Vitamin B12 can only be sourced from the diet (mainly animal-based) and a substance called intrinsic factor is necessary for its absorption.
Common sources of Vitamin B12 are red meat, poultry, eggs and milk products. Unfortunately, many people who do not have meat or dairy within their diet can suffer from a deficiency of Vitamin B12.
Those at risk of a deficiency are vegetarians, vegans, pregnant and breast-feeding women, those with autoimmune disorders and gastrointestinal diseases.
People who are unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly may have pernicious anemia, which is a type of anemia characterised by a lack of intrinsic factor.
Vitamin B12 injections contain high levels of a synthetic form of the vitamin, cyanocobalamin. An injection can quickly boost the Vitamin B12 levels in someone who may be deficient.
Symptoms of low or deficient B12 levels include:
- Depleted energy levels
- Poor memory or ‘foggy brain’
- Mouth Ulcers
- Pale skin and lips