Common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency

Why is vitamin B12 important?

Vitamin B12 is part of the vitamin B group. Unfortunately like most of the vitamins it is not made or stored by your body so it needs to be delivered by the way of foods and supplements. It is important for your body because it helps to produce red blood cells, nerves, DNA and carry out other functions. Every minute, the human body produces millions of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can contribute to this process. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to both physical and psychological problems. If you want to feel at your best you should try to provide your body with vitamin B12.

Facts about Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect between 1.5 and 15 percent of people. As vitamin B12 cannot be stored by your body it needs to be delivered on a daily basis. Adults (aged 19 – 64) need around 1.5 microgram (mcg) per day.* Vitamin B12 dissolves in water when travelling through the blood stream.

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products like: fish, meat, eggs and dairy products.

Foods that are great sources of vitamin B12 include:

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Red meat: beef, pork, lamb

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Fish: mackerel, salmon, tuna

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Dairy: milk, cheese, yogurt

Daily consumption of these products can ensure that your body gets enough vitamin B12 for its needs. This can cause problems for vegetarians and vegans because they do not consume animal products but also because vitamin B12 does not normally occur in plant foods. However, there are some vegetarian and vegan sources of vitamin B12. These include: fortified cereals, plant milks, bread and nutritional yeast. Berocca® contains B vitamins, including B12. As mentioned above, B vitamins are water-soluble so they’re harder for your body to store.

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Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common, however it can take a long time to notice the signs and recognize them. The symptoms can take years to show themselves and diagnosis can be complex. It is caused by the fact that similar symptoms can be observed in other health conditions or nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms may include:

1. Fatigue and tiredness. Without enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body the person can feel extremely tired. To feel more energized for tasks and challenges of everyday life, make sure you get enough vitamin B12.

2. Fast heart rate. There are not enough red blood cells so the heart needs to beat faster to make sure that the oxygen will get to all parts of the body.

Quote – Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect between 1.5 and 15 percent of people

3. Breathlessness and dizziness. The vitamin B12 deficiency can cause people to feel short of breath and dizzy especially if they have undertaken any physical effort. This symptom can be linked to lack of red blood cells and fast heartbeat. If you enjoy your workout but you are left often out of breath, check if you met your daily vitamin B12 minimum intake.

4. Problems with thinking, reasoning, changes in a way you feel and behave. This is due to not enough oxygen reaching the brain.

5. Decrease in appetite and weight loss. This symptom is linked with other symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, which are the result of digestive problems.

6. Mouth ulcers and mouth pain. The reduction of red blood cells results in less oxygen reaching the mouth and tongue.

7. Pale or yellow skin (jaundice). Again, the skin can look pale because there are not enough red blood cells to carry blood. Has someone mentioned to you recently that you look anemic? Maybe it is time to check that you eat enough foods rich in vitamin B12.

8. Pins and needles. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in a nervous system. Without it the nerves can get damaged which can cause tingling of hands and feet.

Most people get enough vitamin B12 through a healthy and balanced diet. However, for people who have problems with vitamin B12 absorption, supplements in the form of tablets or injections are recommended. Berocca® Performance contains a rich formula of vitamins from group B (10µg of Vitamin B12)which can easily supplement what your body is lacking.

*Data from:

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