Do you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency?

 15 Feb 2021

According to the HSE, a deficiency is more common in older people

Vitamin B12 is one of the most common deficiency most of us are facing these days. Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia happens when you have a shortage of the relevant vitamin. A deficiency in this vitamin can cause a wide range of problems, such as:

  • extreme tiredness
  • a lack of energy
  • pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • a sore and red tongue
  • mouth ulcers
  • muscle weakness
  • disturbed vision
  • psychological problems, including depression and confusion
  • problems with memory, understanding and judgement

The VIP Vitamin is needed for:

  • Proper nerve function (if your nerves are shot lately then you need to dose up)
  • Helps produce DNA
  • Works with Vitamin C & Iron to get energy from food
  • Helps make red blood cells which are used to transport oxygen and energy all around the body
  • Excess B12 can be stored in the Liver

According to the HSE, a deficiency is more common in older people. It affects around 1 in 10 people aged 75 or over, and 1 in 20 people aged 65 to 74.

The solution?

  • Animal based foods are the best sources of B12
  • Lean cuts of red meat, white meats, fish ,eggs, milk, fortified cereals and fortified nutritional yeast.
  • There are plant sources of B12 but to date most research concludes that theses sources of B12 cannot be easily absorbed by the body.

Vegetarians and Vegans can show deficiency in B12 where food intake is not balanced but with proper meal planning and supplementation B12 levels can be kept in check and at normal levels.

It is important to see your GP if you think you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency. You can usually be diagnosed by a blood test.