After my last blood test, I received some pretty embarrassing results. As a master’s student studying nutrition, I had both high cholesterol and low ferritin, a blood marker for iron. Despite eating a very healthy diet, I was still missing the mark on some seriously important nutrients.
Even worse, my doctor had ordered blood work as part of my annual physical last year and hadn’t notified me that anything was amiss in my results! That’s why InsideTracker goes further than typical blood tests to find my optimized range for markers like cholesterol. Their unique algorithm uses my demographic information, lifestyle habits and the latest peer-reviewed scientific research to create more accurate ranges for my biomarkers.
Once I received my results, I wanted to take action immediately. As a nutrition blogger and a health advocate, it’s important for me to walk the walk. I used InsideTracker’s food recommendations to make simple changes to my diet. To lower my cholesterol, I cut down on my weekend splurges of red meat, ate less cheese, and swapped eggs for oatmeal as my breakfast staple.
Trying to raise my low level of ferritin was a bit more difficult. As a woman and a runner, I need more than twice as much iron as a man, and it’s important to make sure my body’s getting enough. But because my diet is low in animal products, which contain heme iron (the form that’s more readily absorbed by the body), my iron-rich food options were limited. I decided to turn to a more potent iron supplement to ensure that my blood would absorb enough iron to meet my body’s needs. I ditched my multivitamin, which provided 6mg/day and started taking a higher dose of ferrous sulfate that provided 65mg/day.
InsideTracker also helped me see that I really didn’t need to take a multivitamin anyway. Besides iron and cholesterol, my nutrient levels were already optimized and my folic acid was actually well over the recommended amount. High intakes of folate can actually cause neurological damage over time.
Three months later, I had my blood tested again at InsideTracker’s booth at the Boston Multisport World fitness expo. Amid booths of nutrition bars and neon spandex, the phlebotomist drew several vials of my blood. (I’ll blame my subsequent running shoe splurge on being light-headed.) A few days later, my results were in!
In three short months, I lowered my LDL (bad) cholesterol from 127mg/dL to 96mg/dL - just above my optimized range from InsideTracker - just by changing a few foods in my diet.
My ferritin marker also made moves; it raised 11ng/mL in a short period of time. Since I’m a runner, I was especially pleased to see my progress. Iron is essential to form hemoglobin and myoglobin, the body’s oxygen-carrying proteins. Moving oxygen efficiently throughout the body is vital for distance runners to perform at their peak. My iron is still 7ng/mL below my optimized zone, so I still have some work to do. InsideTracker suggested several iron-rich vegetarian foods, including spinach, clams, and mushrooms. Working these foods into my diet, in addition to taking a more potent supplement should be enough to get me where I need to be.
Before becoming a customer, I believed in the idea of the product and its potential to empower individuals to take control of their health. But I am now more than a believer; I am living proof that InsideTracker can help individuals reach their optimum nutrition and health goals, one step at a time.