Do you often feel tired and run down?
Do you have trouble focusing, or experience mood swings more often than usual? If so, you may be suffering from Vitamin B-12 deficiency.
This is a condition that affects millions of people each year, but it can be easily diagnosed with a Vitamin B-12 deficiency blood test.
In this article, we will discuss three of the best Vitamin B-12 deficiency tests on the market.
Please keep in mind that, for official medical advice, you should always consult with your doctor first. If you have insurance, they may assist you with the expenses and, hopefully, without too much paperwork.
If you just want to simply order a Vitamin B-12 blood test online, so you can get a quick blood draw from the lab nearest you, then keep reading!
We may receive a small commission if you order using some, but not all, of the links below. This helps keep the Eating Enlightenment CBT Food Journal App free for it’s hundreds of users.
If you want more info on supplements – including risks and general FDA guidelines – please see our “Supplements and Vitamins – Ultimate Beginner’s Guide”.
Criteria For Best Vitamin B12 Deficiency Blood Test
Test Directly For Vitamin B-12:
Some tests measure Vitamin B levels generally speaking, which includes Vitamins B1-B12 and others. We chose tests which only tested for Vitamin B-12. However, you should know that low levels of Vitamin B-12 often correlate with low levels of folic acid too.
We chose vendors that had been certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). We also looked at each service’s third-party evaluations and Better Business Bureau ratings.
We looked for websites that provide detailed explanations of tests, give results in an easy-to-understand format, allow you to track your health as you schedule additional tests, give you access to health professionals, provide medical education and offer rapid results.
Best Overall: Ulta Wellness
- Price = $26
- # of Labs in US = 2000
- # of Reviews = 2728
- Average Rating = 4.9/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
Ulta Lab has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau after being recognized for eight years.
They’ve only had two consumer complaints in the last eight years, both of which were successfully addressed by the Better Business Bureau.
With this stellar reputation and the lowest price, Ulta Wellness claims our top spot.
Second Best: Walk-In Lab
- Price = $33-$49
- # of Labs in US = 3700
- # of Reviews = 16,605
- Average Rating = 4.8/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A
The Walk-In Lab has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau after more than 12 years of being accredited by the BBB.
With identical services, price is the primary difference here.
Best # of Locations: Health Labs
- Price = $35
- # of Labs in US = 4500
- # of Reviews = 15,500
- Average Rating = 96%
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
What is Vitamin B-12?
Vitamin B-12 is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as blood formation.
It is involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body, particularly DNA synthesis and regulation, fatty acid synthesis, and energy production.
Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin B-12 is necessary for the formation of normal red blood cells, nerve function, and tissue and cellular repair.
You need Vitamin B-12 to make healthy red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. When you lack Vitamin B-12, blood cell production is affected.
By extension, your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen, which means your body can’t function normally.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a common cause of megaloblastic anemia, in which the bone marrow produces abnormally large, unusually structured, and immature red blood cells.
Vitamin B-12 is not produced in the human body but rather ingested when consuming foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, and fortified products like certain breakfast cereals and bread.
Deficiencies are mainly caused by insufficient dietary intake, although this is unusual in the United States due to the number of food items that have added B12. However you may have stomach acid production issues which could cause your body to be unable to absorb Vitamin B-12.
If you are lacking Vitamin B-12, this vitamin deficiency anemia can cause the following symptoms:
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Changes in balance and coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
Food Sources of Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is present in a variety of animal products. Unfortunately Vitamin B-12 is not commonly found in plants, so if you’re a vegan or vegetarian please consider supplementation if necessary.
You may also want to consider a folate test too, because folate and Vitamin B levels are correlated.
You may acquire Vitamin B-12 by eating items including:
- Dairy products
- Leafy green vegetables
- Some fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast products
Dietary supplements or other oral supplements are ways you can overcome any type of pernicious anemia, whether due to Vitamin B12 or otherwise.
People at Risk for Vitamin Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin B-12 insufficiency disproportionately affects:
- People with a family history of anemia caused by vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Older individuals who do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach
- People who have had gastric surgery, such as weight loss surgery (gastric bypass)
- People with HIV/AIDS
- Individuals with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease
- People with liver disease
- Vegetarians and vegans
What happens during a vitamin B test?
Vitamin B is tested in blood or urine. During the tests at the local health office or blood lab, syringe blood is taken from your arm using syringe needles.
This sounds scary but upon injection, a small amount of blood is collected into tubes or vials. You can feel a slight bite as the needle is inserted.
It normally takes fewer than one minute.
Third Party Resources:
- Better Business Bureau for Ulta Wellness
- Better Business Bureau for Walk-In Labs
- Walkin Lab verified reviews
- Better Business Bureau for Health Labs
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a common problem that can cause a variety of symptoms.
The best way to test for Vitamin B deficiency is through a blood sample.
The services we reviewed in this post all have nearly identical Vitamin B-12 blood tests, so you will most likely base your decisions on price and location.
Be sure to check the “Lab Locator” for each service before ordering so you can make sure a lab is somewhere close by!
Read here if you want more information on folate or iron deficiency!