What is vitamin B12 and why is it so important? Vitamin B12, or Cobalamin, is one of the eight B vitamins and is water-soluble. B12 is needed to ensure the proper functioning and health of your nerve tissue, brain function, and red blood cells – so it is pretty important really to say the least!
If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin B12 in your diet, then things can start to go a little wrong and you will soon be aware of the consequences. Want to find out what these are so you can get all the vitamin B12 your body needs? If so, read on…

Red blood cells in your body cannot multiply properly without enough Vitamin B12 and the result of this is anemia. The most common symptoms of anemia are fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath and pale/ yellow skin.
Every cell in your body needs vitamin B12 for its metabolism. Vitamin B12 also helps your body to absorb folic acid, which facilitates the release of energy. It also helps to regulate and synthesize DNA.

Depression & memory problems
Low levels of Vitamin B12 have also been linked to depression and memory problems in certain individuals. Vitamin B12 plays an active role in the production of certain brain chemicals and hormones, which have a direct effect on moods. Studies have been conducted which have discovered those with depression also had Vitamin B12 deficiencies so taking B12 is extremely important for your mental health as well as your physical health.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be a result of other things…
It isn’t always your fault, you may well be getting enough B12 rich foods into your diet but there are other things affecting it’s absorption. Other things, which may lead to Vitamin B12 deficiencies, include stomach ulcers, digestive issues such as Crohn’s disease, and certain medications. If you have any of these issues it is always best to consult your doctor to see how you can rectify it.

Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin B12 from your diet
If you have read any of the above consequences and felt as though this may be you, then you can do something about it today. What is your diet like? Are you eating enough of the right foods? The below list contains foods which are highest in Vitamin B12:

• Shellfish
• Soy products
• Fortified cereals
• Meats, eggs & dairy
• Whey protein powder
• Yeast extract spreads

Since your body doesn’t actually make it’s own source of vitamin B12, you’ll need to obtain it from animal-based foods or from supplements especially if you are vegetarian or vegan.
If you are concerned you may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency then blood tests and examination of your blood cells under the microscope by your doctor can assess haemoglobin levels, the size of red blood cells and the level of vitamin B12 in your blood.
Vitamin B12 also needs to be consumed on a regular basis so you can avoid the cons

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Betsy Smith

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