Stay healthy and energised as the seasons change by topping up with this vital vitamin.

How does B12 help with energy?

As an integral member of the energising B vitamin group, B12, also known as cobalamin, can help give you more get up and go. ‘This vitamin is vital for red blood cell formation,’ says nutritionist Sarah Flower ( Red blood cells collect oxygen from your lungs and carry it round your body, thereby keeping your energy levels up. ‘B12 also helps to convert the food you eat into energy, and improves insulin function to help keep blood sugar stable,’ says Sarah.

Does it help my nervous system?

Yes, B12 principally benefits your nervous system, and so deficiency signs can include fatigue, low mood and cognitive issues. However, this improves when your body’s properly nourished with it, plus the numerous processes that your nerves and organs need to keep your immunity strong work better too.

Are there benefits for my heart?

‘B12 plays an important role in homocysteine regulation,’ says Sarah. Homocysteine is an amino acid that, when it’s too high, has been linked to heart disease or stroke. ‘B12, as well as folic acid and B6, all play a vital role in metabolising homocysteine into a non-damaging form, helping to lower overall levels,’ says Sarah.

Is it easy to stay topped up?

‘You’re more likely to become deficient as you get over 50,’ says Sarah. So, consider topping up if you’ve experienced any symptoms we’ve mentioned above. Some forms of anaemia, and certain medications, such as ibuprofen and omeprazole, can affect your uptake of B12. ‘If you’re concerned, I would advise a blood test to see whether you’re low. Your doctor might advise regular injections, however, you can also take B12 orally,’ says Sarah.

Buy the October issue of Top Santè to discover the best food sources for B12!