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5 important blood tests beyond the basics
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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Managing Your Cholesterol offers up-to-date information to help you or a loved one keep cholesterol in check. The report spells out what are healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and offers specific ways to keep cholesterol in line. It covers cholesterol tests and the genetics of cholesterol. The report also focuses on treatments based on the latest scientific evidence, including the pros and cons of statins and other medications, and provides the lowdown on other substances advertised to lower cholesterol. Managing Your Cholesterol can also help you work with your doctor to individualize your treatment.