The Red Blood Cell (RBC) Elements test is used to assess the status of essential elements with important intracellular functions, such as magnesium, copper and zinc. Deficiencies or excesses of these essential elements affect numerous metabolic processes.
A key feature of this test is that the red blood cells are not washed, as this would result in partial loss of some elements that bind to the plasma membrane, such as calcium.
RBC Elements can also be used to assess ongoing or recent exposure to specific toxic metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, methylmercury and thallium
When should I use
Red blood cell (RBC) analysis is extremely useful for assessing insufficiency or excess of elements that have key functions on blood cell membranes or within cells.
RBC element levels are very useful for:
Cardiotonic influences (magnesium, potassium)
Anti-inflammatory processes (selenium, copper, zinc)
Anemia (copper, iron)
Immunological function (zinc, copper, magnesium)
Glucose tolerance (chromium, manganese and possibly vanadium)
Disorders specifically associated with zinc deficiency are also addressed by this analysis. These disorders include loss of visual acuity, dysgeusia, dermatitis and poor wound healing, alopecia, amino acid malabsorption, sexual impotence, decreased production of testosterone, depressed immune function and growth retardation.