What is it?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin.
What does it do?
- Helps the body to carry oxygen around the body as it is involved in the production of red blood cells.
- Critical for nerve function as it makes the material which insulates nerves, called the myelin sheath.
- Involved in the metabolism of protein.
- Essential for the production of genetic material i.e. DNA.
- Poor hair condition
- Tiredness, irritability, tension, lack of energy
- Pale skin
- Severe deficiency causes anaemia but this is usually as a result of poor absorption rather than low dietary intake.
Recommended Daily Amount (RDA)
B vitamins tend to function best when in combination with the other B vitamins, rather than in isolation, it is usually recommended that it B12 is supplemented as part of a B complex with folic acid.
Therapeutic amounts are generally considered to be slightly higher than RDAs.
Almost exclusively in animal foods, especially organ meats, e.g. liver and kidney, eggs, cheese, milk, which is why vegans are recommended to take supplements. The only vegetable source is Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae or Klamath blue green algae.
No significant side effects or toxicity known.