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Vitamin B12 - are you getting enough?

Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in foods from an animal source however some foods such as marmite and breakfast cereal are fortified with B12.Many people living with Parkinson’s limit protein, especially animal protein due to its interaction with medication. Protein restriction increases the risk of deficiency, so this week we are looking at what vitamin B12 is, how much is needed, where to get it and what to do if you are not getting enough.

B12 is a water soluble vitamin. This means that it does not store in the body, intake above that required is flushed out in urine; therefore daily consumption is important. Vitamin B12 is essential to the nervous system, for the formation of healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body and energy creation. Symptoms of deficiency include tiredness, lack of energy, muscle weakness, in some cases depression and poor cognitive function. These too can be symptoms of Parkinson’s but as we have emphasised in several previous blogs nutritional deficiency may be contributing to your symptoms.

Daily requirements for vitamin B12 are 1.5 µg. Have a look at the list below of B12 in various foods and consider your intake.

1 egg. 0.7 µg

100g beef. 2 µg

100g lamb. 3 µg

100g pork. 1 µg

100g salmon. 4.2 µg

100g cod. 1.9 µg

100g sardine. 15 µg

100g chicken. Low levels/0

If you think you may not be getting enough vitamin B12 then discuss your animal based protein intake with your consultant and the possible need for B12 supplementation.

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