Vitamin B12 Test

Vitamin b12

Last Updated October 11th, 2019

What is vitamin b12?

Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient vital to your nervous system and the level of red blood cells. It is also involved in the synthesis of DNA. Since it is required for the development of genetic material and tissues, this vitamin is of extreme importance in pregnant women and the developing fetus.

Why should you get tested for vitamin b12?

Though this essential vitamin is found abundantly in food, it is estimated that 15% of the American population might be deficient in vitamin b12. If someone shows symptoms of anemia such as fatigue, confusion, and irregular heartbeat, the doctor may prescribe this test. Additionally, if one shows classic symptoms of pernicious anemia such as pale skin and unexplained weight loss, he/she should ideally undergo this blood test.

Also, if you have high serum folate levels (vitamin b9) then your doctor might ask you to undergo this test. This is because high folate levels can mask the symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency causing it to become more serious and dangerous in the longer run.

What are the symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency?

As mentioned above, the symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency are seen as – fatigue, pallor, weakness, confusion, depressive tendencies, sudden weight loss, tingling/numbness in limbs, balance issues, oral sores, and loss of appetite.

What can cause vitamin b12 deficiency?

The most important factor in the absorption of vitamin b12 is the presence of healthy levels of stomach acid. If a person has insufficient or excessive levels of these digestive acids, there will be poor absorption of vitamin b12 in the body. Thus, having chronic digestive disorders such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, etc can lead to vitamin b12 deficiency. Similarly, if you have undergone a gastric bypass surgery there is a high risk of this deficiency. Several medications such as PPIs can also affect vitamin b12 absorption.

Children and older adults also tend to absorb vitamin b12 poorly. It has been noted that vegans and vegetarians also show a high tendency of this nutrient deficiency. This is because meat and poultry products are the main sources of vitamin b12 in our diet.

How is the vitamin b12 test done?

Vitamin b12 test can be done as a blood test. In most cases, it is not required to fast before this test. However, in case the blood sample would be tested for other blood components such as CBC, then your doctor may ask you to refrain from consuming anything 6-8 hours before the test (except for water).
During the test, a blood sample is collected from the arm or the elbow. This area is cleaned with an antiseptic and in some cases, a tight band might be tied across the arm to increase the blood flow. A needle is inserted in the vein and a small sample of blood is drawn.  The site of injection is covered with a small bandage.

How should one prepare for this test?

This is a very simple and routine test and requires no special preparation. If you are undergoing the blood test just for vitamin b12, you needn’t fast before the test. In case, this test has been coupled with few other tests, then depending on those fasting may or may not be required.

Is fasting required before undergoing vitamin b12 test?

No, there is no need to fast before a vitamin b12 blood test.

What is the cost of vitamin b12 test in India?

The general cost of vitamin b12 test in India lies between Rs. 800-1000.

What are the normal ranges of vitamin b12 in the body?

Vitamin b12 level is expressed in terms of pictograms/milliliter (pg/mL).

Vitamin B12 level Range
< 150 pg/mLLow
200-800 pg/mlNormal
>800 pg/mLHigh
A reading that lies within the 200-600 pg/mL is considered to be normal. Below 150 pg/mL is counted as low and above 800 pg/mL is counted as high vitamin b12. 

How soon can I get the results?

It usually takes 24-36 hours for the test results to come. This means you get your test results 1-2 days after the test is conducted.

What do the results mean?

It is important to note that several drugs tend to affect the vitamin b12 level in your body.  Always inform your doctor about the medications you are on before going for the blood test.

What should I do if I have abnormal levels of vitamin b12?

If you have low vitamin b12 (< 200 pg/mL), it would mean that you have – vitamin b12 deficiency, pernicious anemia, or an overactive thyroid. A low level indicates high chances of neurological disorder.

A high vitamin b12 level (>800 pg/mL) often indicates an issue pertaining to the liver or the kidneys. It could also indicate diabetes or be a precursor to leukemia.

Is high vitamin b12 level in blood dangerous?

Both, abnormally low and abnormally high levels of vitamin b12 in the body are indicators of serious health issues. Both may cause life-threatening complications too. If you have high vitamin b12 level, it often presents a risk of kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, or leukemia.

Do pregnant women need to take this test?

It has been widely observed that pregnant women tend to have lower vitamin b12 level as compared to the general population. This is because the fetus requirement of vitamin b12 increases too. Deficiency of vitamin b12 can pose a serious threat to the fetus by increasing the risk of neural tube defects in the baby by 88%. Neural tube defects are birth defects that pertain to incomplete formation of skull, brain, spine, and spinal cord. So, pregnant women must undergo this test.

Is this test prescribed for children and infants too?

Infants who are breastfed by mothers deficient in vitamin b12 will eventually develop vitamin b12 deficiency in most cases.  Also, both children and the elderly population have a lower capacity to absorb vitamin b12 from foods. So, at times infants and children might also have to go undergo a vitamin b12 test.

Are there any risks associated with vitamin b12 test?

This is a simple blood test and poses no risks or side-effects. There might be slight stinging and bruising at the site of the needle insertion. In case anything more than this is observed, you should immediately refer to a doctor.

How can I improve my vitamin b12 intake?

If you are deficient in vitamin b12, you must stick to the treatment procedure prescribed by the doctor. In addition, you can also add vitamin b12 rich foods in your diet such as dairy products (yogurt, low-fat milk, etc), hard-boiled eggs, lamb, pork, chicken, etc. If you are a vegetarian/vegan, try consuming bread, pasta, cereals, etc fortified with vitamin b12.

