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Paper Details

How often should we trust the low level of vitamin B12?

Sema Akinci, Abdulkadir Basturk, Tuba Hacibekiroglu, Muhammed Bulent Akinci, Kamile Silay, Tekin Guney, Fatma Betul Asan, Imdat Dilek

Journal Title:Basic Research Journal of Medicine and Clinical Science

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common in clinical practice. The levels of metabolites such as homocysteine and methylmalonic acid increases in Vitamin B12 deficiency. This study aim to demonstrate how often plasma vitamin B12 levels reflect functional B12 deficiency. Homocysteine levels measured in 100 patients who had low plasma vitamin B12 levels. While 59 patients had normal levels, 41 patients had high levels of homocysteine. We found that approximately half of the patients with vitamin B12 deficiency, the serum Vitamin B12 levels doesnt express tissue B12 level truly. This study demonstrates that value of serum B12 level is a limited method to determine B12 deficiency and it is inappropriate to start long term replacement therapy based on that level. Measuring homocysteine or methylmalonic acid levels with plasma vitamin B12 levels despite the increase in cost, might be supportive for the diagnosis in cases which has borderline levels. Keywords: vitamin B12 levels, homocysteine