A comprehensive vitamin B12 test panel including Total B12, Active B12, and methylmalonic acid (MMA). MMA is considered the closest to a gold standard available for detecting B12 deficiency.
About this Panel
My B12 is an advanced vitamin B12 deficiency test that is not commonly available in the UK. It is like our B12 Express test with the addition of methylmalonic acid testing. Whilst Total B12 and Active B12 measure the abundance of vitamin B12 in your body, they do not measure how well B12 is being utilised by cells. By measuring methylmalonic acid, we can determine this utilisation and support an evaluation of your B12 status. Elevated MMA concentration indicates vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is a crucial water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in almost all animal products. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerves and red blood cells.
Please note that MMA can be also elevated independently of vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, in the presence of thyroid disease, kidney disease, some genetic conditions, intestinal bacterial overgrowth or hemoconcentration, and in advanced age. Additionally, antibiotic treatment can lower MMA.
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.
Who is this panel for?
My B12 is for individuals looking for a vitamin B12 test who wish to go beyond testing for Total B12 and Active B12 with a more comprehensive investigation of their vitamin B12 status. Our unique and highly advanced MMA test is not commonly available to customers in the UK.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency may include pale yellow tinged skin, a sore and red tongue (glossitis), mouth ulcers, depression and pins and needles (paraesthesia). Those suffering symptoms including fatigue, lethargy, breathlessness, feeling faint, headaches, heart palpitations, tinnitus and weight loss, which can be indicators of anaemia, may wish to have their B12 tested.
There are a number of reasons that 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.
* 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.
A deficiency in B12 can cause a wide range of problems, including: extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, disturbed vision, problems with memory, and more.
Pernicious Anaemia 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.