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What a Blood Test Can Tell You About Your Health and Fitness

Every major athlete who enters Exos has his blood tested. Our correspondent did, too, and this is what it told him.
What a Blood Test Can Tell You About Your Health and Fitness

Clients who come to Exos now get blood analysis, done in conjunction with the diagnostic company WellnessFX.

Their blood is analyzed for nutritional deficiencies, metabolic health, kidney, liver, and reproductive health, and inflammation, among other things. They can also ask to be checked for food allergies. Exos dietitians then use these results to suggest diet modifications and supplements.

Here’s what I learned from my test—who knows what yours might reveal?

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Under “Basic lipids,” my low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was flagged. Results are color-coded, and my LDL level was a menacing orange, hitting 100 in a range of 100 to 130. (A higher LDL can mean a higher chance of heart disease and stroke.) But Kunces said not to worry: I’m barely at the threshold, my overall cholesterol “looked great,” and I should eat less saturated fat and more fiber and nuts.

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Or vitamin D supplements. Kunces says that the two most common bad results she sees among all clients, including elite athletes, are deficiencies in vitamin D and magnesium. My magnesium was fine, but I was in desperate need of vitamin D. “The best source is the sun,” she said. “Get an extra 10 or 15 minutes a day.” I can also eat foods high in vitamin D, such as eggs.

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Health is fluid. Diets change, exercises come and go,and problems can occur at any time, often without warning. For this reason, Kunces recommends regular blood screenings, ideally twice a year. This allows you to keep an eye on potential problems (such as my LDL) or watch out for new ones. Anyone worried about food allergies would be wise to have those panels run, too.

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