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

t 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."


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

Page: 1 2

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