Vitamin B12 is used by the body to keep the nervous system healthy, according to the NHS. It’s also used to make red blood cells, as well as to help with the production of DNA. You could be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency if you regularly have headaches, fatigue, and a loss of appetite. But you could lower your risk of the condition by making these five easy changes to your daily diet.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a number of animal products, according to the US National Institutes of Health.
The best source of vitamin B12 is cooked clams, it said. They provide 84mcg of the vitamin for every three ounces of clams.
“Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products,” said the National Institutes of Health.
“Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians.
“Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12.
“Fortified foods vary in formulation, so it is important to read product labels to determine which added nutrients they contain.”
Meanwhile, beef and liver are also some of the best sources of vitamin B12, it said.
Around three ounces of either meat will provide you with about 70mcg of vitamin B12.
Some fortified breakfast cereals are also a great source of the vitamin. A single serving represents around 6mcg.
All UK adults should aim to eat about 1.5mcg of vitamin B12 every day, said the NHS.
Most people that eat meat, fish or dairy foods should get enough B12 in their daily diet.
Without enough vitamin B12 in your diet, you could be at risk of a deficiency. Deficiency symptoms include having a pale yellow tinge to your skin, a sore tongue, or persistent mouth ulcers.
Other warning signs include irritability, pins and needles, and changes to the way you think or feel, said the NHS.
Most cases can be easily treated with vitamin B12 supplements and diet changes.
Taking vitamin B12 supplements could also help to top up your levels, but be sure not to take too much.
Taking 2mg or less in a single day is unlikely to cause any damage, added the NHS.
It’s important for the condition to be diagnosed early, as it can lead to heart conditions and temporary infertility on rare occasions.