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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is an essential nutrient needed by our body to produce red blood cells and to keep our nervous system healthy. It is acquired from animal-based foods such as liver, beef, pork and fish, as well as through dairy products like cheese and milk. Not enough Vitamin B12 in our diet can cause anaemia.

Red blood cells are made in bone marrow. Their function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to our organs and muscles. When the oxygen is used they transport carbon waste back to the lungs and exchange it for more oxygen as part of the breathing process. If our diet lacks sufficient Vitamin B12, fewer red blood cells are produced and of those that are made their capacity to carry oxygen is reduced, leading to anaemia. Anaemia symptoms include breathlessness, abnormal tiredness, lethargy, and nerve inflammation. They are commonly accompanied by a reduced sense of taste and headaches too.

Strict vegans are most at risk from developing a Vitamin B12 deficiency that leads to anaemia. However, people who consume the right proportion of foods containing VitaminB12 in them can still suffer from anaemia. This happens when the stomach becomes inefficient at absorbing Vitamin B12 from the diet.

Treatments for Vitamin B12 deficiency include Vitamin B12 injections from a doctor or self-administer Vitamin B12 supplements. For more information on Vitamin B12 please use the resources on our site.


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