Taking enough vitamins on a daily basis is critical for the proper functioning of the entire system. While all nutrients have their own, specific role in this process, Vitamin B12 and folic acid are considered to be the most important vitamins for the human body.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to many health issues, out of which megaloblastic anemia is the most common. This vitamin is complex and extremely important nutrient which is crucial for the normal development of red blood cells and nerve cells.
Red blood cells are being formed in the bone marrow. In a case of lack of vitamin B12, they are immature, of irregular shape and form, and unable to perform their major function: transport of oxygen to the organs and tissues.
VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS
Anxiety, fatigue, malaise, concentration problems, muscle pain, and hair and skin problems, such as fungal, dermatitis, and eczema, are the first noticeable symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
However, severe deficiency may lead to nervous disorders and even damage to the nerves of the spinal cord, causing paralysis. Anemia is also likely to happen, which develops slowly and takes time to reach a heavy degree. Everything starts with sudden weakness which is further accompanied by fatigue and faster heart pounding.
This condition is often manifested by loss of appetite, stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea stools. Burning sensation on the tongue is also possible, especially when taking some sour foods. Many people report having depressive changes like memory disorders or paresthesia of extremities.
In case the problem is not resolved on time, the condition may worsen and even cause brain damage and bleeding. The increase of the homocysteine levels is also possible, increasing the risk of coronary disease and heart attack.
VITAMIN B12 DAILY DOSE – DOSAGE
Adults: 3 mcg
Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg
Breastfeeding women: 2.8 mcg
Children aged 14 and older: 2.4 mcg
Children between the ages of 9 and 13: 1.8 mcg
Younger children between the ages of 4 and 8: 1.2 mcg
Babies 1-3 years old: 0.9 mcg
The body has nearly 5mb vitamin B12, provided that during the day the body loses 2 ½ micrograms. It is believed that clinical deficiency of vitamin B12 occurs when the overall level drops to 10% of normal.
Most people get enough vitamin B12 through food by eating meat, milk, cheese, and eggs on a regular basis. The proper absorption is an important factor as well, which depends on the health of the intestinal tract.
VITAMIN B12- RICH FOODS :
Animal products ( beef and pork, liver, kidney, heart, muscles, eggs, and fish)
Plants ( grains, soy products, brewer`s yeast)
Red beet, sesame, hazelnut, seaweed, soybeans
In case you take more than 3mcg vitamin B12 daily, don’t worry! This vitamin is water soluble and has low bioavailability, meaning that taking too much of it doesn’t cause hypervitaminosis.
WHY IS VITAMIN B12 SO BENEFICIAL
Stimulates the formation, growth, and maturation of red blood cells
Converts fats, carbs, and proteins into energy
Boosts memory and concentration
Treats various nerve disorders
Improves alertness and reduces irritability
It prevents anemia
Lowers homocysteine levels, an amino acids which increase the risk of heart disease
Relieves discomfort during menstruation
Increases appetite in children
For optimal absorption, you need to have a healthy stomach. This means that you should be free of Helicobacter and other bacteria which cause infection of the mucous membranes.
In case you are diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, make some dietary changes. However, seek medical attention and adequate medical therapy in case of severe deficiency.
Sources : healthandhealthyliving.com, www.prevention.com