Nutrient Highlight of the Month: Vitamin B12

Nutrient Highlight of the Month: Vitamin B12


By:  Amanda Miller MS, RN Clinical Integrative Nutrition Nurse Consultant

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for multiple metabolic functions including enzyme production, DNA synthesis, and hormonal balance. This allows it to benefit mood, energy levels, memory, heart health, skin and hair health, digestion, and more.

Because of the various roles Vitamin B12 plays in the body, a deficiency can show in a multitude of negative symptoms, including:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Mood changes, like depression or anxiety
  • Bleeding gums and mouth sores
  • Digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea or cramping
  • A more serious deficiency can also cause a form of anemia called pernicious anemia, a serious condition that can cause memory loss and confusion

Since Vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal products, vegans are especially susceptible to a deficiency. Supplementing with a methylated B vitamin such as this can be helpful. Vitamin B12 injections are also an option. Otherwise, these sources of Vitamin B12 should help you to maintain adequate levels.

  • Pasture raised, organic beef and chicken liver
  • Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Organic full fat fermented yogurt
  • Pasture raised organic eggs
  • Pasture raised turkey
  • Raw, organic, pasture raised milk products
  • Certain brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with B12 such as this (Note: not all nutritional yeast products contain adequate amounts of B12)

Amanda Miller MS, RN, is the Clinical Integrative Nutrition Nurse Consultant at The Akasha Center of Integrative Medicine, you can schedule an appointment with her by calling us at 310-451-8880 or emailing us at




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