This quick vitamin B12 test measures Total B12 and Active B12, both of which are needed for healthy nerves, brain function and red blood cells.
About this Panel
B12 Express is our fastest vitamin B12 deficiency test with next day test results*. Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in almost all animal products. It is essential for healthy nerves and red blood cells. Up to 45% of people who are vitamin B12 deficient may be overlooked if only Total B12 is used as a screening test. Emerging evidence indicates that a low level of Active B12 is a more reliable way of determining if you are vitamin B12 deficient. We therefore include Active B12 as standard in all our vitamin B12 tests.
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.
Who is this panel for?
This test is for individuals suffering from symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy, breathlessness, feeling faint, headaches, heart palpitations, tinnitus and weight loss, which can be indicators of anaemia. 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).
There are a number of reasons why someone can suffer from a B12 deficiency such as pernicious anaemia (when your body cannot absorb B12 naturally), a lack of B12 vitamins in the diet (common for vegans) or other stomach and bowel conditions such as Crohn's. It is also more common in those over 60 years old.
* Important: Please note that turnaround time is measured from when the blood sample is accepted in to the Viapath laboratory and does not include weekends or bank holidays. Samples must arrive at the laboratory before 12pm for next-day turnaround. Samples received after 12pm will be turned around within 2 working days.
Why should I get this panel?
A deficiency in B12 can cause a wide range of problems, including: extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, disturbed vision, problems with memory, and more.
In the absence of any apparent dietary supply, deficiency symptoms usually take five years or more to develop in adults, though some people experience problems within a year.
Pernicious Anaemia (Autoimmune Metaplastic Atrophic Gastritis) is the most common cause of Vitamin B12 Deficiency 1 but it is not the only reason for patients becoming deficient in this vitally important vitamin.
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.