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Posts Tagged ‘B vitamin’

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part I: Planning a Baby

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012



Have you been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy?  If not, you should.  If you have vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, you can still have a normal pregnancy and give birth to a happy, healthy baby. Here are some crucial facts about vitamin B12 deficiency and pregnancy.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part I: Planning a Baby

Vitamin B12- What is it?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential B-vitamin that occurs naturally in animal-based foods: beef, chicken, halibut, crabmeat, clams, and Swiss cheese are among the richest food sources of vitamin B12.

Your body (and your baby) needs vitamin B12 for many vital functions:

  • Red blood cell production
  • Protection of the nerve cells
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Bone health
  • DNA synthesis
  • Homocysteine control
  • Energy production

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

The following symptoms may indicate the beginning of vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Fatigue in the morning after sleeping the whole night- this is because your brain is not getting enough oxygen
  • Memory loss from reduced cognitive skills
  • Brain fog
  • Painful tingling in the arms, hands, feet, legs, and tongue- this is a sign of neurological damage
  • Depression and anxiety- vitamin B12 deficiency compromises emotional wellness.
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • For more, read: Vitamin B12 Deficiency- 4 Causes, 1 Solution

Is vitamin B12 deficiency harmful for my baby?

Numerous studies have been conducted linking vitamin B12 deficiency with the following complications:

  • According to a National Institutes of Health study, women who have vitamin B12 deficiency before getting pregnant of after conception increase their baby’s chance of suffering from neural tube defects such as spina bifida by five times.
  • Increased homocysteine levels resulting from insufficient vitamin B12 are linked with miscarriages, preeclampsia, and high risk for heart disease.
  • Babies born to women with vitamin B12 deficiency are 15% more likely to suffer from insulin resistance, according to a University of California, Davis study.
  • Also read: Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Am I at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?

Most healthy people who eat foods rich in vitamin B12 don’t have to worry about becoming deficient.  Still, vitamin B12 malabsorption is the leading nutritional deficiency, and that percentage is climbing, so it’s worth understanding the risk factor involved.

People who are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • People with pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disorder involving the inability to make intrinsic factor, a necessary hormone for absorbing vitamin B12
  • Anybody who has had gastric bypass surgery
  • Anybody who has had the ileum removed through gastrointestinal surgery
  • Diabetics who take metformin
  • People taking protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD
  • People with illnesses or conditions that affect the digestive system, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, food allergies, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Alcoholics
  • Elderly individuals

Don’t I get enough B12 from prenatal vitamins?

Yes and no.  If your stomach is able to manufacture intrinsic factor and thus digest vitamin B12, then you probably get the bare minimum dosage from prenatal vitamin supplements. 

However, if you have pernicious anemia, or if you suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder, then it doesn’t matter how many vitamin B12 pills you swallow; all dietary sources of vitamin B12 are indigestible.  Without intrinsic factor, your body cannot access vitamin B12 unless it is inserted directly into the bloodstream.

Pregnant Moms and Low B-12 Levels: Let ‘em Eat Steak!

Get tested for B12 deficiency

Before you start planning a family, get tested for vitamin B12 deficiency.  Unfortunately, most physicians don’t automatically check for vitamin B12 deficiency, so you’ll need to request a B12 blood screening.

If you are diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, then your doctor will most likely prescribe routine rounds of vitamin B12 shots, which must be inserted intramuscularly.  In order to keep from getting deficient again, you may need to continue receiving B12 shots for life.

Please tell us…

If you have pernicious anemia, did you find out only after years of suffering, or were you warned about it from family members?

Have you been putting off having a baby because of low energy from vitamin B12 deficiency?

As always, we welcome your comments!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Natalie Portman Chooses B12 over Veganism

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms


Low Levels of Vitamin B12 During Pregnancy May Increase the Risk of Neural Tube Defects

Low maternal vitamin B-12 status is associated with offspring insulin resistance regardless of antenatal micronutrient supplementation in rural Nepal- PubMed, NCBI

Micronutrient Information Center

Vitamin B12 and Pregnancy


Is Vitamin B12 the Secret to the Fountain of Youth?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011



Good news for vitamin B12 users- you might have discovered the secret to the Fountain of Youth! Vitamin B-12 is the preferred health supplement of Jack Lindsley, who just celebrated his 100th birthday.  Find out what makes this B vitamin one of the best nutrients for old age in your pharmacy.


Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Do you know Jack?

Jack Lindsley is a 100-year-old D-day veteran who just celebrated his birthday. He has served in World War II, married the love of his life, and worked in the postal service for 28 years.  After his wife passed away in 1990, this retired firefighter dedicated his life to volunteer work.

Walk into the Doylestown, Pennsylvania hospital mailroom, and you’ll find Jack smiling and joking with other mailroom attendants while patiently sorting the mail.  “The most pleasant man to be around,” Jack Lindsley has an infectious personality and a talent for dispensing good old-fashioned advice…


Feed your Brain Something You’ll never Forget

So what’s his secret Fountain of Youth?

