What is Vitamin Profile?
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for human life. Unhealthy eating habits and adulteration of food can lead to depletion of these vital nutrients and limit the ability of our body to fight against infections. This profile is specially designed to test for common vitamin deficiencies, especially Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and folic acid.
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, 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 are not good for health. The deficiency of vitamins can be due to not taking proper diet while excess can be due to excessive supplementation.
Vitamins are classified as Water soluble and Fat-soluble vitamins.
Fat-soluble vitamins include: Vitamin A, K, D, and E
Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine), B-2 (Riboflavin), B-3 (Niacin), B-5 (Pantothenic acid), B-6 (Pyridoxine), B-7 (Biotin), B-9 (Folate), B-12 (Cobalamin), and Vitamin C.
The most common vitamins which are found deficient include Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B9.
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 in the diet. The diet sources which includes 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 results in macrocytic anemia (size of red blood cells larger than normal).
Vitamin B9 along with Vitamin B12 and iron plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells. It plays an important role in the functioning of nerves and cell replication in the body. In pregnant ladies, it is required for proper development of fetus spinal cord. Low levels of Vitamin B9 can lead to anemia.
Interpreting Vitamin Profile results
Hyperthyroidism (high levels of thyroid)
There can be seasonal variation in 25 (OH) vitamin D levels. The values can be 40-50% lower in winter than in summer. It is also influenced by sunlight, latitude, skin pigmentation, sunscreen use, and hepatic function.
25 (OH) vitamin D levels can vary with age.
25 (OH) vitamin D levels increase during pregnancy.
Certain medicines like methotrexate and leucovorin can cause changes in levels of Vitamin B9.
Methylmalonic acid in urine and serum homocysteine test is suggested to differentiate between deficiencies of Vitamin B9 and Vitamin B12.
The normal range of Vitamin B12 is 211 - 911 pg/mL irrespective of sex and age.
High levels of Vitamin B12 may be seen in:
Low levels of Vitamin B12 may be seen in:
The normal range of vitamin D is measured as nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or nmol/L and can vary from lab to lab.
Reference range (ng/mL)
The normal range of Vitamin B9 is measured as nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL)
Result in ng/mL
0.35 - 0.37
3.38 - 5.38
*Reference range may vary from lab to lab
Tests Included (3 tests)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D