If you’re dealing with symptoms like fatigue or memory troubles, checking your vitamin B12 levels might be a smart idea. But let’s face it, picking the right at-home B12 test can be a bit of a puzzle. There are so many options out there, that it’s easy to get lost.
To help you out, I rolled up my sleeves and tried out a bunch of DNA tests. I looked at how accurate they are, how fast they give results, and how easy they are to use. My main focus? Figuring out if they can really spot a vitamin B12 deficiency. And guess what? I’ve picked the cream of the crop.
My number one choice is LetsGetChecked. It’s a real champ in giving reliable and speedy results. If you want to keep an eye on your vitamin B12 levels, this is your go-to. And here’s a bonus – they’ve got nurses to help you every step of the way. Want to know more? Stick around as I dive into why LetsGetChecked gets my vote and chat about other top-quality at-home B12 tests.
Short on time? Here are our top picks for the best at-home vitamin B12 tests
- LetsGetChecked – Our top pick because of its great vitamin deficiency tests, including B12, affordable prices and fast turnaround times (results in 2-4 days!); you can also get nurse support throughout the process.
- Everlywell – Very budget-friendly test kit that checks for three key vitamin B levels, including vitamin B12.
- SelfDecode – While it doesn’t test your vitamin B12 levels specifically, it checks your overall vitamin levels and offers recommendations on meals and supplements to boost them; it also checks your predisposition for vitamin deficiency based on your DNA.
- MyToolbox Genomics – Checks your overall vitamin levels and health risks with one test; you can get meal and supplement recommendations as well.
- Nebula Genomics – Even though this test kit is focused on ancestry, it analyzes your entire genome 30 times and offers the most comprehensive insight into your health and vitamin levels; you can also get meal and supplement recommendations.
Our Best Vitamin B12 Test Kits Reviewed
- At-home Vitamin B12 blood test
- Medical support available to explain your results
- Subscribe and save with regular testing
- Results in 2-5 days
The individual Vitamin B12 test from LetsGetChecked uses a fingerprick blood sample to determine if you are suffering from a deficiency. A period of fasting is required before taking the test, and you should collect your blood sample before 9 am, returning it on the same day.
By testing your blood, the test measures your current B12 levels and if they are found to be too low, you can discuss your results and the next step with an experienced nurse.
Monitor your vitamin B12 levels and the impact of any lifestyle changes on your deficiency over time by subscribing to testing every three, six, or twelve months, and save up to 30%.
- Blood test for three B vitamins
- Actionable results in 3-5 days
- Medical support available
- Save money with an Everlywell membership
In addition to vitamin B12, the B Vitamins Test from Everlywell also tests your blood for your current B6 and B9 levels, which are also associated with fatigue and weakness.
The test can help identify deficiencies in these vitamins and determine if you need to make dietary changes to improve your overall health and wellness. Your easy-to-understand results include a personalized report for each B vitamin, as well as what the results mean for you. Plus, you’ll get guidance on how to improve or maintain healthy levels of these vitamins.
If you are concerned about chronic fatigue, Everlywell has other tests worth considering, including the Thyroid Test and Metabolism Test. However, we also strongly suggest you visit your healthcare provider, as the tests from Everlywell only provide an indicator of current levels of certain biomarkers, not a diagnosis.
- Analyzes genetic markers associated with B12 metabolism
- Option to upload raw DNA data
- Extensive personalized reports
- Results in 6-8 weeks
SelfDecode uses your raw DNA data to flag genetic markers that are associated with B12 metabolism. Once you have submitted a DNA sample (either by saliva sample or existing DNA file), you can have it analyzed for certain genetic variations for personalized health reports.
A SelfDecode subscription allows you to claim a number of health reports for free, including the Vitamins DNA Wellness Report, which includes B12 and many others. Based on accurate information from the latest scientific studies, you get personalized recommendations based on your genetics to improve your levels.
The report provides an in-depth analysis of your B12 genetic profile and how your genetic variants might be affecting levels of the vitamin in your body. For example, the FUT2 and FUT6 genes protect the gut against H. pylori, a bacteria that can damage the stomach lining and reduce the protein required for B12 absorption. Plus FUT1 and FUT2 make the large intestine more hospitable to B12-producing bacteria.
With a SelfDecode subscription, you can use the Lab Test Analyzer Tool to decipher B12 lab tests and get personalized suggestions on how to achieve optimum levels to improve energy and motivation.
- Test based on a saliva sample
- Provides insight into your other vitamin deficiencies
- User-friendly test results
- Results in a few weeks
If you’re looking to understand your B12 levels, MyToolbox Genomics provides a vitamin deficiency report that may be able to help. The test uses a saliva sample, which you can take at home, and then send to be analyzed to provide you with a report that includes your B12 levels and personalized insights based on your genetic data.
