Feeling fatigued? You may need vitamin D & B12. …read moreSee less
Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the UK, with the NHS recommending we all take a supplement in the autumn and winter when we aren’t able to get enough vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin B12 is also a common deficiency, particularly amongst older people and those following a plant-based diet. Here you’ll find a range of supplements containing both vitamin D and vitamin B12, so you can reap all the benefits in one simple dose.
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Are Vitamin D and Vitamin D3 the same thing?
To answer this question properly, we need to understand that Vitamin D is a type of vitamin, rather than the vitamin itself.
Vitamin D is used when we talk about Vitamins D3 and D2, which are slightly different from one another.
The main difference between the two is that Vitamin D2 comes from plant sources and Vitamin D3 comes from animal sources (e.g. cod liver oil, egg yolks).
Vitamin D3 is also created in your body when sunlight hits your skin, which is why the NHS advises Brits to take vitamin D supplements during the winter months.
If you buy Vitamin D or a multivitamin with Vitamin D included, the nutritional table on its packaging will let you know whether you’re getting Vitamin D2 or D3, so if you need one, in particular, this is where you’ll find the information you need.
How much vitamin D should I take?
The NHS recommends that everyone over the age of 4 should take 10 microgram vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter.
This is because we usually get vitamin D from sunlight hitting our skin and when the lovely British weather kicks in in the colder months it can be harder for us to catch those rays.
Although you can get vitamin D from your diet, it’s not the easiest vitamin to get enough of, which is why daily supplements step in to help.
If you’re someone who isn’t exposed to a lot of sunlight in general, you can take a vitamin D supplement all year round to help keep your levels up.
In which food is vitamin D found?
There are lots of food that can provide you with vitamin D, including fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel; dairy products, soy milk, orange juice, and cereals.
However, it is very difficult to get the recommended daily amount of vitamin D through your diet alone.
The NHS recommends people in the UK should take a 10 microgram supplement per day, but don’t exceed 100 micrograms (4,000 IU).
What are the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency?
The trouble with a vitamin D deficiency is that it isn't always easy to spot.
Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can be subtle and you may not realise that you are deficient.
Signs of a vitamin D deficiency can include:
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Bone, joint or muscle pain
- Low mood or energy
- Being frequently ill
- Feeling anxious
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
A deficiency in children and babies can be quite dangerous, as it can lead to a disease called rickets.
This is a serious bone problem that can cause complications, such as bowed legs.
Who is more at risk of vitamin D deficiency?
Whilst we’re all at risk of having low vitamin D levels during the darker months in the UK, some people can be at risk all year round.
You should take a 10 microgram vitamin D supplement all year round if you spend a lot of time indoors (for example, if you’re frail or housebound), if you’re in an institution like a care home, or if you usually wear clothes that cover up most of your skin when you’re outdoors.
This also applies if you have dark skin - for example if you have an African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background - as your skin might not make enough vitamin D from sunlight alone.
What are good vegan friendly sources of vitamin B12?
The most common sources of vitamin B12 are from dairy products and meat, but if you follow a plant-based diet, you can get your vitamin B12 intake through fortified foods such as cereals, soya milk, and of course, supplements! There are many vegan vitamin B12 supplements that are derived from fermented bacteria, compared to animal-based ingredients like gelatin.
Can you treat acne with vitamin B12?
It’s not recommended to treat your acne with vitamin B12; in fact, a 2015 study revealed that it may cause acne by altering the bacteria that live on the skin.
Although it’s uncommon to break out due to vitamin B12, if you’re looking for a vitamin to treat your acne, this isn’t the one - vitamin B12’s main benefit is keeping your blood and nerve cells healthy.
How much vitamin b12 should a vegan take?
If you’re following a vegan diet, you should consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement of 10µg daily or at least 2000µg weekly to ensure you maintain healthy blood and a healthy nervous system.
What are the benefits of vitamin B12 for men?
Taking B12 supplements can be integral to lots of body processes.
By popping this vitamin daily, you could see your energy levels, brain function, and mood improve, as well as protecting you against heart disease.
If your diet is packed full of meat, fish, or dairy products, odds are you’ll already be consuming enough vitamin B12.
However, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, taking vitamin B12 might be something to consider.