doesn’t include an assessment of omega-3 fatty acid (EPA+DHA) and vitamin status. My physician’s lab order does include fasting blood glucose, numerous lipids (total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides),  PSA, and electrolytes. Why not essential vitamins and minerals?

It could give me such peace of mind to know that my vitamin D status was sufficient. It would end the constant worrying about dietary choices. My weight, and blood lipids for the most part, reflect the number of calories I consume and expend through physical activity. Beyond that, it is the nutrient density of my diet (and supplements I choose to take) which will affect the health of my body.

Assuming my weight is staying fairly constant, a simple blood test could confirm that my dietary choices are acceptable to maintain nutritional adequacy…..or provide quantitative evidence to nudge my dietary choices in a direction that would improve my nutritional status. Hopefully, I would only have to focus on consuming more of only one or two vitamins or minerals. Depending upon the time of year of my physical exam, I might want to measure my vitamin D status more than once. I might also want a follow-up screening to confirm that nutritional repletion is occurring. All for my peace of mind and to confirm that I have achieved optimal nutritional status.

I dream of helping scientists bring their innovative nutritional diagnostic devices to  market. Why? Because they will transform nutrition guidance from one where we argue food beliefs to nutritional advice based on objective status assessments.

Articles like this, “Wear Your Too Large Wings with Confidence: You will Grow Into Them“, encourage me and hopefully entrepreneurial scientists at VitaScan, OmegaQuant and other startups trying to create inexpensive, minimally-invasive nutrition diagnostic devices.

 

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About Michael McBurney

Personal Blog | Nutrition science | Generally curious about impact of social media and open access journals on science communication. Employed by DSM.
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