Excerpts from Dr Kaslow - "Lab findings"...
"The amount of hemoglobin in a single red blood cell is indicated by the MCH. It is a variation of the MCV measurement.
Optimum values: 28.0 to 32.0 micrograms.
The MCH is increased in and decreased in the same conditions as the MCV.
The MCV [and MCH] is decreased in:
Low stomach acid (Hypochlorhydria).
Vitamin C insufficiency.
Vitamin B6 deficiency.
Toxic effects of lead and other toxic elements.
Hereditary (thalassemias, sideroblastic)
Iron deficiency (blood loss, parasites, poor intake, low stomach acid, etc)
After a splenectomy
"The RDW stands for Random Distribution of red cell Width. This value tells how consistent are the size of the red blood cells. Newly made cells (reticulocytes), B12 and folic acid deficient cells are larger than iron deficient cells. This is an electronic index that may help clarify if an anemia has multiple components.
The high RDW helps determine if there is only a B12 and/or folic acid deficiency (with normal RDW showing the red cells are mostly the same size) or with concomitant iron deficiency (a high RDW due to small and large red blood cells).
Optimal Range: 13
The RDW is often increased in:
B12 and Pernicious anemia
Folic acid anemia
Iron deficiency anemia combined with other anemia
Various less common and hereditary anemias"
Excerpt from Office of Dietary Supplements - National Institute of Health - "Vitamin B12":
"Elevated homocysteine levels have also been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease [46-48]. Homocysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid derived from methionine that is normally present in blood.
Elevated homocysteine levels are thought to promote thrombogenesis, impair endothelial vasomotor function, promote lipid peroxidation, and induce vascular smooth muscle proliferation [46,47,49]. Evidence from retrospective, cross-sectional, and prospective studies links elevated homocysteine levels with coronary heart disease and stroke [46,49-58].
Vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 are involved in homocysteine metabolism. In the presence of insufficient vitamin B12, homocysteine levels can rise due to inadequate function of methionine synthase .
Results from several randomized controlled trials indicate that combinations of vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements with or without vitamin B6 decrease homocysteine levels in people with vascular disease or diabetes and in young adult women [59-67]. In another study, older men and women who took a multivitamin/multimineral supplement for 8 weeks experienced a significant decrease in homocysteine levels ."