Medically reviewed on September 27, 2022 by Jillian Foglesong Stabile, MD, FAAFP. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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From cold air drafts to freezing winter temperatures, many factors in your environment can make you feel cold. But did you know that you can also feel chilly from low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients?
That’s right—in some cases, low vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin C levels can make you feel cold.
Fortunately, learning about what vitamin deficiency causes you to feel cold can help you identify whether a vitamin or nutrient deficiency might be causing your sensitivity to coldness. To help you find the root of your chills, we’ll discuss the right nutrients to help regulate your body temperature.
Before you can learn what vitamins might help your feelings of coldness, it helps to know how your body regulates temperature in the first place.
Your body maintains its temperature through a process called thermoregulation. Thermoregulation involves the bodily processes that regulate healthy temperatures in mammals. For humans, this means the systems that keep your body’s temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Most of the time, your body can maintain a temperature within a healthy range. Occasionally, however, internal and external disruptors prevent proper thermoregulation. When this occurs, your body’s temperature may increase or decrease.
Factors that could disrupt your body’s thermoregulation include: 
Let’s take a closer look at the last disruptor.
Vitamins and nutrients help many bodily functions perform at optimal levels. Vitamin A, for example, can help your vision, while vitamin D can be necessary for strong bones. [2, 3] Vitamins and nutrients can also impact your body’s thermoregulation.
For many people, iron deficiencies are the primary cause of nutrient-based thermoregulatory disruptions. 
In short, iron is a powerful mineral that helps the body produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is, in turn, an important component of red blood cells. Without adequate red blood cells, the bloodstream cannot transport oxygen throughout the body.
When this occurs, you may feel cold, tired, and weak. This condition is known as anemia. 
Anemia typically stems from two deficiencies: 
Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps create the enzymes responsible for: 
Vitamin B12 also plays a role in creating the red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body. If your body cannot receive enough vitamin B12, you can develop vitamin deficiency anemia.
The good news is that you can help treat vitamin B12 deficiencies through some food sources. If you’re wondering what foods are rich in vitamin B12, these include the following: 
You can also help treat vitamin B12 deficiencies with vitamin B12 supplements. In addition to helping decrease your chances of developing vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, these supplements can help with: 
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is a vitamin similar to B12 in that a lack of folate can lead to anemia. In short, folate helps: 
Folate deficiencies can lead to a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia. If you have megaloblastic anemia, it means your body’s red blood cells are larger than normal and fewer in number. The result is a lack of oxygen transported throughout the body. 
Megaloblastic anemia symptoms include: 
Fortunately, folate deficiencies are rare, as folate is found in many foods. These foods include: 
If you are deficient in folate, you may benefit from taking a supplement containing folate or vitamin B9.
Historically known as scurvy, vitamin C deficiencies were once very common around the world—particularly in pirates and sailors who ate limited diets while at sea.
Today, vitamin C deficiencies are exceedingly rare in the developed world. Vitamin C deficiencies do occasionally arise. In addition to causing scurvy, a lack of vitamin C can result in severe anemia. 
Fortunately, for most people, consuming adequate vitamin C isn't a difficult task. Vitamin C is found in the following foods: 
You can also add vitamin C to your diet through a supplement or multivitamin to aid in cold intolerance.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that your body absorbs from the sun, food, and supplements. While some people may suspect that low vitamin D levels may cause them to feel cold, research indicates that vitamin D may play only an indirect role in thermoregulation. 
Instead, vitamin D deficiencies typically result in rickets and other bone deficiencies.  While these conditions can lead to feelings of coldness, they don’t seem to play as direct a role in thermoregulation as the B vitamins.
That said, consuming the right amount of vitamin D is still important for bone, muscle, and immune health. To ensure you’re receiving enough or supplementing a vitamin D deficiency, consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Everlywell can help you make sure you're getting the vitamins and nutrients you need. Browse our vitamins and supplements, including vitamin B12 supplements and multivitamin supplements.
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