Vitamin B12, cobalamin, for more energy and concentration

We need vitamin B12 for the production of red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin that transports oxygen throughout your body. Vitamin B12 also ensures proper functioning of the nervous system. The vitamin is only found in animal foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt. A deficiency of B12 can lead to anemia and pernicious anemia. But also to symptoms such as being tired, having problems with concentration and memory or depression.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods, such as:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Other dairy products



Since vitamin B12 only occurs in animal products, this explains why vegetarians and vegans in particular can become deficient, but people who are allergic to gluten are also affected relatively more often.
In the Netherlands, about two to three percent have a vitamin B12 deficiency. In principle , an excess of vitamin B12 has no negative consequences (you urinate it out), but it is recommended that you only take supplements if it has been determined that you actually have a deficiency.

Deficiency symptoms

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency :

  • Aphasia (inability to think of certain words)
  • Breathlessness
  • Angina pectoris (chest pain)
  • Ataxia (unexplained bumping into something or falling)
  • Anemia
  • Concentration problems
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of appetite/weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Coldness
  • Migraine
  • Nervousness
  • muscle strain
  • Tingling
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness



Injecting yourself with vitamin B12 is a trend that is becoming increasingly common. An injection or a high dose in pill form provides an energy boost. In principle, you only need an injection if you have a major deficiency and suffer from an absorption disorder.


Vitamin B12 can only be absorbed into the body if your stomach produces the substance intrinsic factor. In the intestine, this substance binds to vitamin B12 so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. People who produce too little stomach acid, often the elderly, therefore also have a deficiency of this substance. People who use antacids for a long time will also suffer from this.
People with an absorption disorder start with a weekly injection and later move on to the maintenance dose, which is different for everyone. Usually once every two months.

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