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Vitamin B12

Also known as Cyanocobalamin, Methylcobalamin, Cobalamin
339950 64% Off
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  1. No special preparation is required.

Understanding Vitamin B12

What is Vitamin B12?

A Vitamin B12 test measures the level of vitamin B12 in the body. Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy brain and nerve function, energy production, and red blood cell formation. Its deficiency can cause problems with brain function and other health issues.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, belongs to the B complex group of vitamins. It is vital for making red blood cells, repairing cells and tissues, and healthy brain and nerves. Most of the vitamin B12 requirements can be fulfilled by taking a balanced diet. Vitamin B-rich food sources include fish, meat, dairy, and cereal. However, in severe deficiency cases, supplementation may be needed.

A Vitamin B12 test is usually done if you experience deficiency symptoms, such as weakness, mouth ulcers, appetite loss, numbness, muscle weakness, etc. It also helps determine the response to vitamin B12 therapy in conditions like anemia. Additionally, this test is an important monitoring parameter to maintain a healthy pregnancy, as low vitamin B12 levels have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes like anemia, low birth weight, and growth retardation of the baby.

Usually, no special preparation is required for this test. You may eat and drink as per your daily routine. However, let your doctor know about all the medications you take, as some can affect the test results.

Test result ranges are approximate and may differ slightly between labs depending on the methodology and laboratory guidelines. Talk to the doctor about your specific test results. Narrate your complete medical history to help them correlate your clinical and laboratory findings. The test results will help the doctor determine your medical condition, make recommendations for lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, determine whether or not supplements will be required to manage your overall health and formulate your treatment plan. 

What is Vitamin B12 used for?

A Vitamin B12 test is usually done:

  • As part of a routine checkup to monitor your overall health.
  • As a monitoring parameter for a healthy pregnancy in pregnant women.
  • If you have symptoms of low vitamin B12 levels, such as weakness, fatigue, painful tongue, frequent mouth ulcers, feeling of pins and needles (mostly in feet or hands), etc.
  • If you have been diagnosed with pernicious anemia.
  • If you are on medications that may interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.
  • If your doctor suspects a medical condition that affects vitamin B12 absorption in your body.
  • To evaluate the nutritional status (poor diet or malnutrition).
  • To monitor the treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency.

What does Vitamin B12 measure?

A Vitamin B12 test measures your vitamin B12 levels. Vitamin B12 is essential for various health aspects, such as maintaining a healthy nervous system, making red blood cells, and creating the genetic material of our cells. Low vitamin B12 levels are more likely to occur in older adults, children, vegans, vegetarians, people with diabetes, individuals who underwent gastric bypass surgery, women who are breastfeeding, and in conditions that impact absorption of this vitamin, like Crohn’s disease. Higher vitamin B12 levels seen in pateint on vitamin suplement does not need treatment as excessive vitamin B12 is usually removed through the urine. However, some conditions, such as liver diseases and myeloproliferative disorders, can cause an increase in vitamin B12 levels, thereby affecting blood cell production.

Interpreting Vitamin B12 results


The normal range is 211 - 911 pg/mL, irrespective of sex and age.

High levels of Vitamin B12 may be seen in:

  • Kidney failure

  • Diabetes

  • Liver disease

Low levels of Vitamin B12 may be seen in:

  • Anemia

  • Hyperthyroidism (high levels of thyroid)

  • Worm infection

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vitamin B12

Frequently Asked Questions about Vitamin B12

Q. Why is a Vitamin B12 test done?

A Vitamin B12 test is done to measure the level of vitamin B12 in the body, determine the response of vitamin B12 therapy in conditions like anemia, and monitor a pregnant woman.

Q. What are the signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

The signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, vision problems, painful tongue, mouth ulcers, fast and irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, tingling or numbness, and pins and needles or burning sensation in feet, hands, arms, and legs. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Q. What is the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Deficiency of vitamin B12 could be due to poor dietary intake, pernicious anemia (as it leads to poor absorption of vitamin B12), and certain types of stomach-related surgeries, such as weight loss surgery or any surgery of the intestines. Besides these, there are some medications that can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and some disorders of the immune system (those that decrease our body’s natural immunity), such as Lupus or Graves’ disease. Consult your doctor if you have ever had any of these issues.

