Vitamin B12 deficiency: What is Vitamin B12? Why it’s important to spot hidden symptoms

Vitamin B12 deficiency: What is Vitamin B12? Why it’s important to spot hidden symptoms

12/08/2019

Vitamin B12 is one of the eight vitamins which has a vital role in keeping our bodies functioning.

It plays a vital role in fighting fatigue and keeping our bodies’ nerve and blood cells healthy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur when the body produces abnormally large red blood cells.

These are responsible for carrying around haemoglobin.

It’s important to be aware of the fact vitamin B12 can’t be made in the body.

And while only a small amount is needed, it is essential and has to be obtained through your diet.

According to Phil, symptoms can include:

• Tiredness

• A sore tongue

• Muscle weakness

• Gastro-intestinal problems such as constipation and diarrhoea

• Issues with the nervous system such as pins and needles, memory problems and confusion

How to get vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 can be found naturally in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy.

That means it can be difficult for vegans and vegetarians to get enough.

However, according to Healthline, B12 can also be found in some varieties of bread and plant-based milk.

Phil recommends B12 supplements for vegans, vegetarians and the elderly.

He said: “B12 from supplements is more easily absorbed than from food sources and can be an ingredient of a multi-vitamin tablet, or it can be prescribed in higher doses for people with a greater need.

“Talk to your pharmacist or GP if you are concerned – deficiency can be confirmed by a simple blood test.”

The NHS recommends adults having at least 1.5mcg or B12 a day.

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