In addition to the personalized insights, MyToolbox Genomics also provides test results that are easy to understand. You won’t need to be a medical expert to interpret your B12 levels or the other information in your test report. This makes it easier for you to take action to improve your health, whether that means making dietary changes, taking supplements, or seeking medical advice.
Once you’ve sent your saliva sample, you can expect to receive your test results from MyToolbox Genomics within a few weeks. This turnaround time is similar to other genetic testing providers, so you won’t be left waiting too long for your results.
- Supplement and diet recommendations
- At-home testing with a simple saliva swab
- User-friendly reports
- Test results within a few weeks
With Nebula Genomics’ vitamin tests, you’ll receive a personalized report that highlights your unique genetic variants related to vitamin metabolism and nutrient absorption. When it comes to vitamin B12, the report will identify any genetic variants that may affect your ability to process this important nutrient. This information can be especially valuable for individuals who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, as vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products.
One of the key features of Nebula Genomics’ vitamin B12 report is the personalized supplement recommendations. Based on your unique genetic profile, the report will provide recommendations for specific types and doses of vitamin B12 supplements that may be beneficial for you.
In addition to supplement recommendations, Nebula Genomics’ vitamin B12 report also includes information about dietary sources of vitamin B12. You’ll learn which foods are high in vitamin B12 and how to incorporate them into your diet.
When you order a vitamin test from Nebula Genomics, you’ll receive a DNA collection kit in the mail. The kit includes everything you need to collect a DNA sample, including a saliva collection tube and instructions for how to use it. Simply follow the instructions to provide a saliva sample, then send the kit back to Nebula Genomics using the included pre-paid shipping label.
Once Nebula Genomics receives your DNA sample, it typically takes a few weeks to process and analyze the data. When your vitamin test results are ready, you’ll receive an email notification with a link to your personalized report.
What We Look For in the Best Vitamin B12 Tests
We have taken great care to establish specific criteria for each vitamin B test included in this list. While some vitamins may be more relevant to your individual needs than others, it is important to consider all of them.
- Actionability: We have ensured that your test results report includes personalized actionable insights, backed by solid evidence. Additionally, you will have access to expert support from nutritionists or other healthcare providers who can guide you based on your specific results.
- Clarity: Our priority is to provide you with easily understandable results. We offer clear and concise reports, but if further explanation is required, we have resources available to provide additional information and answer any questions you may have.
- Value-for-money: We strive to offer vitamin B12 tests that are fairly priced, ensuring that you receive good value for your investment. We are transparent about any additional costs, so you can make an informed decision without unexpected expenses.
- Trustworthiness: Our tests are conducted in accredited laboratories, ensuring the highest standards of quality and accuracy. Moreover, we take the extra step of having physicians review your results to guarantee their reliability. Our company has a strong reputation and maintains a good standing with our customers, instilling confidence in our services.
- Speedy Results: We understand the importance of receiving your test results promptly, so you can take appropriate action or seek treatment as soon as possible. Our efficient processes enable us to deliver your results quickly, ensuring minimal waiting time and facilitating timely decision-making.
How Accurate Are Vitamin B12 Tests?
B12 blood tests are typically reliable when it comes to assessing your existing vitamin levels, providing valuable insights into whether adjustments to your diet and lifestyle are necessary. On the contrary, DNA vitamin B12 tests take a different approach. Instead of measuring current levels, they focus on identifying genetic variations that could influence the absorption and metabolism of vitamin B12. These DNA tests excel at pinpointing such variants, but it’s important to note that their findings merely indicate a potential risk for B12 deficiency; they do not guarantee it.
To obtain the most accurate results from both blood and DNA tests for vitamin B12, it’s crucial to diligently adhere to the collection instructions. Any deviation from these guidelines could introduce contamination into your sample, rendering it unsuitable for analysis.
What Will the Results Of a Vitamin B12 Test Tell Me?
To assess your vitamin B12 levels and determine if they fall within the normal range, a blood test is recommended. This test provides valuable information about your current vitamin B12 level and offers dietary advice to help optimize your levels. On the other hand, a DNA test can inform you if your genetic makeup predisposes you to a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, it’s important to note that having a genetic predisposition does not guarantee the development of a B12 deficiency.
It is crucial to understand that none of the blood or DNA tests listed here can provide a definitive diagnosis of a vitamin B12 deficiency or any other health condition. While a blood test can offer a reliable indication of your current B12 levels and a DNA test can provide insight into your genetic predisposition, it is still necessary to consult your healthcare provider for an official diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Visiting your healthcare provider ensures that you receive the necessary medical expertise and personalized guidance tailored to your specific health situation. They can accurately diagnose any deficiencies or health conditions you may have and recommend appropriate treatment options to address them effectively.
