B12 Deficiency and Weight Gain - The Facts Revealed
If you’re experiencing low energy levels and wondering why, it may be because you are suffering from a B12 deficiency. We’ll run you through some of the key causes and symptoms, to help you identify it if that’s the case. You may also have heard there’s a link between B12 deficiency and weight gain, which we’ll be exploring here too! So, let’s get stuck in and help you to understand what’s going on with your body!
What is Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is needed to form our body’s red blood cells and DNA. It's considered one of the best vitamins for energy and depression. The vitamin is also key in helping our brains and nervous systems to function properly, so it’s an important nutrient.
The body doesn’t make vitamin B12, so we need to find it from other sources. The best ways are through animal-based foods or by taking supplements like our multivitamins for women. We need regular doses of vitamin B12, as if we don’t maintain healthy levels, we can develop a B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is stored in our livers for up to five years, but it still needs to be maintained. So how much vitamin B12 do we actually need? The average adult needs 1.5 micrograms per day, though this can be slightly higher if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, so be sure to check with your doctor or nutritionist if you’re unsure!
Vegetarians and vegans may struggle to get vitamin B12 through their diets, so will need to find it elsewhere. One of our favourite sources is our vegan protein powder, which is packed with everything you need, including vitamin B12!
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be mild or severe, and the symptoms will differ depending on this. If you are only suffering from a mild B12 deficiency, then you may not experience any symptoms. However, if you have a more severe B12 deficiency, then you may suffer from more serious symptoms. So, what are the most common symptoms?
One of the most common symptoms of a B12 deficiency is fatigue. Your body’s cells need vitamin B12 in order to function properly, and not having enough can impact red blood cell product. This, in turn, can have an effect on your body’s ability to deliver oxygen, which can lead to you feeling weak and tired. This is also known as vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia.
Another common symptom is to notice that you’re suffering from more headaches. In a 2019 study, participants with migraines were typically found to have lower blood levels of B12 compared to those with no migraine history. Researchers also found that those with the highest levels of B12 were 80% less likely to have migraines than those with the lowest B12 levels. So, if you’re suffering from headaches, it might be worth taking a look at your B12 intake!
Some have also shown a link between B12 deficiency and weight gain, suggesting that having higher levels of vitamin B12 may help prevent obesity. A 2019 study found that people with obesity had lower blood levels of B12, so there is definitely evidence of a link - we’ll delve into this in more detail a little later on!
What Can You Do About It?
One of the best things to do if you have a B12 deficiency is to take a B12 deficiency test. Once confirmed, you can either make a change to your diet, or take supplements. Alternatively, you can look into benefits of vitamin B12 injections, which we’ll weigh up the pros and cons of later!
B12 Deficiency and Weight Gain
So, as we mentioned earlier, there is thought to be a link between B12 deficiency and weight gain, according to . Obese adults were found to have lower levels of vitamin B12, which was even true when other factors affecting B12 levels were taken into account.
However, it’s important to note that most of the evidence to suggest this link come from a handful of observational studies. These studies are not absolute confirmation of the link between B12 deficiency and weight gain, so it’s important to be mindful of this, and to consult a doctor if you’re experiencing differences in weight.
What Can You Do About It?
Well, if you think it might be vitamin B12 deficiency that’s causing your weight gain, then there’s no harm in trying to regulate your B12 levels. If you can’t find a way to introduce it into your diet, for example if you follow a meat-free diet, then why not try some multivitamins for women? Even if it doesn’t change your weight, the other benefits you’ll see will be endless - they’re particularly helpful for low energy in females!
B12 Deficiency and Anxiety
If you’re suffering from B12 deficiency, then you may notice an impact on your mental health. This can ultimately lead to serious mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.
So why would a B12 deficiency lead to anxiety? Well, low levels of B12 can affect the body’s production of mood-regulators such as serotonin and dopamine. Low levels are linked to depression and anxiety, so it’s worth assessing your B12 intake if you’re feeling down.
What Can You Do About It?
The natural thing to do would be to incorporate more vitamin B12 into your diet, of course. You could also opt for a vitamin supplement, if that’s easier for you, as that way you’re getting everything you need at once!
What Foods Have B12?
Vitamin B12 is easy to get if you’re a meat eater, but it can be a little trickier if you’re vegetarian or vegan. If that’s the case, or if you’re pregnant or nursing, then you may want to track your diet a little more closely to make sure you’re getting enough. So, what are some good sources of vitamin B12?
Beef is a fantastic source of vitamin B12, with a 100 gram serving contains around 5.9 micrograms of B12. Animal livers and kidneys are another great source, with lamb liver having one of the highest vitamin B12 contents.
