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Vitamin B Profile

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Vitamin B Profile

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What is this test?

Vitamin B Profile Test is used to measure the B Vitamins levels in the blood. B vitamins are essential for the body to produce energy and maintains the overall health. These are water-soluble vitamins and found in many foods. B vitamins are also available as dietary supplements. There are 8 types of B vitamins. They are:

- B1 (Thiamine)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B1 for energy production, brain, and nervous system health.

Food sources: Beans, whole grains, nuts, peas, yeast, cereals, legumes, and meat etc Deficiency: May cause Beriberi and Wernicke encephalopathy and Korsakoff syndrome (brain disorders). Two types of beriberi disease are Wet beriberi( affects the heart and may lead to heart failure) and Dry beriberi (damages the nerves and affects the muscles). Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Body pain, mental confusion, tingling in the feet and hands, poor appetite, difficulty speaking, involuntary eye movement, weakness, vomiting, swollen lower legs, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, poor sleep, and hallucinations, etc.

- B2 (Riboflavin)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B2 for cell growth and function. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Food sources: Eggs, milk, red meat, tuna, salmon, almonds, grains, and green vegetables etc. Deficiency: May cause a condition called ariboflavinosis. Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Dry skin, cracked lips, swelling of the tongue, mouth ulcers, red lips, sore throat, swelling of the lining of the mouth, cracks at the corners of the mouth etc.

- B3 (Niacin)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B3 for energy production and supports the functions of many enzymes. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, digestive and nervous system.

Food sources: Eggs, milk, red meat, fish, grains, yeast, legumes, and green vegetables etc. Deficiency: May cause a condition called Pellagra. Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Swollen mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, headache, thick and scaly skin, and depression, etc.

- B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B5 for energy production. It helps in lowering high blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol, lowering high blood sugar levels, preventing nerve damage, and heart failure. It also helps to maintain healthy hair, skin, and eyes.

Food sources: Meat, egg yolks, milk, yogurt, grains, avocados, legumes, and green leafy vegetables etc. Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Weakness, headaches, depression, sleeplessness, stomach pain, vomiting, muscle pain, and burning feet, etc.

- B6 (Pyridoxine)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B6 for energy production, normal brain development, and a healthy immune system. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, and nerves.

Food sources: Fish, pork, chicken, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, bananas, wheat, legumes, vegetables etc. Deficiency: May cause a red, itchy rash called seborrheic dermatitis. Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Skin rashes, swelling of the skin, cracked and sore lips, sore tongue, mood changes, weakness, depression, sleepiness, extreme tiredness, and weak immune system etc.

- B7 (Biotin)

Function: Helps in the metabolization of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and hormone production.

Food sources: Milk, eggs, peanuts, legumes, bananas, and grapefruit, etc. Deficiency: May cause weakness, hair loss, delayed development etc. Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Hair fall, loss of hair color, red scaly rashes around mouth, nose, eyes or genital areas, tiredness, tingling of arms and legs, lack of interest, and hallucinations, etc

- B9 (Folic Acid)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B6 for the production of healthy red blood cells. It is essential for the normal development of the fetus. It also helps with cell and tissue growth as well as maintain the overall health.

Food sources: Liver, milk, beans, whole grains, peas, avocados, and green leafy vegetables etc Deficiency: May cause anemia (Megaloblastic anemia) due to the lack of healthy red blood cells. Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Swollen red tongue, bleeding gums, loss of appetite, weakness, headaches, memory loss, numbness, difficulty walking, and diarrhea or constipation etc.

- B12 (Cobalamin)

Function: The body requires adequate levels of Vitamin B6 for good health of the blood and nerve cells. It also helps in the synthesis of DNA which is a genetic material in all cells.

Food sources: Milk, fish meat, eggs, and poultry etc. Deficiency: May cause pernicious anemia (decrease in red blood cells as the body cannot absorb enough vitamin-B12) Signs and symptoms of deficiency: Hair fall, muscle aches, tiredness, brittle nails, red rash around your eyes, nose, mouth or genital areas, etc.

The doctor may ask you to perform this test to screen or detect moderate to severe B Vitamins deficiencies. You may also be advised to perform this test if you have a family history of B Vitamins deficiency conditions or if you experience any signs and symptoms of B Vitamins deficiency conditions.

If you have a family history of B Vitamins deficiency conditions, your doctor may ask you to perform this test on a 6-monthly basis or a yearly basis. Individuals who are diagnosed with B Vitamins deficiency should perform this test on a regular basis as instructed by the doctor.

Pathology Parameters:

The Vitamin B Profile has the following components i.e:- B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic Acid) and B12 (Cobalamin).

Also known as Vit B profile.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Vitamin B Profile. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Vitamin B Profile.

You may need to fast (without eating anything) for a whole night or for 6 to 8 hours before this test. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test result falls in the normal reference range, then you have adequate levels of B Vitamins and hence, no medical intervention is necessary. If the test result falls below the normal reference range, it may indicate moderate to severe B Vitamins deficiencies. Poor nutrition intake or lack of nutrients (malnutrition), or lack of proper absorption of B Vitamins through small intestine due to Chrons disease (a disease condition of intestine) may also cause low B Vitamins blood levels.

Individuals with poor appetite and who consume alcohol also may show decreased B Vitamins blood levels. Low B Vitamins blood levels may also be seen in individuals who receive dialysis and take water pills. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may have decreased B Vitamins blood levels.

If the test result falls above the normal reference range, it may indicate B Vitamins toxicity. This is not very common and may occur due to the intake of high doses of B Vitamins supplements.

If you have higher or lower than normal levels of B Vitamins in the blood, consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groups70 - 180 nmol/L
UNISEXAll age groups1 - 19 mcg/L
UNISEXAll age groups0.50 - 8.45 ug/ml
UNISEXAll age groups5 - 50 mcg/L
UNISEXAll age groups140 - 628 ng/ml
UNISEXAll age groups180 - 914 ng/L
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