Vitamin B12

Sophie Medlin
Dietitian

Major Functions

Normal function of nerve cells - DNA synthesis - Red blood cell formation

In every dose

25mcg

(equal to 4 servings of fortified nutritional yeast or 10 double cheese burgers. Seriously.)

Fighting Talk

Vitamin B12 is thought to prevent brain atrophy, which can lead to loss of neurons in the brain, increasing your risk of dementia and memory loss.

What’s in it for my brain?

Low levels of B12 can double your chances of developing a mood disorder such as depression as it has a major effect on the production of serotonin - a chemical in the brain that regulates mood.

Fringe benefits

Releasing energy from food

Bowel function

Nervous system

Plays well with

B12 is essential for making sure the body uses folic acid effectively, so consuming them together makes sure this can happen. It also helps iron to make red blood cells.

Clever stuff

Low B12 levels causes red blood cells to become larger and irregular in shape, which means they struggle to move into the bloodstream at a normal rate. This can lead to a type of anaemia called megoblastic anaemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. It’s only found naturally in animal products - so many vegans choose to supplement.

For the nerdy

Here’s a handful of relevant scientific studies on vitamin B12.

Science moves faster than we do, but we’re updating these lists as often as we can.