Feeling a little left of centre, fatigued and generally weary on it all? Not thinking as clearly as you would like, or perhaps distracted to the point of being just a little psycho at times!? You quite possibly need a dose of B12.

Vitamin: B12

Drug class: Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin

Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin 1000 mcg, 180 Chewable Tablets, Natural Factors – $14.97

B12 Basics; What does it do?

Necessary for haemoglobin production, Vitamin B12 supports cardiovascular health and heart function by maintaining healthy blood vessels. Essential to the smooth running of the nervous system B12 is beneficial in times of stress. It is the necessary ingredient in creating the protective sheath which forms around nerve endings throughout the body.

An lack of Vitamin B12 can result in anaemia, a lack of co-ordination, pins and needles, tingling and numbness, muscular spasms, or burning in the hands and feet as nerves are damaged. One’s capacity to think clearly is impaired by a lack of B12, resulting sometimes in confusion, indecisiveness, anxiety or a sense of feeling overwhelmed, even by the smallest of things.

Vitamin B12 Food Sources?

B12 is naturally sourced from meat, fish, eggs, offal (liver, kidney etc), milk and yoghurt. A deficiency in B12 is often found in vegetarians who refuse to eat these products and who do not take B12 supplements. It is a good idea to consume at least one of these foods on a daily basis. B12 is also found in brewer’s yeast, which may explain why a single glass of stout or other deeply brewed beer can be so beneficial to calming the nerves, particularly for women during menstruation, when Vitamin B12 is rapidly depleted.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency?

Stress, particularly long-term or ongoing stress will rapidly exhaust and deplete the system’s supply of B12 and thus the nervous system and thought processes begin to degrade, resulting in anxiety, confusion, impatience, memory loss, depression, depleted motivation or a feeling of hopelessness. Some or all of the physical symptoms addressed above do and can present themselves in addition to being prone to easy bruising or taking long periods for bruises to heal.

Extreme deficiency presents itself as unsteadiness, forgetfulness, mood swings, depression, paranoia, suicidal tendencies and oft-times even unbidden and un-called for psychotic-like episodes. (Often misdiagnosed as bi-polar or schizophrenia.)

The symptoms of a Vitamin B12 deficiency do often also mimic those of dementia, so a B12 deficiency should be completely ruled out before a ‘dementia’ diagnosis is concluded/accepted.

Detox with B12!

Vitamin B12 had been found to detoxify cyanide, which is present in some foods, cigarette smoke and other carcinogens we are absorbing/consuming/inhaling on a daily basis. Thus it is an excellent supplement for smokers and anyone constantly exposed to carcinogens emitted by car and other exhaust fumes.

Diagnosis of A Deficiency:

Self Diagnosis?

Self diagnosis of a basic vitamin B12 deficiency is possible to some extent; the expression ‘My nerves are shot!’ comes instantly to mind. Constant fatigue, exhaustion, breathlessness for no apparent reason, headaches, occasional light-headedness, muddle-headedness, persistent sore mouth and/or tongue and sensitive gums are all indicators of the onset of a B12 deficiency.

Official Diagnosis?

The official test for diagnosis of a B12 deficiency is a basic blood test and shows itself as the appearance of enlarged red blood cells on a blood film.

Treatment for mild to medium B12 Deficiancy?

A B12 deficiency is easily treated with Vitamin B12 supplements, which can be purchased from any pharmacy and most supermarkets. Tablets are generally chewable and should be taken approximately one hour before food to reap the greatest benefits.

Treatment for Long-Term or Extreme Deficiency?

When the body is exposed to stress, illness or toxins for too long a period an extreme B12 deficiency can result; the nerves are so badly damaged that complete repair via dietary or supplemental means is not possible. When an extreme, long-term B12 deficiency occurs, Vitamin B12 Tablet supplements are no longer a viable option; the nerve damage is so extensive that the only way for the vitamin to be absorbed effectively is via regular injection directly into the muscle; usually 1000 micrograms, which must be administered every month or every 2-3 months, depending on the severity of the diagnosed deficiency.

B12 when pregnant?

Taking B12 supplements does not adversely effect or harm either the mother or the foetus during pregnancy, however a lack of this vitamin can harm the unborn foetus. Folic acid is also closely linked to vitamin B12 and its functions and the need for both Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 is generally higher during pregnancy. As always, consult with your doctor before taking anything when pregnant.


There is no harm in taking Vitamin B12 as a supplement even if you only vaguely suspect you may have need of it or feel you may benefit from such. There is no dear of an overdose as such because your system will absorb only what it needs and any excessive amounts will be discharged automatically during urination.

Prevention is Always Better!

Taking the preventative path to ensure one’s Vitamin B12 intake is sufficient to keep one’s nervous system in tip-top shape is always a good plan! Stabilising your nervous system will help you become less reactive, help you to think more clearly, give you more energy and allow you to feel generally more positive in every possible way!

Recommended Daily B12 Dose:

2.0 micrograms per day for adults, 1-1.5 micrograms for children and 0.5 for infants.

Recommended Supplement variety:

Nature’s Own: Vitamin B12 250 mcg is a good place to start when shopping in-store at a pharmacy or supermarket, otherwise you can shop online and select from a variety of bottled B12 brands.

References (And vitally Helpful Information Sources!):

The Australian Drug Guide, Dr Jonathan Upfal

An excellent resource. This book belongs in every household. It is an extremely detailed guide to prescription and over-the-counter medicines, street drugs, vaccines, vitamins and minerals; their effects, ingredients, where they are sourced and any possible side-effects.)

The family Guide To Homeopathy; The Safe Form Of Medicine for The Future, Dr Andrew Lockie

A helpful tomb detailing medical conditions, sicknesses and diseases; their symptoms, treatments and the provision of all manner of natural and practical alternatives and supplements to prescription medicine and practices.

Let’s Get Well, Adelle Davies

Definitely one of the best books one can purchase on general health and well-being. The advice here-in is a combination of practical, dietary and medicinal practices, providing both natural curatives and supplemental alternatives to traditionally accepted medical treatments for all manner of mild to serious conditions and diseases.

Helpful Links We Advocate For Dealing With Stress:

A good place to self diagnose your own stress levels, (whether male or female!) and garner useful, practical advice and tips on how to deal with stress without the need for medication or embarrassing and uncomfortable psych sessions! 

© Tezi Magazine 2013.