In the UK, at least 6% of under 60s are thought to be deficient in vitamin B12. There are several different bodily functions that vitamin B12 benefits, including keeping the blood and nerve cells healthy.
It’s important to acknowledge what vitamin B12 is good for and understand why we need it in our diets.
We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about vitamin B12, from the benefits to the sources – including the vitamin B12 supplements you can incorporate into your routine.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, also referred to as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps to keep your cells healthy. It is needed in multiple types of cells in the body, like nerve and red blood cells. It is used for oxygen transportation and for the synthesis of DNA.
What Does Vitamin B12 Do?
Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in the correct creation of red blood cells, which are needed to transport iron and oxygen around the body. It can also contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system, which may help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Why is Vitamin B12 Important?
There are many benefits of B12, including:
1. It May Boost Energy
You may feel tired or fatigued if you have a lack of vitamin B12. Supporting your red blood cells with vitamin B12 can help encourage oxygen flow around the body and maintain energy levels.
2. There is a Link Between Vitamin B12 and Depression Levels
Vitamin B12 is involved in the chemical production of serotonin within the body, meaning that low levels of the vitamin can lead to less serotonin being produced.
As serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, it is plausible to link a lack of vitamin B12 to a decreased mood.
In fact, a study found a potential association between depressive levels and low levels of vitamin B12 and folate. However, it is important to note that depression is complex and its connection with vitamin B12 intake – although researched – isn’t conclusive, and this may only be beneficial for those with an existing deficiency.
3. It May Support Your Bone Health
As we age, our bone density can decline, resulting in weak and brittle bones. However, vitamin B12 may be able to help support bone mineral density.
Where Can I Find B12?
The human body cannot produce vitamin B12 on its own. Although excess vitamin B12 is stored in the liver, this is not sufficient for a lifetime. You need to ensure you are getting enough of this essential vitamin.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B12
We can maintain sufficient levels of vitamin B12 through our diet alone. However, as it is mostly found in animal products, vegetarians or vegans can experience symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and may wish to consider taking supplements.
- Fortified Cereal
Less than 200g salmon will help you to reach your daily requirement of the vitamin.
What Happens When You Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause your red blood cells to become enlarged so they are unable to transport oxygen and haemoglobin around the body as efficiently.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Feeling faint
- Mouth ulcers
- Muscle weakness
These symptoms can often be controlled when the RDA (1.5 micrograms) of vitamin B12 is taken. You can support your intake of the nutrient with supplementation if you are unable to meet the requirements through your diet.
The Best Vitamin B12 Supplements
There are a range of health benefits of vitamin B12 supplements that help to support your wellbeing.
At Garden of Life, there are a variety of supplements and multivitamins that contain this essential vitamin. From 100% vegan vitamin B12 sprays, to vitamin B12 capsules – we’ve got something for everyone.
Our mykind Organics Vitamin B12 Spray is available in a delicious raspberry flavour that delivers 500mcg of vitamin B12 per spray. With only the finest whole food ingredients, this super convenient vegan vitamin spray makes taking your supplement super quick and easy.
Alternatively, you can try our Vitamin Code Raw B-12 Capsules. Made with 23 fruits, vegetables and natural food cofactors, these easy-to-swallow capsules work to deliver 1000mcg vitamin B12, to help support and maintain your levels.
Now you have all the details on the health benefits of vitamin B12 and everything you need to make a decision on how to incorporate the essential vitamin into your diet.