Feeling tired all the time? Memory not what it used to be? Struggling to complete physical tasks that you used to normally take in your stride? All these are common complaints that can result from a myriad of different medical problems… but there is often just one cause that links them all – Vitamin B12 deficiency.
We get B12 from animal products such as meat, fish, milk and eggs. It is one of the water-soluble B vitamins which is bound to protein within food. However, you may be struggling to get enough through a healthy diet as it is notoriously hard to absorb through the gut.
What does vitamin B12 do?
Vitamin B12 helps the body’s ability to reduce the onset of fatigue and increase concentration levels by contributing to a normal energy metabolism.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the development and normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, particularly those aspects which determine concentration, learning, memory and reasoning.
Sources of vitamin B12
We get B12 from animal products such as:
- Red meat
- It can also be found in fortified foods
However, you may be struggling to get enough through a healthy diet as it is notoriously hard to absorb through the gut due to its large molecular size.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
B12 is a notoriously difficult nutrient to absorb in the gut. At most only 1% of our dietary intake will be absorbed by the body, and that relies on digestive efficiency and the presence of a chemical called intrinsic factor.
Deficiency can occur at any age and in the past, we have associated deficiency with growing older and our inability to extract the large molecule from our diet. However, more and more children and teenagers are being diagnosed with a deficiency. In extreme cases deficiency (known as pernicious anaemia) can cause severe nerve damage.
Our livers hold large stores of B12 and deficiency tends to develop over many years and because symptoms can easily be mistaken, diagnosis is often missed. Symptoms vary but include one or more of the following: fatigue, vague mental fogging and memory problems, depression, weakness, pins and needles in the hands and feet, and an unsteady walk.
How do I raise my vitamin B12 levels?
A B12 supplement can be the easiest way to raise your B12 levels. As a water-soluble vitamin there is no upper daily limit to how much you can take. However, because of the difficulty in absorbing such a large molecule, tablets and capsules are notoriously difficult for the gut to break down and digest.
A daily B12 oral spray, applied directly onto the inner cheek of the mouth, it avoids over-reliance on our digestive system. Absorption commences immediately. It’s fast, it’s convenient and it tastes great. Click here to see what we recommend.