About this Panel
My B12+ is designed to help identify B12 & folate vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in almost all animal products. Folate (Vitamin B9) is also a water-soluble vitamin that is found in many different foods, particularly vegetables, fruits, fortified foods such as marmite and grains. Both vitamins are essential for the maintenance of good health.
We test for homocysteine levels as it can support the evaluation of both B12 and folate investigations. An elevated level of homocysteine in the blood can suggest B12 and folate insufficiency/deficiency because both B12 and folate are needed to convert homocysteine to essential amino acids in humans.
While the sample must normally be spun in a laboratory within two hours to test for homocysteine, Viapath Nutris uses specially designed blood sample tubes that ensure the blood samples remain viable even when being posted back to the laboratory.
Vitamin B12 is responsible for a number of important functions in the body including healthy nerves and red blood cells. The current convention, followed by most GPs, is to use Total B12 as the first-line screen for deficiency.
Active B12 (holotranscobalamin - holoTC) is the biologically active fraction of B12 which is required for intracellular metabolism.
Research suggests that Active B12 may be the earliest marker of vitamin B12 depletion. Moreover, unlike Total B12, Active B12 is believed to be a suitable marker to test during pregnancy.
Elevated levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA) in the blood indicate deficiency of B12 or poor utilisation of vitamin B12 by the body's cells. MMA is considered the most representative marker of metabolic vitamin B12 status.
Folate (Vitamin B9) is naturally present in many foods such as vegetables, fruits and grains. It is needed for the body to produce DNA, which is why it is so critical during pregnancy. Along with vitamin B12, folate is responsible for helping maintain a healthy nervous system.
Homocysteine is an amino acid. An elevated level of homocysteine is often the result of low levels of vitamin B12 and folate. Testing for homocysteine levels can therefore be a useful indicator in further investigating a B12 deficiency. Elevated levels are also considered a risk factor for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Who is this panel for?
This test is for individuals that want to test comprehensively for B12 and folate deficiencies. Symptoms of B12 and folate deficiency include fatigue, lethargy, breathlessness, feeling faint, headaches, heart palpitations, tinnitus and weight loss. Symptoms of B12 deficiency may also include pale yellow tinged skin, a sore and red tongue (glossitis), mouth ulcers, depression and pins and needles (paraesthesia).
Folate deficiency can also cause reduced sense of taste, diarrhoea, numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, muscle weakness, changes in the colour of the skin, hair, or fingernails and depression.
* Turnaround time measured from when blood sample is accepted in to the Viapath laboratory and does not include weekends or bank holidays.
Why should I get this panel?
Vitamin B12 insufficiency/deficiency is common in mixed patient populations. However there is no single marker which can reliably diagnose B12 insufficiency/deficiency.
Vitamins and minerals have an important role to play in maintaining a healthy mind and body, and ideally, people should aim to consume the recommended amounts by eating a healthy balanced diet.
Read a summary of the guidelines for diagnosing and treating B12 and folate-related disorders issued by the British Committee for Standards in Haematology.
How It Works
Choose a test panel
Customers are able to select from our ever-growing range of nutritional laboratory tests without a clinician/physician’s referral.
Have your blood collected
Choose to either have your blood taken at the Blood Test Centre at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, or receive a postal pack and have blood drawn by a qualified professional in a clinic of your choice.
Access your report online
Log in to your secure Viapath Nutris account to access your laboratory report with commentary from a registered healthcare scientist.