Welcome to the Vitamin B12 blog! Find information on topics related to vitamin B12. This blog is dedicated to providing up to date research, news and resources pertaining to vitamin B12, general health information surrounding the benefits of vitamin B12. Learn from, and contribute to information on B12, vitamin B12 and other connected subjects. Feel free to participate in blog discussions and contribute your opinion on the related topics covered in the Vitamin B12 blog.
The richest food sources of vitamin B12 come from meat, fish, and milk sources. Some vegan vitamin B12 sources are available, but for maximum vitamin B12 benefits, you would have to eat a lot of tofu to get close to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week. How can you avoid vitamin B12 deficiency on a vegan diet?
Are you getting enough vitamin B12?
The RDA for vitamin B12 is minimal- only a few mcg of B12 per day. However, according to various scientific studies, people who receive doses upwards of 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week reported experiencing increased stamina, mental focus, and feelings of wellbeing.
Non-vegan sources of vitamin B12:
Clams: One 3-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12.
Liver: After clams, liver is the richest source of vitamin B12. A 3-ounce serving of cooked lamb liver contains a whopping 72.8 mcg of vitamin B12.
Fish eggs: A 3-ounce serving of whitefish caviar provides 56.4 mcg of vitamin B12.
Mackerel: Mackerel has 19 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams.
Vegan sources of vitamin B12:
Soymilk: An 8-ounce cup of soymilk provides a mere 2 mcg of vitamin B12, give or take.
Tofu: A typical serving of tofu provides 1.86 mcg of vitamin B12.
Marmite: Yeast spreads contain 0.5 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams, or 0.03 per teaspoon.
Are you at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?
There are many ways to get vitamin B12 deficiency, but they generally boil down to this:
Either you don’t eat enough foods that have vitamin B12, or you eat plenty of fish and meat, but you’re not digesting the B12.
Lack of intrinsic factor (a hormone necessary for digesting vitamin B12)
Drug interaction (metformin, PPIs)
Gastrointestinal surgery (gastric bypass)
Getting extra vitamin B12
If you don’t have B12 deficiency, but you want to boost stamina, maintain a healthy weight, or enhance cognitive functioning by increasing vitamin B12 levels, then your choices are:
Become a seafood lover, or
Supplement with vitamin B12 for life.
Which B12 supplements are available?
There are different kinds of B12 vitamins, some of which require a doctor’s prescription.
Vitamin B12 shots: If diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, then your doctor might prescribe 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 injections per week, or as needed. A prescription is required, and many patients find that their fatigue symptoms return before the next scheduled vitamin B12 shot.
Sublingual vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 tablets that dissolve under the tongue are available with or without prescription. Vitamin B12 pills are not efficient ways to access vitamin B12, and they often require you to take 3 doses throughout the day.
Side effects of sublingual vitamin B12 may include burning sensations on tongue and unpleasant taste.
Please tell us…
How do you get your vitamin B12- from supplements in pill form, vitamin B12 shots, or otherwise?
We’d love to hear from you- please feel free to leave your comments!
Spread the love…
Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!
If you’re planning a pregnancy, you might want to check your B12 levels- numerous reports link vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy with miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, and other fertility problems. B12 deficiency anemia- pernicious anemia- makes it harder for women to conceive, as well as for men to produce fertile sperm.
Medical research proves the fertility-B12 deficiency link
One of the most famous studies on fertility and B12 deficiency examined fourteen women of childbearing age who suffered vitamin B12 deficiency:
All women who participated in the study suffered severe vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in addition to low fertility- Four had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for two to eight years, and eleven experienced repeated miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
Dr. Michael Bennett, hematologist of the Ha’Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, implemented vitamin B12 supplementation to see if it would have any effect on their ability to conceive and have healthy pregnancies.
If fetal loss were to continue despite elevating B12 levels, it would prove that infertility was unrelated to B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia symptoms.
Instead, result showed that ten out of the fourteen test subjects experienced favorable results from vitamin B12 supplements. The results can be found in this study on vitamin B12 and fertility.
Dr. Bennett explains the connection
Bennett notes that B12 deficiency, combined with folate deficiency, led to thrombophilia (blood clotting) in seven of the women studied, thus increasing their risk for miscarriage.
He believes that taking large amounts of folic acid, a nutrient prescribed to women of childbearing age, often masks B12 deficiency symptoms, making it harder to diagnose and treat.
In his conclusion, Dr. Bennett attributes raised homocysteine levels, a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, with repeated fetal loss, and over time, ovulation disorder.
“Correcting this deficiency can rapidly lead to a normal pregnancy,” states Bennett. “This study illustrates the importance of measuring B12 levels…in every patient investigated for infertility or recurrent (miscarriage).”
Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it helps to produce red blood cells, promotes DNA synthesis, guards the nervous system’s myelin sheath, maintains cognitive functioning, lowers homocysteine levels, and supports metabolism.
Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve damage, cognitive disorders, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
What symptoms are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?
Since vitamin B12 interacts with so many different areas of the body, many seemingly unrelated symptoms indicate vitamin B12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia masks itself as mood disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, and other chronic conditions.
Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency:
Painful tingling, numbness or “prickly” sensations, mainly in the hands and feet
Sore, swollen tongue
Altered sense of taste
Loss of balance while walking, running, or jumping
Are you at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, one of the fastest growing forms of malnourishment today? Most people with B12 deficiency don’t even know they have it. Find out why vitamin B12 is important for healthy living. Are you are getting enough?
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient called cobalamin, occurs naturally in meat and other protein foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. Vitamin B12 is one of the B-complex vitamins, and plays many important roles in your healthy lifestyle, and unless you get enough vitamin B12 from your diet or from vitamin B12 supplements, then you might experience the following symptoms:
Constant tiredness, fatigue for no apparent reason
Lack of appetite
Lack of concentration
Short-term memory loss
Tingling, numbness or pain in your hands and feet
Sore, swollen red tongue
Altered taste perception
Difficulty walking smoothly
Poor hand-eye coordination and motor skills
Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to neurological damage, increased risk for heart attack and stroke, memory problems, and misdiagnosis of severe mood disorders.
Even if you eat plenty of meat and milk, you may be susceptible for vitamin B12 deficiency, as there are many other risk factors involved…
If you fit into any one of the following categories, then you are highly susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency:
Do you have diabetes? If you are diabetic, and you take metformin, then you are vulnerable to B12 deficiency, since metformin blocks your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly.
Have you had weight loss surgery? If you have had any bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, or any other gastrointestinal surgery that involves removing a piece of the small intestine called the ileum, then you need to take vitamin B12 supplements regularly. The ileum is the bottom-most part of the small intestine, and is principally responsible for absorbing vitamin B12.
Do you suffer from autoimmune disorders? If you suffer from any autoimmune disease that involves damage to the digestive system, then you are at risk for many forms of malnourishment, including vitamin B12 deficiency. Examples of autoimmune disorders that correlate with vitamin B12 deficiency are Crohn’s disease, celiac disorder, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and lupus.
Are you a senior citizen? The elderly are highly susceptible to B12 deficiency. As you age, your body produces fewer stomach acids that are necessary for digesting vitamin B12 from the foods you eat. Also, older people tend to eat less and have sensitive stomachs, all of which can lead to malnourishment. In order to avoid B12 deficiency, it is crucial to include extra B12 supplements in your daily vitamin regimen.
Do you take heartburn medication? If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or if just take many antacids, then you might become deficient in vitamin B12, as stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamins such as B12 from your food.
Are you an alcoholic? Frequent alcohol use inhibits your body’s ability to absorb nutrients like vitamin B12 properly, and causes malnourishment.
Does vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia run in your family? Some people are unable to produce intrinsic factor, an essential chemical your stomach makes to access and digest vitamin B12 from food sources. If you have this autoimmune disorder, then you must supplement with a form of vitamin B12 that dispenses the vitamin directly into your bloodstream.
How can I find out if I have vitamin B12 deficiency?
The only way to find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency is to visit your doctor and ask for a vitamin B12 blood test. If you test positive, then he will likely prescribe a regimen of vitamin B12 supplements.
Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:
For years, vitamin B12 has been the staple energy vitamin for stars such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Prince. Now, B12 vitamins are part of Glee star Lea Michele’s regimen against vitamin B12 deficiency. Find out why celebrities such as Lea Michele rely on B12 supplements for added stamina, strength, and mental focus.
The Glee star’s secret to weight loss
How does Lea Michele, who plays the bossy, competitive, (and sometimes infuriating) Rachel on Glee keep her figure? Recently, she confessed to following a strictly macrobiotic vegan diet, composed of mostly vegetables, grains, and beans. By cutting out meat, chicken, and dairy products from her diet, Lea has managed to lose ten pounds since she first started filming on the set.
Lea admits to also eating a few servings of fish per week, in order to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency. Since Vitamin B12 occurs only in animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk, supplementing with extra vitamin B12 is crucial for avoiding low B12 blood levels. How does she justify introducing a non-vegan source into her vegan diet? Apparently, macrobiotic veganism makes special allowances for seafood. Lea Michele understands that a diet low in vitamin B12 is a diet that leads to B12 deficiency symptoms.
People who deplete their stores of vitamin B12 encounter symptoms such as extreme fatigue, muscular weakness, depression, diminished coordination, memory loss, and frequent numbness or tingling sensations (pins and needles) in their hands, arms, legs, and feet. Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency may escalate into severe memory loss, neurological damage, osteoporosis, and increased risk for heart attack, and stroke.
If you’re having trouble finding balance, B12 deficiency might be the culprit. Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency- dizziness and nerve damage like ataxia (unsteady gait, difficulty keeping balance), and numbness or tingling in hands and feet require B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in all meat, cheese, and egg products, but if you are one of millions of people who cannot absorb B12 efficiently, then you will start feeling symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Some common emotional and cognitive signs of B12 deficiency are:
Chronic fatigue, sleepiness
Nerve damage caused by B12 deficiency
In addition to psychiatric symptoms, vitamin B12 deficiency causes severe damage to your nerves, notably subacute combined degeneration (SCD)of the spinal cord- a severe neurological disorder caused by B-12 deficiency. SCD causes damage in your spinal cord, brain, and peripheral nerves, beginning with the myelin sheathe.
