Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test
    Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test
    Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test
    Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test
    Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test

Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test


Check your level of active vitamin B12 with our home finger-prick blood test. Vitamin B12 is essential for making red blood cells and DNA, and helps to maintain a healthy nervous system.

Results estimated in 2 working days

View 1 Biomarkers

How do you want to take your sample?

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  • Collect your own finger-prick blood sample at home   Free

    We’ll send you everything you need to collect your blood sample from your finger at home.
  • Book a venous draw at a clinic   +£35.00

  • Book a venous draw at home with a nurse +£59.00

  • Self-arrange a professional sample collection Free

Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test

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Is it for you?

Do you have symptoms of low vitamin B12, such as extreme tiredness, low energy, muscle weakness, or poor memory?

Perhaps your diet doesn’t include B12-rich foods like meat, fish, or dairy, you have a health issue which affects the absorption of vitamins and minerals such as Crohn’s or coeliac disease, or pernicious anaemia.

Our vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test checks if your level is in the normal range.

Biomarker table


Vitamin B12 - active

Learn more

Vitamin B12 is important for production of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. B12 is also involved in metabolism and the nervous system and prolonged lack of vitamin B12 may cause nerve damage. Although Vitamin B12 is almost entirely found in animal-based foods, many vegetarian and vegan products, especially plant milks are now fortified with Vitamin B12.
Special instructions

How to prepare for your test

Prepare for your Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test by following these instructions. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed. Do not take vitamin B12 for two weeks prior to this test. If your B12 is prescribed ask your doctor whether to stop.

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How it works

Your personalised, actionable health results are only a few clicks away. Order your test, take and post your sample, then view your results online with our doctors' comments.

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Track, improve, and monitor your health over time

MyMedichecks is your personal online dashboard where you can view your results, access clear and simple explanations about individual health markers, monitor changes in your health, and securely store information about your medical history, lifestyle, and vital statistics.


What can I learn from an active b12 test?

Our active B12 test can tell you if you have a low level of vitamin B12 and whether you’re at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia, which affects the transport of oxygen around your body. 

Because around 70% of the vitamin B12 in your body is inactive, our test only measures your active vitamin B12 level, as this is thought to be the best early indicator of a deficiency. 

What are the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency?

A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms including extreme tiredness, a lack of energy, muscle weakness, pins and needles, and poor memory.

These symptoms usually develop gradually but can worsen if the condition goes untreated. It’s important that B12 deficiency anaemia is diagnosed and treated early, as other conditions and potential complications can develop alongside it over time.

Low vitamin B12 levels can be detected with a blood test, and in most cases, a deficiency can be easily reversed.

What is vitamin B12 and what does it do?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential water-soluble vitamin, found mostly in animal products, such as meat, fish, milk, and eggs. It’s used to make new cells and DNA (the genetic material in all your cells), and to keep your nerves and red blood cells healthy. 

We get vitamin B12 from our diet. So, if you don't eat enough vitamin B12-rich foods, you have a higher risk of a deficiency. You can also get a deficiency if your body is unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly, due to conditions such as coeliac disease or pernicious anaemia. 

What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?

Some of the most common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include dietary insufficency, medications, poor absorption in the gut, and autoimmune gastritis (or pernicious anaemia). People who eat a diet low in dairy and animal products, such as people who eat a plant-based diet or have allergies, are at highed risk. Medications that increase your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include colchicine, metformin, omeprazole, ranitidine, pregabalin, topiramate, and phenobarbital.

How much vitamin B12 do I need?

The recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 varies depending on your age. The table below gives the daily average vitamin B12 amount recommended at each life stage.

AgeRecommended amount (mcg)
1 year0.5
2-3 years 0.5
4-6 years0.8
7-10 years1.0
11-14 years1.2
15-18 years1.5
19+ years1.5

How can I improve my vitamin B12 level?

In some cases, making changes to your diet can improve your vitamin B12 level. Foods that are rich in vitamin B12 include meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

However, there are plant-based sources like yeast extract (such as Marmite) and fortified breakfast cereals. Find out more about plant-based diets and nutrition.

You may need to take a supplement to improve your level, and you should follow your GP’s advice carefully regarding treatments.

How can I check my vitamin B12 level at home?

You can use our finger-prick B12 home test kit to check your level. This includes a full lab analysis of your blood sample and expert medical advice on any next steps. You can view your results and doctor’s comments on your MyMedichecks dashboard.

What’s the difference between active vitamin B12 and total vitamin B12?

Measuring your total vitamin B12 might seem like the best way to check for a deficiency. However, only around 30% of the vitamin B12 in your body is available to use (known as active vitamin B12), while the rest is stored in an inactive form.

This means a normal total vitamin B12 result (including both active and inactive forms) could be misleading and may hide a deficiency. At Medichecks, we only measure your active vitamin B12 level to give you the most accurate result. You can find out more about the difference between active and total vitamin B12 in our blog.

What is pernicious anaemia?

Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune disease that affects your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12, causing vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia. Symptoms include feeling tired all the time, breathlessness, and mouth ulcers.

You’re more at risk of pernicious anaemia if you have a family history of the disease or another autoimmune condition, such as type 1 diabetes or a thyroid condition. If you’re concerned about pernicious anaemia, you can take a Pernicious Anaemia Blood Test

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