Vitamin B12 & Folic Acid Test
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About Our Vitamin B12 & Folic Acid Test
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) and Folic Acid (Folate) both play key roles in DNA synthesis and creating red blood cells. This test is used to measure vitamin B12 and folic acid levels.
Deficiencies in vitamin B12 can lead to nerve damage and specific cases of anemia in which red blood cells are larger than average and the level of hemoglobin in the blood are deficient, called macrocyotic anemia. Deficiencies in folate can cause neural tube defects to occur to a fetus during pregnancy.
Malnutrition or conditions that can cause an individual to have poor absorption of nutrients like celiac disease, Crohn's disease, alcoholism or intestinal or gastrointestinal disorders may have low levels of B12 and folic acid.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the normal functioning of the central nervous system, metabolism, and the formation of red blood cells.
Deficient B12 levels can lead to:
- Balance loss and/or weakness
- Numbness or tingling in the limbs
Major sources of vitamin B12 are typically animal sources like:
- Organ meats
- Meat, poultry, eggs milk and other dairy foods
- Some grain cereals and yeasts also provide vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be prevalent in people who are:
- Over the age of 50
- Vegetarians and vegans
- Gastrointestinal surgery patients
- Living with digestive disorders like Crohn's disease or celiac disease
Folatic Acid (Folate), along with vitamin B12, plays an important role in DNA synthesis and producing red blood cells. Folic Acid from dietary sources including fruits, green and leafy vegetables, yeast, and organ meats. Folate is absorbed through the small intestine and stored in the liver.
Deficient folic acid levels can lead to:
- Macrocytic anemia
- Pale skin/Graying hair
- Tender, swollen tongue/mouth sores
Major sources of folic acid include:
- Leafy, green vegetables
- Fresh fruits and vegetable
- Organ meats
- Fortified cereals and grains
Folic acid deficiency can be more prevalent in people who:
- Are pregnant
- Are gastrointestinal surgery patients
- Have digestive disorders like celiac disease or Crohn's disease
- Have chronic alcoholism
- Using anticonvulsant drugs like Phenytoin
Fasting is preferred for the B12 test, but is not required.