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Understanding Blood Test Ranges: Reference vs. Optimal

Understanding Blood Test Ranges: Reference vs. Optimal

Written by: Mina Stanisavljevic

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Time to read 2 min

When it comes to monitoring health through blood tests, understanding the difference between reference ranges and optimal ranges is crucial. At OptimallyMe, we prioritise optimal ranges to provide the most beneficial insights into your health.

What Are Reference Ranges and What Are the Limitations of Using Reference Ranges? 


Reference ranges are commonly used in traditional blood tests as a basis for comparing your results to what is deemed normal. These ranges are derived from the results of 95% of a supposedly healthy population. However, these ranges can have significant limitations:


  1.  One-Size-Fits-All:  Reference ranges often do not consider individual lifestyles, which vary widely and can influence health markers.

  2.  Health of the Sample Population:  The population used to determine these ranges might include individuals with undiagnosed conditions or deficiencies, which could skew what is considered 'normal'. For example, if a significant portion of this population has an underactive thyroid, the normal range for Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) might be inaccurately high.



The Advantage of Optimal Ranges 


Optimal ranges are significantly different as they are tailored to reflect more personalised health markers. They take into account factors such as age, race, health status, and gender, making them more specific and relevant.


Comparison: Optimal vs. Reference Ranges 


Optimal ranges provide a more personalised benchmark that aligns more closely with an individual's unique health profile. Unlike standard reference ranges that only signal an issue when biomarkers are extremely high or low, optimal ranges offer a more nuanced view that helps identify health risks before they turn into overt diseases.

How Optimal Ranges Optimise Your Health 


Proactive Health Management:  Rather than waiting for symptoms to prompt a blood test, regular monitoring with optimal ranges can help detect subtle changes that may indicate emerging health issues. This approach supports prevention over treatment, as illustrated by studies on triglycerides and vitamin D:


  • A study on triglycerides involving 13,953 men found that those with initially low but increasing triglyceride levels had a higher risk of developing type II diabetes compared to those with consistently high levels. Conversely, men who managed to lower their high triglyceride levels through lifestyle changes had a risk comparable to those with consistently low levels.

  • Traditional reference ranges may consider vitamin D levels sufficient at 30-50 nmol/L. However, based on extensive research and the role vitamin D plays in processes like calcium absorption and immune function, we support the optimal range of 75-250 nmol/L. This level is more appropriate for maintaining good health.


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Conclusion 


At OptimallyMe, we believe that optimal ranges are not just about adjusting numbers but about understanding and acting on health insights in a way that is finely tuned to each individual. By focusing on optimal ranges, we aim to empower you with knowledge that supports lasting health transformations, fostering awareness, and encouraging preventive measures.


We focus on each customer as a unique individual, not just as part of a larger population. We understand that everyone has a different health journey, with unique needs and circumstances. Our main goal is to provide each customer with personalised recommendations, supporting them with tailored advice regarding their lifestyle, supplementation, nutrition, and fitness. We invite you to experience the benefits of this approach and take an active role in managing your health with precision and foresight.


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