Types of Vitamin B12 Tests
At-home Vitamin B12 tests generally fall into two categories: blood tests and urine tests. Blood tests are considered more accurate and measure the level of vitamin B12 in your bloodstream. Urine tests evaluate methylmalonic acid levels, which can also indicate a B12 deficiency but are generally less precise.
What the Tests Measure
These tests primarily measure the concentration of vitamin B12 in your body. Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve function, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis. Low levels can result in symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, constipation, and memory loss.
Importance of Accuracy
An accurate test is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. False positives or negatives can lead to unnecessary supplements or overlooking a potential deficiency, both of which can have health implications. Always opt for tests that are approved by relevant health bodies to ensure accuracy.
How to Take the Test
Follow the instructions that come with your chosen kit carefully. Most blood tests require a finger prick, while urine tests will need a small sample. Make sure to avoid eating, drinking, or taking supplements for the time recommended in the instructions to get the most accurate results.
Once you send your sample back to the lab, the turnaround time for results varies by company. It’s typically between one to two weeks. Most companies provide an online dashboard where you can view your results and often offer telehealth consultations for further advice.
Understanding Your Results
Your results will indicate whether your vitamin B12 levels fall within the normal range. If they don’t, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider for a more comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan, which may include dietary changes or supplements.
Why is Vitamin B12 Important?
Vitamin B is a group of essential nutrients that play a crucial role in maintaining good health. Each B vitamin has a specific function; for instance, they help the body convert food into fuel, create new blood cells, and maintain healthy skin cells. Vitamin B12, in particular, is vital for neurological function and DNA synthesis.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is important for the production of red blood cells and for maintaining a healthy nervous system. A deficiency in B12 can result in a variety of symptoms including fatigue, weakness, anemia, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, poor memory, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. In severe cases, a deficiency can lead to nerve damage.
The best way to ensure you’re getting enough B12 is through your diet. Animal-derived foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are typically high in vitamin B12. For vegetarians and vegans, fortified cereals or supplements may be necessary to meet the recommended daily intake.
It’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect you may have a deficiency and to seek advice before making significant changes to your diet or supplement regimen.
At-Home Vitamin B12 Test Comparison
|DNA or Blood Test||Physician/Nurse Consultation||Dietary Advice||Time to Results||Starting Price|
|MyToolbox Genomics||Saliva||✖||✔||2-3 weeks||$99.00|
|Nebula Genomics||Saliva||✖||✔||2-3 weeks||$249.00|
The Bottom Line – Discover More about Your B12 Levels & Predispositions
All the vitamin B12 tests on this list are great choices, with options for testing your predispositions to a deficiency or if your current levels are within the normal range.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in neurological function and maintaining a healthy nervous system, as well as producing DNA and generating red blood cells. It is also an essential micronutrient during pregnancy. Symptoms of a deficiency include:
- Fatigue, weakness, and lethargy
- Joint or muscle pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Difficulty walking
- Irritability, mood changes, and depression
- Skin issues
What preparations do a vitamin B12 test require?
That depends on the provider, so it’s important to check the instructions carefully. Generally speaking, it’s important to be well-hydrated for a blood test, and you may be asked to fast for a few hours beforehand. If you’re submitting a spit or cheek swab DNA sample, you should not eat, drink, or smoke for thirty minutes before preparing your sample.
Does insurance cover vitamin B12 testing?
It’s a possibility. Everlywell, LetsGetChecked, and InsideTracker accept HSA/FSA payments, whereas many competitors do not. Check with your provider before ordering your test.
How do you interpret the results of a vitamin B12 test?
A blood test will tell you if your vitamin B12 level is in the normal range, and what you can do to improve it if necessary. Low levels of B12 could indicate a larger health issue, such as anemia, whereas elevated levels can be a sign of diabetes or cancer. You should review your results and discuss any symptoms with a medical professional.
Who should consider taking a vitamin B12 test? (and how often?)
Vitamin B12 is found in foods like fish, meat, and dairy, and is not naturally produced by the body. The people at the greatest risk for a deficiency are those with strict diets (vegetarian or vegan) as well as older adults and younger children. It is also important for women who are breastfeeding to have their levels checked, to ensure their babies are getting sufficient nutrients. If you find out that you have a deficiency, you can easily take steps to supplement your diet. If you have an existing condition, it might be a good idea to take a test every couple of months to actively monitor your levels.