Vitamin Profile

blood elements analysis

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is the Vitamin profile test?

Vitamins are essential micronutrients required by our body to function normally. The different vitamins that the human body requires are – vitamins A, B, C, D, E, & K. These are organic compounds that the body cannot synthesize on its own so it needs to be supplemented via diet. These vitamins have been further divided into vitamin B1 to B12, vitamin K1 and K2, etc making up a total of 13 essential vitamins. The vitamin profile test is mainly to test the levels of

Vitamin B
– Vitamin D

In addition to these, few other levels are also checked since they are closely associated with the symptoms of vitamin malnutrition.

Calcium
– Phosphorus
– ALP or Alkaline Phosphate

Why has the doctor asked me to undergo this test?

Your doctor will recommend you undergo this test if you are showing signs of either vitamin deficiency or excess levels of vitamins in the body. Both deficiency and excess of vitamins can render adverse symptoms. The following are the common reasons for undergoing the vitamin profile test:
 
– Poor vision
– Dry eyes and eye infections
– Digestive disorders
– Weak and brittle nails
– Bone deformities
– Excess fatigue and pallor
– Impaired growth in children
– Tingling sensation (nerve issues)
– Muscle cramps
Insomnia

What tests come under the Vitamin profile test?

These are the main tests that come under the vitamin profile test:

– 25-OH Vitamin D
– Vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin
– Serum Phosphorus
– Serum Calcium
– ALP or Alkaline Phosphate

What other tests can be grouped in this test package?

In addition to the above tests, few other tests can be included in the vitamin profile test package such as

– Ionized calcium
– Magnesium
Folic acid or folates
– Vitamin a
Carotene (beta-carotene)
– Vitamin K
– TSH – thyroid-stimulating hormone

What is the price of a vitamin profile test in India?

The basic vitamin profile test package cost in India starts from Rs 1100 and can go upto Rs 2500, depending on the number of tests, the city, and the type of diagnostic centers.

What are the major visible symptoms of a vitamin deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency can affect:

Oral health
– Bone development
– Digestive health
– Neurological health
– Growth and development

Thus, the following diseases can be seen as a result of vitamin deficiency:

Anemia
– Scurvy
– Night-blindness
Beriberi
– Rickets
– Neural tube defects
– Nervous system disorders

What are the symptoms and complications of hypervitaminosis?

Hypervitaminosis is the condition where there are excess levels of vitamins in the body leading to conditions such as:

– Oral ulcers
– Swelling of bones and joints
– Cracked nails
– Blurry vision
– Frequent dizziness and nausea
– Appetite loss
– Seizures
– Flushing of skin
– Cloudy urine
– Fatigue
– Mood swings
– Hair loss
– Intestinal bleeding
– Unexplained weight loss
– Sensitivity to sun

What does the 25-OH Vitamin D test?

25-OH vitamin D test is the most accurate method of measuring vitamin D levels in the body. It is mainly done to diagnose bone deformities such as in the case of rickets and osteoporosis and also for chronic illnesses such as psoriasis and asthma. People who are obese and/or show symptoms of celiac disease or ulcerative colitis are especially asked to get their vitamin D levels tested. In most cases, the vitamin profile test provides information about both D2 and D3 levels.

What is the vitamin b12 test?

Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient for your nervous system and your red blood cells. It also plays a significant role in fetal development. Thus, this test is a mandate for all pregnant women. The deficiency of vitamin b12 can be seen in the form of pernicious anemia. The symptoms are fatigue, pallor, weight loss, balance issues, and nerve disorders. Both abnormally high and abnormally low levels of vitamin b12 can lead to serious complications.

Why is calcium blood test done?

Though calcium is not a vitamin serum calcium level is also checked in the vitamin profile test. This is because the level of calcium often affects the absorption of other nutrients in the body and also the symptoms of calcium deficiency tend to render similar kinds of damage to the body when compared with vitamin deficiency. This test is necessary for people with bone disorders, chronic kidney issues, and diseases of the parathyroid gland.

Why is phosphorus level checked in the vitamin profile test?

Phosphorus, like calcium, is an essential mineral that affects bones and teeth, nerve signaling and function, and muscular contraction. The level of phosphorus in your body also dictates the health of vital organs such as the kidneys and liver. Vitamin D deficiency is often a trigger to phosphorus deficiency. Thus, this mineral level is also checked when performing a vitamin profile test.

