How Can I Prevent Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Most people can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by consuming foods and drinks that have vitamin B12.
Options for consuming vitamin B12 include:
- Animal food products: Red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy products all contain vitamin B12.
- Fortified foods: Fortified foods are foods that have certain vitamins and nutrients added to them that they donât naturally have. Fortified foods include certain breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, plant milk and certain bread. Be sure to check the food label to see if the food has been fortified with vitamin B12.
- Vitamin B12 dietary supplements: Many multivitamins have vitamin B12. There are also supplements that only have vitamin B12. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist to help you choose which supplement is best for you.
Other things you can do to help prevent vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Avoid alcohol: Frequent alcohol consumption can damage your digestive system and make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamin B12.
- Do your best to manage your digestive disease: If you have a digestive disease such as Crohnâs disease or celiac disease, be sure to follow your healthcare providerâs instructions to stay healthy.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can also come on relatively quickly. Given the array of symptoms a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, the condition can be overlooked or confused with something else. Vitamin B12deficiency symptoms may include:
- strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
- difficulty walking
Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Range From Mild Fatigue To Severe Neurological Complications
Villamor said people lacking in vitamin B12 developed a variety of symptoms depending on how long they were deficient in the nutrient.
People with a mild vitamin B12 deficiency could develop fatigue, he said. Vitamin B12 reacts with compounds in the body to produce DNA and energy, which is why a deficiency can lead to tiredness.
Mild to moderate vitamin B12 deficiency may cause anemia, when the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to help distribute oxygen. Dr. Aaron Goodman, a hematologist and professor at UC San Diego Health, previously told Insider that anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency produced cracks or sores around the mouth.
Villamor said moderate vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to a form of anemia called macrocytosis, when red blood cells enlarge. The condition does not typically produce symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic, but can show up on routine blood tests.
Moderate deficiency may also lead to peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include sensory problems like tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, and glossitis, tongue inflammation that might result in sensitivity to spicy or acidic food.
Severe deficiency could result in “serious neurological and psychiatric manifestations,” Villamor said. Neurological symptoms include:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause physical, neurological and psychological symptoms. The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can develop slowly and can get worse over time. Some people may have no symptoms despite having a low level of vitamin B12 in their bodies. People with vitamin B12 deficiency can have neurological symptoms and/or damage without anemia .
General physical symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include:
- Feeling very tired or weak.
Neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include:
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet.
- Vision problems.
- Having a hard time remembering things or getting confused easily.
- Having a difficult time walking or speaking like you usually do.
- If neurological problems develop from vitamin B12 deficiency, they may not be reversible.
Psychological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include:
- Feeling depressed.
- Experiencing a change in the way you feel and behave.
Deficiencies In Both May Lead To Anemia
Many studies link low vitamin D levels with a higher risk of anemia. One study of pregnant women in Tanzania found that those with low vitamin D levels were at higher risk of anemia, and a U.S. study found that people with anemia were more likely to have low levels of vitamin D as well.
A deficiency in both vitamins can lead to anemia, a sluggish metabolism, and difficulties with your nervous system. Because one primary cause of anemia is low dietary iron and vitamin B12, it stands to reason that the two are interconnected in ways that scientific research hasn’t fully revealed yet.«0Many people find that they are often deficient in vitamin B12 and vitamin D at the same time. Is there a reason for this? The science provides several answers and poses a few unanswered questions.
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Can I Take Vitamin B12 And D Together
You can take vitamins B12 and D together. Many supplements combine these two vitamins. Vitamin D is fat-soluble while B12 is water-soluble it doesn’t matter if you take them at the same time or not.
Vitamin D helps with calcium and magnesium absorption, while vitamin B12 supports nerve cells and red blood cell formation. Combining the two nutrients can help keep your bones strong, your immune system working well, and your energy at optimum levels.
You’ve probably heard some conflicting information about whether or not you can take vitamin D and B12 together.
Can you take too much of one? Will the other be ineffective?
This article will discuss the benefits of vitamin D and B12, how they can be taken together, and what side effects to watch out for.
Lets get to it.
Why Take Vitamin D
Your body needs vitamin D to function.
Vitamin D helps with calcium and magnesium absorption from our food to form strong bones and teeth. It also plays a role in muscle strength, immunity, hormone regulation, cancer protection, and cardiovascular health.
Sun exposure is the best way to get enough vitamin Dbecause UV rays are essential for its formation in our skin. You can also consider some tanning sessions at the beach as an excellent source of natural sunlight and, thus, Vitamin D!
If you’re concerned about how much time you should spend outside, then be sure to wear sunscreen when spending extended periods in direct sunlight.
