Here's why you might need more Vitamin B12 as we head into autumn and winter

Virgin Radio

6 Sep 2022, 15:07

a close-up of a vitamin bottle and tablets

Credit: Getty

As the days are getting shorter again (sorry!) you might need to start dosing up on Vitamin B12.

It's a good way to boost immunity in the coming months before cold and flu season starts.

Your body uses Vitamin B12 to keep our blood and nerve cells healthy.

Richard Mortimer is the supplement expert at Nutrimuscle, and explains: "It plays an essential role in creating red blood cells, which can help support the transportation of iron and oxygen around the body."

He say it can also "help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in the body.

It also boosts energy and improves your skin - which we all definitely want in grey winter months. 

"It may also improve mood and support bone health. As we age, bone density can decline, resulting in weak and brittle bones," he explains. 

"Vitamin B12 can help to support bone mineral density and prevent this decline from happening."

So how much should we be having?

Adults between 19 and 64 need around 1.5 micrograms of B12 a day.

However, most people can get this through their diet.

You should add the following to your plate to make sure you're getting the right nutrients, says Richard: "Foods rich in Vitamin B12 include eggs, yoghurt, salmon, beef, shellfish, and fortified cereal."

If you're veggie or vegan, he advises: "vegetarians or those following a plant-based diet may experience symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and may wish to consider taking supplements," as most sources of B12 are animal based.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anaemia,

Some of the symptoms of deficiency:

  • a pale yellow tinge to your skin

  • a sore and red tongue (glossitis)

  • mouth ulcers

  • pins and needles (paraesthesia)

  • changes in the way that you walk and move around

  • disturbed vision

  • irritability

  • depression

  • changes in the way you think, feel and behave

  • a decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement (dementia)

Symptoms of anaemia include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • lack of energy (lethargy)

  • breathlessness

  • feeling faint

  • headaches

  • pale skin

  • noticeable heartbeats (palpitations)

  • hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)

  • loss of appetite and weight loss