What is ALP and why is it included in the vitamin profile test?

ALP or alkaline phosphate is an important liver enzyme that provides a clear picture of how well your liver and gallbladder are functioning. ALP enzyme is a critical factor involved in the proper breakdown of proteins in the body. If the proteins aren’t broken down properly, there tends to be poor absorption of vitamins, mostly vitamin D. ALP deficiency is frequently seen in cases of bone disorders such as osteomalacia and Piaget’s disease of the bone. ALP test is thus a part of the vitamin profile test.

How is the vitamin profile test performed?

The vitamin profile test is done by the process of venipuncture. In this procedure, the blood sample is collected from the vein of the arm. A tourniquet or an elastic band is tied across the arm and the pressure is increased. This increases the pressure of blood in the veins and makes it easier to locate them. Once the vein is located, a syringe is inserted into the vein and blood is drawn. Once the blood is drawn it gets collected in a vial. The syringe is slowly removed and a sterile gauze is applied at the site of puncture to prevent further bleeding and infections.

How to prepare for the vitamin profile test?

Since this test is a package of several tests together, your doctor might ask you to follow these preparatory steps for a vitamin profile test:

– Fasting for 12-14 hours would be required
– Inform the doctor about all the medications and supplements you might be on as they can affect the level of vitamins and minerals in the body.
– Refrain from alcohol consumption and tobacco intake before the test
– Generally, the blood sample is collected in the morning, before breakfast, prior to the intake of any medication.

When will I get my test results?

The test results are generally available within 24-36 hours from the time of sample collection.

What is the reference range for vitamin profile test?

The following are the reference ranges for each of the individual entities tested under the vitamin profile test ( additional tests included)

Vitamin Profile test Low Normal High
25-OH Vitamin D 12.5 – 20 ng/mL 20-50 ng/mL 100-150 ng/mL
Vitamin B12 < 150 pg/mL 200-800 pg/mL > 800pg/mL
Serum Calcium < 8.4 mg/dL 8.6-10.3 mg/ dL > 10.6 mg/dL
Serum Phosphorus < 1.5 mg/dL 2.5-4.5 mg/dL > 5 mg/dL
ALP < 15 IU/L 20-140 IU/L > 180 IU/L
Magnesium < 1.25 mg/dL 1.7 – 2.2 mg/dL >2.6 mg/dL
Folic Acid < 2.5 ng/mL 2.7 – 17 ng/mL > 20 mg/mL
Vitamin K < 0.5 ng/mL 2 – 3.2 ng/mL > 4 ng/mL

Should pregnant women undergo this test?

Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is common during pregnancy, especially among high-risk groups, including vegetarians, women with limited sun exposure (eg, those who live in cold climates) and ethnic minorities, especially those with darker skin. Newborn vitamin D levels are largely dependent on maternal vitamin D status.
 
Consequently, infants of mothers with or at high risk of vitamin D deficiency are also at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Additionally, it has been observed that lower levels of maternal vitamin b12 and folic acid are associated with close to 80% of live births with birth defects. Vitamins are a critical factor in genetic matter formation thus it is highly recommended that pregnant women go for a complete vitamin profile test.
 
Also, they need to get these levels checked to accurately establish what dosage of vitamin and mineral supplementation they should be taking. Also, if the vitamin and mineral levels are getting impacted by other medications taken during the gestational period.

Is this test recommended for children and infants?

Calcium is an integral part of a healthy growing child. Healthy levels of calcium ensure proper growth and development and also determines how much calcium can the body store for the future years. similarly, vitamin b12 and folate are critical in building a healthy heart, nervous system, and metabolism.
 
Babies born to mothers with maternal vitamin b deficiency, anemia, vitamin D deficiency, low serum calcium, etc tend to show signs of weakness, poor organ development, increased risk of infections including hepatitis, neural tube defects, and heart problems. Thus, such kids have to undergo vitamin profile tests as a part of screening (when they fall in the high-risk group). Also, children showing signs of impaired development and weak skeletal structure will be advised to undergo this test.

How prevalent is vitamin deficiency in India?

Indians are inherently deficient in vitamin D with more than 70% of the general population of India falling in the vitamin D deficient range. Pregnant women can have up to 85% of vitamin D deficiency in India. It has been found that 46% of people have lower than normal vitamin B levels. Poor diet and maternal health are the main reasons why vitamin deficiency is highly prevalent in the country.

 

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