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Nutritional Adequacy

WHAT IS THIS? (Nutritional Adequacy)

A diet with reduced intake - absorption of necessary nutritional elements affects the body over time. As the stores of essential amino acids, essential fats, trace elements, and vitamins are depleted, the effects begin at a cellular level in each individual organ, affecting their respective function.


The lack of nutritional elements may be due to:

  1. insufficient nutritional intake (anorexia nervosa, "special" diets, compulsive eating)
  2. increased losses (autoimmune, chronic diseases)
  3. limited absorption of the gastrointestinal system (celiac disease, gastritis, chronic, etc.)

Frequent cases:

  1. Elderly patients – with reduced appetite, reduced sense of smell, and/or mechanical difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
  2. Κeen conditions, such as surgery, severe burns, infections, and even a mental trauma.
  3. People who have been malnourished for some time may have a weakened immune system and a worse prognosis for their illness.
  4. Chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, pancreatic insufficiency, pernicious anemia, and kidney disease,
  5. Loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, and nausea, related to both cancer (and chemotherapy) and HIV infection.
  6. Increased loss, malabsorption, and decreased uptake can also be seen in patients with chronic drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Over time, the most common symptoms may be

  1. degradation of intellectual functions
  2. frequent infections
  3. anemia, weight loss
  4. decrease in muscle mass, cachexia, musculoskeletal pain, cramps
  5. dehydration of the skin, swelling of the legs
  6. menstrual disorders, infertility
  7. hair loss, nail changes
  8. diarrheas

Children can occur a delay in their development, as well as specific disorders in mental functioning. A severe lack of nutritional elements can lead children to wither with a thin body, cachectic growth, edema, enlarged liver, listlessness, and stunted growth. Deficiencies of certain vitamins can also affect bone and tissue formation.

During pregnancy, adequate nutritional support is vital for normal fetal growth and development and pregnancy stability.


A Basic Check-up is required to assess nutritional adequacy. Then, we carry out the following analyses:

Ferrum (Fe) and ferritin (Ferr) can appear at low values, in a period of malnutrition - fasting, in a lack of meat in the diet, but also in malabsorption due to drugs.

Hematopoietic vitamins, folic acid, and vitamin B12 (Vit. B12) are often low not only in oligophagous 'vegetarians' but also in older people.

The trace elements magnesium (Mg), and selenium (Se), complete the figure of the adequacy of the necessary nutritional trace elements.

White blood cells (TP), Albumin (Alb) are blood proteins, which are structural components of all organs as well as the immune system. Their lack causes obvious swelling in the legs.

We check a possible infection, loss of sugars, protein, and other metabolites. with the general urine test.

We sometimes use additional tests to clarify unexpected results to determine the presence or absence of diseases that give symptoms of malnutrition such as:
  1. ANA, if an autoimmune disease is suspected.
  2. RF, for the possibility of rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Anti – HIV, a trial antibody for testing HIV infection.
  4. Cortisol, when we have low cortisol concentrations or reduced adrenal function.


A simple blood sample is required with a 12-hour fast and with a free intake of water for the laboratory test,

To obtain the urine, a sample of the first morning urination is required

No special nutritional preparation is required the day before.


Blood sampling can be done at any time of the day (laboratory hours 7.30 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.).


The results are given on the same day.


The laboratory tests are prescribed at the EOPYY, with the participation of the examinee as defined by the referral (15%, unless otherwise stated)

Cost for private coverage:

Information selected - indicative with sources: Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests - J.Wallach and

The choice and explanation of the use of the analysis is the exclusive responsibility of your doctor

Edited by : Ioannis Grattisia Head of Laboratory / MSc Clinical Biochemistry - Molecular Biology

2022 - 2023

Biopathology Diagnostic Laboratory | Microbiological | Molecular | DNA | Ultrasonic | EOPYY – Clinic

Diagnostic: Director Biochemist I. Gratsia - Biopathologist I. Katsavochristos / M. Kolokouri - Radiologist S. Alagiannis

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