Thyroid UK
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Vitamin B12 test results - Advice needed (again!) please

I had my B12 tested this week which is:

Serum vitamin B12 - 224 ng/L (180 - 900 ng/L )

The doctor has marked it as normal.

I have already bought jarrow methyl b12 5000 mcg. My question is how much should I take to bring the levels up - And what level should I be aiming for?

Many thanks in advance you wonderful knowledgable people

Lu x

7 Replies

I'd aim for the top of the range if not a bit over.

The problem is how you proceed having supplemented. If you have a test on supplements you will always get a raised result which may not represent how you're using your b12 (unless you have that very fancy test that shows how it is being used, maybe someone else will remember what that's called).

I found out that my levels were dropping like a stone as soon as I stopped supplementing (doctor acknowledged but couldn't explain) and my symptoms remained so I started self-injecting, which has been a much better use of my time. A bunch of symptoms disappeared that I hadn't even realised were related to b12. My tinnitus is more or less gone altogether and I always know when I need an injection because the balls of my feet begin to ache.

Keep it in mind if you don't feel better on supplements.


I haven't supplemented yet as wanted to see what the level was first

I wasn't sure if there was any mileage in talking to the doctor. Are they likely to refuse b12 injections if the don't recognise it as a low level?

Where do you get your b12 and syringes and needles?



Yes, that's best, but what I meant is that once you start supplementing it will be awkward. You'll only know what you're putting in there rather than what is helping.

You may get injections if you're diagnosed w pernicious anaemia but it can still be a struggle. Have a look at the HU group PAS.

This site is a great place to start:


puncturedbicycle Is it the Active B12 test you mean? I don't know as I've only ever done the standard one, but I've seen it mentioned on here.

Well, I've learned something from your post. Aching balls (of feet :D , sorry, my dreadful sense of humour). Well, I used to have that something chronic at one time. I used to put it down to my job at the time - we owned a restaurant and I was on my feet for hours, plus on days off we used to have 'shopping days' (frequently to collect stock for the restaurant) and again I was on my feet for hours. Oh, how they ached and it was always the balls of my feet worst affected. So thank you for that, isn't it amazing how we pick up little snippets of information that make things fall into place!

And tinnitus. I knew that was a deficiency of something. I used to get it occasionally, never dreadful but noticeable, and it's quite rare now that I supplement B12 1000mcg. My level is now very good, tested originally around 660 then about 950 after I started supplementing. My friend was talking about her tinnitus the other day and I couldn't for the life of me remember what I should be recommending to her!

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Well your aching balls (lol) can be caused by hours of standing, of course. For me there is no obvious cause, I might be sitting around and I get up to make dinner and 30mins later I become aware that my feet are aching for no reason.

Tinnitus can also be caused by exposure to noise, if that is a possibility for you. My mum used to be a teacher and her doctor blamed hers on years in a noisy classroom. So if you're a professional musician who has never used ear protection your tinnitus may be unaffected by b12 supplements.

My tinnitus didn't resolve on oral supplements, only injections. I'd forgotten about it until my partner asked how it was and I realised it was gone.


Yes PB, when I was working it could very well have been the cause of the aching balls (oh dear, I must stop it!). I have had it at other times since I retired but nothing since starting my supplement regime last year. Also burning feet in bed - always referred to as hot aches (the sort of thing you get when it's cold and it affects your hands, they feel burning hot and they ache but they're not necessarily hot to touch). I rarely get that now. I'm rambling - my speciality :D

No noise, I like quiet. Never been in a noisy environment, only me and the dog now so again very quiet. Not sure about my friend, her hubby is deaf and probably has the TV up loud so not sure if that is a factor. I will mention B12 to her but I don't think she'll take it. They're on a very, very strict budget (basic pension) so money for supplements is way down the list. One can only advise, not force :)


My level was 300 pg/ml - equivalent to 300 ng/L - when I started taking Jarrow 5000mcg lozenges and I had severe physical and mental symptoms of B12 deficiency which were undiagnosed, because like you my level was considered normal. I aim now to keep my level at around 900 - 1000 and have achieved this with the Jarrow only. One thing with Jarrow, I'd say be cautious of keeping them in your mouth until they dissolve as they might cause tooth decay. The Peripheral Neuropathy threads (good info on B12) on the Neurotalk Forum mentioned this and advised that swallowing the lozenges on an empty stomach has the same effect.. I can't vouch for this, but I've started swallowing them first thing in the morning and am just about to have a blood test to check my level.

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