Does your blood test show very high B12 levels?
We often get emails from concerned readers whose blood tests have returned with elevated B12 levels. We’re talking 1200, 1500, 2000, even 7500 pg/ml. Is there any reason for you to worry? What does high vitamin B12 mean?
Let’s answer these questions.
Causes of High B12 Levels In Blood
If your test shows excessive B12 levels, in the absence of supplementation, this may be a sign of liver disease or cell death (and the breakdown of tissues) that release the vitamin back into your blood circulation. Therefore, high serum B12 levels (hypercobalaminemia) may be a warning sign of some serious underlying pathologies:
The aetiological profile of high serum cobalamin predominantly encompasses severe disease entities for which early diagnosis is critical for prognosis. These entities are essentially comprised of solid neoplasms, haematological malignancies and liver and kidney diseases. This review reflects the potential importance of the vitamin B12 assay as an early diagnostic marker of these diseases.The pathophysiology of elevated vitamin B12 in clinical practice
If you’ve been supplementing, however, high levels are normal. Most of it gets flushed out in the urine; the rest is absorbed in the liver, kidneys and muscle tissues.
To illustrate, think about it this way:
When your test shows 1000pg/ml, only about 5mcg floats around in your blood. Have a good B12-rich steak and your serum level shoots up to more than 1500pg/ml for a short duration. With our recommended methyl B12 injections, if you did a blood test right after a 1,200mcg shot, you’d get a recorded level of ~250,000pg/ml for a few minutes! Inject two or three times a day and you’ll have high blood levels around the clock.
In cases such as these, high levels are absolutely normal.
Let’s sum things up. Are your vitamin B12 levels too high?
This may be because of an illness like liver disease, kidney failure, or cancer, releasing the B12 back into the blood. Early diagnosis is key, so if you show excess B12 levels, go and have the tests done. In such cases, don’t worry yourself with how to lower B12 levels, but with how to mend yourself from the underlying disorder.
If, however, you’re supplementing (and everything else is normal), then increased levels should not concern you. Your blood numbers are going to be high around the clock.
Hope that’s helpful!
All the best.