With an increase in people turning to a vegan or vegetarian diets, this is a diet generally higher in fibre and lower in cholesterol, but with some nutrients they are just harder to get enough of, these include Vitamin B12.
Most Adults need around 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 a day.
It is the largest, most structurally complicated Vitamin, B12 is naturally found in animal foods and some fortified foods.
Vit B12 is naturally found in meat, fish and dairy products.
Meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans can all suffer from a B12 deficiency, which can be resolved with a B12 booster injection or a course of regular shots.
The best source of Vitamin B12 are beef livers and clams but can also be found in…
Dairy products – yoghurt, cheese, soy, almonds, rice, whole milk, eggs, fish (sardines, trout, salmon and clams)
Meat products – beef, liver and kidneys, also chicken.
Some products have added fortified Vit B12 added to them, including breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts.
Do you know if you have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Sometimes symptoms can take years to show up as a deficiency, these symptoms include
*Lack of energy
*Extreme fatigue or tiredness
*Pale or slightly yellow tinge to skin tone
*Pin and needles (paraesthesia)
*Shortness of breath and dizziness
*Sore and or red tongue
*Changes in mobility
*Memory loss and understanding problems
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily avoided, many people are becoming new to a vegan or vegetarian diet and are unaware of the need to combine sources of plant proteins. They are not aware of the need to ensure they have adequate levels of B12 and so far, the evidence suggests that people who are vegan are less likely to be overweight, and at less risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
But they appear to have a higher risk of bone fractures and a recent study suggested an increase risk of haemorrhagic stroke.
Whether you are vegan or not, nutritional planning is essential for everyone.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vit B12 is a water soluble Vitamin which has many essential functions for the body*Keep nerves and cells healthy
*Supporting production of DNA
*Supporting healthy red blood cells
*Maintaining normal brain functions
It’s absorbed in the stomach with the help of a protein called intrinsic factor.
You can’t ‘overdose’ on b12, your body will store any excess in the liver or excrete into your urine.
Your body can store B12 in the liver for up to 4 years, which is why it can take years to know you have a deficiency within your diet and that your stores are depleted.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
*Plays a crucial role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system
*Contributes to the formation of red blood cells, which allows oxygen to be transported throughout the body efficiently
*Enables the release of energy by helping the body to absorb Folic Acid
*Reduces fatigue and improves energy levels
*Improves brain concentration
*Helps with creation and regulation of DNA
*Supports healthy skin, nails and hair
*Prevents osteoporosis and supports bone health
*Reduces the risk of macular degeneration and promotes vision health
*Decrease serotonin production and improves mood
*Helps to regulate sleep patterns
*May help to prevent memory loss
*Can help with weight loss and improvement of metabolism
*Boost for the immune system
*Improves heart health
How much is needed of Vitamin B12?
The average daily recommended amounts for most adults depending on age is 2.4 micrograms
Single booster injection with a consultation is £40
Regular booster injection with a monthly subscription is £30 and a booster injection every 4 weeks.