Recently, I have been researching a lot about Vitamin B12 and the importance of it. It appears, amongst my reading that B12 deficiencies are a silent epidemic with some serious consequences. Personally, I haven’t been feeling great myself, very tired and run down, so this is how I have come to our next blog. I hope I can provide you with a simple easy to read article on B12 and why our bodies can’t live without it.
What is B12 and why do we need it?
B12 plays a crucial role in our bodies to help keep red blood cells, nerves, our digestive system and our brains healthy. B12 also called Cobalamin, is often referred to as the ‘energy vitamin’ primarily due to converting food into glucose, which gives you energy. Not only this, B12 provides clarity of mind and memory, enhanced sleep, elevates mood, supports the immune system, promotes physical stamina and aides in weight management. B12 is the largest and most complex chemical structure of all the vitamins and is only found in animal products such as meat, seafood, dairy, poultry, and eggs.
Diagnosing Vitamin B12 deficiency:
Diagnosis of B12 deficiency isn’t always easy, even with blood tests, so it’s important that you consult your doctor if you suspect you may be deficient in this important nutrient. B12 is the only vitamin that is not recognised as being available from a plant based diet and with this in mind, B12 deficiencies can potentially develop among strict vegetarians and vegans. As we get older, our ability to digest B12 can also decline, often due to some medications that inhibit the absorption.
B12 Deficiency Symptoms:
Unfortunately, a B12 deficiency can go undetected for a very long period of time. There can be mild or more serious signs of a B12 deficiency, fatigue can be the first sign of a B12 deficiency. A more serious symptom, known as Anaemia, can eventually develop when there isn’t enough B12 in the body for a long period of time. Symptoms can include:
- Feeling very tired (Fatigue)
- Affect the nervous system
- Breathlessness, even after a little exercise
- Heart palpitations
- Reduced appetite
- A sore mouth and tongue
- Muscle weakness
- Poor memory
- Sudden mood swings
Treating B12 Deficiency and Prevention:
As mentioned, B12 is only present in animal products when consumed through diet. But thankfully, there are some simple ways to treat a B12 deficiency and prevent a deficiency from occurring in the first place, by consuming:
- Fortified cereals with added B12
- Vitamin B12 supplement (capsules & sublingual)
- Vitamin B12 Shots (Prescribed by a GP)
- Consuming foods high in B12 (Animal Products)
Live and Love Life:
I understand that it is not easy to eat well everyday, in fact, it can be quite challenging with our busy lifestyles, however Vitamin B12 is very important for the proper function of the human body and without it, can lead to some serious health concerns. There is nothing better than living a healthy fulfilling life and making a small change today and make a huge difference tomorrow!