Vitamin B12 is one of the water soluble Vitamins also known as Cobalamin which helps in the division of red blood cells.
Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body tissues using a substance called hemoglobin which is why individuals with a lack of Vitamin B12 feel tired or tingling of their feet or hands.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause the body to have fewer red blood cells or oddly large red blood cells that don’t perform their job well. For this reason, it will be difficult to maintain proper formation of the red blood cells and breaking down of energy needed by the tissues in your body.
The vital vitamin plays an important role in the normal functioning of your brain and the central nervous system by producing myelin which covers the nerve cells. Also, the vitamin is involved in the synthesis of amino acids and fatty acids.
Sources of Vitamin B12 Foods
Most plants are incapable of producing Vitamin B12 hence most vegan diets lack this crucial vitamin. What’s worse, the body does not make B12 Vitamin.
The most important sources of Vitamin B12 include some animal products such as meat and shellfish, dietary supplements and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, soy food products, nutritional yeast, energy bars, bread, and pasta.
It is important for the vegans and seniors citizens to supplement the gap for their daily requirement of the vitamin. Don’t exceed the daily recommended dosages while attempting to self-treat. Always consult with your doctor before using the supplement.
Recommended Dietary Allowance
- Healthy adults both men and women 19 years plus should take at least 2.4 mcg/per day
- Expectant mothers should take at least 2.6 mcg/day.
- Breastfeeding mothers should take at least 2.8 mcg/day.
- Senior citizens 50 years plus should take at least 100-400 mcg/per.
The deficiency of Vitamin B12 is the medical condition of low blood levels of Vitamin B12.The lack of Vitamin B12 in the blood manifests itself in a variety of signs and symptoms
Some other general symptoms that may occur because of a small shift in the Vitamin B12 levels in the blood.
- Feeling Dizzy
Vitamin B12 is nicknamed “energy vitamin”. Insufficient supply of the vitamin dents your red blood cell production.
Some of the signs people feel when they are lacking vitamin B12 include confusion, impaired thinking, and weakness. Unfortunately, most of them don’t think of testing to discover if they have low levels of the vitamin.
- Skin Looks Pale
Failure to take adequate Vitamin B12 can lead to loss of skin pigmentation and a condition known as pernicious anemia that makes the skin look pale.
Your tongue should be a little bumpy. If it feels smooth that could be a sign of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Weak Pulse Rate
When the oxygen capacity in your blood is reduced it indirectly pushes your heart-rate increases. Many of your organs start to fail because the heart finds it difficult to compensate for the difficulty in transporting oxygen to the vital spots.
- Muscle Weakness
Lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to easy bruising example tender calves and bleeding gums due to poor folic acid absorption.
- Weight Loss
Loss of appetite and reduced red blood cells results in unhealthy loss of weight and severe constipation problems.
Other Vitamin B12 Symptoms
- Troubled vision
- Mouth Ulcers
- Red tongue
- Weakening of your mental ability
- Poor muscular functions
- retarded growth in young children
Vitamin B12 Benefits
- Helps maintain good heart health
It has been known that homocysteine is an amino acid whose levels in the blood is controlled by levels of B complex vitamins such as Vitamin B12.
Homocysteine levels in the blood are considered as a major risk factor for heart diseases, Vitamin B12 helps to reduce elevated levels of homocysteine, thus helping reduce heart disease.
- Helps maintain steady Energy levels
Glucose from carbohydrate food sources is used to release useful cellular energy for the body, Vitamin B12 is crucial in the conversion of carbohydrates into usable glucose in the body for energy production.
It is for this reason why people with Vitamin B12 deficiencies often experience fatigue.
- Lowers risk of Neurodegenerative diseases and prevents memory loss.
Vitamin B12 is crucial in the neurotransmitter signaling process thus it helps in providing proper nerve health.
Vitamin B12 also plays a major role in cognitive function and it helps reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.
- Enhances proper digestion
The presence of Vitamin B12 promotes the growth of healthy bacteria within the gut environment.Vitamin B12 eliminates harmful bacteria in the digestive tract and allows beneficial bacteria to flourish this is what prevents digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and candida.
Finally, once your diagnosis is confirmed further tests should be done to verify what’s causing the anemic condition.
Under normal circumstances, your doctor can start treatment with B12 injections and tablets enough to bring back your health. Also, you need to work with a dietician to help restore your health.