The best vitamin D sources in food arefatty fish like salmonor tuna , egg yolks , and fortified dairy products such as milk or yogurt.
If you’re not getting enough sunlight daily or if you live at northern latitudes where there’s less sun exposure during wintertime, the chances are good that you’ll need some extra supplementation of vitamin D!
For vegans, many doctors recommend getting your vitamin D from health supplements.However, it’s important that you consult with your doctor before taking any additional supplementation.
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Breaking Down Vitamin B12
The classic action of vitamin B12 is in the formation and function of red blood cells, but research suggests that the role of vitamin B12 may extend beyond that of erythropoiesis to include protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism 2.
Vitamin B12 belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins that function as important coenzymes and cofactors for numerous biological reactions. It plays an essential role in the development, myelination, and function of the central nervous system, the formation of healthy red blood cells, and DNA synthesis 5-7.
Vitamin B12 also functions as a cofactor for two enzymes: methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase.
The former is required for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, whereas the latter helps convert L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA in the metabolism of the short-chain fatty acid propionate 8. And along with folate , B12 produces S-adenosylmethionine , a compound that is involved in regulating mood and immune function.
However, heres the thing with vitamin B12.
Unless youre a vegan, chances are youre getting enough B12 through diet. But for your body to actually absorb B12, it must bind to a protein called intrinsic factor to be absorbed. Since intrinsic factor is activated by stomach acid, you need sufficient acid levels to truly absorb any B12 you consume.
Thats where supplementation can be really useful, as sublingual B12 can bypass gastric absorption.
Why Vitamin B12 Is Important
The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions. The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms a day. Like most vitamins, B12 cant be made by the body. Instead, it must be gotten from food or supplements.
And therein lies the problem: Some people dont consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others cant absorb enough, no matter how much they take in. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people.
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Vitamin B1: What To Know
Do you get enough vitamin B12? You’ll want to make sure that you do, in order to stay healthy.
Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for your body. It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells, for example.
Since your body doesn’t make vitamin B12, you have to get it from animal-based foods or from supplements. And you should do that on a regular basis. While B12 is stored in the liver for up to five years, you can eventually become deficient if your diet doesn’t help maintain the levels.
Why Take Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps the body produce red blood cells and create DNA. It’s also involved in nerve cell communication, and it aids the body with energy metabolism.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to some severe problems, including impaired brain function, dementia, depression-like symptoms, or even a disease called pernicious anemia.
The best vitamin B12 sources include meat ,seafoodsuch as clams or mussels, eggs from chickens who are fed supplemental cobalamin, and fortified cows milk.
Also, note that vegans and vegetarians will need to supplement their diet with vitamin B12 from fortified foods andvegan supplements.
The easiest way to meet your daily B12 intake isWhy Not Natural B12 Supplement. It is a natural health supplement recommended by doctors.
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Other Signs And Symptoms Of B12 Deficiency
In addition to the symptoms above, B12 deficiency may lead to the following:
- Muscle cramps and muscle weakness. B12 deficiency negatively impacts motor and sensory nerve function, which can cause muscle cramps and weakness .
- Impaired coordination.Ataxia, or impaired balance and coordination, is a neurological symptom that can be caused by B12 deficiency. As such, a person with B12 deficiency may have difficulty walking and balancing .
- Erectile dysfunction. Men with B12 deficiency may experience erectile dysfunction as a result of increased levels of homocysteine in the body (
/9warning Signs Of Vitamin D3 & B12 Deficiency
A drop in vitamin D3 and B12 levels can give rise to several health issues, as per lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho.
From a body ache, brain fog, fatigue, to hormonal imbalance, brittle nails and memory loss, deficiency of both these vitamins can cause serious health concerns.
In the post, Coutinho writes: “There is enough medical science that links vitamin D3 and B12 to almost everything right from your immune system to hormonal and brain health.”
“Whether you have PCOS, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, weak bones, low energy levels, any autoimmune condition, or are on a heavy treatment – you need adequate levels of these two vitamins,” he adds.
He urges each one to “spend that money and get yourself tested for its levels.”
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Signs & Symptoms Of Vitamin B
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B-complex responsible for energy metabolism, red blood cell formation and neurological functioning. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is best known for having an interdependent relationship with calcium to aid in its absorption for the building and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is also linked to improving immunity and decreasing inflammation. It is possible to become deficient in either one or both of these vitamins.
Changes To Your Appetite And Digestive Health
A loss of appetite and even weight loss are common signs of low vitamin B12, according to the NIH. And it can also change your bowel movements: Diarrhea and constipation can also be symptoms, according to Mount Sinai.
