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Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a key nutrient essential for overall health, playing a vital role in red blood cell formation, nervous system function, and DNA synthesis. Since our bodies don’t naturally produce B12, incorporating it through a balanced diet enriched with B12 supplements is crucial.
The National Institutes of Health highlight that maintaining adequate levels of this essential vitamin is important, as B12 deficiency can lead to health issues like anaemia and neurological disorders. Integrating B12 supplements with dietary sources ensures optimal health benefits.
Common Causes of B12 Deficiency
B12 deficiency can stem from various factors, and understanding these is important for both prevention and effective management:
B12 is predominantly found in animal products. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans, who do not consume these sources, are at a higher risk of developing B12 deficiency.
Certain medical conditions, such as pernicious anaemia and gastrointestinal disorders, can impair the body’s ability to absorb B12. The National Institutes of Health notes that these absorption issues are a significant cause of B12 deficiency.
As we age, our ability to absorb B12 from food decreases, often due to a reduction in stomach acid production, which is essential for B12 absorption.
Some medications, especially those used for acid reflux or diabetes, can affect the body’s ability to absorb B12.
Understanding and addressing these causes is crucial for maintaining adequate B12 levels and ensuring overall health and well-being.
Low B12 - Physiological and Psychological Signs
Physical Symptoms to Watch For
Vitamin B12 deficiency can manifest in various physical symptoms, some of which might be easily overlooked. Being aware of these signs is crucial for early detection and treatment. Key physical symptoms to watch for include:
Fatigue and Weakness
Persistent tiredness and a general sense of weakness are common early signs of B12 deficiency.
Pale or Jaundiced Skin
A notable paleness or slight yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes can be a result of the body's inability to produce enough red blood cells due to low B12 levels
Shortness of Breath and Dizziness
These symptoms can occur due to the reduced red blood cell count affecting oxygen transport.
Unusual heart rhythms or palpitations can sometimes be linked to the anaemia caused by B12 deficiency.
In some cases, B12 deficiency can affect the nervous system and lead to vision changes.
Glossitis and Mouth Ulcers
A swollen, inflamed tongue (glossitis) and mouth ulcers are other signs to be aware of.
Changes in Mobility
If left untreated, B12 deficiency can affect the balance and coordination, potentially leading to difficulty in walking.
Cognitive and Emotional Indicators
B12 deficiency can also impact cognitive and emotional health. Some indicators in these areas include:
Difficulty with memory, particularly in older adults, can often signal a B12 deficiency.
Depression and Irritability
Low B12 levels are frequently linked to mood changes, such as persistent feelings of sadness (depression) and a reduced tolerance for stress (irritability).
B12 deficiency can lead to issues with concentration, logical thinking, and decision-making processes.
A sense of being mentally worn out or unable to focus, commonly referred to as brain fog, can be associated with low B12 levels.
Some individuals with B12 deficiency experience increased levels of anxiety, which can affect their daily life.
In some cases, B12 deficiency might lead to noticeable changes in behaviour, such as increased agitation or mood swings.
Particularly in the elderly, severe and prolonged B12 deficiency can lead to symptoms that mimic those of dementia.
In rare cases, B12 deficiency can contribute to the development of neuropsychiatric disorders.
It's important to note that these symptoms can also be indicative of other health issues. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if any of these symptoms are experienced.
Understanding B12 Deficiency Risks
High-Risk Groups for B12 Deficiency
Certain groups of people are more susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency due to various factors ranging from dietary habits to physiological conditions. Identifying these high-risk groups can help in early intervention and management. They include:
Vegetarians and Vegans
Since B12 is primarily found in animal products, those following plant-based diets are at a higher risk.
Aging can decrease stomach acid production, which is essential for B12 absorption, making older adults more prone to deficiency.
Individuals with Gastrointestinal Disorders
Conditions like Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or those who have had gastrointestinal surgeries, can significantly impair B12 absorption.
People on Certain Medications
Long-term use of acid-reducing medications or metformin for diabetes can affect B12 absorption.
Individuals with Pernicious Anaemia
This autoimmune condition affects the stomach’s ability to produce the substance necessary for B12 absorption.
Long-Term Impacts of Neglected B12 Deficiency
If left unaddressed, B12 deficiency can lead to severe health complications. Long-term impacts can include:
Untreated B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible nerve damage and neurological changes.
Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
B12 plays a role in heart health, and its deficiency can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Complications in Pregnancy
For pregnant women, low B12 levels can lead to complications and can affect the baby’s health.
Cognitive Decline in Older Adults
B12 deficiency is linked to cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly.
