Recently, researchers have discovered a new way of checking for vitamin B12 deficiency that is faster and more accurate. Plus, this test for vitamin B12 levels requires less of a blood sacrifice…
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed an innovative new method for measuring your stores of vitamin B12, one that requires 4-10 times less blood than the standard tests for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 benefits
Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that supports a healthy nervous system, in addition to also regulating normal red blood cell production.
Studies focusing on Alzheimer’s disease also recognize benefits to brain volume and cognitive skills attributed to sustaining normal levels of vitamin B12.
The benefits of vitamin B12 for boosting stamina are also noted, as it helps to convert carbohydrates to usable energy and is essential for DNA synthesis.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
When vitamin B12 levels are low, you begin to experience the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency, indicating a disruption in neurological functioning, cell division, and red blood cell production required for oxygen.
Symptoms of low B12 may include:
- Extreme, constant fatigue
- Memory loss
- Brain fog, confusion
- Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities
- Muscle spasms
- Sore red tongue
- Vision problems
Who’s at risk?
Vitamin B12 occurs natural in animal-based foods such as beef, poultry, and seafood. Still, even if you don’t follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may still be a risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Family history for pernicious anemia
- Autoimmune disorders
- Lacking sufficient stomach acids, such as occurs with aging
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Medications for diabetes and acid reflux that inhibit vitamin B12 absorption
Does GERD cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Test for vitamin B12 deficiency
If you suspect you have vitamin B12 deficiency, or if it runs in the family, then you should get your vitamin B12 serum levels tested immediately. Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can become severe pernicious anemia, which causes irreversible damage to your nervous system and can be fatal.
The new test developed by the USDA only requires 25 microliters (about ½ drop) of blood to measure vitamin B12 levels, but with the introduction of robotics, it will be possible to measure vitamin B12 with only 5 microliters.
Testing for vitamin B12 deficiency will only take about four minutes, producing results more efficiently, and with more precision and reliability, as well.
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