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The Relationship Between Vitamin B12 & Fatigue

Vitamin B12 and fatigue may go hand in hand. The nutrient is essential for red blood cell production and oxygen transportation and without enough you may experience a lack of energy. See how vitamin B12 deficiency can contribute to fatigue, and how to avoid this symptom now.

Table of Contents

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Fatigue 

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when your daily intake of B12 is too low for the dosage your body needs. Unexplained fatigue is one of the primary symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, as outlined by the NICE draft guidelines for vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue because of the role the nutrient plays within red blood cell creation.

Vitamin B12 is required for the formation of red blood cells, which are essential cells to carry oxygen around the body. Without enough B12, red blood cells may be abnormally large, and thus oxygen cannot be carried properly.

This lack of sufficient oxygen is what leads to the feeling of exhaustion and fatigue.

What Are Other B12 Deficiency Symptoms?

Fatigue is not the only symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. There are more signs of low vitamin B12 to help identify if your daily intake of the nutrient is sufficient. Other than fatigue, more symptoms of low levels include:

  • Glossitis (sore and red tongue)
  • Paler skin than usualUnbalanced mood
  • Difficulty concentrating and brain fogginess
  • Eyesight problems, such as blurred vision
  • Mobility issues, including pins and needles

If you are concerned about vitamin B12 and fatigue, or any of the signs of deficiency, you should consult your Doctor.

Can Vitamin B12 Help Fatigue?

Vitamin B12 may help to support the symptoms of fatigue. Including more food sources of B12 in your diet or taking supplements may help to reduce fatigue caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.

One of the health benefits of vitamin B12 is its support of your natural energy levels. B12 can help you raise your energy levels naturally through its role within red blood cell formation. Red blood cells transport oxygen around the body, which is essential for the production of ATP/energy. B12 is also vital to the normal metabolism of your body, and without enough, your body can experience fatigue.

Ensuring you get the recommended levels of B12 can help to reduce the fatigue symptoms that accompany deficiency.

The Best Vitamin B12 Supplements for Fatigue

Vitamin B12 supplements can help to provide the vital nutrient, and help avoid fatigue caused by deficiency.

  • Vitamin B12 can be difficult to absorb, because of a protein known as “intrinsic factor” which is needed for the absorption of vitamin B12 in the intestine.
  • Without sufficient levels of intrinsic factor, you may be more at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency and fatigue.
  • Intrinsic factor levels naturally vary from person to person, making absorption unreliable.
  • The best supplements for vitamin B12 do not require absorption in the gut, and can therefore bypass this unreliability caused by intrinsic factor or gastrointestinal disorders.

To avoid fatigue from vitamin B12 deficiency, you may need to supplement additional B12 rather than rely solely on your diet. Pill-free supplements may be the solution to reduce fatigue caused by low levels:

Vitamin B12 Oral Sprays

Our Vitamin B12 Boost Oral Spray provides the nutrient in an easy-to-use formula, without the hassle of swallowing a tablet. Simply spray into the mouth and continue with your day. Four sprays deliver 1,200μg of vitamin B12 to help raise levels when you are deficient.

  • Taking vitamin B12 supplements which do not pass through the gut can help to support intake and may help reduce fatigue from B12 deficiency.
  • This is where vitamin B12 tablets and sprays differ, tablets pass through the gastrointestinal system, whereas sprays are absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
  • This means oral spray supplements are generally easier to absorb and can help to avoid the feelings of fatigue which can appear alongside low levels of B12.

How Much Vitamin B12 Per Day?

In order to ease fatigue with vitamin B12, it is essential to ensure you get the recommended dosage B12 per day that your body needs. 

The vitamin is water soluble, therefore, higher amounts are unlikely to cause problems. Adhering to nutrient reference values is important. However, there is no safe upper limit set for vitamin B12 because it is a water-soluble vitamin. Thus, any excess will exit the body through the urine.

Higher amounts are unlikely to cause problems but check with your Doctor first before supplementing to ensure you are taking a safe, proper dosage.

Vegans should consider supplements to help support their restricted diet. Plant-based foods often lack this vital nutrient, and so vegan supplements are recommended to help you get B12 as a vegan and avoid fatigue.

How to Test For Low B12 & Fatigue

It is important to test for B12 deficiency to identify if your symptoms of fatigue may be being caused by low nutrient levels. To test your B12 levels is easier than ever with our at-home vitamin and mineral test kits. To test, follow these steps:

  1. Order your vitamin B12 test online.
  2. After your order arrives, fill the small vial with blood using a quick prick of the finger.
  3. Use the prepaid envelope to send your sample to our UKAS accredited lab partners who will analyse your sample.
  4. Receive your results via email within 5 working days of the lab receiving your sample.
  5. Receive your bespoke supplementation plan after your results have been sent. This will detail how you could increase or maintain your nutrient levels.

Following these steps can help you identify if your fatigue and vitamin B12 levels are related, and whether you may need supplements to support your intake.

It is important to note that fatigue may not solely be caused by low vitamin B12. If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue or are worried about your nutrient levels, speak to your Doctor and follow their advice. Always consult your Doctor before taking supplements. 

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