By All Bodies Intern Chelsea Blissett
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin commonly thrown around in television advertisements about foods and supplements but what exactly is B12 and why do we need it?
Vitamin B12 plays a very important role in our bodies function. It is required by the body to assist in red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis so to put it simply it is essential for normal bodily function.
Vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal products such as meat fish and poultry contain high levels of B12 as well as eggs and dairy however plant based milks and cereals can be fortified with vitamin B12.
When individuals don’t consume or cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 it can lead to a B12 deficiency which can lead to some very dangerous symptoms such as
Gut discomfort and bowl changes
Impaired bladder control
Weakness or fatigue
Sensation of pins and needles
Who's most at risk?
Vegans or vegetarian
People who have bowel surgery and have had the part that absorbs vitamin b12 removed
- People on drug metformin for diabetes
- Those taking long term antacid drugs for heartburn
A dangerous element about having a vitamin B12 deficiency is it can take years for symptoms to form so it is essential to try and have a diet high in vitamin B12 or take vitamin B12 supplements as the body is able to store excess B12 in the liver for extra use.
If you're concerned that you may not be consuming adequate B12, please reach out to us or contact your GP.