var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || [];

What Is a Normal B12 Count?

By Lisa Porter

Vitamin B-12, a nutrient found in animal products such as meat, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy, plays a crucial role in metabolism, DNA synthesis and neurological function. Inadequate intake or absorption of vitamin B-12 can cause vitamin B-12 deficiency. If you have signs of this deficiency, you may need a blood test to determine B-12 levels in your blood.


Doctors typically draw blood to test vitamin B-12 levels. Patients should not eat or drink for about six to eight hours before the test, according to Medline Plus, a National Institutes of Health online medical encyclopedia. Certain medications may affect the test results, so discuss all medications you are taking with your doctor.

Normal B-12 Levels

Doctors in the United States measure vitamin B-12 levels in picograms per milliliter, or pg/ml. Normal B-12 levels typically fall between 200 and 900 pg/ml, according to Medline Plus. Normal values may vary depending on the laboratory, however, so discuss your test results with your doctor.

Low Levels

Vitamin B-12 levels below 250 pg/ml may indicate a B-12 deficiency in adults, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Values below 170 pg/ml indicate a deficiency in most people, and values between 200 and 500 pg/ml may indicate a deficiency in older adults. Because excess vitamin B-12 leaves the body in urine, high levels of B-12 are rare, according to Medline Plus.

B-12 Deficiency Symptoms

Common symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, weight loss, pale skin and sore or inflamed tongue. Prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause serious neurological symptoms, such as confusion, memory loss, difficulty maintaining balance, depression and dementia.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG

More Related Articles

Related Articles