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Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is found in virtually all meat products and certain algae such as seaweed. It helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells and is also needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.
Around 70% of the vitamin B12 in our blood is inactive - this test measures levels of the biologically-active component of vitamin B12, thought to be the best early indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is bound to the protein in food. Acid in the stomach releases vitamin B12 from protein during digestion. Once released, it combines with a substance called intrinsic factor before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Pernicious Anaemia (an autoimmune condition) prevents absorption by stopping the production of intrinsic factor and is the leading cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
The human body stores several years' worth of vitamin B12 - nutritional deficiency is most commonly seen in vegans and some vegetarians as well as the elderly who are more likely to suffer from absorption problems.
This test is for people looking to establish their levels of active vitamin B12. In particular it is essential for people who do not get any vitamin B12 in their diets e.g. vegans and some vegetarians as well as elderly people who are at greater risk of deficiency.
We send you an easy-to-use kit to collect your blood sample.
Post your sample to our lab in the prepaid envelope provided.
View results securely in your own personal dashboard.
Our tests are not a substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms. Our doctors will interpret your results based on the information you have provided, but will not diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. You will be advised to see your doctor for any necessary follow-up action.
Vitamin B12 is important for production of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body - low levels can cause anaemia with associated symptoms of lack of energy and fatigue. It is also important in metabolism and for the nervous system and prolonged lack of vitamin B12 may cause nerve damage. Vitamin B12 is almost entirely found in meat and animal food products.
Around 70% of vitamin B12 is bound to carrier proteins in your blood. This test measures the level of unbound or active B12 which is available for your cells.
A common reason for elevated B12 is over-supplementation. Raised levels of vitamin B12 may indicate a blood or liver disorder.
Low levels are seen in people with pernicious anaemia, an autoimmune disease which prevents the absorption of vitamin B12, or anyone who suffers from absorption problems such as the elderly, people with inflammatory bowel conditions and alcoholics. Vegetarians and vegans can also be low in vitamin B12, especially if they don't consume foods which have been fortified with vitamin B12 or take B12 supplements.
We will send you your Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test finger-prick blood sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample option during the checkout process.How to collect a finger-prick blood sample
Your Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.
Your blood sample will be analysed at one of our chosen laboratories. You can be assured of fast, accurate results from one of our accredited independent providers of clinical diagnostic tests.
Our medical team will comment on out-of-range blood results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test results can be downloaded for your doctor.
Once you have placed your order you can visit my.medichecks.com where you can manage your account, track your orders and view your Vitamin B12 (Active) Blood Test results.
Stay motivated by filling in your online health and lifestyle questionnaire and seeing how improvements in your lifestyle can influence your results. Your medical and family history gives us vital information when interpreting your results.