B12 vitamin is one of the most necessary, yet overlooked vitamin worldwide. It takes the main part in the metabolism.
And if we do not have sufficient amount of B12 for a longer period, it can cause neurological conditions and long-term diseases. For that reason, it is essential to be aware of the warning signals of B12 deficiency, in order to react and prevent a bunch of health problems on time.
Learn about the B12 deficiency signals and the importance of this vitamin for your health. You can also find a list of foods that contain high amounts of B12.
B12 Vitamin Deficiency – 7 Warning Signs
1. Muscle Weakness
If you have difficulties carrying your grocery bags, that means that your muscles are deprived of the convenient amount of oxygen. B12 deficiency and irregular oxygenation to muscle cells can cause sluggishness and muscle weakness. This may be a good reason why you cannot carry your grocery bags.
A frequent lightheadedness/dizziness or bouts of vertigo are warning signs of B12 vitamin deficiency. You may get dizzy standing up from the chair too fast or walking up and down the stairs.
Consult your doctor if you notice symptoms of vertigo because this situation could be dangerous. In any case, you will receive convenient treatment for the deficiency of the vitamins.
If you forget ordinary things on a daily basis that does not necessarily mean you have dementia, but lack of B12 vitamin. Also, most of the people think that they have dementia or Alzheimer’s, but they have lack of B12 vitamin.
To check this condition, you should do a blood test, and with appropriate supplements, you can improve your memory.
4. Eye Problems
Long-term deficiency of B12 vitamin can cause vision changes or damages. Even rarely, an optic neuropathy can be caused by B12 deficiency which will result in doubled, blurred or reduced central vision, tracers or shadows, and light sensitivity. However, supplements can help to restore the vision.
5. Pale Skin
There was a time when you used to have rosy cheeks, but now your skin is pale. This is probably caused by the B12 deficiency which indicates lack of erythrocytes. At this point, the production of bilirubin is on a higher level which replaces the rosy cheeks with pale skin.
6. Pins and Needles
Paraesthesia or Pins and Needles is caused by a deficiency of the B12 vitamin. If you have experienced prickling, tingling, numbing sensation in the feet and hand or through all the body, and electric shock waves it is because of the nerve damage that is caused by B12 deficiency.
If you are B12 deficient means that your production of erythrocytes is reduced which results in low level of oxygen in the nerve tissues.
7. Unexplained Fatigue
Even if you are sleeping as you should, you constantly feel tired. In fact, this is another B12 deficiency signal. Therefore, the unexplained fatigue occurs because of the reduced production of erythrocytes in the body, that results in poor amount of oxygen transported to the organs.
Vitamin B12 Health Benefits
In order to understand the B12 vitamin significance, read the following list of the health benefits:
1. Prevents Nerve Damage
Myelin sheath is the natural cover of the nerves, and its initial purpose is to secure them from free radical damage and toxins. If the nerves do not have this covering, they can be killed and damaged which will provoke nerve-related disorders.
This is happening because the dead nerves are discontinuing the transmission of signals from and to the brain.
2. Prevents Stroke and Heart Disease
If the heart disease is the principal cause of death, everyone should consider taking serious measures for protection. It is discovered that homocysteine’s increased levels have a higher risk factor than cholesterol for heart disease.
This can produce inflammation if there is a deficiency of the B12 vitamin. Moreover, this vitamin reduces the homocysteine’s level and also the risk of stroke and heart disease.
3. Helps Digestion
Vitamin B12 helps in the creation of digestive enzymes, and it is helpful with the breakdown of food and supports a healthy metabolism. It can help remove the harmful bacteria in your digestive tract, and also can help promote the healthy bacteria in your gut.
This prevents candida, inflammatory bowel disease, and digestive disorders.
4. Supports Energy
Vitamin B12 vitalizes the production of energy in such way that keeps your cells healthy and well-fed. If your body has lack of vitamin B12, you will be tired and weak constantly.
In order to convert carbs into glucose (crucial participant in energy production), metabolism requires B12 vitamin. For this reason, if your body has a deficit of B12, it is evident that you will suffer from fatigue.
5. Good for Bones
For patients with osteoporosis or anyone who has problems with bone conditions, the B12 vitamin is recommended. As already mentioned, B12 vitamin may reduce homocysteine’s levels, that makes it a great supplement for those patients.
6. Prevent Anemia and Helps with the Production of Erythrocytes
Since the B12 vitamin helps with the production of erythrocytes, also, it will prevent megaloblastic anemia that is manifested by chronic fatigue and weakness.
Vitamin B12 – Natural Sources
Foods with the highest level of B12 vitamin:
- Chicken liver and Beef – 81 mg in 3 ounces
- Salmon – 19.5 mg in 108 gr (1 filet)
- Herring – 18.7 mg in 143 gr (1 filet)
- Mackerel – 15.3 mg in 3 ounces
- Sardines – 13.3 mg in 1 cup
- Tuna – 9.3 mg in 3 ounces
- Trout – 9.1 mg in 1 filet
- Organic yogurt – 1.3 mg in 1 container (plain Greek yogurt)
- Turkey – 1.1 mg in 3 ounces
- Raw milk – 1mg in 1 cup
- Beef tenderloin – 0.9 mg in 3 ounces
- Lamb – 0.8 mg in 3 ounces
Also, this vitamin can be found in the following sources which are non-vegan: cheese, cereals, plant- based milk (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk), nutritional yeasts.
As a result, vitamin B12 protects us from a number of health diseases and problems and has a significant role in the overall health.