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5 important blood tests beyond the basics

July 1, 2021

Bring this article to your next doctor appointment to ask if these tests are right for you.

Your next general check-up will probably include basic blood tests for levels of red blood cells, various types of white blood cells, fats (like cholesterol), and chemicals that indicate how your liver and kidneys are functioning. Some tests beyond the basics can also reveal important aspects of health, but your doctor might not offer them routinely. The following five tests may be worth pursuing in certain situations.

1. Vitamin B12

B12 (cobalamin) is an essential vitamin we need for keeping our brain and nerves healthy, for producing DNA and red blood cells, and for lowering levels of homocysteine (an amino acid linked to chronic diseases such as dementia and heart disease).

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