Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to a buildup of methylmalonic acid (MMA) in urine. Urine MMA is a specific indicator of functional B12 deficiency and may indicate deficiency sooner than a B12 blood test.
It has been estimated that vitamin B12 deficiency is present in about 20% of the elderly population. Nearly 40% of 3000 subjects in the Framingham Offspring study, were found to be B12 deficient. Vitamin B12 is rich in many animal products, so vegans and vegetarians are at risk of having low B12 in their body unless they take a supplement or intake fortified foods. Even when dietary intake is adequate, B12 deficiency can still occur.
Many different conditions, from autoimmune diseases to gut complications, can interrupt B12 absorption. Common medications like proton-pump inhibitors and metformin can also make B12 absorption more difficult. So, often dietary intake is NOT the reason someone has a functional B12 deficiency, which makes testing even more important.
Not everyone is able to absorb B12 due to GI complications, autoimmune concerns, and age-related reduction in binding protein production. Common medications like proton-pump inhibitors and metformin can also make B12 absorption more difficult. Genetic variations can disrupt dietary B12 conversion into its active form, which a B12 blood test alone cannot reveal.
A Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to a buildup of methylmalonic acid (MMA) in urine. Urinary MMA is recognized as an indicator of functional B12 deficiency and may reveal a B12 deficiency sooner than measuring B12 levels in blood. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in red blood cell production, cellular metabolism, and nerve function. Proper activation of B12 into adenosylcobalamin is required by the enzyme responsible for proper metabolism/breakdown of MMA (methylmalonyl-CoA mutase). When B12 levels are low or not being converted into the adenosylcobalamin form, MMA will build up, leading to elevated levels in urine.
The B12 Functional Status test provides an easy-to-interpret report, revealing whether your MMA level is within the desirable range or not, and including a detailed explanation of how your result relates to B12 status, potential symptoms of B12 deficiency, and where to obtain additional dietary intake of B12.
If you increase your intake of Vitamin B12, and/or address any health issues that may be impacting absorption of B12, your urinary MMA level should respond within 3-4 months. At that time, it is suggested to re-evaluate your MMA level to determine if additional changes may be necessary.
This test kit comes with a specialized collection device for ease of collection. Please contact us if you have questions regarding its use. Instructions may be reviewed at the link below:
Processing Lab: OmegaQuant
Turnaround Time: 1-2 weeks from date received
Restrictions: No kits available in PA, AK, or HI.