Oral contraceptives can cause falsely low vitamin B12 levels

J. Gardyn, M. Mittelman, J. Zlotnik, B. A. Sela, A. M. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serum vitamin B12 radioimmunoassays may give falsely low results in patients with folate deficiency, multiple myeloma, megadose of vitamin C and following radioisotope organ scan. We evaluated 10 consecutive healthy women on oral contraceptives (OC) who had falsely low vitamin B12 levels, as reflected by normal urine methylmalonic acid and plasma homocysteine. After 1-month cessation of OCs, vitamin B12 returned to the normal range in all women. Transcobalamin I (TCI) blood level was decreased in 60% of patients. OCs may cause temporary low vitamin B12 blood levels of no clinical significance that can be associated with low TCI levels. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
JournalActa Haematologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cobalamins
  • Estrogens
  • Falsely low vitamin B
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Transcobalamin
  • Transcobalamin II


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