What is Vitamin Profile?
Vitamins are essential nutrients for human life. Unhealthy eating habits and adulteration of food can lead to depletion of these vital nutrients and lead to multiple disorders. This profile is designed to measure the level of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and folic acid in the body and diagnose their deficiency.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, Vitamin B12 for the healthy nervous system, and Folic acid for healthy red blood cell formation. This profile is recommended in case of symptoms suggestive of vitamin deficiencies such as pale skin, weakness, joint pain, muscle weakness, and palpitations. It is also advised as a part of routine investigation.
Why is Vitamin Profile done?
- If you have symptoms of vitamin D deficiency like bone malformation in children (rickets), bone weakness, or fractures in adults (osteomalacia)
- If you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency like old age, limited sun exposure, obesity, or you have undergone gastric bypass surgery
- If you have symptoms of anemia like weakness, tiredness, pale skin (deficiency of B12), or folic acid deficiency
- If you have symptoms or signs of nerve problems like numbness, burning in hands, feet, arms, or tingling sensation which may be due to vitamin B12 deficiency
What does Vitamin Profile Measure?
For healthy living, vitamins play a very important role. However, any deficiency or increased presence of these vitamins is not good for health. The deficiency of vitamins can be due to not taking a proper diet while excess can be due to excessive supplementation.
Vitamins are classified as Water-soluble and Fat-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium and phosphorus, and maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D (25-OH) test measures the level of Vitamin D (25-OH) in the blood which is a useful indicator of osteoporosis (bone weakness), rickets (bone malformation), and osteomalacia.
Vitamin B12 is also called Cobalamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the formation of normal red blood cells, repair of tissues, DNA synthesis, and genetic material in cells. It is not produced in the body and has to be taken into the diet.
The diet sources which include Vitamin B12 are red meat, fish, milk, poultry, yogurt, eggs, fortified cereals, bread, and other grain products. It can also be taken in the form of Vitamin B12 tablets or multivitamin pills. Low levels of Vitamin B12 result in macrocytic anemia (size of red blood cells larger than normal).