Mineral deficiencies are more common than vitamin deficiencies, statistics show that one in four adults is deficient in vitamin B12. In this article we will cover the symptoms and causes of vitamin B12 deficiency, along with some easy tips to regulate it. Don’t Ignore These 8 Warning Signs You Are Deficient in Vitamin B12
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This vitamin is known as the “energy” vitamin. Something you need to give you an energy boost in the late afternoon. Some like it for its ability to lead some life in cardio workouts.
Vitamin B12 is also considered a “miracle remedy” for weight loss and is very popular in medical clinics specializing in weight loss. It is more than clear that people are crazy about this vitamin, which is why clinics and spas offer discounts on vitamin B12 in injections.
They are offered “daily” on websites in the hope that you will buy a bunch of these vitamin B12 supplements right away.
But, vitamin B12 does not provide “true” energy on its own. However, if you are diagnosed with megaloblastic anemia (it makes you feel tired and weak), a sudden increase in your B12 intake is sure to make you feel like you have the power (and all the energy in the world).
This happens because this vitamin has an important role in the formation of red blood cells. These take oxygen throughout the body. And we need oxygen to survive. It’s logical: oxygenated blood fills you with life and energy.
Vitamin B12 performs numerous vital functions in the body:
- Adrenal hormone secretion.
- Formation of red blood cells.
- Healthy nervous system.
- Proper digestion.
- Iron absorption.
- Fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Formation and growth of nerves.
- Healthy reproductive system in women.
Risk groups prone to B12 deficiency
Some foods are packed with healthy servings of vitamin B12, but sometimes this cannot maintain its optimal level in the body. These are the most common high-risk groups that should consider supplementing with vitamin B12 on a daily basis.
- People aged 60 and over who do not have enough stomach acid.
- Patients diagnosed with autoimmune disorders, such as celiac or Crohn’s disease.
- Vegans and vegetarians who do not eat animal products.
- Diabetics with Metformin (this medicine affects the absorption of vitamin B12).
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
– Inability to keep eyes open. It is because your blood is not rich in oxygen, and you do not receive the energy that your body needs.
– Feeling of numbness, tingling and experiencing a sensation of “prick of needles”. This indicates that you are dealing with nerve damage as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency.
– Memory loss is also caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. This especially applies to young people who are too young to develop age-related dementia.
– Feeling shaky or dizzy. It indicates that your blood does not have enough oxygen.
– Yellow skin is caused by the breakdown of red blood cells. Gives off a distinctive yellow pigment when torn. If you lack vitamin B12, your body is unable to produce strong cells.
Smooth tongue is something you get after you lose some bumps on its surface. These bumps help you recognize the taste, and if you are always having a feeling that your food tastes nothing, you are probably lacking vitamin B12.
– Feeling anxious and tearful, likely due to vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is responsible for the production of “happy” brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine.
– Damage to the optic nerve causes strange vision problems, which is why you often get blurred or double vision. Test your vitamin levels whenever you see shadows in your fields of vision, because this is a common symptom of low vitamin B12 levels.
Causes of vitamin 12 deficiency
Although extremely important, vitamin B12 is one of the most overlooked vitamins. The deficiency of this vitamin can be caused by numerous factors, and we give you some of the most common:
Antacids affect the assimilation of vitamin B12. Believe it or not, the body needs enough stomach acid to absorb vitamin B12.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, destroys vitamin B12 in the body.
The H. pylori bacteria destroy the cells in the stomach that create “intrinsic factor.” The body is unable to absorb vitamin B12 without its protein.
Gastric bypass surgery for weight loss alters digestive mechanisms, and this can affect the absorption of vitamin B12.
If you drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day, you have 15% less vitamin B12 than those who do not drink coffee. Scientists have not yet found why this is so.
Dietary sources of vitamin B12
Plants do not need vitamin B12 for their metabolic processes, and they do not produce this vitamin. This means that you can get your vitamin B12 from foods of animal origin and fortified foods. Here are some examples:
- Seafood – sardines, salmon, tuna, cod, shrimp, scallops
- Meat – beef, pork, chicken, lamb, goat, turkey
- Milk – cow’s milk (organic and not taken in excess), hard and soft cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt (all organic and consumed with balance).
- Eggs – the yolks are packed with all the vitamins and minerals.
- Vegan sources – nutritional yeast, fortified coconut milk, or tempeh.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin found in animal products. Although it is readily available, some people cannot absorb it properly.
Do your vitamin tests regularly, and see your doctor if you feel dizzy, weak, or numb? Watch your condition carefully for any changes and signs.