Q. Are elevated levels of vitamin B12 and testosterone an indicator of tumor formation?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 08, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am a 43-year-old female. I take 20 mg Trintellex, as well as bio-identical progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and thyroid. I take a sublingual methyl B-12 as well as zinc, P5P, magnesium, Vitamin D, Glutathione and Borage oil. I received bloodworm back today with troubling results:

Serum testosterone: 1049 (extremely high)

Vitamin B12: 1288 (high)

Folate: 13.3

DHEA Sulfate 41.1 (low)

Vitamin D: 170.4 (high).

My other hormones:

Estradiol: 62.4 (not sure which phase, very irregular if at all)

Progesterone: 3.1

Thyroid profile:

TSH: .975

Triiodothyronine, free serum: 3.4

T4, free (direct): 1.09.

Looking at the high or low pieces one by one is troubling from my online research. However, I do not know how to look at the whole picture of the lab results to understand what is going on. I listed every result I was given. Please suggest.

I knew my hormones were off as I have been feeling extremely depressed lately. I had postpartum depression when I had my two children and experienced post partum depression, which is the same as I am feeling now. So I knew I had a hormone issue.



Welcome to

I do understand that your blood levels of both make and female hormones are elevated but most likely they are due to exogenous consumption. I was wondering as to why were you taking these hormones?

Thank you doctor,

They have been prescribed by a physician. My understanding from reviewing peer reviewed literature is that neither supplements nor food could cause elevated levels of vitamin B12 or testosterone. My research (from peer reviewed journals) indicates that something like tumor development could be the cause of excessively high levels of testosterone and vitamin B12. And that supplementation could not cause these extreme levels. This is my concern.



Welcome back to

Your research is correct but that applies only when the exogenous sources are removed, here is why.

Let us take one lab at a time:

If you are consuming Vitamin B12 on a daily basis it is supposed to show up on your blood work. Other causes for elevated B12 (it is borderline elevated, normal is < 1000) is myeloproliferative disorders like bone marrow issues or multiple myeloma, for that one will have other abnormalities like low blood cells, abnormal kidney function test, or elevated proteins. Do you have any of those?

Similarly, if you are consuming Testosterone it will appear as well. Others could be tumors from the adrenal gland, very less likely ovary and in a male testicular mass. If you see there is a pattern to your blood work, the exogenous testosterone (elevation) is causing suppression of the DHEA (adrenal androgen) therefore I am a little satisfied here that this is less likely to be a tumor producing it.

DHEA-S is a hormone secreted by adrenals and ovaries. Yours is suppressed either by exogenous or endogenous causes. It is hard to say unless the source has been removed (oral testosterone) but seems most likely to be exogenous.

Now coming to Vitamin D, how long have you been taking vitamin D and how much? This is a very high level. I would highly recommend discontinuing all Vitamin D containing products immediately, otherwise, you would have severe toxicity. There is no antidote required. The body compensates unless your calcium is high or you have signs of hypercalcemia i.e elevated calcium (like excessive thirst, panic attacks, abdominal pain). Do you know what was your calcium and albumin when was it done?

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am still not sure though as to why you are taking so many hormones, which medical condition is your doctor treating?

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