Navigation Links
A breath of fresh air for detecting vitamin B12 deficiency
Date:6/22/2011

Researchers have developed a new test to detect the levels of vitamin B12 using your breath, allowing for a cheaper, faster, and simpler diagnosis that could help to avoid the potentially fatal symptoms of B12 deficiency.

In a study published today, 23 June 2011, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Breath Research, researchers have developed a simple, non-invasive, low-cost breath test to more accurately measure vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a growing public health problem in which the most common tests using blood serum levels are limited in accuracy and sensitivity and are non-specific for vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system whilst also being essential for the formation of red blood cells; however in low levels it can cause fatigue, clinical depression and memory loss as well as more detrimental and irreversible effects on the brain and nervous system.

Several reports have also linked B12 deficiency to pernicious anaemia and Alzheimer's disease.

Moreover, vitamin B12 deficiency can often be asymptomatic; accentuating the need for a more accurate and reliable test.

The researchers, from the University of Florida at Gainesville and Metabolic Solutions, Inc. of Nashua, NH, acknowledged that vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the breakdown of a common preservative in bakery products, called sodium propionate, into carbon dioxide.

As such, the researchers deemed it possible to administer propionate to subjects, which would be broken down with the aid of vitamin B12 in the body, and then measure the resultant carbon dioxide.

The amount of carbon dioxide exhaled would be proportional to the amount of vitamin B12 present in the subject's body: individuals with a vitamin B12 deficiency would produce smaller amounts of carbon dioxide.

In order to differentiate this carbon dioxide from the normal amounts that we breathe out, the researchers labelled the administered propionate with a stable isotope of carbon, which would then be exhaled in the breath as labelled carbon dioxide.

The initial testing of the B12 breath test conducted measurements on subjects with chronic pancreatitis, Crohn's disease, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, as well as patients over 65 all of which are associated with a higher incidence of vitamin B12 deficiency.

After fasting and not smoking for 8 hours, the study subjects were orally administered 50 mg of propionate and then tested every 10 minutes for the first hour and every 15 minutes for the second hour, with the best diagnostic accuracy appearing to be the 10 and 20 minute intervals.

To ascertain the accuracy of the breath test, the obtained vitamin B12 levels were compared with several blood compounds that are currently used to ascertain vitamin B12 deficiency.

The authors concluded that the results from their study indicate that the vitamin B12 breath test is a non-invasive, sensitive, specific, and reproducible diagnostic test to detect vitamin B12 deficiency.

Lead author Dr. David Wagner said, "Initially, larger studies must be conducted including treatment of B12 deficient subjects showing resolution of the abnormal breath test results. If these results are positive, FDA approval with many study centres will need to be conducted.

"With adequate funding, the test could be approved in 3-5 years."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bishop
michael.bishop@iop.org
01-179-301-032
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Researchers develop living, breathing human lung-on-a-chip
2. Rock-breathing bacteria could generate electricity and clean up oil spills
3. ChemImage and Next Breath Structure Partnership to Validate Bioequivalence Testing for Nasal Spray Suspensions
4. From seawater to freshwater with a nanotechnology filter
5. A Fresh Approach to Marketing: Dr. Fresh™, Inc. Goes Guerilla With Internet-Based Campaigns
6. Bayer CropScience Donates $1.1 Million to United Fresh Research & Education Foundation to Create the Center for Global Produce Sustainability
7. New Health Retreat Gives a Fresh Attitude Towards Disease Prevention
8. Natures Premium(R) Brand First Fresh Pork in North America to Carry DNA TraceBack(R) Seal of Authenticity
9. New technology could inspire brain implant for detecting and treating seizures
10. Radar shows promise for detecting concussions in athletes and soldiers
11. Simple test could offer cheap solution to detecting landmines
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... As part ... top industry experts, and expanding its LATAM network and logistics capabilities. Enhancements ... to manage their clinical trial projects. , The expansion will provide unmatched clinical ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of ... that it has been named to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data ... Cambridge Semantics serves the needs of end users facing some of the most complex ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... , ... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that Charles “Chuck” ... of Committee since 1987. Since then, he has served in a number of key ... for both the program and exposition committees. In his professional career, Dr. Gardner is ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Columbia , April 27, 2016 ... "NanoStruck") (CSE: NSK) (OTCPink: NSKQB) ( Frankfurt ... Anschluss an ihre Pressemitteilung vom 13. August 2015 ... hat, ihre Finanzen um zusätzliche 200.000.000 Einheiten auf ... Kanadische Dollar zu bringen. Davon wurden 157.900.000 Einheiten ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring ... , M.D., who returned to the company in October ... team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , ... and Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):