Also Known As:
Purpose of the Methylmalonic Acid Test
When you’re asked to take the methylmalonic acid test, it’s usually to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency. By extension, the MMA test also helps detect megaloblastic anemia, which is caused by inadequate vitamins B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B9 (folate) in the body.
Both vitamins play precursory roles in the production of red blood cells (RBCs). Hence, their scare amount leads to an RBC low count or structural alterations (i.e., increase in size and surface area), affecting the oxygen supply to the cells.
What Does the Methylmalonic Acid Blood Test Measure?
The methylmalonic acid test measures the amount of methylmalonic acid – a substance produced in small amounts when protein is digested.
MMA is a biomarker of how much vitamin B12 is in your system, particularly its deficiency. This is because vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of methylmalonic acid. MMA is often converted into another type of protein. The shortage of cobalamin blocks the process.
Who Should Take an MMA Blood Test?
The MMA lab test should be taken by those who have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which includes the following:
- Mouth ulcers
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
- Pale or yellow skin
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen and red tongue
- Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
- Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Furthermore, your doctor may also request an MMA blood test during your wellness checkup if you belong to groups prone to vitamin B12 deficiency and megaloblastic anemia, such as:
- Vegans and vegetarians
- Pregnant women
- People with obesity
- People with digestive disorders
- Patients with AIDS/HIV infection
MMA Lab Test Preparation
No special preparation is required for taking an MMA blood test. However, your doctor may ask for you to fast, especially if you’re taking some medications and supplementation that could affect the results.
MMA Labs Results
The normal range for methylmalonic acid is between 0.00 to 0.40 nmol/L. However, laboratories may have slightly different figures depending on the method used during the evaluation. So it’s best to consult your doctor when you receive your result.
Nonetheless, Personalabs MMA test results are easy to understand as the normal reference values are indicated. Getting high methylmalonic acid in your report suggests vitamin B12 deficiency. To confirm the condition, your healthcare provider may request a homocysteine test, another confirmatory test for vitamin B12 deficiency, to strengthen the diagnosis.
Where Can I Get a Methylmalonic Acid Test Done Near Me?
Personalabs offer the MMA test, which you can order and take at one of our over 4,000 partner patient centers in the country. Simply follow these steps.
Step 1: Go to our website, order the Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Blood Test online, and download the lab order for the lab test – which will serve as the doctor’s order for your bloodwork.
Step 2: Find an affiliate medical laboratory near you using our lab locator.
Step 3: Bring the order to the partner patient center to have your blood sample taken.
Step 4: Wait 2-10 business days to receive your lab test results confidentially in your Personalabs account.
For an exact turnaround time for results, please contact us at 1-888-438-5227, and we will contact the lab on your behalf as turnaround times vary depending on testing location or lab testing provider. Also, if you wish to discuss your test results, we have qualified physicians you can meet during a telehealth appointment.