#417: Austin Baraki, MD – What Do Nutrient Blood Tests Actually Tell Us?: Understanding Biomarkers

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Austin Baraki, MD

Dr. Austin Baraki is an Internal Medicine Physician, based in San Antonio, Texas. He completed his doctorate in medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He also works as a strength coach and puts out information via Barbell Medicine.

In This Episode

Dr. Austin Baraki joins Danny and Alan to critically evaluate the assumption that blood levels of a nutrient directly tell us about overall nutritional status. With many people getting blood tests done outside of clinical settings, there is significant risk of misinterpretation of what these measures mean. In this episode we discuss measures of calcium, sodium, vitamin D and others as examples of where misinterpretation and misunderstanding can happen.

Some concepts that are discussed include:

  1. Calcium homeostasis - parathyroid hormone (PTH), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and Ca sensing receptor
  2. What makes for a “good” biomarker of nutritional status?
  3. Concentration biomarkers vs. recovery biomarkers
  4. Serum sodium vs. urinary sodium excretion
  5. Unsuspected sickness phenomenon - e.g. vitamin D, LDL-C, etc.
  6. The error of attempting to interpret blood tests in isolation

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