Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential nutrients that the human body needs, helping it to make red blood cells and DNA, while keeping your nerve cells in excellent health… but, unfortunately, our bodies don’t make this particular vitamin on its own, so it needs a helping hand from you in the form of nutritious B12-rich food and drink.

Stock the fridge full of the likes of meat, dairy and eggs, as well as fortified foods like some cereals, bread and nutritional yeast, all of which will help you keep your vitamin levels high

If you’re vegan, however, you may find that you start to experience deficiency symptoms because you’re not eating any animal products, which are arguably the best sources of B12 out there.

Signs that you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency include a loss of appetite, feeling very tired and weak, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, a sore mouth or tongue and a yellow tinge to your skin. 

You can also experience more neurological symptoms, such as numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, difficulties with your vision, confusion, memory problems or even having a hard time walking or speaking as you normally would.

Even if you’re not vegan and eat a lot of animal products, as well as fortified produce, you can still have a B-12 deficiency, because in some cases the body isn’t able to absorb the B12 you’re getting in your diet. If you do experience any of the symptoms and are worried, it’s important to seek medical advice so you can work out exactly what’s going on.

How can vitamin B-12 shots help?

We’re very lucky these days that we have so many healthcare options at our disposal. One of the best ways to go about boosting your vitamin and nutrient levels is to consider having regular vitamin B-12 injections

These are administered directly into the muscle itself, circumventing the digestive tract so you can start to reap the benefits more immediately, addressing potential deficiencies, supporting your immune defences and revitalising you from head to toe.

How often you should have your shots administered will depend on the root cause of your deficiency. If it’s diet-related, you may not even need to have more than one, or only have to have injections once or twice a year. 

However, if you have a chronic health condition that’s causing your deficiency, you may need to go more regularly, such as every couple of months.

The older you get, the more likely it is that you’ll develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency, because your body’s ability to absorb the nutrient can potentially decrease with age… so it’s certainly worth having regular health checkups just to be on the safe side, so you can get ahead of any issues before they become problematic.

It can take a few years for deficiencies to develop because the vitamin can be stored in the liver for a relatively long time, so just make sure you check in with how you’re feeling as time goes on and see your GP if you have any concerns.