Vitamin B12 Deficiency | Everything You Need to Know

by Shamsul
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How to Prevent Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a B-group vitamin that is necessary to maintain the proper functioning of the body. When it is lacking, various problems and symptoms can appear. Here is everything you need to know about vitamin B12 deficiency and its treatment.

Why is it Important to Avoid Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency is crucial, as it is a vitamin that has an essential role in many functions in the body. She is particularly involved in:

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The formation of healthy red blood cells.

The proper functioning of the nervous system and, more particularly, in the maintenance of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves.

DNA synthesis and, therefore, cell division and growth.

The fatty acids and amino acids are used to produce the energy the body needs.

Cardiovascular health.

The production of neurotransmitters plays a role in regulating mood.

In the long term, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, neurological disorders, and cognitive problems.

The People Who Are at Risk of Suffering from Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is usually found in foods of animal (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products). People who do not like to eat meat or other animal products are, therefore, more likely to be deficient. This is the case for people who follow a strict vegan diet (without any food from the animal kingdom) or vegetarians who consume no or very little dairy products or eggs. However, they can find plant sources of this vitamin or use food supplements that respect their beliefs to prevent deficiencies.

At the same time, certain gastrointestinal disorders can lead to malabsorption of vitamin B12 during digestion. This problem is seen in patients with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease. This is also the case in people who have undergone bariatric surgery (stomach reduction) or older people who produce less stomach acid as they age.

Finally, taking molecules such as metformin (an anti-diabetic medication) or proton pump inhibitors (to treat gastric acidity) can also hinder the absorption of B12.

How Do You Know If You Are Deficient in Vitamin B12?

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you are one of the people at risk of B12 deficiency, the appearance of certain symptoms may alert you:

1- Feeling of chronic fatigue

2- Anemia

3- Tingling in the extremities (feet, hands)

4- Balance disorders

5- Sore, swollen tongue

6- Mood disorders, depression

7- Cognitive disorders (memory loss, difficulty concentrating, etc.)

Tests and Analyses That Can Confirm A Deficiency

To confirm the vitamin B12 deficiency, a blood test can be taken to measure the presence of this vitamin in the blood circulation. A complete analysis of the sample can also reveal macrocytic anemia, which occurs when the deficiency causes the formation of bigger red blood cells. Finally, high levels of homocysteine ​​and methyl-malonic acid can also indicate this deficiency.

How to Protect and Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

For omnivores, ensuring a regular intake of meat, fish and dairy products is generally sufficient to maintain good vitamin B12 levels. Vegetarians and vegans can eat foods enriched with this vitamin (plant milk, cereals, etc.) or use food supplements that contain it.

Different supplements formulated in capsules or tablets. They can cover the daily needs of people who do not consume enough B12 or have difficulty assimilating it. This is particularly the case for our Veggie Vitamins and our Multi Vitamins, which are suitable for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Daily requirements for vitamin B12 vary between 2.5 and 5 µg/day, depending on the person’s situation. As, unlike other B vitamins, the body manages to store, it is possible to consume it in the form of a one-off treatment, even when the diet contains little meat.

If you think you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is imperative to consult a healthcare professional. Prevention through a balanced diet and supplementation if necessary, combined with appropriate medical treatment for proven cases, is the key to maintaining optimal intake of this vitamin.

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