Considering these risks, it’s essential to monitor B12 levels, especially for individuals in high-risk groups. Dietary adjustments or supplementation can effectively manage and prevent B12 deficiency.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B12
Dietary Sources: Animal Products and Supplements
Vitamin B12, primarily found in animal products, is an essential nutrient that needs to be included in the diet. The richest natural sources of B12 include:
- Meat: Especially beef and lamb, known for high B12 content.
- Beef Organs: Beef liver is one of the richest B12 sources - beef kidney, heart and lung are also packed with B12.
- Fish and Seafood: Salmon, tuna, and sardines, also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Dairy Products: Useful sources for vegetarians, including milk, cheese, and yoghurt.
- Eggs:A versatile B12 source, particularly for vegetarians who consume eggs.
In addition to these dietary sources, integrating high-quality supplements like Cell Squared’s range of organ-based products can help in effectively meeting your B12 requirements.
These supplements provide a concentrated and bioavailable form of B12, along with a spectrum of other essential nutrients, making them an excellent choice for enhancing your nutritional intake.
Cell Squared’s High B12 and Nutrient-Dense Beef Organ Supplements
Liver Powder & Capsules
Cell Squared’s Australian Certified Organic Grass-Fed Beef Liver Powder and Organic Beef Liver Capsules are not only excellent sources of Vitamin B12 but also offer a comprehensive range of other essential nutrients. They contain vital elements such as Vitamin A, Copper, Riboflavin (B2), Folate (B9), Choline and Heme Iron, contributing to overall wellbeing, immune system support, healthy skin, vision, energy endurance, vitality and mental function.
These supplements, made from 100% natural beef liver, provide nutrients in their most bioavailable form. The beef liver is a rich source of micronutrients that support muscle development, energy production, neurological performance, and blood formation, among other benefits. Contains our highest amount of Vitamin B12 per serve.
Spleen & Liver Capsules
The Organic Beef Spleen & Liver Capsules combine the nutritional benefits of both spleen and liver, known as our 2in1 Vitamin B12/Iron supplement. Maximising the intake of Heme Iron, B12, Copper, Folate, Vitamin A and B2. This blend is particularly effective for enhancing iron absorption, boosting energy levels, and providing comprehensive support for blood health and cell formation. Contains our second highest amount of Vitamin B12 per serve.
Beef Organs Powder
Cell Squared’s Australian Certified Organic Grass-Fed Beef Organs Powder offers a synergistic blend of nutrients from multiple organ meats. This comprehensive supplement includes the rich nutrient profiles of beef liver, heart, kidney, and spleen, providing a wide array of vitamins, peptides and minerals essential for optimal health.
All of Cell Squared’s products are meticulously tested and verified for quality. The organ meats are sourced from grass-fed and grass-finished beef raised on untouched floodplains in Australia, ensuring the highest standards of purity and nutritional integrity.
These supplements are ideal for those looking to naturally enhance their nutrient intake with wholefood sources, embracing traditional nose-to-tail eating practices for modern health benefits. Contains our third highest amount of Vitamin B12 per serve.
Cell Squared’s Organic Grass-Fed Beef Kidney Capsules are a natural source of essential nutrients such as Selenium, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin B2, DAO Enzyme, and B Vitamins. These nutrients are crucial for thyroid health, histamine regulation, detoxification, energy enhancement, and supporting metabolic health.
The Organic Grass-Fed Beef Heart Capsules from Cell Squared are packed with B vitamins, CoQ10, and bioavailable Heme Iron. These key nutrients aid in supporting cardiovascular health, energy production, and overall cellular health. Beef heart is a nutritious organ meat, offering a unique combination of vitamins, minerals, peptides and aminos beneficial for heart health and endurance.
The Importance of Monitoring B12 Levels
Vitamin B12 is a key player in maintaining our overall health. It's essential for everything from producing healthy red blood cells to keeping our nervous system in check. Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is quite common, especially among certain groups like vegetarians, vegans, and older adults.
The signs of low B12 can be varied, ranging from tiredness and pale skin to more serious issues like memory problems and mood changes. That's why keeping an eye on your B12 levels is so important.
Encouraging Proactive Health Management
Being proactive about your health is always a smart move, and that includes ensuring you're getting enough B12. Whether it's through your diet – think meat, fish, dairy, and eggs – or supplements like Cell Squared beef organ supplements, it's crucial to keep your B12 levels up.
These supplements not only give you a hefty dose of B12 but also come packed with other great nutrients that support your health in various ways. By staying informed and taking simple steps to include B12 in your diet, you're not just avoiding deficiency; you're actively working towards a healthier, more vibrant you.
Remember, it's the little things we do every day that add up to big results for our health. Keep an eye on your B12, and you're well on your way to feeling your best.
If you're concerned about your B12 levels or experiencing symptoms, it's a good idea to chat with a healthcare professional. This article is for informational purposes and isn't a substitute for professional medical advice.