Vitamin B12 and Folate (Request each test separately)

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Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin, essential for the normal functioning of many body processes. Deficiency can lead to anaemia (poor quality red blood cells) and neurological (nerve) disorders. It is most abundant in meat products so vegetarians are more vulnerable to deficiency of this vitamin.

Pernicious anaemia develops if uptake of vitamin B12 into the blood from the gut is absent or severely impaired, and even if a diet rich in the vitamin is taken, deficiency will occur if this disease is present. Recent evidence suggests that mild deficiency is probably more common than previously thought. Mild deficiency may explain the presence of fatigue and a host of other limiting symptoms which is why we have included it within the PLUS V and PLUS X health screening profiles.

Folate, or Folic acid, is a B vitamin. It helps the body break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars to be used for energy. Folate (folic acid) is one of the B group of vitamins found in green vegetables in particular. The body's reserves of folate, unlike vitamin B12, are low and only sufficient for about four months. Causes of deficiency include reduced intake from the diet or from poor absorption through the gut; increased demand for folate (eg pregnancy) and side effects of some medication (eg methotrexate). Symptoms include fatigue, mild sensation changes and depression. Prolonged lack of folate results in megaloblastic anaemia (in which the red blood cells are characteristically large).

This confidential blood examination for Vitamin B12 and Folate is accessible at all of the thirty one Spire locations that we refer our patients to around the UK.

Included in every single order for Vitamin B12 and Folate are a Doctors Referral, all Phlebotomy fees (your blood taken at a Private Hospital), all laboratory fees and includes our GP comments.

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