VITAMINS & MINERALS MARKERS
Red blood cells are a major constituent of the blood and every second up to 3 million red blood cells are made by the bone marrow and released into circulation. They are the most common blood cell and they have a lifespan of approximately 120 days. Once they are old or damaged, they are removed from circulation by special cells in the spleen and liver.
Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin which gives them their distinctive red colour. Haemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen around the body to cells that require it, it also removes the waste product, carbon dioxide from circulation.
Why take a Red Blood Cell blood test?
There are certain tests that give an insight into the health of red blood cells. Red cell indices including mean cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin, mean cell haemoglobin concentration and red cell distribution width give measurements relating to the volume, size and amount of haemoglobin present in red blood cells. These measurements can help to diagnose or monitor conditions that affect the size and shape of red blood cells.
A red blood cell count, on the other hand, tells us how many red blood cells are in a litre of blood. High or low red blood cell counts can be indicative of disease.