1- The myelin sheathe- your nervous system’s “ozone layer”
The myelin sheath is a protective covering that surrounds many of your nerves, providing a shield from potential danger. The myelin sheathe also accelerates communication between your nerves and your many bodily sensors (hands, feet, tongue, nose, eyes). Vitamin B12 aids your body in maintaining this essential protective mechanism, and low levels of B12 often result in a breakdown of the myelin sheathe.
2- Communication breakdown
The nerves of your spinal cord rely on a steady inflow of information from your nerve sensors throughout your body. Messages from the nerves in your legs, for example, flow along the spinal cord and to the brain, thus controlling movements like running, walking, skipping, and tapping your feet. Nerve damage causes these signals to become misinterpreted, resulting in poor coordination, or gait ataxia.
3- Gait ataxia- taking the spring out of your step
A typical sign of abnormal neurological behavior resulting from B12 deficiency is gait ataxia, which is difficulty walking. Gait ataxia is also one of the symptoms of perniciousanemia, red blood cell disease associated with prolonged vitamin B-12 deficiency. Symptoms of gait ataxia are:
Unsteady gait, difficulty walking without stumbling
Difficulty staying balanced on one leg
Trembling awkward movements, clumsiness
Muscular weakness in the legs and arms
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Vision problems, blurriness
4- Paresthesias- “pins and needles” and numbness sensations
An early sign of nerve damage related to vitamin B12 cobalamin deficiency is paresthesias, resulting in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Paresthesias is a kind of peripheral neuropathy that affects the peripheral nerves that run along your spinal cord and to your extremities, thus causing that pins and needles sensation that you often feel in your hands and feet.
Do you have vitamin B12 deficiency? Go ask a hematologist.
The only way to determine if you are indeed suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency is by getting a blood test. If a physician diagnoses you with dangerously low levels of B12, then he may recommend B12 injections, which will require a prescription.
Vitamin B12 benefits your nervous system and many other biochemical reactions; Find out how Vitamin B12 supplements can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) is an essential nutrient that occurs naturally in protein food sources, such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. The B12 vitamin is one of the B-complex vitamins. Other B vitamins are vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B3 (niacin).
Vitamin B12 is important for many bodily functions. B12 helps your body produce red blood cells, regulates your nervous system, boosts your immunity, and protects cognitive functioning. Some other benefits of vitamin B12 include lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke by regulating homocysteine levels.
The best way to get enough vitamin B12 in your diet is by eating plenty of lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Foods that have the highest levels of vitamin B12 are clams, oysters, beef liver, and halibut.
However, eating B12-rich foods does not guarantee against vitamin B12 deficiency. Some people are unable to digest B12 naturally from foods, and must take B12 supplements in order to avoid symptoms of malnourishment, such as fatigue, depression, irritability, numbness in hands and feet, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.
Most physicians prescribe vitamin B12 shots,sublingual B12, or b12 vitamins after diagnosing B12 deficiency.
B12 vitamins are essential for health hair, strong nails and clearer skin, according to certain studies. Learn how vitamin B12 supplements can prevent age-related hair loss and premature whitening.
Vitamin B12 info:
Vitamin B12 is found in many high protein foods; great sources of B12 are lean beef, chicken, shellfish, eggs and dairy products. Vitamin B12 benefits the nervous system, red blood cells and DNA synthesis. Several studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with unhealthy hair, skin and nails.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Some red flags which might indicate B12 deficiency symptoms are:
Look at your nails. Can you see the white moons, or have they disappeared? What about your hair; have you noticed any premature hair loss or graying?
You might not be getting sufficient vitamin B12 in your diet. Research proves that B12 is one of the best vitamins for hair, skin and nails.
Vitamin B12 hair facts
A large percentage of individuals who have low B12 levels also suffer from premature hair loss; premature streaks of white hair are another symptom. Health expertsexplain that it’s your body’s way of warning you to increase vitamin supplements; vitamins that are good for your inner body are also good for external skin, hair and nails.
Another B vitamin, biotin, has also been proven to reduce hair loss from aging. Biotin is essential for developing hair follicles, boosting hair growth, and generally building strong hair, skin and nails.
What is your skin trying to tell you about your B12 levels?Case studieshave linked low B12 with skin lesions; hyperpigmentation and vitiligo are common causes of darkening or lightening of the skin, and often signal a deficiency of vitamins which are good for the skin.
Poor fingernail health is another common sign of vitamin B12 deficiency; symptoms include ridged nail surfaces and disappearing of the “moon” at the cuticle. Not getting enough of the B vitamin, biotin? Brittle nails mean you need to supplement with more vitamin B complex. Spooning of the nail bed means you need more iron and yellow nails signal lack of vitamin E.