Vitamin B12: what is it good for and what are the consequences of deficiency?


Our body is a complicated organism and needs a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to stay healthy. Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for your body. Sometimes you may not get enough of it and then you may develop symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss vitamin B12, what it is needed for and how to solve a deficiency.

The usefulness of vitamin B12

Do you tire easily, see pale and sometimes feel dizzy when you stand up quickly? You may be suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is essential for your body. He plays a role in a wide range of processes.

  • Contributes to the formation of red blood cells
  • Supports a functioning immune system
  • Contributes to cell renewal
  • Plays a role in maintaining your energy levels
  • Supports the state of mind
  • Is important for a properly functioning nervous system
  • Supports memory

As you can see, vitamin B12 is involved in processes throughout the body, from transporting oxygen in the blood to a functioning memory. Therefore, it is also very important that you get enough of it. But what exactly is vitamin B12 and what is it in? You can read about that below.

What is cobolamine and what is it in?

Vitamin B12 belongs to the B vitamin family that is soluble in water. It is also called cobalamin. This is because the core of the vitamin contains a metal, cobalt. In food, you can find three different forms of B12: adenosyl-, hydroxy- and methylcobalamin. Only methyl and adenosylcobalamin are biologically active forms.

When you get this vitamin through food, much of it is stored in the liver. As a result, you always have a nice supply in your body that can be used when needed. This stock is usually enough for three to 10 years. If you ingest more than you need, it is excreted through urine or bile. To absorb the vitamin, a specific protein is also required: the Intrinsic Factor. If you ingest it, your body does not absorb all of it, only 40 to 50%.

It’s good to know what vitamin B12 is in. In fact, these are almost exclusively animal products, but also some vegetable ones, such as algae and mushrooms. Unfortunately, vegetables and fruits do not contain this vitamin. This is also the reason vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be deficient in cobalamin because they do not ingest animal products. Products that contain a lot of this vitamin include meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Meats that are high in B12 include liver, steak, mussels and chicken. Cheeses such as 48+ cheese and mozzarella are also good for a good dose of B12.

Deficiency of vitamin B12

A vitamin B12 deficiency usually doesn’t just happen. Through diet, you usually get enough here in the Netherlands. The Health Council has set the RDA at 2.8 mcg per day. An upper limit is not set, so if you take more, there are probably not many risks here. But a deficiency can affect your health.

Wondering if you are deficient in cobalamin? With a deficiency, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Pale skin
  • Getting cold quickly
  • Dizziness
  • Itch
  • Muscle cramps
  • Restless legs
  • Headache
  • Joint Pain
  • Tingling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue on exertion
  • Nausea

There are several reasons why you may be deficient in vitamin B12. First, vegans are at higher risk. They do not eat animal products and from plant sources your body absorbs this vitamin more difficult. So it is always good to monitor your intake. It may also be that your body is less able to absorb cobalamin itself. This may be due to use of certain medications, parasites in the intestines (Giardia, for example) or because of malabsorbtion of protein-bound B12, for example.

Using supplements

Do you suffer from one or more of the above symptoms and worry if you are vitamin B12 deficient? You can always get a blood test done. But given that taking a B12 supplement is very safe, you can also just take extra of this vitamin for a while and see if you start to feel better. A supplement can help restore your energy levels, support your resistance and contribute to a better mood.

In our webshop you will find Together’s vitamin B12 supplement. This comes entirely from organic mushrooms, namely Shiitake and Oyster Mushroom. These contain all three natural forms of B12 and these are well absorbed by the body. Since this supplement is plant-based, it can therefore also be used by vegans. With a dosage of 20 mcg of B12 per capsule, you are supplying your body with enough of this vitamin to get you back in your good graces. Are you looking for another vitamin? Together offers a wide range of naturally based vegan vitamins and minerals.

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