One in 10 people in UK believed to be vitamin B12 deficient

One in 10 people in the UK are believed to be deficient in vitamin B12 – that’s an astonishing six million people suffering from the consequences of having less than the optimum amount of B12 in their system.

“Pernicious Anaemia (PA) is the biggest cause of B12 deficiency in the developed world [1],” says Martyn Hooper, chairman and founder of the Pernicious Anaemia Society (PAS), who himself has suffered from the condition since 2001.

PA is a condition where the body can't make enough healthy red blood cells because it doesn't have enough vitamin B12. People who have PA can't absorb enough vitamin B12 from food because they lack intrinsic factor, a protein made in the stomach.

Symptoms of PA include continual tiredness, confusion, memory loss, mood swings, and erratic behaviour and left untreated causes irreparable damage to the central and peripheral nervous system. [3]

To better understand the condition believed to effect a staggering 26.5million Americans and over half a billion Indian adult’s on the subcontinent, Martyn has written a blog [2] exploring symptoms and treatment.

Dr Chris Steele MBE who wrote the introduction to Martyn’s latest book [1], highlights that many patients experience a return of their symptoms, including feeling tired and exhausted, well before their next injection is due.

Martyn says, “Over the past five decades the length of time patients have had to wait before receiving their injections went from once a month to once every three months. This has been addressed in the recently published British Committee for Standards of Haematology Guidelines that recommends injections in line with patient need, but unfortunately too many still have to wait for three-monthly injections as not all doctors are applying the new guidelines. While some sufferers manage perfectly well on an injection every twelve weeks, most members of the Pernicious Anaemia Society (PAS) feel a return of their symptoms long before their injection is due. 

“Many of our members use alternative treatments, such as the BetterYou Boost B12 Pure Energy Oral Spray to keep their B12 levels ‘topped up’ between injections. This can help, however, they should never be used as a substitute for injections. What the society would like to see is further research into alternatives to injections, such as sub-lingual sprays, to give patients access to a range of prescribed treatments so they can get a treatment regime that meets their needs.”

The spray works by entering the bloodstream immediately via the mouth, elevating the patient’s B12 status. There have been positive outcomes to laboratory based in-vitro investigations into the absorption of B12. A trial by Cardiff University found that BetterYou’s B12 Boost spray appeared to be an effective supplement for the rapid attainment of recommended levels of vitamin B12. It provides a daily dose of 1,200 mg of B12, along with chromium and green tea extract.

One such sufferer is Beauty Blogger Caroline Goonan McGlynn, 39, from Galway, Ireland. She has endured Pernicious Anaemia for over 20 years and uses BetterYou’s Boost B12 Pure Energy Oral Spray to manage her condition between injections.

“I have a B12 deficiency where I need injections every six weeks and I’m also anaemic - both of these can cause great tiredness, concentration loss and irritability” says Caroline

“I would definitely recommend the Boost B12 Pure Energy Oral Spray as it has boosted my concentration and improved my sleep meaning I’m not as tired.”

Andrew Thomas, founder and managing director at BetterYou, said: “B12 is a vital nutrient and by taking it orally in spray form ensures that the vitamin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This delivery mechanism benefits from the super absorbent soft tissue of the mucosal membrane within the mouth and the proximity of a rich vascular system.

“Our daily required intake for health maintenance is relatively small, however few foods catch rich sources (red meats and offal are major sources) and more restricted diets omit these. In addition B12 is a very difficult vitamin to absorb and our digestive efficiency is reducing rapidly. Supplementation is becoming more of a necessity for us and using a spray in the mouth bypasses the digestive system, ensuring optimal absorption.”

Boost is suitable for vegetarian, vegans and throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. It retails at £11.95 for one month’s supply and is available from, Fortnum & Mason, Holland and Barrett, Selfridges, Victoria Health and independent retailers across the UK. For more information visit


[1] M. Hooper, ‘What you need to know about Pernicious Anaemia and vitamin B12 deficiency’ (2015) Hammersmith Health Books, London UK (P32 & 33)




Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    BetterYou Ltd. (2016, April 04). One in 10 people in UK believed to be vitamin B12 deficient. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 23, 2024 from

  • MLA

    BetterYou Ltd. "One in 10 people in UK believed to be vitamin B12 deficient". News-Medical. 23 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    BetterYou Ltd. "One in 10 people in UK believed to be vitamin B12 deficient". News-Medical. (accessed April 23, 2024).

  • Harvard

    BetterYou Ltd. 2016. One in 10 people in UK believed to be vitamin B12 deficient. News-Medical, viewed 23 April 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy could protect against childhood obesity