Vitamin b12 is one of the most important vitamins for your body. Find out more!
Vitamin b12 is one of the most important vitamins for your body. It plays a big part in making sure you have healthy, functioning nerves, and it works to help create DNA and new red blood cells. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in this part of their diet. Vitamin b12 deficiency is a nasty thing that mostly manifests itself in pernicious anemia. Here are some tips to figure out if you are at risk for a vitamin b12 deficiency, and what to do to fix the problem.
The people most commonly suffering from a vitamin b12 deficiency are vegetarians and vegans, as the vitamin is most commonly and abundantly found in animal products. Meat, fish, poultry, liver, dairy and eggs are all rich in b12. While vegetarians can eat dairy and eggs, vegans aren’t able to eat any of these foods. The only other sources of b12 vitamins other than animal products are through nutritional yeast, and some fortified processed foods like soy milks, breakfast cereals and energy bars. Other causes of vitamin b12 deficiency are certain intestinal parasites and disorders that keep you from properly absorbing the vitamin, and alcoholism.
Symptoms of a vitamin b12 deficiency
There are a lot of symptoms that might point to a vitamin b12 deficiency. Feeling tired and fatigued all the time is one of the major ones, as is diagnosed anemia. If you feel like you aren’t able to perform mental work as well, and you memory and ability to concentrate are lower than usual, or that you find yourself getting irritable and depressed more often, then you might have a vitamin b12 deficiency. Other physical symptoms that have been noted before include having an itchy tongue, finding odd white spots on your skin, tingling limbs, mouth sores, and migraines. Having a few, or a lot, of these symptoms might speak to having a vitamin b12 deficiency.
What research found
Improved and increased nutritional research is finding that a lot more people have a vitamin b12 deficiency than previously thought. A recent study from Tufts University found that nearly 40% of the people they studied and monitored had a vitamin b12 deficiency, while continued research is finding that far more people might have dangerously low levels. Older people are far more common to suffer a vitamin b12 deficiency than younger people, and it’s likely that people from developing countries are far more common to be deficient due to poor diets.
Unfortunately, it can take a long time for these deficiencies to show up in your health. Vitamin b12 stores up in a few of your body’s organs, so it can take a long time on a poor diet before you use up your stores and start manifesting any symptoms- as long as 5 or 6 years. That’s why it’s a good idea to start supplementing your diet if you feel like you might have a vitamin b12 deficiency, or might be at risk for one.
You can start eating more animal products to increase the amount of the vitamin you get in your diet if you feel like you have a vitamin b12 deficiency, though it’s still a good idea to take some extra supplementation- especially if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Make sure you only take natural supplements extracted from whole food sources (like the BrainEffect products), as they are far more likely to be absorbed beneficially than synthetic vitamins constructed in a lab. If you aren’t absorbing you supplements, then a vitamin b12 deficiency probably won’t be the only problem you have.