The sole purpose of Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) is for metabolism and energy production by breaking down proteins.
Much like homocysteine, measuring MMA can help to detect early vitamin B12 deficiency, but it is a more specific biomarker because it is only affected by vitamin B12 concentrations and not folate as well. For this reason, it is considered to be the confirmatory test of choice for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep our bodies' blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material of our cells.
So it helps with bone health, red blood cell formation, energy levels, cognitive health, heart health, and our moods.
It is also a critical component in methylation. So, in the body, it helps to detoxify and break down normal hormones and neurotransmitters and any other gunk that we come in contact with !
Vegetarians usually need significant supplementation, but they're not the only ones. There are also known genetic variations that keep people from converting B12 into its active form to be used directly and effectively in the body. So this is why supplementation of an active form can be warranted, it can also be that our levels just don't meet the demand of our life.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly known as pernicious anemia (PA).
Generally, PA first presents among older populations. It tends to be first detected between the ages of 40 and 80.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur with a parasitic infection by tapeworms. Tapeworms, which can be many meters long, can live in the gut. They can take up dietary vitamin B12, thus limiting its availability to the human host. Tapeworms can arise from the consumption of raw fish.
Methylmalonic Acid is a substance that's made in small amounts during metabolism (the process of how our bodies change food into energy) and vitamin B12 plays an important role in metabolism; and if your body doesn't have enough vitamin B12; it will make extra amounts of MMA or methylmalonic acid. High levels of methylmalonic acid can be a sign of a vitamin B 12 deficiency based on your unique circumstances. So again, it could certainly be that your vitamin B12 serum levels are in the normal reference range, but if your MMA levels are too high, then that could mean that your body doesn't have enough B12 for your specific circumstances.
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