Jack eats plenty of foods high in B12.

“I do cooking to my liking.  Breakfast could be all three meals – I like bacon, eggs, and pancakes.” Meat, fish, cheese, and eggs- these are all food sources that are rich in vitamin B12.  Jack also likes cooking meatloaf- another dish high in vitamin B12.

As far as healthy living routines go, Jack swears by his old standbys- aspirin and vitamin B12 supplements every day.

What makes vitamin B12 the best anti-aging vitamin?

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy metabolism, as it helps your body convert fat into energy.
  • Vitamin B12 is good for your heart. B12 lowers your homocysteine levels, thus decreasing your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
  • IS VITAMIN B12 THE SECRET TO THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? WWW.B12PATCH.COMVitamin B12 supports cognitive functioning. Scientists discovered that vitamin B12 promotes healthy brain mass. Older individuals who take extra doses of vitamin B12 receive the benefits of good memory skills, mental focus, and overall peace of mind. They are also less likely to experience symptoms of aging, such as forgetfulness, mood disorders, and confusion.
  • Vitamin B12 sustains hair growth. By avoiding B12 deficiency, you reduce your chances of symptoms of aging like premature baldness and hair whitening.  Vitamin B12 also promotes skin elasticity, for fewer wrinkles.
  • Vitamin boosts energy. When your vitamin B12 levels run dry, you feel increasingly fatigued, depressed, disoriented, and confused. By taking regular vitamin B12 supplements, you avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency, and guarantee normal energy levels and mental clarity.
  • Vitamin B12 supports bone health. In a scientific study, elderly individuals who had the highest levels of vitamin B12 in their blood experienced significantly lower levels of bone loss than those who had the lowest levels of B12.

Read more about vitamin B12 and symptoms of aging:

Vitamin B12 and your Bones- Osteoporosis from B12 Deficiency

Bilingual Alzheimer’s Patients Fare Better Than Most

FDA Approves Brain Scan to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease


Hospital volunteer celebrates 100th birthday

Closing out his first century, and still volunteering in Bucks

Image credits, from top:

LadyDayDream, ciccioetneo, maxintosh

Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you

Monday, November 21st, 2011



You might not realize this, but your prescription medications could be giving you vitamin B12 deficiency; certain drugs drain B12 from your system and prevent you from absorbing vitamin B12- cobalamin- naturally from food sources.  If you currently take any of the following medications, then you could be at risk for severe neurological damage.


Who is at risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in most animal protein sources; beef, chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, mussels, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are all rich in this essential B vitamin.  Unless you follow a vegan diet, you probably ingest sufficient amounts of B12.

However, there are certain conditions, demographics, and lifestyle choices that can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12, regardless of how many hamburgers you eat.  They are:

  • Being among the elderly
  • Suffering from gastrointestinal disease, such as Celiac, Crohn’s, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Submitting to bariatric surgery
  • Lacking the ability to produce intrinsic factor, a hormone that aids in vitamin B12 absorption
  • Suffering from fibromyalgia, or other autoimmune diseases


Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Which medications deplete vitamin B12 levels?

Certain medications may prevent your body from digesting vitamin B12- heartburn drugs, for example.  If you experience symptoms such as chronic fatigue, memory loss, depression, brain fog, tingling or prickly sensations in your hands and feet, or altered sense of taste, you might have depleted your stores of vitamin B12.  The only way to be certain is to get your vitamin B12 levels checked with a blood screening.


The following prescription drugs drain vitamin B12:

Anti-inflammatory medications

  • Beclomethasone
  • Budesonide
  • Dexamethasone
  • Fluticasone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Mometasone Furoate
  • Prednisone
  • Triamcinolone

Antibiotic medications

  • Aminoglycosides
  • Cephalosporin
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Macrolides
  • Penicillin Derivatives
  • Quinolones
  • Sulfa drugs
  • Tetracycline Derivatives

Anticonvulsant medications

  • Phenobarbital


  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Desogestrel
  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Levonorgestrel
  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Norethindrone
  • Ethinyl Estradiol and Norgestimate

Cholesterol lowering medications

  • Cholestyramine
  • Colestipol

Diabetes medications

  • Metformin

Gout medications

  • Colchicine

Heart medications

  • Potassium Chloride

Proton pump inhibitors- heartburn drugs

  • Lansoprazole
  • Omeprazole

Ulcer medications

  • Cimetidine
  • Famotidine
  • Nizatidine
  • Ranitidine Bismuth Citrate
  • Ranitidine Hydrochloride

Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:

Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency


Drugs that Deplete: Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12

Image credits, from top:

Pixomar, africa, Ambro, TeddyBear[Picnic]

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