How common is vitamin b12 deficiency in India?

Vitamin b12 deficiency has a high prevalence in India, especially among diabetics and other endocrine disorder patients. Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency was 37.76% in people with pre-diabetes, 31.23% in people with endocrine problems other than diabetes and pre-diabetes and 18.25% in people with diabetes. It has been estimated that roughly 47% of the north Indian population has vitamin b12 deficiency.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

Test Your Knowledge

Welcome to your Nutrient Deficiency Quiz

What type of sun rays help synthesize vitamin D?
Which disorder is characterized by inability to speak in certain social situations?
Beriberi is caused by the lack of this micronutrient-
Can stuttering be genetic?
Which of these vitamins are needed for calcium absorption by the body?
What is scoliosis?
People with darker skin are more prone to vitamin D deficiency.
If you have thiamine deficiency, which of these should you avoid consuming with your thiamine rich diet?
Which of the following is a speech disorder that affects the pronunciation of letters like s, z, r?
Consumption of mushrooms exposed to UVB rays help with low vitamin D levels.

Take the full quiz

 

 

 

Related Posts

Trending Topics

anal sex
Anal Sex : Tips from experts on how to be kinky yet safe Whether it irks you or stokes your fantasies, anal sex has always been an intriguing…
Female Masturbation: Tips on how to turn up the heat during a solo mission As a female, do you find yourself constantly wondering as to what is the best…
Clitoris: Why is it called the gateway to toe-curling female orgasms? The word clitoris comes from the Greek word kleitoris or “little hill.”  Many compare the…
diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Find the G spot: The top sex positions that guarantee an orgasm There has been a long debate as to whether the G-spot actually exists as a…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Penis pump: Pump your way out of erectile dysfunction One of the options to treat erectile dysfunction is by the use of a penis…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
The most effective tips on how to stay awake at work Do you often find yourself snoozing off at your work desk? This might be a…
The most effective tips on how to stay awake at work Do you often find yourself snoozing off at your work desk? This might be a…
V for Vagina: How well do you know this extraordinary part of the female anatomy? Vagina - a simple part of the human anatomy that has often created a feeling…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
magnesium test
Magnesium Test The magnesium test is a blood test that is generally prsecribed when an individual starts…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its…
What is the average penis size and why should you care? Scientifically speaking, the average size of the penis depends on numerous factors such as genes,…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main…
Improve sex life
9 best tips from around the world for better sex life How can the pungent-smelling garlic pack in a punch to your libido? How could something…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
Orgasms: How to perfect the art of achieving intense bursts of pleasure (every time!) Orgasms are dependent not just on the sexual activity but on your partner as well.…
human growth hormone
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Test The HGH or human growth hormone test is a measure of GH or growth hormone…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
stevia side effects
Stevia: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another risky additive? Stevia is a plant native to South America.  It has been used as a natural…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean…
collagen benefits skin
Collagen: Get age-defying skin and faster hair growth with this miracle protein Collagen – Wrinkle-free skin, stronger nails, and thicker locks – now you have more reasons…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
erectile dysfunction treatment
Erectile Dysfunction: Effective tips to help you get back on charge Erectile dysfunction is a common male sexual dysfunction. Don't stress out. Just follow these amazing…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did…
Experts reveal, how long does marijuana actually stay in your system… Weed or marijuana is one of the most widely abused recreational drug. But did you…
Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiacs: These are the best foods to get you in the right mood While wine and chocolates have forever been associated with romance, there are several other aphrodisiac…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used…
6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints.…
serum zinc test
Serum Zinc Test The serum zinc test is a blood test performed to assess the zinc level in…
SHBG test
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) Test SHBG is an important sex hormone that is linked to testosterone in men and estrogen…
free thyroxine ft4
Free thyroxine test (FT4) The FT4 or free thyroxine test is a blood test used to detect the level…
17 OH Progesterone test The 17 OH progesterone test is a simple blood test that is mainly used to…
c peptide test
C-Peptide test C-peptide is a blood or urine test which is used to monitor and assess the…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey: What is it and why should you choose this over regular honey? Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Shilajit: A miracle Himalayan herb for an active and happy life The Himalayas contain more wonders than you thought. Shilajit is a miracle herb that is…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition…
Hibiscus: Nourish your beauty and health with these vibrant blooms Hibiscus is a trumpet shaped flower found abundantly in tropical countries. It has been historically…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various…
diabetes symptoms in women
Diabetes in women: Understanding the dangers, risk factors, & treatment Diabetes causes more problems in women that it does in men. The risk of developing…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of…
CORTISOL_test
Cortisol Test Cortisol test measures the cortisol levels ( produced by adrenal gland) through blood, urine, or…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

Test Your Knowledge

Welcome to your Nutrient Deficiency Quiz

What type of sun rays help synthesize vitamin D?
Which disorder is characterized by inability to speak in certain social situations?
Beriberi is caused by the lack of this micronutrient-
Can stuttering be genetic?
Which of these vitamins are needed for calcium absorption by the body?
What is scoliosis?
People with darker skin are more prone to vitamin D deficiency.
If you have thiamine deficiency, which of these should you avoid consuming with your thiamine rich diet?
Which of the following is a speech disorder that affects the pronunciation of letters like s, z, r?
Consumption of mushrooms exposed to UVB rays help with low vitamin D levels.

Take the full quiz