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Questions about vitamin B12:
Why should I test my vitamin B12 level?
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is essential for forming blood cells and protecting nerve cells. If you lack vitamin B12, you will likely not notice it immediately. It takes years for the vitamin reserves in the body to be depleted. When this happens, however, serious health consequences can occur.It is therefore recommended to monitor your vitamin B12 level regularly to avoid deficiency, especially for the followingrisk groups for vitamin B12: Vegetarians and vegans, pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly, among others.
How does the vitamin B12 test work?
For the Vitamin B12 test,a lancet is used to take a small blood sample from your fingertip. A few drops of blood are applied to a dry blood card, which is then sent by prepaid return envelope to a certified lab. The laboratory then analyzes the concentration of holotranscobalamine (holo-TC), the active vitamin B12, in your blood.
What does the result of the vitamin B12 test tell me?
With your detailed result report, you will be able to see your holotranscobalamine active vitamin B12 levels. The report will also let you see if your level falls within the normal range, or if you should improve it through diet or supplements.
What are the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver for up to three years. The body can also draw on these reserves if there is a lack of vitamin B12 intake. In the meantime, a vitamin B12 deficiency usually only presents with general symptoms, such as:
- impaired mental and physical performance
- fatigue and exhaustion
- headaches and difficulty concentrating
- digestive problems
Over time, however, a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to serious health problems. According to studies it may likely increase your risk for the following diseases:
- nervous disorders and depression
- cardiovascular diseases
What is vitamin B12?
vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, also called cobalamin. It is an essential vitamin, i.e. your body cannot produce it by itself and must get it from food. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that the human body can store for long periods of time and occurs in various forms. The active forms that work in the body are methylcobalamin and 5-adenosylcobalamin.
Why do I need vitamin B12?
In the body, vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of folic acid, among other things. Folic acid is a B vitamin that works together with vitamin B12 in many places.
Vitamin B12 also plays a role in numerous other metabolic processes. Among other things it contributes to the following central processes in the body:
- formation of blood cells
- cell division
- protection of nerve cells
- formation of DNA
Where do I get vitamin B12?
vitamin B12 is almost exclusively contained in certain animal products, especially in offal, but also in other meats, fish, and dairy products as well as eggs. For example you can reach your daily requirement with 100 grams of tuna, 100 grams of lamb, 100 grams of natural yoghurt or two eggs.
Researchers are currently investigating whether vegetable foods can also serve as a source of vitamin B12. So far, however, they have only found the vitamin in so-called nori algae - and in a form that the human gastrointestinal tract cannot absorb. Thus, people who eat a vegan diet are currently only able to cover their requirements with vitamin B12 preparations.
How much vitamin B12 do I need?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 varies considerably by country. In January 2019, the German Nutrition Society increased its recommendations and now advises adults to consume 4.0 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. The US National Institutes of Health on the other hand, recommends only 2.4 micrograms. However, people's requirement differ depending on age and lifestyle.
Food supplements need to be taken in higher doses—because your body is only able to absorb and process part of the vitamin. The general recommendation is 500 micrograms a day to correct a deficiency. In the case of a severe deficiency significantly higher doses may be recommended, which are sometimes administered by physicians via injection.
Your personal test results
As soon as your sample has been evaluated, you will receive your individual result report via the My Cerascreen App or our secure online customer area. You can easily view the report on your smartphone or computer or print it out.
Result of laboratory analysis: These are your blood levels of Holo-Transcobalamin, the active vitamin B12.
Individualised practical recommendations: You will receive recommendations on how to improve vitamin B12 levels that are too low.
Important health information: We explain why vitamin B12 is so important and how it enters the body.
Taking a blood sample Use the lancet enclosed with the test kit to draw a few drops of blood.
Activate test online Enter the test ID listed on the test ID card in your secure My cerascreen user account on our website or on our app. Then answer a few short questions so we can give you personalised recommendations.
Send blood sample Send the card with the blood sample by post to our laboratory free of charge using the prepaid return envelope.
Laboratory analysis Your blood sample will be analysed in a specialized lab.
Status notification You will be notified by email and through our app when your sample has arrived at the lab and when the analysis is complete.
Certified laboratory cerascreen® partners with DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, a trusted specialist in holistic diagnostics for more than 10 years - certified according to TÜV Rheinland according to DIN EN ISO 13485 as well as EC declarations of conformity and proficiency testing.
Detailed results report The result report tells you the result of your test and explains what the values mean for you.
Individual recommendations You will receive practical recommendations and tips tailored to your individual needs.
Advice from health experts If you have any further questions, our health experts are available via chat and email.