Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Does red bull affect b12 blood tests?

My brother has just had his b12 blood test done but he had been drinking red bull all week will this effect the results? 237 pg/ml was his result.

Many thanks

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does it tell you on the can whether it contains B12 and if so how much? - the website just says that it contains B vitamins but not which or in what quantities - though I rather doubt it will contain enough B12 to affect the results if your son has an absorption problem ...

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It contains a lot of b12. 80% it specifies.

It's my brother just had his b12's checked. Been drinking it every day prior to testing- the numpty!

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found an abandoned can on run this morning - actually it is 100ml that contains 80% ... and a can is 250ml so a full can contains about 5mcg of B12 - a bit over 2x RDA (taking US RDA - which is what is on the can - over 4xRDA if you take UK standard). Would be enough to affect results if no absorption problem ... and if there isn't an absorption problem then a B12 deficiency can be corrected by simply upping intake.

However, if you have an absorption problem then it reduces the efficiency with which you extract B12 from your food by a huge amount - to a few % at best and a small fraction of a % at worst. So, if your brother has an absorption problem then the amount he would get out of a single can would actually be very small compared to amounts he'd be using in a day so wouldn't expect it to have any appreciable effect on serum B12 levels.

so, still unlikely to have affected the results of the test if he has an absorption problem unless he was drinking a very large number of cans a day - dozens.

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Awesome, thank you.

That's a very thorough answer especially finding a can on your run! 😁

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more cans on the run this evening though none of them were red bull :)

if truth be told I was intending to check on a can when I went to get my paper but didn't need to.

interesting how the food industry manages to manipulate impression of how much there is in a particular item by giving measures for a fraction of the actual product on sale rather than the amount in the actual container. Would be easy to believe it was a conspiracy :)

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