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Checking for B12 deficiency and Pernicious Anaemia


People may know how important Vitamin B12 is to us and if you go to your GP with tiredness as a symptom, the doctor will probably run a vitamin B12 test among others. However, what a lot of people may not know is that the test done on the NHS is a Total B12 test.

In a similar way to the relationship of total T4 and FT4, total B12 is bound to a glycoprotein called haptocorrin.  However, B12 bound to haptocorrin cannot be used by the vast majority of the cells of the body. Only B12 bound to transcobalamin (Active-B12), which is a transport carrier protein, is taken up from the blood into the cells of the body.

Research seems to be showing that the Active B12 test is a better option to check for B12 deficiency.  However, this test is not available generally on the NHS.
It can be obtained privately from various laboratories though, as can other tests to check for Pernicious Anaemia which aren’t often done on the NHS:

Viapath Nutris at St Thomas' Hospital provides this test along with other panels to check for vitamin B12 deficiency and Pernicious Anaemia. 

You need to either visit St Thomas’ Hospital to have the blood drawn or they will send you a kit to take to a qualified professional such as your clinician or phlebotomist. For more information and to order the tests go to: nutris.viapath.co.uk/

Blue Horizon Medicals have the active B12 test and various other panels. For more information and to order tests go to: bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/

Medichecks have various panels that include active B12. For more information and to order tests go to: www.medichecks.com

The Doctors Laboratory
The Doctors Laboratory do the Active B12 test but this is only accessible via a doctor or healthcare practitioner.

Many private doctors have an account with The Doctors Laboratory. The Doctors Laboratory tell us that it can also be done by an NHS GP and they can invoice either the GP or the patient. 

Your GP simply needs to go to their website, download the request form, complete it and send your sample to them.

For more information go to www.tdlpathology.com2

If you or your doctor has any queries about ordering the test you can contact The Doctors Laboratory on 020 7307 7373 or email them on tdl@tdlpathology.com