Homocysteine is a common amino acid in your blood. You get it mostly from eating meat. High levels of it are linked to early development of heart disease. In fact, a high level of homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease. It’s associated with low levels of vitamins B6, B12, and folate, as well as renal disease.
Vitamin B-12 is a crucial B vitamin. It is needed for nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells and helps to create and regulate DNA.
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is a male sex hormone (androgen) that is present in both men and women. This test measures the level of DHEAS in the blood. DHEAS:
- Plays a role in developing male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty
- Can be converted by the body into more potent androgens, such as testosterone and androstenedione
- Can be converted into the female hormone estrogen
Insulin–like growth factor 1 (IGF–1), also called somatomedin C, is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IGF1 gene. … IGF–1 is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin. It plays an important role in childhood growth and continues to have anabolic (constructive metabolism) effects in adults.
Fasting Insulin levels could identify insulin resistance long before plasma glucose and HbA1c levels rise. Prediabetes” is one result of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes high cholesterol, high glucose, and high blood pressure. A high level of fasting insulin indicates insulin resistance and can encourage a person to make changes to lower it.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by the body as a response to sun exposure; it can also be consumed in food or supplements. Having enough vitamin D is important for a number of reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth; it may also protect against a range of conditions such as cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) is a protein made by your liver. It binds tightly to three sex hormones found in both men and women. These hormones are estrogen; dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and testosterone. SHBG carries these three hormones throughout your blood.
Although SHBG binds three hormones, the hormone that’s critical in this test is testosterone. SHBG controls the amount of testosterone that your body tissues can use. Too little testosterone in men and too much testosterone in women can cause problems. The level of SHBG in your blood changes because of factors such as sex and age. It can also change because of obesity, liver disease, and hyperthyroidism.
Folate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.
A diet lacking foods rich in folate or folic acid can lead to a folate deficiency. Folate deficiency can also occur in people who have conditions, such as celiac disease, that prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients from foods (malabsorption syndromes).
Free Testosterone measures the amount of unattached testosterone in your blood.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone (androgen) that helps male features develop. Testosterone is made in the testes and the adrenal glands. It causes the changes that occur in boys during puberty. Testosterone helps hair and muscles grow. It also helps the penis and testes grow. Testosterone also causes a boy’s voice to deepen. Men continue to make testosterone. It boosts sex drive and helps make sperm.
Women’s ovaries also make small amounts of testosterone. It helps many organs and body processes in women.
The pituitary gland in your brain controls the amount of testosterone your body makes.
Most of the testosterone in your blood attaches to 2 proteins: albumin and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Some testosterone is not attached to proteins, or free. This is the testosterone that is easily used by your body.
If your healthcare provider thinks that you have low or high testosterone, he or she will first test total testosterone levels. This looks at all 3 types of testosterone. The free testosterone can help give more information when total testosterone is low.
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