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The big deal with Vitamin B12

B12

 

I get asked a lot about my Vitamin B12 and it can be a source of concern for people on a plant based diet so I thought you might like to know a bit more about this essential nutrient and the consequences of deficiencies in B12.

Deficiency in B12 is often unrecognised and difficult to trace but this common disorder affects a significant proportion of the population. The body stores B12, which means that it can take months, even years for a deficiency to develop. Some of the signs of a lack of B12 are tingling sensations in the fingers and toes, anaemia, poor concentration, dizziness, memory loss and trouble recalling things and it could be the reason you’re so tired and stressed. This condition is easily treated but it is often left very late to be treated despite being symptomatic. You may not have been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency but if you are struggling with these types of symptoms you could be suffering from it.

Vitamin B12 supports the brain, nerve cells, and myelin sheaths that protect nerves. If B12 deficiency is not found in time, it can cause permanent nerve damage and disability. Without effective B12 supplies, our neurological system is compromised. It is vital to multiple metabolic functions including enzyme production, DNA synthesis, and maintaining healthy cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. It supports psychological function, and can improve memory loss, poor concentration, and negative moods. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells, by increasing haemoglobin (iron) levels in the blood, ensuring adequate oxygen is available for transport throughout the body, allowing our cells to produce energy. Many cases of anaemia are misdiagnosed as iron deficiency, however a B12 deficiency is often a primary cause of anaemia.

People often believe that meat eaters are not deficient in B12 this is a misunderstanding as there are many meat eaters who are lacking in this nutrient. Many people believe that B12 only comes from animal flesh and animal secretions (such as cow’s milk & chicken egg)  when in fact it is solely bacteria-based. B12 is synthesized by bacteria and is therefore found in areas of bacterial growth, namely dirt and soil. Humans have been getting their B12 from the dirt for hundreds of thousands of years by eating plants that still had bits of soil on them. Today, however, we wash our fruits and veggies so well (and understandably so) that we no longer consume dirt or proper levels of B12.  Adding to that is how our soils are now depleted due to over farming and pesticides so they no longer hold high levels of B12 in a lot of cases. Animals get B12 from the soil when they graze, as most animals (raised for meat) spend their lives indoors and because pesticides kill B12 producing bacteria, farmers supplement the feed with B12. Infact, up to 90% of the worlds B12 supplements are consumed by farm animals. So rather than process your B12 through an animal it makes sense to consume a supplement directly instead. B12 is easily produced through bacterial fermentation and can be safely made into a daily supplement.

 

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I take Life Give B12 because they have refined the amount of B12 per serving to be the exact amount that the body can utilise and store in a single serving. Whilst the body stores B12, most supplements are excreted because they come in such high quantities and in a synthetic form. Its important to take B12 in a wholefood state, natural form. This product is sourced from a soil-based yeast called Saccharomyces Cerevisae, with added L-leucine - an amino acid that supports bio-availability and synthesis of B12 in the body.

While taking B12 won't cure every ill, don’t ignore the warning signs as the long-term consequences of allowing B12 deficiency to take over could be disastrous. I hope this will help you take steps to improve your intake of this essential nutrient, it may just be exactly what you need.

If you need more advice on this call me on 01-8452957