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Nutrition Science in the Lab | CN Article, July 2018

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This month’s CN article turns to the expertise of Kate Guberg, a nutritional biomarkers expert and NNEdPro representative, for a discussion of reference intervals.

Reference intervals are one of the most common decision tools in nutrition. They give us a range of ‘typical values for the majority of a population group’ for a particular analyte – for example, the amount of vitamin B12 in our body – in a healthy adult, female population. Continuing to use vitamin B12 as an example, those with B12 levels below or above the reference interval may need an intervention, such as supplementation, to bring their levels back up into the ‘typical or normal’ range.’ The reference interval typically covers the values that would be expected to be seen in 95% of healthy individuals within the selected population group.

In the article, Kate highlights that the process of determining these reference intervals is a complex process and talks us through the factors to consider when determining a reference interval.

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