Vitamin B12 plays two key roles in the body: it helps keep the nerves and blood cells of the body healthy and helps make DNA; the genetic material in all cells. It is no wonder that having low levels of vitamin B12 can cause the body to malfunction. The symptoms of which can manifest themselves in numerous areas of the body.
Am I at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency?
There are two main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency: diet and pernicious anemia.
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition that prevents the body from producing intrinsic factor, a protein produced by the stomach and needed to absorb vitamin B12 in the gut.
According to the NHS, pernicious anemia is the leading cause of vitamin B1
Those who follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet are also at increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
There are two types of vitamin B12 injections:
“If your vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by a lack of the vitamin in your diet, you may be prescribed vitamin B12 tablets to take daily away from meals,” explains the NHS.
As the health care body explains, people who have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 in their diet, such as those following a vegan diet, may need vitamin B12 tablets throughout their lives.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or are looking for alternatives to meat and dairy, there are some sources of vitamin B12.
Yeast extract (including marmite), as well as some fortified breakfast cereals and soy products, explains the NHS.