VITAMIN B-12 and FOLATE
Vitamin B-12 and Folate are two biochemical markers that fall in the family of the Vitamins B.
Vitamin B-12 is important for many bodily functions, such as blood cell production, proper nerve functioning and brain health.
A serum B-12 level below the normal expected range may indicate B-12 deficiency. However, a B-12 level in the low normal range does not exclude deficiency; symptomatic patients need to be further evaluated with folate, haemocysteine and MMA.
Most people who develop a Vitamin B-12 deficiency have an underlying stomach or intestinal disorder that limits the absorption of Vitamin B-12.
Folate is essential for normal metabolism, red blood cell regeneration and DNA synthesis.
Folate deficiency is most commonly due to insufficient dietary intake and is most frequently encountered in pregnant women or in alcoholics.
Other causes of low serum folate concentration are liver disease, haemolytic disorders and malignancies.
A chronic dietary deficiency of Vitamin B-12 or Folate causes macrocytic anaemia.
Untreated deficiencies of these two markers will lead to megaloblastic anaemia and Vitamin B-12 deficiency results in irreversible central nervous system degeneration.
Clinipath are now performing the Vitamin B-12 and Folate on site, the result being issued on the same day late in the afternoon.