Measurement of Chromium and Vanadium in Whole Blood
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Accurate assessment of essential element status in the most appropriate compartment is highly recommended for determination of appropriate supplementation. The absorption, transport and metabolism of essential elements is highly integrated and regulated. Inappropriate supplementation or dietary imbalance of elements can have significant adverse health effects. For example, excess intake of zinc or molybdenum can result in copper deficiency and excess assimilation of manganese can have serious neurotoxic effects that are expressed as Parkinson's-like disease.
Whole blood analysis is an excellent test for measuring the levels of both intracellular and extracellular circulating elements. Extracellular elements have functions in serum/plasma or are transported to tissues in serum/plasma associated with specific proteins or albumen. Intracellular elements have very specific functions as obligatory constituents of metalloproteins/enzymes in red blood cells and lymphcytes. The red and white blood cells serve as surrogate cells representative of peripheral cells in general. Some essential elements, such as selenium, are portioned in and have important physiological roles in both the intracellular and extracellular compartments. Likewise, the toxic metal lead is transported in both the fluid and cellular (red blood cells) compartments of blood. Therefore, measurement of elements in both blood compartments permits a more complete evaluation of total blood element levels.