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It’s been quite a while since I had any blood work done, so I went to the doctors recently and arranged to get my blood work checked. I’ll be getting more tests done at some point in the near future, as well as genetic testing. I want to start having more tests done on a frequent basis rather than leaving it years in between getting them done. Just so I can track my health a bit more closely and make adjustments for optimal health.
I think it’s vital to get blood tests done at least once a year if you’re into life extension or if you want to simply be in optimal health. And of course, you’ll be able to spot negative changes more quickly so you can do something about them before they cause serious health issues. My results below showed something very concerning with regards to my vitamin D levels. Let’s take a look at what I found out!
Vitamin D – 25(OH)D Levels
I got a phone call from the doctor last week and he told me my Vitamin D levels were extremely high. He tried to call me several times over a few days to warn me about it and make sure that I stopped taking vitamin D supplements. He told me that my results were measured at 504 nmol/L (200 ng/dl) which is on the verge of toxicity.
I repeated it back to him a few times just to be clear, and he said this was the result. However, after requesting the paperwork for all of my results, the result actually read 304 nmol/L, which is still very high, but not near the danger zone. Perhaps my doctor misread it on the computer screen or on the notes. Nevertheless, I’ll certainly be stopping vitamin D for the meantime and resume at a lower dose in the future.
.The vitamin D results were very surprising to me given that I don’t really get a lot of sun exposure most days. And I also only took about 50,000 IU per week for 3 weeks, starting from 2 months ago. After a while, I lowered it to about 5000 a day but sometimes took 10,000 IU. During the second month, I lowered it to around 1000 IU per day, but I had been taking the supplement inconsistently.
It seems, according to my results, that I don’t require a lot of vitamin D3 to maintain a high level. This to me has taught me an important lesson: make sure that I am frequently getting tests done!
B12, Folate, and Ferritin
Vitamin B12 – My B12 result came back lower than I expected, especially because over the last few months I had been taking a B12 supplement. I don’t consistently take it, but given the high dose per tablet, I expected that I would have had a high serum B12 level. Given this result, I will be changing my supplement the better-absorbed sublingual form of B12 called methylcobalamin.
The result of my B12 test was normal, but it was low at 336 ng/L (normal range 200-900).
Ferritin – My result wasn’t too unexpected because I am a vegan. However, 30 ug/L (range 15-300) is getting too low and therefore I will keep a close eye on it. On the plus side, having low levels of iron may decrease disease risk, and lower oxidative stress.
Folate – This result was normal at 10 ug/L (normal >3.0)
Full Blood Count
Everything seems fine here apart from a fairly high neutrophil count, which was measured at 7.3.
I wasn’t aware of the impact eating a meal could have on white blood count, otherwise, I would’ve fasted before having the blood test done. I recently had some dental work done, so this may have also negatively affected my result.
The neutrophil count number can rise significantly in a short period of time from an infection, stress, or even lack of sleep.
Lymphocyte count can also increase after a light meal before having a blood test done. However, this one came back at 1.8, which is lower than a few of my previous tests and it’s believed to be more indicative of whether or not someone is on a CR diet.
Red blood cells were all within normal ranges.
Testosterone levels dropped from 17.9 nmol/L (512 ng/dl) to 14.3 nmol/L (412 ng/dl). It’s a significant decrease for just 3 years, but I’m fine with this result, as this is normal for someone on a calorie restriction diet. Higher testosterone levels might also be responsible for accelerating aging by activating mTOR.
This test is to look at blood glucose levels over time (3-4 months). My result was 29 mmol/mol (normal <48). DCCT % would be 4.8%. Life extension foundation believes an optimal HbA1C level for longevity and slow aging is under 5%. So I had a great result here, showing excellent glucose control.
TSH normal 1.67 mU/L (0.30-4.40) and my fT4 levels have dropped from 18 to 13.9. I’ve noticed that I can eat less now and my metabolism seems slower. I guess it really has slowed down a lot as I’ve gotten older. A lower T4 level is apparently associated with extended longevity in animals and humans, so I’m quite happy about this result.
My thoughts on my CR blood test results
Some of the results I expected, but I think I’m going to have to start being a bit more careful again with my diet and supplement regimen. It’s not that I’ve been slacking off much, but my food choices haven’t been as good as they could be in the last 6 months or so. I’ve also been working from home, so I’ve not gotten the same amount of exercise that I would normally get.
In about six months times, I will do another round of blood tests and make sure that it’s more comprehensive than this one. I’ll also do a genetic test from 23andMe, as I’m quite interested in seeing my disease risk and if I have any longevity genes.
You can find my previous and current test results by clicking here.
Article reviewed and updated: March 2019.
vitamin D is stored in fat tissue as well as in the liver. As a CR follower you actually lack the storage capacity: the fat tissue. Taking high dosages long-term might imply the that VitD “has no place to go” and remains in your blood until it can be cleared. Long-term 20-30min in the sun every day or small dosages <800 during winter time might be a more sensible approach.
High but within rage neutrophils are nothing to worry about. These cells can make up to 70% of white blood cells. Consequently lymphocytes should be farely low. If inflammatory parameters such as hsCPR (acute) and ESR (chronic) are low it should be fine.
Thank you, Cony. You make some good points!
Neutrophils go up and down fairly quickly anyway. After I published this post, I wondered whether or not the dental work I had done just before the blood test was the cause. It just didn’t come across my mind to think it was a possibility I guess. Will try to get more blood tests done by the end of the year. 🙂
Sorry for the delay in responding!
Thanks for the comment!
Re neutrophils – If the meal you ate contained refined oils, it could have been endotoxemia. Following a whole food plant based diet (i.e. no refined oils, with limited plant based omega-3 from walnuts, flax seed meal) can reduce endotoxemia.
It may have just been the lack of sleep since it’s a known factor. Although it escaped my mind at the time that I just had some dental work done, and so perhaps this was a factor… but I don’t know. :)) Anyway, it’s not too important as these cells can go up and down quite quickly.