Blood Tests For Vitamins and Minerals
Do you keep an eye on your blood tests? Are you aware of the significance of vitamins and minerals you get tested for? You must know how these micronutrients play a crucial role in sustaining your health . Some examples include D3, B12 (Cobalamin or Methylcobalamin), Vitamin C/ Ascorbic Acid, Calcium, Iron etc.
In my last blog, “Importance of Calcium, D3 and K2 in Bone Health”, I provided an overview of Calcium, D3 and K2. I also said if you would supplement yourself with calcium with low levels of Vitamin D3 and K2 in your body, calcium will not get absorbed and its entry to your bones would become impossible.
Let’s get into a very important class of vitamins which is generally overlooked that is Vitamin B.
Importance of B12/ Cobalamin/ Methylcobalamin
Vitamin B is a group of 8 water soluble vitamins essential to carry out vital functions within the body. Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water leading to their absorption into the tissues. Their toxicity usually does not happen as they are quickly excreted in urine and will rarely accumulate to toxic levels.
They are not stored in your body so such vitamins need to be replenished regularly in your diet.
Vitamin B group help in energy production and red blood cell formation. It keeps nerve cells healthy and helps in the formation of genetic material and DNA.
Following are 8 Vitamins present in group B
1. Vitamin B1- Thiamine,
2. Vitamin B2- Riboflavin,
3. Vitamin B3- Niacin,
4. Vitamin B5- Pantothenic acid,
5. Vitamin B6- pyridoxine,
6. Vitamin B7- Biotin,
7. Vitamin B9- Folic acid/ Folate ,
8. Vitamin B12- Cobalamin
Vitamin B12 & Methylcobalamin
Supplement that contains all 8 Vitamin B form is Vitamin B complex. They help human body to run as a well-oiled machine. Each B vitamin carries out crucial function in your body and today I am going to focus on Vitamin B12. It’s another name is cobalamin because it contains the mineral cobalt.
Nowadays most of the people are deficient in this particular Vitamin. Doctors often recommend Methylcobalamin an active form of vitamin B12 to treat its deficiency.
Vitamin B12/ Cobalamin/ Methylcobalamin Deficiency
Deficiency in Vitamin B12 can put you to a higher risk of megaloblastic anaemia. It is related to increase in the size of RBCs and decrease in their number. You may feel weak and tired.
It also has a connection with clinical depression. Depression a common issue these days. As per researches, Vitamin B12 aids in the production of Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and you can say it is a hormone that regulates your mood and emotions.
If someone does not have good levels of Vitamin B12, he or she may suffer from depression.
Various nerve related diseases such as neuropathy occur due to its deficiency. Symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling sensation over the area of a particular nerve supply may occur.
Dosage of B12
The recommended daily dosage of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 microgram or mcg. You will find its active form abundantly in animal-based food sources. It does not naturally occur in plant foods.
Many researches clearly state that there are high chances of Vitamin B-12 deficiency in those who consume less animal-based food products.
Food Sources of B12
In this blog I will discuss the natural sources of Vitamin B12/ Cobalamin/ Methylcobalamin but not the fortified (artificially added) ones. Your body can only absorb Vitamin B12 coming from animal food sources. The reason here is a protein called intrinsic factor with which Vitamin B12 combines and get absorbed further down in the small intestine.
But what about vegans who are majorly deficient in this particular vitamin? Well, they can supplement themselves with Vitamin B12. If your vitamin B12 level is low in blood, it is always better to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Haemoglobin or Hb is formed with the combination of Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) and Iron. Decreased level of Vitamin B12 will interfere with the Hb production.
Folic Acid performs the same function as Vitamin B-12 specially when it comes to the formation of Red Blood Cells. Iron is the part of heme group which carries oxygen from the lungs to whole body.
Importance of Vitamin C/ Ascorbic Acid
Another water-soluble vitamin and an anti-oxidant is Vitamin C. Its another name is Ascorbic Acid. It is always good to add lemon in poha. Why? Because lemon activates the inactive iron present in poha.
It converts inactive ferric to active ferrous. C – Vitamin also boosts up your immunity and prevents from respiratory tract infections.
I have explained in one of my blogs, “Omicron- Variant of Coronavirus”, the working of antioxidants along with the definition of oxidants. C fights with free radicals in watery medium that is the cytoplasm of the cell.
It also works as a neuromodulator and neurotransmitter.
Food Sources of C
Can you name the best sources of Vitamin C? I am sure you must be consuming fruits like guava, oranges etc. to fulfil its levels. Fruits such as guava provides you a great amount of sugar rather than vitamin C.
Upon consuming 100 gm of guava, you will get 200 mg of C – Vitamin and high amount of sugar. You need at least 10 guavas everyday to match the optimal levels of Vitamin C.
The citrus fruit advisable is lemon. 1 lemon will give you around about 30 mg of vitamin C. But the point remains same that you cannot fulfil its daily requirement through lemon or other fruit.
What will you do now? First, consume correct clean nutrition meaning your diet must contain adequate protein and fat with minimal carbs. Second, supplements are great choice if you know how to.
People generally take Limcee or Celin. It may shock you that both of these components are not potent enough to fulfil the demand of C in your body. Additionally, Limcee contains sugars.
Which supplement you should go for? I will not specify the names of the brands instead I will share the composition which should be present while choosing C supplements.
Vitamin-C supplement must contain Rosehips and Bioflavonoids to improve the bio availability of the Vitamin C. It means both promote C Vitamin absorption in your body.
Dosage of C
The required dosage of Vitamin-C is 2-4 gm per day. Such an amount cannot be obtained from fruits. Even if you try, there will be heavy influx of sugar in your body. We all know fruits contain fructose majorly, hence your insulin won’t shoot up.
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
But we must not forget that fructose hampers the functions of liver and can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is a disease in which excess amount of fat gets stored in liver where the reason is not alcohol consumption but fruits or so.
Hope you will find this blog useful and it may help you out in improving your diet and lifestyle.