Fish is another great choice, which you’ll be pleased to hear if you’re a pescatarian! 150 grams of sardines provide vitamin B12 as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven benefit health. Tuna is another great fish, as well as salmon and trout, so you’ve got plenty of options to tuck into!
Milk and dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese are not only great sources of vitamin B12, but they also provide plenty of protein. Full fat plan yoghurt has been shown to improve vitamin B12 levels in people who are deficient, so be sure to get plenty of that if your B12 deficiency test suggests that you’re suffering from a deficiency!
If you follow a vegan diet, then fortified non-dairy milk, such as soy or almond, are a fantastic way to avoid B12 deficiency. Fortified nutritional yeast is also a great option, and the best part is that with fortified products such as these, the B12 is vegan-friendly as it’s synthetic. Or you could always opt for a vegan protein powder, if you want to get all of your goodness in one go!
B12 Deficiencies Are Common
B12 deficiency is a reasonably common condition, but luckily, it’s not too much to worry about so long as you regulate it in good time. It’s more common in older people, affecting around 10% of people aged 75 and above, and 1 in 20 people aged between 65 and 74.
In the UK, vitamin B12 deficiency is a condition that around 6% of people aged under 60 suffer with. The figure is higher if you follow a vegan diet, hence why it’s important to supplement your B12 intake!
The good news is that it can be reasonably easy to boost your B12 levels. Either make some dietary swaps where possible, or invest in some tasty vegan vitamin supplements to make it easy.
Do I Need B12 Injections?
If you’ve taken a B12 deficiency test and found out you’re deficient, you might wonder about benefits of B12 injections. B12 injections are a way of getting your B12 levels up quickly and easily, which can be helpful.
Vitamin B12 injections are prescribed by a doctor and are given into the muscle. There are two types, one of which stays in the body for longer and so is usually the recommended option. When you first starting, you’ll get them every other day for two weeks or until your symptoms start improving. After this, your treatment will vary based on the cause of your B12 deficiency.
They can help to improve brain function, as well as boosting your energy levels and concentration. So, if you suffer from low energy levels in females, this can be a solution, and will help with focus.
B12 injections are also linked to weight loss, which is related to the link between B12 deficiency and weight gain. You’ll also have to follow a healthy diet and exercise regime though, of course!
B12 injections have no major negative side effects, luckily. However, some people have been known to experience side effects caused by allergic reactions, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary post-injection, then speak to your doctor!
So, to summarise, if your B12 deficiency is severe, then speak to your doctor about getting B12 injections. They’re definitely an effective fix, which is always good!
Try A Long-Term Solution: The Plant-Based Protein Superpowder
If you’re suffering with a B12 deficiency, then you’re going to want to find a long-term solution. Of course, incorporating B12 into your diet is the easiest way to do that, as it will then become routine. One of the best ways to up your B12 intake in your diet is through our plant-based protein superpowder!
By incorporating our superpowder into your daily routine, you’ll soon see a whole host of benefits. From increased energy levels to less headaches, it's the perfect solution to keep B12 deficiency at bay in the long-term.
Enjoy your multivitamins at the start of the day, and you’ll notice the difference in no time. As well as B12, our superpowder is packed with plenty of other nutrients and vitamins, promising to enhance your overall health with no difficulty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can B12 deficiency cause bloating?
A B12 deficiency can also be associated with gastrointestinal issues. These can include bloating as well as diarrhoea, nause, gas and constipation, among other symptoms, and can affect both adults and children. Remember that these are also symptoms of a number of other conditions, though, so be sure not to jump to conclusions!
What happens if a B12 deficiency goes untreated?
B12 deficiency can lead to B12 deficiency anaemia, which, if left untreated, can lead to heart failure. It can also cause neurological problems that affect the nervous system, including memory loss, pins and needles and vision problems, to name a few. So, basically, it’s pretty important to treat it as soon as you can!
How long does it take for B12 to work?
Once you have started to supplement your B12 levels, especially through injections, you'll start seeing improvements within a few days. In some people, it can take up to a few months for a full response. The key is to stick with it, and you’ll soon start to see an improvement!
To wrap it up, B12 deficiency can be treated with relative ease, so long as you catch it early. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of B12 deficiency, it’s worth introducing more B12 into your diet and assesing the results. You can either do this through food sources, multivitamins that include the all-important vitamin B12, or with B12 injections.
Once your treatment has taken effect, you’ll start to feel better overall, and your body will thank you for it. When your B12 levels are back to normal, remember to continue to maintain them with a tasty supplement such as our jrny superpowder to prevent a return to B12 deficiency!
By Lola Sherwin