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Vitamin B12 and Folate Blood Test

$76
Sample Type:
Blood
Collection Method:Visit a LabCorp Location
Worried about anemia? Testing these two vitamins levels can help.

Vitamins B12 and folate support many different cellular functions throughout the body. B12 supports nerve function, and folate plays a part in converting carbohydrates into energy as well as producing DNA; both B complex vitamins are also essential for making red blood cells.
Folate is particularly important during pregnancy and plays a role in fetal development. A folate deficiency during pregnancy can increase the risk of neurologic defects to the growing fetus.1
Most individuals get enough folate from foods, especially in the U.S., where all grains and cereal products are fortified with folic acid. However, some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others can’t absorb enough, no matter how much they take in.2
This test measures both your B12 and folate levels to detect any deficiencies and to diagnose the cause of anemia, if present.

 

Preparation

If you’re taking a supplement containing biotin (also called vitamin B7 or B8, vitamin H, or coenzyme R), commonly found in products promoting nail, skin, and hair health, it is recommended that you wait at least 72 hours from your last dose before sample collection.

What's Included

Vitamin B12:

Measures the amount of B-12, a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in the health of nerves and red blood cells.

Folate (Folic Acid):

The B vitamin that plays a vital role in making DNA, the genetic material in cells. Folic acid is a synthesized version of folate found in processed foods and supplements. A folate deficiency can lead to health complications, especially in pregnant women.

Why Consider This Test

Early Detection Matters

Early detection and treatment of B12 deficiency is important; if left untreated it can cause severe neurologic problems and blood disorders.2

      Pregnancy

      Pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding have increased demand for folate. Failure to meet this increased demand can result in a deficiency.3,4

        At Greater Risk

        People at risk for B12 and Folate deficiency also include:3,4,5,6,7

        Individuals age 65 and older.

        Those with conditions that may affect the absorption of B12 in the body such as atrophic gastritis, which is a thinning of the lining of the stomach; pernicious anemia; and conditions such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease.

        Individuals who have had surgery where part of the bowel that absorbs B12 was removed.

        People on the drug metformin for diabetes, or chloramphenicol, or those taking long-term antacid drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers for heartburn, which can affect B12 absorption.

        Those following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.

        Chronic alcohol users or those who take certain drugs, such as phenytoin, methotrexate, and sulfa antibiotics, which can affect folate absorption.

        References

        1. Black, Maureen M. “Effects of Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency on Brain Development in Children.” Food and Nutrition Bulletin, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3137939/.
        2. Skerrett, Patrick J. “Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Be Sneaky, Harmful.” Harvard Health Blog, 11 Feb. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780.
        3. “Vitamin B12.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional
        4. “Folate.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/
        5. “Vitamin Deficiency Anemia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 9 Nov. 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vitamin-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355025.

        Packages With This Test

        Vitamin Deficiency Blood Test:

        Are you getting enough of these essential vitamins? Let’s find out.

        How To Get This Test

        1. Choose your tests

        Shop for tests and pay online. An independent physician will review and approve your test requests; no doctor’s visit is required.

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        2. Provide Your Sample

        Take the requisition number we emailed you, along with a photo ID, to a LabCorp location for sample collection.

        FIND A LOCATION

        3. Access your results online

        View your easy-to-read results online in your Pixel by LabCorp account. For certain results that require prompt attention, you will also be contacted by phone or mail.

        SAMPLE RESULTS

        Getting My Results

        We've made getting your results easier and more convenient than ever. View your easy-to-read results online in your Pixel by LabCorp account. For certain results that require prompt attention, you will also be contacted by phone or mail. To view a sample report click the "sample report" button below.

        View sample results

        Sample Report