Q. What are the risks associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?

The risks associated with vitamin B12 deficiency are memory loss, confusional states, paranoia (especially in old age patients), infertility, heart diseases including heart failure (in severe cases of anemia), pregnancy complications and birth defects, and stomach cancer.

Q. Which bodily functions use vitamin B12?

The body requires vitamin B12 for functions like the formation of red blood cells and the synthesis of DNA, fatty acids, and amino acids. It is also a key player in the function and development of brain and nerve cells.

Q. Can vitamin B12 deficiency cause depression?

Yes, vitamin B12 deficiency may cause depression and other similar problems like anxiety, psychosis, dementia, and delirium. Vitamin B12 along with the other forms of vitamin B are extremely important in regulating chemicals that regulate our mood and behavior.

Q. How will an adequate amount of vitamin B12 benefit me?

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient, meaning the body cannot produce it, and you need to consume it via dietary sources. Consuming an adequate amount of this nutrient helps to produce red blood cells (RBCs), prevent anemia and birth defects, support bone health to prevent osteoporosis, reduce the risk of macular degeneration (eye disease), improve mood and symptoms of depression, benefit the brain by preventing the loss of neurons, and support healthy hair, nails, and skin.

Q. How can I raise my vitamin B12 levels naturally?

Always consult your doctor if your vitamin B12 levels are lower than normal. However, incorporating foods rich in vitamin B12 such as meat, fish, milk, soy products, and fortified breakfast cereals can help raise your vitamin B12 levels naturally.

Q. What are some of the common food sources of vitamin 12?

Some common food sources of vitamin B12 include fish; red meat; eggs; dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt; fortified cereals; and soy or rice milk.

Q. What is the role of vitamin B12 in pregnancy?

Pregnant women need adequate nutrition for the proper growth and development of the baby. Low vitamin B12 levels may cause anemia, low birth weight, and growth retardation in the unborn baby. The baby can also suffer from serious problems like spina bifida (improper development of the baby’s spine), incomplete brain development, and other brain-related issues. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to conceive to know about any supplements you may need during pregnancy.
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Vitamin B12 test price for other cities

Price inBangaloreRs. 389
Price inPuneRs. 339
Price inMumbaiRs. 339
Price inHyderabadRs. 339
Price inGurgaonRs. 339
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  1. Vitamin B12 [Prescribing Information]. FDA; Jan. 2021 [Accessed 16 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2021/080737Orig1s040lbl.pdfExternal Link
  2. Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia. NHS; 20 Feb. 2023 [Accessed 16 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/External Link
  3. Duggan C, Srinivasan K, Thomas T, Samuel T, Rajendran R, Muthayya S, Finkelstein JL, Lukose A, Fawzi W, Allen LH, Bosch RJ, Kurpad AV. Vitamin B-12 supplementation during pregnancy and early lactation increases maternal, breast milk, and infant measures of vitamin B-12 status. J Nutr. 2014 May. [Accessed 16 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3985831/#:~:text=Pregnant%20women%20in%20resource%2Dpoor,weight%2C%20and%20intrauterine%20growth%20retardation.External Link
  4. Gemici AI, Sevindik ÖG, Akar S, Tunca M. Vitamin B12 levels in familial Mediterranean fever patients treated with colchicine. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013. [Accessed 16 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24064015/External Link
  5. Rodriguez V, Gonzales KM, Iqbal AM, et al. Pancytopenia secondary to autoimmune vitamin B12 deficiency in Graves disease. AACE Clin Case Rep. 2020;6(6):e282-e285. 23 Jun. 2020 [Accessed 16 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685417/#:~:text=To%20describe%20a%20case%20of,to%20severe%20anemia%20and%20pancytopenia.External Link
  6. Sahu P, Thippeswamy H, Chaturvedi SK. Neuropsychiatric manifestations in vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitam Horm. 2022 [Accessed 16 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35337631/#:~:text=Vitamin%20B12%20deficiency%20can%20have,screening%20of%20at%2Drisk%20populations.External Link


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