Special Report: Deficiency detectors
From testing our driving to quizzing our knowledge, no one wants a failing grade.
But now there are new tests for our bodies where a poor score could signal failing health.
"This is one way that we can measure a woman's overall health," Dr. Mark Firestone said.
Ann-Marie Dewar Anderson got married six months ago, and like any newlywed, she can't wait to spend the rest of her life with her husband.
"I want to be healthy for my husband, and I want to be around for a long life," Anderson said.
Recently, her OB/GYN told her about new technology that can judge just how healthy she really is.
This scanner measures the levels of antioxidants in your body, and gives you a score from 10,000 to 50,000 with 50,000 being the best.
Her score was less than 10,000. Ouch, that's as low as you can go.
That's not good, because antioxidants help us ward off disease and slow down the aging process.
The good news is that once doctors know your score, they can help you make changes to increase your antioxidant levels.
"Number one would be to improve their diet, make sure they get more fruits and vegetables in their diet, make sure they are taking the proper supplements and right dose to maximize their benefit," Dr. Firestone said.
But if you want a more detailed look at how your body is doing, there's a special blood test, called SpectraCell, that pinpoints all your nutritional deficiencies.
"Anywhere from vitamins, minerals, proteins and even sugar and fructose intolerance," Dr. Suzel Vazquez explained.
Frank Navarro was one of the first to try it.
All it takes is a simple blood test that's sent to the spectra-cell lab.
"They take your white blood cells, and they grow them in a culture, and they see that those cells are not growing appropriately because there is a nutrient that it's lacking," Dr. Vazquez said.
The test nailed down the exact nutrients Navarro was lacking.
"I think I had a little bit with my B-12, some antioxidants and protein," Navarro said.
Dr. Vazquez was then able to give him specific vitamins and make changes to his diet. Navarro now feels the difference.
"My energy has increased substantially, and Iím am now able to sleep," Navarro said.
Anderson has started eating a diet rich in antioxidants and taking supplements, and it showed in her score three weeks later.
She improved to 24,000.
"Alright," Anderson, "Oh, I am so excited. It's a huge difference."
The antioxidant scan costs about $20, and the more in-depth SpectraCell test costs about $500.
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