Dr Dawn Harper on signs of vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency
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Vitamin B12 is key to keeping your blood and nerve cells healthy and helps create the DNA in your cells. Deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to folate deficiency anaemia – however there is one everyday food staple which can boost vitamin B12 levels.
As winter approaches, boosting your vitamin levels is key to keeping healthy and fighting off those seasonal bugs.
With fewer sunlight hours, colder temperatures and an abundance of cold and flu going around keeping your essential vitamin levels high is key.
Lacking in certain vitamins can cause deficiencies – and being low in vitamin B12 can cause folate deficiency anaemia.
Not all vitamins require taking supplements, some can be boosted by the food we eat.
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So what is the 13p food that boosts vitamin B12 levels?
If you are worried about your vitamin B12 levels, one particular breakfast food can help.
Eggs are rich in vitamin B12, as well as being an excellent source of protein.
With a box of 15 eggs costing £2 at Tesco, this works out to just more than 13p per egg.
Whether scrambled, fried, boiled or poached – eating eggs can increase your vitamin B12 levels.
Other foods high in vitamin B12 include
- Beef, liver, and chicken
- Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams
- Fortified breakfast cereal
- Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
If your B12 levels are too low this can be classed as a deficiency.
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Symptoms caused by a B12 deficiency are
– a pale yellow tinge to your skin
– a sore and red tongue (glossitis)
– mouth ulcers
– pins and needles (paraesthesia)
– changes in the way that you walk and move around
– disturbed vision
– changes in the way you think, feel and behave
– a decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement (dementia)
You could also experience general anaemia symptoms like
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- lack of energy (lethargy)
- feeling faint
- pale skin
- noticeable heartbeats (palpitations)
- hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)
- loss of appetite and weight loss
If you are concerned about any of the above, make an appointment with your GP.
A deficiency can be diagnosed with a blood test, and treatment arranged.
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