Do you experience low energy, irritability, mood imbalance, feeling sluggish (especially in the afternoon), forgetfulness, lightheadedness or brain fog?
If so, your body may be low in vitamin B12 levels. Your body requires B12 to keep your nerves and cells healthy. Unfortunately, B12 cannot be made by our bodies alone and need to come from the foods you eat.
B12 is naturally found in red meat and fish, where it’s found in abundance. For this reason, it’s often recommended that vegetarians or vegans take B12 supplements to meet daily requirements.
In addition, B12 deficiency, also known as cobalamin deficiency, is as much associated with bad absorption, as it is with low intake of the vitamin itself.
Make sure you read to the end to learn how you can boost your levels of vitamin B12 effectively – even if you are vegan.
Why vitamin B12 is important
The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves and DNA. Vitamin B12 regulates hormone production and supports a healthy immune system. It’s also important for the functioning of the digestive, circulatory and reproductive systems.
Vitamin B12 is needed to convert carbohydrates into fuel that the body can use, and metabolize fats and proteins. Getting enough B12 can help you feel more energetic and have a better overall sense of well-being.
The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms a day. B12 is found naturally in many common foods, including organ meats, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.
And therein lies the problem. Some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others can’t absorb enough, no matter how much they take in.
As a result, B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people. Getting enough vitamin B12 daily, and absorbing it properly, has been shown to:
- help maintain energy levels
- support better mood
- support healthy heart function
- support healthy thick hair and clear skin
- aid in digestion by fostering a healthy environment for gut-friendly bacteria
- boost the ability to clearly think, learn, and remember
Vitamin B12 Deficiency symptoms can manifest in the following ways: