Does SpectraCell Measure Vitamin Toxicity in Blood?

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Does SpectraCell Measure Vitamin Toxicity in Blood?

SpectraCell’s MicroNutrient Test reports your nutrient deficiencies, but can it tell you if you are at risk for taking too much of a supplement? 

The short answer here is YES and NO, but it deserves elaboration.   


There is a difference between taking too much of a supplement and vitamin toxicity.   SpectraCell does not report vitamin toxicity, at least not directly.   SpectraCell measures vitamin deficiency.   That said, people should know that taking supplements without measuring your blood is akin to guessing.  And this can lead to toxicity in extreme cases, although that is quite rare. 


Back to the question…Does SpectraCell measure vitamin toxicity in blood? 

Here's why the answer is YES: 


If you are not deficient in a vitamin but still continue to take it for an extended period, then you risk upsetting the delicate metabolic balance that requires nutrients to work together optimally in the body.  In other words, you can upset the balance of key nutrients.  We see it all the time.  So, the rule of thumb here is – supplement the vitamins in which you are deficient, and don’t necessarily take them forever.   


That’s the gist of targeted supplementation, which is supported by the Journal of American Medical Association.1  Measure baseline, supplement what is needed, correct deficiency, then measure again.  Your supplements will likely change depending on the circumstances of your life and the current physiology of your body.   By targeting your supplements, you will correct cellular deficiencies and optimize cell function.   With optimal cell function, comes optimal health.  And optimal cell function happens when nutrients in the cell are balanced – where there is neither too much, nor too little of a vitamin.    


The definition of toxic is any substance that can cause illness when introduced to a living organism.  Something that is vital to life can be toxic when ingested in excess.  Even water can be toxic in excess.  It’s called water intoxication (also known as hypervolemia) and occurs when so much fluid is ingested that the electrolyte balance is thrown off in such a way that causes low sodium (hyponatremia) resulting in headaches, seizures and even death in extreme cases.   


Obviously, water itself is not toxic.  It is the effect of excess water on other nutrients (sodium, for example) that results in toxicity.  So, in a similar way, the SpectraCell MNT is an indirect way of telling you which vitamins you should or should not take in an effort to optimize balance and function of all nutrients in the cell. 


Back to the question…Does SpectraCell measure vitamin toxicity in blood? 

Here’s why the answer is NO: 


There is no direct way to determine toxicity with our micronutrient test, but there is a more indirect way and that is seeing if there are other deficiencies cropping up over time.   Since taking something in excess of what your cells actually need will tend to induce deficiencies in competing nutrients, then the MNT may indirectly measure nutrient imbalance (more than a gross toxicity).   

SpectraCell’s MicroNutrient Report lists over 30 nutrients and where your cells fall within a range (of growth, not mass) for each nutrient.  If your cells are below a certain range, that nutrient is flagged as deficient.  But there is no flag for toxicity.  This is because the SpectraCell MNT is a functional test that measures growth, not mass.   Toxicity, in conventional terms, is having too much of a substance that your cells can’t handle it.  Put another way, it is having an amount of something that is beyond your ability to detoxify it.  Additionally, detoxification potential varies from person to person. 

So, you can see why the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.  Does SpectraCell measure vitamin toxicity.  Directly, NO.   Indirectly, YES. 

For more information on the pitfalls of over-supplementation, with specific emphasis on Vitamin D, CLICK HERE.  

For more information on why the SpectraCell MNT is reported in growth percentage instead of mass, CLICK HERE. 



1Manson.  Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: What Clinicians Need to Know, JAMA 2018.