Give Me 10 Minutes, I’ll Give You The Truth About Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is one of eight vitamins that form vitamin B-complex.
Nowadays, vitamin B12 deficiency isn’t a bizarre occurrence. Actually, it is far more common than most health care practitioners and the general public realize.
Vitamin B12 is vital for the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. It is also needed for the proper functioning and health of nerve tissue, as it is involved in producing the protective myelin sheath that covers the nerves and conducts nerve impulses.
It works together with folate in the metabolism of cells, especially affecting DNA synthesis and fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.
This particular B vitamin also helps our bodies absorb folic acid, which facilitates the release of energy.
Since your body doesn’t make vitamin B12, it is important to get it from food sources (especially animal-based foods) or supplements on a regular basis. Always consult your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?
A deficiency of this important vitamin can occur due to a diet that contains very little vitamin B12. People who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet often lack this vitamin, because it is commonly found in animal products.
Another common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia.
It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs due to loss of stomach cells that make intrinsic factor, a protein which helps the body absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine. This leads to low vitamin B12 in the body.
Here are the top 7 signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
1. Fatigue and Low Energy
2. Numbness and Tingling Sensations
3. Low Blood Pressure
4. Skin Lesions
6. Cognitive Decline
Tips to Fix Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you think you have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, you can ask your doctor for a blood test. To correct a deficiency, you can:
- Eat foods high in vitamin B12, such as fish, shellfish, meat (especially liver), eggs, milk and milk products.
- Those who do not eat animal-based products can try foods fortified with B12, such as breakfast cereals, soy products, energy bars and nutritional yeast. As the risk for a B12 deficiency is much higher if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, get a B12 test on a regular basis.
- Those who take medications for diabetes or acid reflux must also opt for a B12 test, as some of these medications can interfere with healthy B12 levels.
- You can opt to take supplements in pill or injection forms. Be sure to consult your doctor, as supplements can affect the effectiveness of certain medications.