This panel contains the following blood tests important for people following a plant based diet:
CBC*– Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets: This group of tests tells if you are anemic, immune deficient, or have an infection or allergies.
CMP* – Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: This group of tests provides information about the status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance, as well as of your blood sugar (glucose) and blood proteins (total protein, albumin, and globulin).
Lipid Profile*: This group of tests measures your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides to determine your risk for coronary heart disease. Normal lipid values are key to good health. However; some vegan/vegetarians have cholesterol levels that are too low. Since cholesterol is the primary building block for hormones such as estrogen and testosterone adequate levels are required for optimal health.
Ferritin: This test assesses iron stores in your body. It is useful in combination with an iron and TIBC to evaluate iron deficiency.
Iron and TIBC (total iron binding capacity): This measures the amount of iron in your body and helps differentiate between different types of anemia. Vegans/Vegetarians often lack iron in their diet; especially raw vegans.
Folate: This test measures a type of B vitamin called folate. Folate is rarely low in plant-based diets, however, higher than normal levels, combined with low vitamin B12 levels, can magnify a vitamin B deficiency in your body.
Vitamin B12: Since plant foods do not usually contain B12, it is important to test your levels. B12 deficiency causes anemia leading to fatigue and weakness. If left untreated, B12 deficiency is very serious and will ultimately lead to irreversible nerve damage.
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy: This test determines your vitamin D status. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, plant based diets are prone to vitamin D deficiency.
TSH: This is a good test for vegan/vegetarians to ensure proper thyroid function, and to address iodine deficiencies.
Vegan/Vegetarian diets are popular and include many health benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Yet some vegan/vegetarians rely too heavily on processed foods, which can be high in calories, sugar, fat and sodium. Plus, they fail to eat enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods, resulting in a poorly planned, nutrient depleted diet.
The American Dietetic Association states that well-planned vegetarian/vegan diets can meet all nutrient requirements and are appropriate for all stages of life.1,2 This panel will help you determine if your vegan/vegetarian diet is planned well in order to meet your nutritional needs.
This test may be done fasting or 2-6 hours after eating. Both ways provide valuable information, though 2-6 hours after a meal provides a more realistic assessment of the state of your blood in everyday life. Stay hydrated and take your medications as prescribed. Iron measurements following blood donations or transfusions should be delayed for one week.
*Your requisition will show the CBC, CMP, and lipid profile as one single test - CBC/Chemistry profile (LC381822).
- "Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: vegetarian diets", Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, Summer 2003, 64(2), pp. 62–81
- "Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets"., J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Dec;116(12):1970-1980.