Although shortage of trace elements occurs more often than vitamin deficiency, at least one in four adults suffers from vitamin B12 deficiency. That’s why we decided to tell you about the symptoms and causes of this phenomenon, as well as how to deal with it.
What is Vitamin B12?
Despite advertising chatter, that Vitamin B12 is a magical source of energy, it does not contain energy as such.
However, if you are suffering from anemia that causes a constant sense of weakness and fatigue, the sharp increase in vitamin B12 will really help you with a tide of energy! This is due to the fact that vitamin B12 plays a key role in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen in the body. Not surprisingly, saturation of the blood with oxygen gives us energy and vitality.
Why do we need B12?
Vitamin B12 supports a variety of body functions, including:
► Production of hormones from the adrenal gland;
► Normal blood circulation;
▶ Erythrocyte formation;
► The normal functioning of the nervous system;
► Good digestion;
► Absorption of iron;
► The metabolism of fat and carbohydrates;
► Growth and formation of nerves;
► Reproductive health of women.
The risk of vitamin B12 deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is most likely in the following groups:
♦ people aged over 60 years who have reduced production of gastric juice;
♦ patients with autoimmune diseases (such as Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) or granulomatous enteritis);
♦ vegans and vegetarians who do not consume animal products;
♦ diabetics taking metformin that inhibits the absorption of B12.
Symptoms of deficiency of B12
► If you are constantly drowsy, you may have a deficiency of oxygen in the blood.
► If you feel stiffness or tingling of the limbs, be careful! These are typical signs of nerve damage due to lack of B12.
► Loss of memory is a common sign of lack of B12, especially in younger children, when age-related dementia can not be suspected.
► Weakness and dizziness – another symptom of lack of oxygen in the blood.
► Yellowing of the skin may be a symptom of breakdown of blood cells leading to the development of yellow pigmentation. The deficiency of B12 prevents the body from creating cells with thick walls.
► Smooth language speaks of papillary loss (tongue surface irregularities). If your food seems tasteless, it may be due to loss of taste buds caused by low levels of B12.
► If you experience unusual anxiety, it may be caused by a B12 deficiency that is involved in making the “hormone of happiness” serotonin and dopamine.
► Damaging the optic nerve may cause splitting and blurred vision. If you notice unusual shadows in sight, check out: this may also be a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Causes of B12 Deficiency
There are many different reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency, among which are the following:
♦ The use of antacids prevents the absorption of vitamin B12. It turns out,that gastric juice is needed for it!
♦ Nitrogen (parasitic gas) has the “merry” ability to destroy the B12 reserves in the body.
♦ Helicobacter pylori bacteria can destroy the gastric cells needed to produce the protein known as the “internal factor”. Without it, the body simply can not absorb B12.
♦ The gastric bypass for weight loss physically rearranges the digestive tract, which can prevent the absorption of B12.
♦ Coffee lovers who drink at least 4 cups a day have 15% less C-group vitamins in the body than everyone else. The reason for this is still unclear.
Food sources of B12
Plants have no need of vitamin B12 and therefore do not produce it. Therefore, B12 can only be obtained from animal products or fortified foods. Here are some good sources of vitamin B12:
Seafood: sardines, salmon, tuna, cod, shrimp and mussels.
Meat: beef, pork, chicken, lamb, goat and turkey.
Milk: cow’s milk, hard and soft cheeses, cottage cheese and yoghurt.
Eggs: All vitamins and minerals are in yolk.
For vegetarians: nutritious yeast, vitamin C coconut milk and tempe.