For healthy nerves and red blood cells

Vitamin B12 is important for brain health, blood cell production and proper nerve function. Your body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin B12, it comes from animal products like fish, meat, and dairy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is not uncommon and many people have trouble absorbing this vitamin, especially older adults and people with intestinal disorders such as coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease. Vegans and individuals on restricted diets, and people with diabetes are at greater risk of having a low vitamin B12 blood test result.


An increased loss of vitamin B12 is also seen in individuals with liver and kidney disease as well as alcoholism. Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can include:

  • Fatigue
  • muscle weakness and stiffness
  • Shakiness
  • low blood pressure
  • mood disturbances

If you have a low vitamin B12 blood test result, there is evidence that supplements can boost energy, concentration, memory and mood.

What we test

Active Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin found in meat products and certain algae such as seaweed. It helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells and is also needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Both high and low vitamin B12 blood test levels may indicate an underlying problem. Low levels can suggest anaemia, a parasite or hyperthyroidism, whilst high levels can be a sign of liver disease, diabetes or kidney failure.

This vitamin B12 blood test measures:

Active vitamin B12 is the biologically active form of vitamin B12 that is essential for many physiological processes in the body, including the production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and nerve function.

Test instructions

The best time to do this test is first thing in the morning.

Fast from all food and drink (other than water) for at least 8 hours, and no more than 12 hours prior to your blood test.

Download and print your pathology form from your i-screen dashboard.

Take your form to one of our affiliated collection centres to have your sample taken.

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