Vitamin deficiencies are not as common as mineral ones, but they still cause problems and discomfort for many people. According to latest statistics, each fourth person in the States is B12 deficient. Therefore, we will use this article to inform you on the most common B12 deficiency symbols, and provide tips on how those can be regulated.
The role of B12
B12 is one of the most important vitamins, because it provides us with energy. Many people opt for alternative B12 sources and pills in order to perform better in sports and cardio workouts. At the same time, B12 is a precious and completely natural solution for losing weight, which is why women are all crazy about it, and purchase clinic/spa injections of it.
Nevertheless, vitamin B12 has a way more important role in our organism: it participates actively in the formation of red blood cells, and enables bloodstream to transmit oxygen successfully to all parts of our bodies. Regular consumption of B12 is enough to give us the energy we need and the oxygen to survive, while the lack of it is defined as a tiredness and weakness state called megaloblastic anemia.
What vital body functions does Vitamin B12 support?
- The creation of red blood cells
- The secretion of more adrenal hormones
- The transportation of oxygen to our brain
- The proper circulation
- The preservation of our nerve system’s health
- Our digestion
- The absorption of iron
- The reduction of fat and carbohydrates
- The formation of nerves
- The functioning of women’s reproductive system
Where to look for Vitamin B12?
Some of the foods we regularly eat are packed with Vitamin B12, but occasionally, they won’t be enough to support the optimal levels, and we can easily switch to the high-risk group that needs supplementary sources of this Vitamin day per day.
Who belongs to the high-risk group?
- People older than 60 years, in particular those diagnosed with digestion problems and extra stomach acid.
- Patients with Crohn, celiac, or other autoimmune disease
- Metamorphin users (as the consumption of Metamoprhin disables the body to absorb Vitamin B12)
Which are the symptoms that indicate you’re B12 deficient?
- You’re constantly tired and find it hard to keep eyes open. All of this is because your blood does not have enough oxygen, and the body does not have the energy it needs.
- A repeated feeling of numbness, and sensation of ‘pins and needles’. Both indicate that the lack of Vitamin B12 has probably caused nerve damage.
- Short-term memory loss, in particular for young people where dementia is almost impossible
- Paleness and yellow skin due to blood cell degradation
- A non-stop feeling of dizziness which also reveals lack of oxygen in our blood
- Loss of papillae bumps on the tongue, which prevents us from recognizing the taste off any food we may be eating
- A feeling of sadness and anxiousness, because when vitamin B12 levels are not hang enough, there are no ‘happiness chemicals’ such as dopamine and serotonin.
- Severe nerve disorders, hearing and sight problems such as doubled vision. B12 can also cause shadows to appear in your visual field.
Why does B12 deficiency occur?
There are many factors that can cause it, and we are going to mention the most important among them:
- Consumption of antacids, in particular such that prevent and disolve stomach acid.
- Accidental consumption of the so-called ‘laughing gas’, or in fact nitrous oxide that destroys B12 supplies in our body.
- The intrinsic factor, namely the H. Pylori bacteria that prevents B12 consumption by destroying stomach cells.
- Weight-loss and gastric bypass surgeries that affect our digestive mechanism
- Active consumption of coffee (4 cups per day) which has been directly related to losing 15 % of regular B12 supply, but doesn’t have a medical explanation yet.
Complementary sources of B12
Due the fact that B12 is not essential for plants to perform their metabolic processes, they are not producing it. Instead, we should look for it in ortified and animal-origin food, as for instance:
- Meat – Pork, beef, lamb, goat, chicken, turkey
- Fish and Seafood – Cod, Shrimp, Sardines, Salmon, Scallop, Tuna
- Eggs- The yolk, where all vitamins and minerals are stored
- Dairy foods – Milk, Cheese (all sorts), Yoghurt
- Coconut Milk
- Fortified foods for vegans
In case you’re already feeling weak and tired, but have no logical reason to be so, don’t lose more time. Test the amount of B12 in your blood, because this vitamin is easy to find, but difficult to absorb. Carefully observe the signs, and adjust your nutrition to ensure a higher intake of this important vitamin.