"Vitamin B12 is crucial for the proper functioning of the nerves, the immune system, and also most importantly the energy release from food and the production of red blood cells. Normal red blood cells are important for effective oxygen transportation around the body, making it vital in sustaining energy levels throughout the day.”
“B12 is also beneficial for our heart health, as it is essential in making sure we have a healthy cardiovascular system. B12 contributes specifically to normal homocysteine metabolism which is important factor in our heart health.”
Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist from SuperfoodUK.com explains, the effects of not having enough Vitamin B12 in your diet, “long-term vitamin B12 deficiency often results in a type of anaemia, as fewer red blood cells are produced. This means that there is a reduced level of oxygen circulating around the body, causing symptoms such as tiredness, weakness, breathlessness and palpitations. Other symptoms of long-term deficiency may include numbness and tingling of the arms and legs, and concentration or memory problems – even dementia. A sore or swollen tongue (glossitis) may be another symptom.”
“B12 deficiency may be caused by lack of this vitamin in our food. This sometimes occurs in vegetarians – and more often, vegans – as meats and other animal products are among the richest sources of B12 in our diet. Other causes include a lack of (or impairment of) a substance called “intrinsic factor” that is produced in the stomach and binds with B12 for it to be absorbed. This can be due to an autoimmune condition, stomach ulcers or inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis). Elderly people are more commonly deficient in B12 than the general population, perhaps due to deterioration of their digestive function.”
Vitamin B12 can be found in wholegrains, so it’s important that you opt for wholegrain bread, rice and pastas if you feel you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet.
If you still feel you’re lacking it is worth taking a supplement such as Nature’s Plus Source of Life Vitamin B12 Organic, which is not only suitable for vegans but is also certified organic and gluten free.
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