Health & Diet

Everything You Should Know About Chronic B12 Deficiency

Gathering the "Fourth"Photo by SodanieChea

Vegans and vegetarians aren’t the only ones who can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. You can also suffer from this, whether you are old or your, raw foods enthusiast, gluten-free, a Paleo. According to several surveys in the United States, one in every 31 adults who is age 51 or older, is deficient in vitamin 12.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which is required for many reactions in the body as well as for the health of the red blood cells, nerves, and DNA. It is also known as cobalamin. One of the most important roles of this vitamins is as a methyl group donor, which is a crucial step in a lot of main detoxification pathways.

Cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin are the most common forms of vitamin B12. Cyanocobalamin is typically found in energy drinks and supplements. However, it must be converted into methylcobalamin in order for our bodies to use it.If you ignore a B12 deficiency it can affect your entire body and lead to permanent nerve and brain damage. Sometimes B12 deficiency can be misdiagnosed and overlooked as other disorders, such as autism, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and some cancers.

There are some common signs of B12 deficiency, so pay attention to them.Common signs are shortness of breath, low energy, fatigue, weakness, heart palpitations, frequent bleeding or bruising, digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea, loss of appetite, brain fog, confusion, memory loss, dementia, anemia, numbness and tingling in feet or hands, and mood issues or depression. Since our bodies don’t produce vitamin B12, we should get it through supplementation or through diet.

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Each adult person needs 2.4 micrograms per day, and the best dietary sources of this vitamin are animal products, such as eggs, fish, poultry and meat. On the other hand, vegan sources of this vitamin include seaweed, algae, and nutritional yeast. However, some studies have shown that these sources have small effect on B12 blood levels. The absorption, assimilation as well as methylation of this vitamins is a complex process. For this reason, there are many opportunities for error. Therefore, people who consume sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 could still have a functional B12 deficiency.

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There are some common causes of B12 deficiency, such as bariatric surgeries, low stomach acid from extended use of stomach acid-reducing drugs, small SIBO (Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) and leaky gut, excessive consumption of alcohol, intestinal inflammation from celiac or Crohn’s disease, Autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and Graves’ disease, pernicious anemia, MTHFR gene mutations, and vegetarian and vegan diets.Eat a diet which is rich in animal protein. People without MTHFR mutations or dietary restrictions can simply eat more eggs, poultry, fish, and meat in their diets.

You can also take a high quality multivitamin with methyl-B12. Consume a high-dose oral supplement of methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin). This is a must option for people with mutations at the MTHFR gene. The elderly, vegans, vegetarians, and anyone else with low levels of this vitamin should consume it. Take sublingual methyl-B12 drop. This is recommended for people with SIBO or other gut issues which affect absorption. Get shot of B12. The shots are recommended for people with severely depleted B12 levels or pernicious anemia.

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