Vitamin B12 and Folate (Vitamin B9) are two vitamins that are part of the vitamin B complex. They are essential to maintain a normal red blood cell formation, synthesis of DNA, and repair of cells and tissues.
Both vitamin B12 and Folate cannot be produced in your body. They can only be acquired by diet or by vitamin food supplements.
The vitamin B12 and Folate test can establish your vitamin levels to spot any deficiencies. It is also possible to measure the amount of Folate inside your red blood cells.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12: is mainly found in red meat and fish however, we get a good proportion of iron from non-animal sources too: Eggs, cereal, wholegrain bread, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses, dried fruit, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, mango chutney, yeast extract spread.
What is Folate?
Folate refers to the naturally occurring form of a vitamin.
If you have low levels of vitamin B12 and Folate or folic acid, you can develop certain types of anaemia.
Vitamin B12 is also responsible for activating an enzyme to help your body absorb and use Folate. So, a low level of vitamin B12 can lead to low iron levels in your blood.
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency?
Vitamin B12 and Folate are responsible for maintaining important functions in your body i.e. keeping your nervous system healthy. So, it is important to recognise the symptoms of vitamin B12 or Folate deficiency.
What are the Causes of Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
Several problems can cause vitamin B12 or Folate deficiency, and these include:
Vitamin B12 and Folate Test Procedure
If you believe you have any of the above, we recommend you seek help from our doctor and have your blood tested for vitamin deficiencies.
Preparing for the Test
Make sure you have plenty to drink prior to the blood draw as it makes the procedure easier to do.
During the Test
A small needle will be inserted to a vein in your arm near your elbow, you will feel a slight scratch or prick and a sample of blood will be taken for analysis.
It is important to maintain sufficient vitamin B12 and Folate levels, especially during pregnancy. If you have any chronic conditions i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease, gastric or digestive problems it significantly increases your risks of additional health problems. For existing health problems or you are worried about future issues we can set your mind at rest and check your vitamin B12 and Folate levels. A simple blood test here at the clinic will give you the answer.