What to Know About Metabolic Blood Tests

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. It can be determined by a multitude of factors including genetics, nutritional habits, exercise level and more, but the formula for your personal metabolism can be hard to identify from outside signs and symptoms.

It’s important to understand how your individual metabolism works as it tells you your level of metabolic fitness and how energy is being processed, converted and stored in your body. This affects not only your level of motivation and activity, but also wellness indicators like attention, sleep and inflammation.

A metabolic blood test or a comprehensive metabolic panel can help you measure the substances in your blood to provide a look at your chemical information and how your body processes food and energy. Unlike basic metabolic panels, comprehensive blood tests check your liver and proteins as well as blood sugar, electrolytes and more.

What does a metabolic blood test entail?

Our metabolic blood test is as easy as obtaining blood from a prick of your finger to test. The sample takes about 5 minutes to collect a few drops of blood on absorbent filter paper. Your blood is then sent off to a lab for examination.

What am I looking for in the results?

Understanding these health indicators from a metabolic blood test can help you interpret how your body’s systems are working and the changes you need to make to improve your wellness. These are signs of how your body is handling the food you eat and can help you create personalized strategies to boost your overall metabolic fitness so that your flow of energy is at its best:

  • Lipid metabolism: Lipids are molecules that make up our cell walls, hormones and provide long-term energy storage. Your lipid metabolism indicates how well your body digests, stores, builds, releases and burns fats for energy. In short, the fatty acids you consume are either converted to energy or synthesized by your liver. When your lipid metabolism is low, your body stores more fat and your energy suffers. When it is at a healthy level, your body can make the hormones it needs to produce energy, your hair and skin improves and your HDL cholesterol increases.
  • LDL and HDL cholesterol: Your body needs some cholesterol to build cells and make vitamins and hormones, but it needs two types to properly function. Lipoproteins are the protein cells in your blood that carry cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the main proteins that transport cholesterol. It’s known as “bad cholesterol” because too much of it can cause buildup and blockages in your vessels that affect blood flow. High-density lipoproteins, or HDL, absorbs cholesterol and carries it to the liver to be flushed from the body. Testing both of these levels helps you and your healthcare team understand your risk for heart disease or stroke.
  • Carbohydrate metabolism: Carbohydrates are molecules stored in your muscles that are your body’s go-to for energy. Understanding your carbohydrate metabolism will tell you how your body processes carbs. When this is at a healthy level, your energy is more consistent and your hunger will be more manageable without as much of an urge for snacking and grazing. When your carbohydrate metabolism is not working well, your body is less able to respond to hormones like insulin and blood sugar will build up.
  • Hemoglobin A1C: An A1C test determines your level of blood glucose during the past 3 months. Specifically, it tells what percentage of hemoglobin proteins in your blood are coated with sugar. A high level of A1C is a marker that your body is not managing your blood sugar well and can indicate a higher risk for diabetes.
  • Fasting insulin: The amount of insulin measured in your blood during a fast can indicate insulin resistance and possible diseases like type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Your insulin levels dictate how well your body turns blood sugar into energy.

Curious to learn more about your metabolic makeup? You can get personalized results at home with our Metabolic Fitness Test Kit. Plus, you’ll get access to a personalized coach and other tools to help you understand and support your wellness journey.

What can fasting do to help my metabolism?

Intermittent fasting has been linked to improved levels of some fat-burning hormones, which can lead to weight loss and increased metabolic fitness. Fasting can have a positive effect on insulin levels as well as human growth hormone and norepinephrine, which can help you burn fat more easily and maintain healthy energy levels throughout the day. 

An increase in norepinephrine, a hormone that increases alertness and attention, allows more fat to become available for your body to burn and convert to energy. 

Increased human growth hormone promotes fat burning while also maintaining muscle mass. Some studies have shown that in men, HGH can increase as much as 5 times during a fast.

When your metabolic fitness is at peak, a healthy flow of energy and information can lead to a multitude of improvements including weight loss, improved lifespan, better memory, a healthy immune system, reduced inflammation and more. Measuring and understanding how your body manages energy using an at-home Metabolic Fitness Test Kit can help you create and hone habits and behaviors to upgrade your lifestyle and improve your wellness for the long run.