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Are you getting enough vitamin B12? You’ll want to make certain that you do to remain healthy.
Vitamin B12 has numerous beneficial effects on the body. It contributes to the production of DNA and red blood cells, among other things.
Because your body cannot produce vitamin B12, you must obtain it through animal-based meals or supplements. You should do this regularly. While B12 can be stored in the liver for up to 5 years, if your diet does not support its levels, you may become deficient.
The answer is determined by several factors, including your age, dietary habits, medical conditions, and medications.
The average recommended daily quantities, measured in micrograms (mcg), vary according to age.
Infants up to 6 months old: 0.4 mcg
Babies aged 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg
Children aged 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg.
Children aged 4 to 8 years: 1.2 mcg.
Children aged 9 to 13 years: 1.8 mcg.
Teens aged 14-18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant, 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding).
Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day when lactating).
Vitamin B12 can be obtained from animal foods that naturally contain it or from fortified meals.
Dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry are all animal-derived foods. If you’re looking for a B12-fortified item, check the Nutrition Facts label.
Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Most people in the United States obtain enough of this nutrient. If you’re unsure, ask your doctor if you should have a blood test to determine your vitamin B12 level.
With ageing, it may become more difficult to absorb this vitamin. It can also occur if you have undergone weight loss surgery or another procedure that removes a portion of your stomach, or if you drink excessively.
In atrophic gastritis, the stomach lining has thinned.
Pernicious anaemia makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B12.
Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite are all conditions that impact the small intestine.
Misusing alcohol or drinking excessively might make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients and hinder you from eating enough calories. Glossitis, or a swollen, inflamed tongue, can be a symptom that you are deficient in B12.
Immune system illnesses, such as Graves’ disease and lupus
Been using drugs that interfere with B12 absorption. This includes some heartburn medications, notably proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (Aciphex), H2 blockers such as famotidine (Pepcid AC), and certain diabetes medicines such as metformin (Glucophage).
You can also develop vitamin B12 deficiency if you adopt a vegan diet (which excludes all animal products such as meat, milk, cheese, and eggs) or if you are a vegetarian who does not consume enough eggs or dairy products to meet your vitamin B12 requirements. In both circumstances, you can meet this demand by eating fortified foods or taking supplements. Learn about the various types of vitamin B pills.
Pregnant or new mom?
Are you a pregnant woman who follows a vegan or vegetarian diet and intends to nurse exclusively? Before you deliver your baby, you should consult with your doctor to devise a strategy for getting enough vitamin B12 to keep your infant healthy.
Without adequate vitamin B12, your infant may experience developmental delays and fail to thrive and grow as expected.
Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you are deficient in vitamin B12, you may become anaemic. A modest deficit may produce no symptoms. However, if untreated, it may cause symptoms such as:
Weakness, fatigue, or lightheadedness
Heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
Pale skin and silky tongue.
Constipation, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and gas
Nerve issues, such as numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and difficulty walking
Depression, memory loss, and behavioural abnormalities are some examples of mental issues.
If you have pernicious anaemia or have difficulties absorbing vitamin B12, you will need to start with shots. You may need to continue getting these shots, consume large dosages of a supplement or receive it nasally after that. If you do not consume animal products, you have options. If you are lacking in vitamin B12, you can supplement your diet with vitamin B12-fortified cereals, get B12 shots, or take a high-dose oral vitamin B12.
Older persons with vitamin B12 insufficiency will most likely need to take a daily B12 supplement or a B12-containing multivitamin.
Most people find that treatment cures their problems. However, any nerve damage resulting from the deficit could be permanent.
Most people can avoid vitamin B12 insufficiency by consuming plenty of meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and eggs.
If you do not eat animal products or have a medical condition that affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, you can get vitamin B12 via a multivitamin or other supplement, as well as fortified meals.
If you decide to take vitamin B12 supplements, tell your doctor so they can tell you how much you need and make sure they don’t interfere with any medications you’re taking.