Vitamin B12: Unlocking vitality and sustaining well-being – Barefoot Nutrition

Vitamin B12: Unlocking vitality and sustaining well-being

In the world of nutrition, few vitamins carry as much significance as Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin).  A nutrient that holds the key to unlocking vitality and sustaining overall well-being, but despite its critical role in various bodily functions, it often remains overlooked and underestimated.

In this blog post, we demystify Vitamin B12, shedding light on its profound importance for health and vitality. From its fundamental functions within the body and the consequences of its deficiency to how to supplement, we'll explore why this essential nutrient deserves our attention and understanding. 

So, why is Vitamin B12 so important?

An essential nutrient that we do not produce ourselves, Vitamin B12 in its bioactive form (Methylcobalamin) is vital for a multitude of chemical processes in the body. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells, aiding in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, supporting neurological function, and maintaining healthy nerve cells. B12 is also involved in energy production and metabolism, helping to convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses for energy.

Deficiency in B12 can lead to a range of symptoms, including anaemia, fatigue, weakness, neurological problems and long-term deficiency can potentially result in irreversible nerve damage and severe anaemia.

What are the signs of deficiency?

As well as the above, symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include:

  • numbness or tingling in the hands and feet - “pins and needles” (paraesthesia)
  • a sore and red tongue
  • difficulty walking
  • mouth ulcers
  • muscle weakness
  • disturbed vision
  • psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion 
  • problems with memory, understanding and judgement

Recognising these signs is crucial for prompt intervention and treatment, and ensuring an adequate intake of B12 through diet or supplementation is vital for overall health and well-being.

Who could be at risk of deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is only found in useable amounts from animal sources, therefore deficiency is common in vegans and vegetarians, as well as older people who tend to absorb less from their diet as they age.  Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders that affect nutrient absorption are also at risk, and pregnant and breastfeeding women require increased B12 intake to support fetal development and lactation.

So where can we get Vitamin B12?

As above, Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal-derived foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, but it can also be obtained from fortified foods and supplements. Incorporating, plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, and B12 supplements into diets can help ensure adequate intake for those following plant-based diets.

For individuals at risk of deficiency or those with diagnosed deficiencies, supplementation is recommended, and vitamin B12 injections may be necessary. These interventions can effectively restore B12 levels and alleviate associated symptoms.

So, let’s talk Supplements

With so many supplements on the market is can be confusing to choose which is right for you.  For us at Barefoot Nutrition, it is non-negotiable that our ingredients are responsibly and sustainably sourced, and they are in their natural, most bioavailable forms, ready to use by the body without needing to convert first.  We design doses aimed to support and balance health in its most basic form: homeostasis at a cellular level.

We believe in thoughtful supplementation from ingredients, right down to labelling and packaging.

Specifically with vitamin B12, it is important to recognise that it is not just about how much you take but how much is absorbed.  How are you meant to know that?  We explain below…

‘B12 Complete’ from Barefoot Nutrition, not only comes with bioactive B12, but also has the two main co-factors: bioactive folic acid (methyl folate) and bioactive biotin (D-Biotin). 

Why is this important?

B12 and folate are directly dependent on each other for completion of the B12-Homocysteine-Methionine cycle, which helps to remove harmful excess homocysteine from the body.  (Excess homocysteine is linked to various health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline.)

B12 is also dependent on biotin to complete the cycle associated with helping the function of our cell “energy houses”, the mitochondria. 

In the absence of these two co-factors, symptoms of B12 deficiency, such as fatigue and anaemia, can still occur, even in the presence of normal levels of B12.  ‘B12 Complete’ is the only supplement with all 3 co-factors to ensure the proper metabolism of B12.

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse nutrient and recognising the importance of B12, and ensuring adequate intake through diet or supplementation, is key to promoting overall vitality and well-being.




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