ABCs of Good Health

Why You Need Vitamin B12

Why You Need Vitamin B12

Of all the B vitamins, B12 is arguably the most hard working, and the most important. Its effects range from boosting your energy levels, to regulating the production of DNA and building healthy red blood cells.

Vitamin B12 helps vitamin B9 to make red blood cells, which in turn helps your body to absorb iron. With red blood cells and iron comes energy and oxygen. You can also thank B12 for your healthy metabolism. If it concerns energy production inside your body, vitamin B12 is likely to be involved.

With it being a water-soluble vitamin, it is essential that you consume B12 daily to avoid becoming anaemic. Often, people with certain types of anaemia are deficient in B12.

How would I know if I was anaemic?

If you suspect that you might be anaemic, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, so that the right course of action can be taken. Signs of anaemia:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • lack of energy (lethargy)
  • breathlessness
  • feeling faint
  • headaches
  • pale skin
  • noticeable heartbeats (palpitations)
  • hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)

It’s worth noting, if you’re diabetic and taking metaformin you’re most probably deficient in B12. If you’re worried, see a doctor.

What is vitamin B12 used for?

  • Red blood cell production
  • Iron absorption
  • Energy regulation
  • DNA production
  • Prevention of anaemia
  • Brain function
  • Reducing tiredness and fatigue

Who is susceptible to a B12 deficiency?

  • You’re diabetic
  • You have had bariatric surgery
  • You are over the age of 50
  • You are Celiac or have Crohn’s
  • If you are vegetarian or vegan 

In the human diet, vitamin B12 is primarily supplied by animal products, since plant foods lack it. It is therefore heavily advised that both vegan and vegetarians consume Vitamin B12 supplements to make sure they get their advised levels daily (2 mcg).

Additionally, if you are a woman of reproductive age, folic acid which is also a member of the Vitamin B family is highly recommended by the Department of Health to support the healthy development of the foetus and prevent the risk of neural tube defects.

When and how much should I take?

We recommend one tablet per day. Best taken with food.



Amanda Ashman

Amanda Ashman

Writer and expert


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