Vitamin B12 is a health powerhouse.
You could be following the healthiest lifestyle possible, but if you are feeling constantly exhausted, there is a good chance you’re deficient in this crucial nutrient.
Up to 15% of people don't get enough B12, and the signs of deficiency include exhaustion, rapid heartbeat, brain fog, and other symptoms.
Vitamin B12 helps make DNA, nerve and blood cells and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. Your metabolism wouldn't run smoothly without it.
Vitamin B12 is also essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because of it’s a major role in cell reproduction. It reduces skin redness, dryness, inflammation and acne blemishes — and can be applied to the skin for psoriasis and eczema. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails to become stronger.
This is why Vitamin B12 is one of 27 powerful ingredients in Integrative Beauty’s oral supplement SkInfusion™ - designed to deliver essential nutrition to optimise the function and support repair of your skin.
Unlike other vitamins, B12 is largely found in animal products like eggs, meat, shellfish, and dairy.
So what happens if you’re vegetarian, or vegan?
If your diet largely consists of plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, beans, and soy, you're at risk of deficiency.
Vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy should aim to include at least one source a day from these food groups.
Vegans - who consume no animal products - need to take a supplement or look for Vitamin B12-fortified foods like breakfast cereal and grains. Some non-dairy milk and meat substitutes are also fortified with Vitamin B12, but it’s important to check the label first to make sure.
B12 is more poorly absorbed as the body ages, typically starting around 50 because that's when stomach acid levels deplete.
Any time after 40 and before turning 50 is a good time to start getting B12 from a supplement or multivitamin.
Aim for 2.4 mg per day (the current recommended dietary allowance), though there's no need to worry about taking too much, because it's a water-soluble vitamin, so you pee out what you don't need.
B12 hasn't nicknamed the energy vitamin for anything. Not getting enough means a lack of red blood cell production, and some of the earliest signs of a deficiency include feeling drugged, confused, and weak.
Not all symptom are experienced in the same way, and since these can be attributed to other health problems, most people don't think to be tested.
But if you experience anything like this, including dizziness, impaired thinking, and confusion, it’s best to consult your doctor and ask to be checked for B12 deficiency, along with anything else which might be relevant.
And if you’re deficient, consider a supplement to make sure you don’t miss out on one of the most essential nutrients your body needs.