Test Overview of Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) Mineral Panel

Red blood cell (RBC, erythrocyte) metal analysis gives a current snapshot of functional mineral status as well as toxic metals. Since it measures the mineral content inside blood cells, it gives a better indication of the minerals that the body is actually absorbing and utilizing. Since the average lifetime of RBC is about 4 months, the results reflect an average over the past 4 months [FDM].

Test Indications of Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) Mineral Panel

  • First-line test for evaluating nutritional mineral status.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), Asperger's Syndrome, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD, ADHD), and learning disability.
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
  • Autoimmune disorders, joint pain, and psoriasis.
  • Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
  • Environmental toxicity.
  • Seizure disorders.
  • High blood pressure.

Sample Collection for Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) Mineral Panel

  1. Your doctor will draw the blood sample or refer you to a blood draw facility in your area.
  2. Sample collected in two Royal Blue top tubes with EDTA, 4 ml minimum, full tube preferred. Invert 10 times to ensure mixing, centrifuge, and decant.

Your doctor or lab may have different instructions that supersede the above.


Labs Performing Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) Mineral Panel Test

Name of LabLab CodeEstimated CostProcessing TimeComments
Great Plains  $270+draw fee Cash discount and some insurance

Costs cited are subject to change and may be reduced by insurance or cash discounts and increased by sample collection fees.


Theory of Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) Mineral Panel

Nutritional Metals

  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Copper - essential mineral for Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) [FDM].
  • Iron
  • Magnesium - essential mineral for Phase I detoxification, blood pressure regulation, and cardiac function [FDM]. Deficiency associated with migraine headaches [FDM]. May be depleted by diuretics [FDM].
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc

Toxic Metals

  • Aluminum (Not included in GP panel?) - Associated with Parkinson's disease [FDM].
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic - Associated with aplastic anemia [FDM].
  • Boron
  • Cadmium - Associated with hypertension, cancer, and erectile dysfunction [FDM].
  • Lead - Associated with Parkinson's disease and other neurological diseases [FDM].
  • Mercury - Associated with Parkinson's disease and other neurological diseases and psychological disorders [FDM].
Note that excessive Iron is also associated with Parkinson's disease [FDM].

References regarding Red Blood Cell (Erythrocyte) Mineral Panel

[GP] Great Plains Laboratory Physician Training lecture notes and documentation.

Unless specifically noted above, references used in the construction of this web page include the following:

[FDM] Lecture notes from Functional Medicine University.

[SCNM] Lecture notes from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

[UT] Lecture notes from the University of Tennessee graduate programs in Chemistry, Microbiology, and Biochemistry.