Showing signs of anemia? See if low B vitamins could be the cause.
B vitamins are a class of water-soluble compounds that play important roles in health and wellness, particularly cell metabolism and synthesis of red blood cells. The best sources of B vitamins are meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as leafy green vegetables and legumes for many B vitamins (with the notable exception of vitamin B12, which is generally not present in plant foods).
This test measures the levels of two B vitamins – folate (B9) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin). The primary clinical sign of B vitamin deficiency is megaloblastic anemia.
Why consider this test?
- During pregnancy due to the increased demands required for the developing fetus
- After gastrointestinal surgery
- People with digestive disorders like Crohn’s or Celiac disease
- Current or past alcoholics
- Older adults due to atrophic gastritis
- Vegetarians and vegans
Symptoms of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
What’s included in the Vitamin B12 & Folate Test?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.
Many animal products contain vitamin B12, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products, but it is generally not present in plant foods. Fortified food products include breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast. Dietary supplements containing vitamin B12 are also available, usually containing the cyanocobalamin form.
Folate is an important nutrient that functions as a coenzyme or cosubstrate in various reactions, including the formation of DNA and RNA, and metabolism of amino acids.
Folate is naturally present in a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, seafood, eggs, dairy products, poultry, and grains. Folic acid is obtained as a dietary supplement and also from enriched bread, cereals, flours, cornmeal, pastas, rice, and other grain products.
How It Works
Step 1. Order your test.
Choose the test that matches your need from our large array of tests. The kit will be delivered to your doorstep. There is no need to leave the comfort of your home.
Step 2. Collect your sample.
Collect your sample using the included instructions. Return your sample using the prepaid, pre-addressed packaging provided.
Step 3. Access your results online
Your sample will be tested as soon as it arrives at our lab. Access your results securely online via TherizonConnect.
Use TherizonConnect to view your test results quickly and easily
The results are only available through TherizonConnect, a free, secure patient portal that you can access on your smartphone, tablet, or desktop. You can also share your results with your doctor, family, or friends.
Vitamin B12 & Folate FAQ
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about this test. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.
How much folate do I need?
Folate requirements vary depending on age and pregnancy/breastfeeding status. Infants under 6 months require 65 mcg dietary folate equivalents (DFE) and 80 mcg DFE for infants 7-12 months. The recommended dietary allowance for 1-3 years is 150 mcg DFE, with gradually increasing recommendations until the adult value of 400 mcg DFE by 14 years of age.
Pregnant women should obtain 600 mcg DFE each day, while breastfeeding women should obtain 500 mcg DFE each day. It is recommended that this added requirement be obtained from dietary supplements as folic acid alone or as part of a prenatal vitamin.
How much vitamin B12 do I need?
Vitamin B12 requirements vary depending on age and pregnancy/breastfeeding status. Infants require 0.4 mcg/day (0-6 months) and 0.5 mcg/day (7-12 months). The recommended dietary allowance for children is 0.9 mcg/day (1-3 years), 1.2 mcg/day (4-8 years), and 1.8 mcg/day (9-13 years). Adults require 2.4 mcg/day, except for 2.6 mcg/day during pregnancy and 2.8 mcg/day while breastfeeding.
What folate level is considered as folate deficiency?
Folate deficiency is typically associated with serum levels less than 3.5 ng/mL or whole blood levels less than 150 ng/mL. This test measures serum folate levels. Folate deficiency usually occurs due to poor diet, alcoholism, or malabsorptive disorders.
What vitamin B12 level is considered as vitamin B12 deficiency?
Serum vitamin B12 levels below approximately 170-250 pg/mL indicate deficiency in adults. Vitamin B12 deficiency is most often caused by malabsorption from food, pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disease that affects gastric mucosa), postsurgical malabsorption, and dietary deficiency. However, for many deficient individuals the cause is unknown.
Are there medical professionals involved in the process?
All of our tests are developed with advice and input from medical professionals.
How does the Vitamin B12 & Folate Test work?
Self-collect your sample following the detailed instructions included in the kit. Place your sample in the specimen bag provided and mail it back to the lab using the prepaid envelope inside the kit.
Our lab uses verified and approved chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassays (CMIAs) to accurately measure serum vitamin B12 and folate levels in the sample provided. Your results are available through our online portal as soon as testing is complete.