You may also experience other GI-type issues, such as nausea, vomiting and bloating, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
A B12 deficiency could also lead to urinary incontinence, according to PeaceHealth.
IBS and B12 Deficiency: Is There a Connection?
One of the most common symptoms of IBS is alternating between bouts of diarrhea and constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include cramping and bloating, difficulty swallowing and weight loss.
While some of the symptoms of the two conditions are the same, “there is no scientific evidence that IBS and vitamin B12 deficiency are connected in any way,” says , a dietitian at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
Still, Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York-based internist and gastroenterologist, says it’s not uncommon for people with IBS to also have a vitamin B12 deficiency. “Due to their disrupted intestinal walls, it is difficult for the vitamin to be absorbed in the small intestine,” he explains.
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How Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Diagnosed
It can be difficult to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency because symptoms are not always present or the symptoms can be similar to other nutritional deficiencies. Healthcare providers will usually do routine blood tests to check for vitamin B12 deficiency in people who have a high risk of developing it.
The tests used to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency are a complete blood count and a vitamin B12 blood test level. A person is diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency if the amount of vitamin B12 in their blood is less than 150 per mL.
You Feel Tired And Drained
Even the best of us hits the snooze button now and then but if you’re constantly tired, it could signal a nutrient deficiency. Vitamin B-12 plays a key role in managing your energy levels because it contributes to healthy red blood cells the specialized cells that supply your tissues with oxygen. Low B-12 levels can mean fewer fully functional red blood cells, which means you’ll likely feel fatigued and feel short of breath as your cells struggle to get the oxygen they need. Correcting your B-12 levels should solve the problem, allowing your body to make healthy red blood cells again.
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What Happens If I Have Too Much Vitamin D
Although side effects of vitamin D toxicity are rare, they can include nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
If you experience these side effects after increasing your supplement intake or getting more sunlight exposure , then cut back on the dosage immediately!
It’s also possible for people with hyperparathyroidism to have issues absorbing calcium properly, which means that taking too much supplemental vitamin D might make this worse.
However, themaximum recommended daily amount for vitamin Dintake for adults is much higher than the typical intake at 4000 IU, and many doctors advise even higher doses when the patient has a deficiency.
But because everyone’s body responds differently to different doses of medication or vitamins, make sure you consult a nutritionist or doctor before starting any new regimen.
It’s also important to note that there isn’t enough evidence on how these amounts affect children under 18, so parents should consult their pediatrician first before giving them additional supplementation.
When Should I Take B12 And D
Water-soluble vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach with a glass of water. According to dr. perez-gallardo, the best time to take b12 is in the morning so it doesnt interfere with sleep. C is also a good source of vitamin K, which is important for the absorption of calcium and other minerals. C also helps to prevent the formation of blood clots, according to the National Institutes of Health.
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/9important Points To Know
Vitamins are essential nutrients which the body needs to complete its functions. The major source of vitamins is food however depending on the type of food one consumes many people often miss out on getting essential vitamins which is required for their body.
When opting a supplement instead of food, one should be careful about the doses. Though an overdose dose does not pose a greater risk, it does no good to the body either.
Burden Of Vitamin D Vitamin B12 And Folic Acid Deficiencies In An Aging Rural Indian Community
- Centre for Brain Research, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Introduction: The important role of micronutrient deficiencies in aging-related disorders including dementia is becoming increasingly evident. However, information on their burden in India is scarce, especially, among aging and rural communities.
Methods: Prevalence of vitamin D, B12 and folic acid deficiency was measured in an ongoing, aging cohort, from rural IndiaSrinivaspura Aging Neurosenescence and COGnition study cohort. Serum level estimation of vitamin D, B12 and folic acid, using chemiluminescence immunoassay, was performed on 1648 subjects .
Results: Mean vitamin D, B12 and folic acid levels were 23.4 ± 10.6 ng/ml, 277.4 ± 194.4 pg/ml and 6 ± 3.5 ng/ml), respectively. Prevalence of low vitamin D , vitamin D deficiency , B12 deficiency and folic acid deficiency were 75.7, 39.1, 42.3, and 11.1%, respectively. Significantly more women had vitamin D deficiency, whereas more men had folic acid deficiency. Women belonging to the oldest age group had the maximum burden of low vitamin D and folic acid deficiency .
Discussion: Older, rural-dwelling Indians have high burden of vitamin D and B12 deficiencies, which is concerning given the potentially negative consequences on cognition, immunity and frailty in the aging population. Urgent public health strategies are needed to address this issue and prevent or mitigate adverse consequences.
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