Vitamin B12 Blood Test
Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient that is involved in producing red blood cells, maintaining a healthy nervous system, and converting food to energy. It also helps to control the immune system and mood.
Causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency
For the majority of people, the cause of their deficiency is dietary, especially if they are vegetarian or vegan. However, some people are unable to absorb Vitamin B12 from food and some take medications which can reduce the absorption of Vitamin B12 from the stomach, such as metformin (which is used for diabetes) or omeprazole (which is often prescribed for indigestion).
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency
As Vitamin B12 is essential for making red blood cells. Lack of this vitamin can cause anaemia which will give you the symptoms of tiredness, lack of energy, breathlessness, headaches and maybe even dizziness.
It is however possible to have low vitamin B12 without anaemia but may affect the nervous and immune systems which may cause symptoms such as pins and needles, altered vision, mouth ulcers or tongue soreness, forgetfulness and muscle weakness.
Foods rich in Vitamin B12
It is only naturally found in animal products including meat, eggs, fish, milk and dairy products.
Plants do not make B12 and so will not provide this vitamin. Foods richest in B12 include:
- Liver and organ meats
If you are not keen on seafood , B12 can also be found in:
It is worth checking on cereal packets as some breakfast products are fortified with Vitamin B12.
Testing for Vitamin B12
The test can be performed using a small amount of blood from a finger prick which you can do yourself.
How often should I have a Vitamin B12 blood test?
We recommend checking your Vitamin B12 levels annually unless you experience any health changes or commence a weight loss programme which involves a restricted diet.
- Family history of Type 2 diabetes
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive need to urinate
- Genital itching
- Weight loss
This blood test is to check on:
- Active Vitamin B12
For best results (if medically suitable) it is advisable to fast (water is allowed) 12 hours prior to the test which needs to be taken first thing in the morning and posted on the same day on a Monday, Tuesday,or Wednesday.
Collection method: Finger prick
Results available: 2-5 days after the sample has reached the laboratory.
Active Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is needed in the production of red blood cells, for brain health and to keep nerves healthy, and aids in the making of DNA.
Low levels may indicate anaemia.
How it Works
1. Order and Receive Your Test
Order your Blood Test.
Receive it directly at home or work.
Delivered by courier with Free shipping.
2. Take the Easy Finger-prick Blood Test
Activate your test online.
Collect 2-3 drops of blood.
3. Freepost your Blood sample to our laboratories
Use the pre-paid package to post to our laboratories.
Simply drop it into your nearest high-priority Royal Mail postbox.
4. Our laboratory team run the tests
Tests are run by our staff in a clean and secure environment.
All possible measures are taken to keep Vampires out.
5. Receive Your Results within 7 days
We will email you to inform you that your blood test results are ready.
Login to your account to review the results.
6. Track your levels over time
With regular ongoing tests, you can track your results.
Check if you’re improving healthily or where changes could be made.