Are you lacking in B12? 

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and megaloblastic anemia (a fancy name for large, immature red blood cells). Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include problems with balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue as well as damage to the nervous system. 

There are certain groups that may not get enough vitamin B12 or have trouble absorbing it:

  • Many older adults, who do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin B12 naturally present in food. People over 50 should get most of their vitamin B12 from fortified foods or dietary supplements because, in most cases, their bodies can absorb vitamin B12 from these sources.
  • People with pernicious anemia whose bodies do not make the intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12. 
  • People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, or who have digestive disorders, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. These conditions can decrease the amount of vitamin B12 that the body can absorb.
  • People who eat little or no animal foods such as vegetarians and vegans. Only animal foods have vitamin B12 naturally. 

Speak to your naturopath or health care professional before supplementing. Also note, that if your B12 blood test looks normal, that still doesn’t mean your body is utilising it effectively and often it requires further investigation.

Eggs are a great source of complete protein and B vitamins, especially B2 and B12. Two large eggs (100 grams) supply about 46% of the daily requirement for vitamin B12 😉

the GHE team

Click here to find out more with a Vitamin B12 Factsheet.