Vitamin B12 deficiency

Hi Folks

I recently had a blood test and was told that I have a lack of vitamin B12 in my body.

I know that B12 is obtained from foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, broccoli, brussel sprouts, peas, and cod.

However, do I need to cook/prepare the meat, fish, broccoli, sprouts, and peas in a specific way i order to get maximum benefit?

Also, would you suggest any particular type of meat and fish to buy/make?How about eating fish and chips? Although the batter on the chips isn't good for your health.

The doctor has told me to take 2 cyanocolabalamin tablets daily, to boost my B12. . Do you think I should take other supplements as well, such as nasal spray available from Holland & Barrett to help increase the amount of B12 intake?


8 Replies

  • It's not as easy as that I'm afraid. It depends how much 'intrinsic factor' you have in your intestines for instance, and how long you retain the food there to obtain and then utilise the B12, so taking the B12 orally is not enough in some people. It can be a downward spiral because deficiency can contribute to decline in the digestive system nerves for example, that's why it's important to treat it as soon as possible. Cyanocolabalamin isn't the best source either. Most doctors will prescribe a course of injections to boost the levels.

    You don't get B12 from vegetable sources, so broccoli, sprouts and peas don't have any.

  • No, the vegetable oils that chips are cooked in these days aren't good for health, but neither are the high-glycaemic potatoes too.

  • It was years ago that I read that your ability to absorb B12 declines with age. Perhaps it was Jean Carper's book Stop Aging Now. Might depend on how old you are. Just can't remember what it is you need to absorb it. It could be that "intrinsic factor" Concerned mentioned, but I'm thinking it may have just simply been the declining production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, but I just don't remember. B12 deficiency was linked to mental decline, I'm pretty sure.

  • I had read years ago that B12 deficiency gets worse as you get older, so it may depend on how old you are. I remember something about how you don't absorb it as well as you used to, and it's probably decline in that "intrinsic factor" that Concerned mentioned, and/or hydrochloric acid that is the problem, and it was mental function that was associated with a deficiency.

  • I had the same results in my recent blood tests. I have made the effort to really improve my overall diet. So instead of living off bread, cheese and alcohol!! I am now eating a healthy diet of loads of green veg, fish and some low-fat dairy.

    B12 deficiency can have a bad effect on your mood and can make you feel quite depressed. Radically changing my diet and cutting out alcohol has made a big difference to my mood and so I am assuming that my B12 levels are up.

    A couple of other things I discovered are 1) excessive amounts of alcohol irritates the stomach and can prevent the absorption of some vitamins and minerals. 2) Marmite contains a fair amont of B12 and 3) there is an antioxidant smoothie by Naked available in most supermarkets that contains 600 x daily recommended amount of B12.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks Folks.

    Any further comments greatly appreciated.

  • I have bovril on toast (like you would marmite) for my vitamin b12

  • I too have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency. I have been given monthly injections of B12 for 3 months, then have to go back for another blood test, to see if there is any improvement. If the is I will probably need the injection every 3 months. I think that it may be age related as I am 78. I have been advised to eat beef and lamb. Hope this might help.

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