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B12, Iron, Folate etc bloods help please


I've been trying to find optimal levels for the above to see what I need to supplement. Can someone assist please? I'm very confused.

B12 626 (191-663)

Folate 7.3 ( 4.6-18.7)

Ferritin 86.7 (13-150)

Iron 25 (6-34)

TIBC 46 (45-70)

Transferrin Satuation 54.4% (15-45)

The last one was out of range but doc said no action needed of course!

Thank you!

4 Replies

B12 should be at the top of the range or 1,000 according to the Pernicious Anaemia society.

Folate should be halfway within the range.

Ferritin should be were it is. Trichologists frequently say if you want healthly hair your ferritin level should be around 80.

The other results for iron are useless without the results of a full blood count things like haemoglobin level, red cell MCV, white cell count. This is because deficiencies in iron, folate and B12 can effect your red cells, white cells and platelets but without seeing these you cannot establish what is actually the problem.

Also if your blood tests were done on the NHS frequently the haemoglobin range is set at a lower than is what is suggested by the World Health Organisation, as the NHS is happy to leave you as slightly iron deficiency anaemic. However some people being slightly iron deficiency anaemic screws up their red cells, white cells and/or platelets.


Thank you Bluebug, that's really helpful 😃


B12 is a vitamin where you can't go on the absolute levels. 1000 is the average level where most members of the PAS who have pernicious anaemia and hence problems absorbing B12 feel best. It is not a recommended level.

What matters with B12 is how you feel and whether you are symptomatic of deficiency.

Levels in blood are a very poor guide as people vary significantly in how they respond to B12. Most people will be perfectly fine at the level that you presently have.

Supplementing with high levels of B12 if you do not have a B12 absorption problem is not something that I would recommend as it can trigger a functional deficiency - with plenty in your blood and very little actually getting through to your cells. If this happens then you could find yourself trapped in needing to keep your levels much higher than they would actually need to be. It is likely that the levels reported by members of the PAS will have been squewed by this effect as treatment for absorption problems involves administering high doses of B12.

1 like

I was tired yesterday but had wanted to add more detail.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets haemoglobin level at 12g/dL and frequently the NHS sets the lower boundary of the haemoglobin range at 11.5g/dL or 11.6g/dL for women.

The actual WHO documentation on iron deficiency anaemia goes into full detail on the damage that low iron levels cause. However the NICE guidelines state doctors can use this low lab range instead!

So if your level is below 12g/dL you have iron deficiency anaemia according to the WHO. The treatment for this involves taking more iron than if you have a low ferritin level which is why I always ask posters with low ferritin do they have a haemoglobin test result.


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