Vitamin B12 helps in producing blood cells and in the proper functioning of the nervous system and the brain. It can be obtained from animal products (meat, eggs, fish, cheese, milk, etc.) and it requires intrinsic factor for the absorption of B12. A vitamin B12 test is used to determine the levels of this vital vitamin in blood.
Why is the test performed?
A vitamin B12 test is used to check for anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency. It is helpful in diagnosing the cause of megaloblastic anaemia and also to find the cause of numbness in hands and legs or other nervous system-related symptoms.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
Abstain from eating or drinking anything except water from about eight to ten hours before the test. Certain medicines may interfere with the test results and therefore, it is better to inform the doctor about all the medicines one is taking before undergoing the test.