There are so many different things we should be doing to stay healthy. Eating right, exercising, washing our hands, and avoiding everyone else! It can be hard to keep track of it all. So if you’re not immediately aware of the importance of vitamin B12, then don’t worry! Here’s everything you need to know.
Why Is B12 Important?
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient. This means that we can’t make it in our bodies. We need to get all our body needs from our diet.
Our bodies use vitamin B12 to maintain healthy blood cells and nerves. This means it plays a vital role in ensuring we have sufficient energy and in keeping our immune systems in fighting shape.
B12 is essential for producing red blood cells. It makes them the correct shape to carry oxygen around the body. Without properly shaped red blood cells, your energy levels will drop.
Vitamin B12 provides some protection against conditions that arise with age. It is known to be involved in both bone and eye health.
How Do We Get It In Our Diet?
Vitamin B12 is naturally occurring in a wide range of animal products. Excellent sources of vitamin B12 include:
It can also be found in good quantities in:
- Meat and Poultry
- Dairy Products - Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese & Cream
For vegetarians and vegans, it can be a little harder to source vitamin B12. There are no natural plant-based sources. You need to look for foods that have extra nutrients added to them. Fortified cereals are a great example of this. Some dietary yeasts have B12 added. To be sure have a look at the packaging of any foods that say they are fortified.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that our bodies can’t store it for a long time. Basically, it is vital to have B12 in your diet on a regular, ideally daily basis. It is not a vitamin you can take in once a month and then not worry about. It should be a staple of everyone’s diet.
What Happens If We Don’t Get Enough?
Because vitamin B12 is involved with both healthy nerves and blood cells, not getting enough can have a wide variety of effects on the human body. Early symptoms include tiredness, weakness and loss of appetite. It is also associated with a specific type of anaemia.
If vitamin B12 levels remain low for a long time, then nerves begin to get damaged. This damage is progressive, so the longer you have low levels of vitamin B12, the worse the symptoms get. This presents as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
B12 is also involved in producing the chemicals that allow us to regulate our mood. This means then a symptom of B12 deficiency is low mood and depression.
There are wide-ranging effects of B12 deficiency and, as a result, it can be hard to identify. If you have made significant changes to your diet and begin to get some of these symptoms, it can be worth adding a B12 supplement to your diet to see if it helps.
Consider Supplementing With One Nutrition B12
It can be worth considering adding a B12 supplement into your routine as you get older. This is because our stomach acid gets weaker as we age. If the acid in your stomach isn’t able to extract the B12 from the proteins you eat, then you won’t be able to absorb it. This is why as many as 15% of people are B12 deficient. It’s not because they don’t eat foods with B12. It’s because their bodies can’t get enough of it out of the food.
Supplements like One Nutrition B12 offer the body an easy to access source of vitamin B12. So that even if your stomach acid is a little weaker, you will still get all the B12 you need.
B12 is an important supplement for vegetarians and vegans. This is because meats are the only natural sources of B12. If you don’t eat meat, then the only sources of vitamin B12 are fortified foods, like cereals or supplements.
The good thing about adding B12 supplements to your routine is that you don’t need to worry about having too much. B12 is not harmful, and your body is great at regulating the amount you need. This means you can get peace of mind by taking the supplement without the worry of causing harm to your health.