What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 helps you have a normal functioning body. Two of its main functions in the body are it helps make DNA and red blood cells. You can only get Vitamin B12 in the body if you eat it every day, from animal based foods or taking supplements. You need Vitamin B12 as it helps make red blood cells and haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is in red blood cells and is important as it carry’s oxygen around to tissues in the body.
What is the healthy amount of Vitamin B12 to have in a diet?
6 months – 0.4 mcg or ug
7-12 months – 0.5 mcg or ug
1-3 years – 0.9 mcg or ug
4-8 years – 1.2 mcg or ug
9-13 years – 1.8 mcg or ug
14-adulthood – 2.4 mcg or ug
Pregnant – 2.6 mcg or ug
Breastfeeding – 2.8 mcg or ug
When you get to an older age you have a higher risk of getting a Vitamin B12 deficiency, as it is harder for your body to absorb vitamins. Therefore you may have to take supplements.
What food should you eat?
You can only get Vitamin B12 from animal foods and supplements. Animal foods include fish, eggs and meat.
People with a higher chance of getting Vitamin B12 deficiency:
If you have any of the factors listed down below you are more likely to get a Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- A disorder with your immune system e.g. Lupus
- Taking a medication e.g. antibiotics which effects the absorption of Vitamin B12
- Conditions/ illness that effects your small intestine e.g. bacterial growth, celiac disease, a parasite or Crohn’s disease
- Atrophic gastritis – when your stomach lining is thinned
- If you are a vegan or a vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs/ dairy products you are at risk of having a Vitamin B12 deficiency and should take supplements
- The elderly
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Pale skin
- Vision loss
- Weakness, light-headedness, tiredness
- A bright red, smooth tongue
- Mental problems – depression, memory loss, behavioural changes
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Nerve problems- muscle weakness, problems walking, numbness and tingling in muscles
If you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency you are at risk of getting pernicious anaemia, which could cause permanent damage to organs and nerves and increases the risk of getting stomach cancer. Anaemia can happen because if you do not have enough Vitamin B12 there are disruptions of red blood cells and loss of blood.
How do you lose Vitamin B12?
You can loose Vitamin B12 through a range of factors, which include:
- Non-varied diet - the main cause of Vitamin B12 deficiencies is that people don’t have a varied diet.
- Malabsorption – sometimes the body can’t absorb vitamins very effectively. This could be cause by a condition affecting the digestive system e.g. coeliac disease.
- Excessive peeing – this could happen because of underlying health conditions.
- Medicine – some medication makes it harder for Vitamin B12 to be absorbed.
- Pregnancy - you need more Vitamin B12, as you need to have enough for the baby as well.
What benefits do you get from Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 supports bone health and prevent Osteoporosis - bones become more fragile without Vitamin B12 and you are likely to get Osteoporosis.
Reduced risk of losing neurons and benefits the brain - Vitamin B12 is shown to contribute to how good someone’s memory is, meaning that it helps your brain especially if you’re at an older age.
Vitamin B12 helps you have healthily hair, skin and nails - Vitamin B12 helps cell production and low levels of this vitamin can cause nail discolouration, hair changes and hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin B12 helps improve heart health by decreasing homocysteine - if you have a sufficient amount of Vitamin B12 it is shown to decrease homocysteine levels, which may lower the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin B12 reduces the risk of macular degeneration - this is an eye disease that effects central vision. By lowering the amount of homocysteine prevents the risk of age related macular degeneration.
The vitamin helps to prevent birth defects - B12 is needed for a healthily pregnancy, women whose levels of Vitamin B12 are below 150mg were five times as likely to have a baby with a birth defects compared to women with above 400 mg.
Vitamins B12 helps red blood production - having low Vitamin B12 means red blood cells struggle to form properly. The red blood cells become larger with a Vitamin B12 deficiency and then cannot move through the bone marrow into the bloodstream at a certain and appropriate rate. When you don’t have enough red blood cells transporting oxygen around the body you become tired and weak.
ViDrate contains this essential Vitamin B12. In each sachet there is over 100% of your daily recommendation of B12, plenty of Vitamin B12 for everyday activities. By drinking ViDrate you are guaranteeing that you have enough Vitamin B12 in your diet. The great news is that any excess Vitmain B12 that your body can not store, simply is excreted when you go to the toilet! Hence why sometimes, after drinking a B12 product, your urine is a very strong yellow colour!