Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a much discussed topic among vitamins. You can find it in animal products like meats, fish, eggs and dairy products. That makes it an illustrious vitamin amongst vegetarians and vegans, because it’s a lot harder for them to maintain the required levels of the vitamin. However, B12 is getting more and more attention by everyone. We often get questions like “Can you get too much vitamin B12, is this really as healthy as people say and what’s the vitamin actually good for?”. With this blog we hope to clarify the mystery around this topic, by separating a few of the common facts and fables from all the information that’s available.
Fact: vitamin B12 helps prevent exhaustion
This is most definitely true! Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the process of creating red blood cells, which make sure oxygen travels well throughout your body. One of the most common phenomena for a B12 shortage is being tired. People who deal with a B12 shortage over a longer period of time, can also develop neurological complaints, like a tingling feeling in your hands and feet, concentration problems and forgetfulness. Another common phenomenon is being low in energy, or feeling down due to lack of vitamin B12. Furthermore, B12 helps your body by preventing anemia and helps in reinforcing your gums.
Fable: watching your B12 levels is only important to vegetarians and vegans
It’s a persistent fable that only vegetarians and vegans have to monitor their B12 levels. A lot of people think that their B12 levels are fine just because they eat meat once in a while. This is not always true. If you have diabetes or gastrointestinal abnormalities, you need extra B12. And for the regular drinkers among us, you probably could do with some supplemental B12 as well. As well as pregnant women: in order to proceed in a healthy pregnancy and to prevent any growth disorders for the baby.
Fact: Vitamin B12 is obtainable through different means, foods and vitamins pills
Vitamin B12 is often found in nature’s resources, but can also be found in man-made vitamin pills. Meats, fish, eggs and dairy products from cows, all contain B12. It’s also found in plant-based foods such as seaweed and algae, but this variation is ‘inactive’ and harder for your body to take in. That’s why plant-based vitamin B12 pills are often the outcome for vegetarians and vegans. This form of B12 is synthetical and there are no animals involved in the production process. Just like Jake’s products: the B12 in our shakes, soups and bars are completely plant-based!
Fable: I can consume as much B12 as I want
A vitamin B12 deficiency is harmful, just as a B12 surplus is too – concluded by researchers at the UMCG in Groningen. They stated that in certain circumstances “a higher risk of death for people with too much B12 in their blood” would not be strange. Despite the fact that this is about extreme and special cases, it’s still a smart move to make sure you get the right amount of vitamin B12. That’s why it’s best not to eat too much meat, fish, eggs or dairy – balance being the keyword here. If you want to supplement your vitamin B12 intake, make sure not to exceed the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake).