Factors that may increase vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include alcohol consumption, vegan diets, use of antacids or laxatives. B12 absorption decreases with age, so if you’re over sixty you could consider taking supplements.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can result in fatigue and apathy, back pain, weight loss, bone loss, problems with balance and reflexes, abnormal gait, tingling fingers, tinnitus, eye disorders, hallucinations and migraine headaches.
More severe vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include pernicious anemia, degrading of myelin sheath which insulates nerve fibers leading to multiple sclerosis, nervousness, neurological damage, degeneration of the spinal cord, and higher levels of blood homocysteine, toxic to the brain and linked to Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and stroke.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 is known as the energy vitamin and is a complex compound containing cobalt, also referred to as cyanocobamin or cobalamin. Up to five years worth of B12 can be stored by the body, but vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for older people, strict vegetarians and vegans.
Vitamin B12 benefits include being essential for the health and function of all cells, in particular bone marrow and nervous system tissue, and is linked to the manufacture of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.
Avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms, vitamin B12 benefits are important for red blood cell formation, protein synthesis, and fat and carbohydrate metabolism. B12 improves the functions of iron in the metabolic cycle and assists folic acid in the synthesis of choline. It also plays an important role in the production of the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA.
Vitamin B12 and Weight Loss
Vitamin B12 and weight loss are linked because it helps with the release of energy, stimulates the appetite, slows down mental deterioration and improves mental acuity though its connection to acetylcholine production.
The vitamin B12 and weight loss benefits help with proper digestion and food absorption. It is thought that vitamin B12 benefits also helps clear up infections, reduces allergies and may even help protect against cancer. Vitamin B12 supplements have been effectively used to treat allergies and asthma.
Vitamin B12 Overdose and Toxicity
Recommended dietary allowance (minimum daily dose to ward off serious vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms) of vitamin B12 dosage is 3 mcg for men and women, although up to 1000 mcg vitamin B12 dosage is commonly used in vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamin B12 overdose may cause skin problems, but you would only see this kind of vitamin B12 toxicity with extremely high doses.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B12
Here are examples of where to find animal foods rich in vitamin b12 and good plant foods high in vitamin b12:
Animal foods rich in vitamin b12 : Organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney, lean meats, fish and shellfish, cheese, eggs, milk.
Foods high in vitamin b12 can only be obtained from animal sources, so vegetarians and vegans should ensure B12 is included in their daily vitamin supplements. But there are a few of exceptions with good plant foods rich in vitamin b12; some soy products, sea vegetables such as kelp, wakame, kombu, dulse, and nori.
Include these vitamin B12 foods regulary in your diet to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms which might emerge over time if you don’t.