What Supplements Affect Blood Tests?
Millions of adults in the US regularly take vitamins and herbal supplements, many of which can alter your body chemistry and alter lab tests results.
Some supplements may cause test results to become inaccurate, leading medical practitioners down the wrong path. Biotin in particular has the ability to cause either high or low test scores depending on your body and test type needs.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient with multiple roles within the body, including aiding with immune support, fighting infection and inflammation reduction, and helping repair cartilage, bones and teeth as well as making some hormones and enzymes essential to production of collagen that provides strength to both tendons and skin. You can find Vitamin C naturally found in fruits and vegetables (especially citrus fruits and leafy greens ) or taken as dietary supplement.
High doses of vitamin C can interfere with certain laboratory tests, including glucose tolerance tests and fecal occult blood tests for colon cancer screening. Two grams per day could produce false-negative readings on fecal occult blood strips used to detect hidden blood in stool; this could lead to unnecessary further testing or treatment for conditions which don’t actually exist.
An identical effect may arise with urine sugar tests, which use a chemical-coated strip dipped into urine samples to measure their glucose concentration. When vitamin intake exceeds recommended limits, however, this test could return an incorrect result even though glucose exists within it.
Prior to having any blood work performed, patients should consult their physician about any vitamins or dietary supplement use they are taking, particularly before having lab work conducted. Skipping supplements for one or two days prior can prevent interference; otherwise a different testing procedure may be needed in order to achieve an accurate result. Clinicians or collection sites may offer precollection questionnaires that seek information regarding what types, frequency and amounts of supplements a patient is taking.
Biotin (vitamin B7, vitamin H and coenzyme R) is an essential water-soluble vitamin necessary for human growth and development. It plays a key role in metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates found in foods like meat, yeast eggs vegetables dairy products while over the counter multivitamins and prenatal vitamins often include biotin as well.
Consumption of high doses of over-the-counter and prescription biotin supplements may result in blood concentrations that impair immunoassay performance, due to binding biotin to antibodies on test tube surfaces and preventing them from reacting with analytes present in samples. Such interference has been documented through clinical cases, case series studies, in vivo experiments and vitro research studies.
Biotin interference may occur for hours to days after taking a supplement with high biotin levels, due to how quickly biotin levels increase after ingestion before declining quickly as kidneys filter it out of your system.
High-dose biotin consumption can impede several laboratory tests, including urine human chorionic gonadotropin pregnancy tests and troponin tests used to diagnose potential heart attacks. A new safety communication by FDA warns consumers, health care providers and laboratory personnel that supplementation with biotin could negatively influence laboratory test results, potentially misdiagnosing patients or leading to mistreatment resulting in misdiagnoses or mistreatment resulting in misdiagnoses and mistreatment resulting in misdiagnoses and mistreatment; accordingly it is advised that biotin be avoided prior to having these types of lab tests done so. The recommendation is that any supplements containing biotin be avoided prior to having these types of laboratory tests performed.
Calcium is best known for its role in building strong bones, but it serves many other critical purposes as well. Calcium helps the heart contract and pump blood, keeps nerves signaling correctly and releases hormones throughout the body – plus it’s necessary for blood clotting as well as teeth and bone development!
Blood draws are the go-to way for healthcare providers to check calcium levels in a patient. Phlebotomists specialize in drawing blood, so you should only experience slight stinging or throbbing as the needle enters your arm; once finished, their sample will be sent directly to a lab for analysis.
This test measures your ionized calcium levels in blood. Ionized calcium is used by cells to carry out their functions. When levels drop too far below desired levels it could indicate bone disease, thyroid disorder, parathyroid disorder, malnutrition or Vitamin D deficiency or even cancer.
High levels of ionized calcium may be linked to kidney stones, high blood pressure and the use of antacids and diuretics; however, normal calcium levels don’t always indicate any underlying condition.
If your calcium blood test results fall outside the normal range, your practitioner will likely order additional tests to ascertain why. While abnormal results can be distressing, remember that most healthy people’s calcium levels fall within normal parameters; either high or low calcium levels do not necessarily indicate medical issues or need for treatments; rather they work together with you and their practitioner to identify potential sources and address them effectively.
Magnesium, an essential electrolyte found throughout our bodies, exists only in trace amounts in blood plasma, while most of it resides in bones and other cells. Magnesium helps with muscle and nerve function, moving other minerals into cells, energy usage and maintaining normal heart rhythms – as well as aiding with cell repair and keeping heart rates regular.
If your body’s magnesium levels decrease, it can result in symptoms including trembling, weakness and difficulty breathing. Hypermagnesemia can even be life-threatening; healthcare providers will check blood magnesium levels to identify what might be causing the issue; additionally they’ll measure calcium and potassium levels to see whether they’re high or low.
Health professionals use a needle to take a small sample of blood from an arm vein for this blood test. Some people may experience slight pain while others feel prickling or stinging sensations during this procedure; afterward, some individuals may experience slight throbbing and minor bruises that eventually go away over time.
Blood samples are sent directly to a laboratory for testing, with results available within several days. A red blood cell (RBC) magnesium test is more accurate than serum magnesium tests, revealing any deficiencies. Furthermore, RBC magnesium testing can detect low levels of magnesium in tissues and bones.
Magnesium can be found in food such as dark green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans and grains that have not been processed. Magnesium supplements also contain this mineral; some doctors also suggest eating high-potassium diets to raise magnesium levels. Fasting isn’t required before this test and all your medications can still be taken during it.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for supporting bone health and immunity. Your skin produces its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight; in addition, fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines), eggs and fortified dairy products all provide natural sources. Vitamin D supplements are also widely available as health benefits.
Blood tests to measure vitamin D concentrations usually measure levels of 25(OH)D, the inactive form that the body converts into 1,25(OH)2D for biological activity. Abnormal levels may indicate bone disorders, nutrition problems or organ damage and this test is typically administered to adults over 19 but some health care providers may order screening tests on younger individuals as well.
Results from a vitamin D blood test should typically be available within several days, either through your healthcare provider’s call, secure patient portal, or mail. There’s minimal risk associated with getting blood drawn; however, slight pain and bruising may occur where the needle entered your arm.
Vitamins, herbs and supplements may impede the results of certain blood, urine or stool tests. If you take these vitamins or supplements regularly, be aware of when and how you take them as this could create misleading or inaccurate data from lab tests. These could include B vitamins (particularly biotin, niacin and riboflavin), calcium supplements, St John’s Wort, vitamin C, L-tryptophan and 5-HTP; speak to your healthcare provider to develop the most appropriate strategy to avoid interference for your tests.