The A-Z of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is essential for making red blood cells. These are the cells that carry much-needed oxygen to all the parts of your body. A Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in anaemia. In effect, your body will not have a sufficient number of RBC’s to optimally carry oxygen to all the cells in your body which can leave you feeling tired and weak.
What causes it?
People who consume a balanced diet that includes milk, cheese, eggs and meat generally get all the Vitamin B12 they need. This vitamin is absorbed by the stomach & intestines but a Vitamin B12 deficiency-related anaemia occurs if that absorption is hampered due to:
B12 Deficiency Symptoms
If you suffer from mild B12 deficiency, there may be no symptoms at all or they might be too subtle for you to actually notice them. Some people also attribute some of the symptoms to advancing age. But as the anaemia worsens, you might:
If the Vitamin B12 level continues to remain low for an extended period of time, it can cause nerve cell damage. In this event, you might:
Treating Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The treatment for the deficiency of this disease depends entirely on its cause:
Vitamin B12 benefits
It is evident that B12 is a very essential vitamin and performs a number of functions in the body. Here are some distinct B12 benefits:
Vitamin B12 Foods
It is generally possible to prevent B12 deficiency by consuming sufficient quantities of dairy products, eggs, poultry, meat as well as seafood. In case you suffer from a specific medical condition that prevents your body from absorbing nutrients from meats and dairy products, your doctor might prescribe a multivitamin that contains B12 and you will also be asked to regularly eat B12 fortified breakfast cereal. This vitamin in not found in foods that are obtained from plants unless you opt for fortified food.
Supplements that contain B12, or B12 in combination with some other B vitamins and folate, are also easily available. At the end of the day, like most deficiencies, Vitamin B12 deficiency also boils down to lack of proper diet and if we are able to set it right, this and similar conditions can be avoided.
Do you take any vitamin B supplements? Has it made any difference? Share your thoughts.
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