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Vitamin B12 increases stamina, restores mental alertness, and promotes healthy muscle tone. To maximize on the benefits of vitamin B12, you need to eat plenty foods that have vitamin B12 every day, preferably totaling 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week.
Foods that are rich in B12 include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. But what if you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet? Are there any natural vegan sources of vitamin B12?
Judge for yourself -see our no-nonsense list of foods that provide maximum vitamin B12.
How much vitamin B12 do I need?
According to the current RDA, you only need one or two mcg of vitamin B12. However, that amount doesn’t suffice for people with vitamin B12 deficiency, or people who need extra B12 for energy, sports endurance, or mental focus.
Vitamin B12 naturally occurs in protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. If you follow a diet that excludes meat, fish, and milk, such as a vegan diet, then you may opt for plant-based foods that are infused with vitamin B12. To get enough B12 to avoid deficiency, you might need to supplement with extra vitamin B12 as well.
How many clams do I have to eat?
Here is the nutritional data for foods that are rich in vitamin B12, starting with the highest- clams.
One 3-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12. To get to your weekly dose, you would have to eat 11 servings of cooked clams each week. Hope you’ve got recipes!
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. You would have to eat nearly 14 servings of liver pate each week, or 2 servings per day, to get the most vitamin B12 for your money. Want onions with that?
Caviar is usually savored in small doses, but to get 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 from this luxurious treat, you would need to eat 17 3-ounce servings of whitefish eggs each week. Don’t forget the crackers.
In some countries like Hawaii and Japan, octopus is a common staple, much like burgers and fries in the US. Three ounces of cooked octopus provides about 30 mcg of vitamin B12. To reach 1000 mcg, you would need to eat 33 helpings of cooked octopus. (Unless you prefer your octopus raw, in which case you would need to eat about 58 servings of octopus sushi each week.)
Among the finned creatures of the sea, mackerel is the fish that has the most vitamin B12, at 19 mcg per 100 grams. That’s 52 weekly servings of fish per week. (Can you say Holy Mackerel?)
Let’s face it- most of us don’t eat a lot of seafood or beef liver. Most of your dietary stores of vitamin B12 are probably going to come from good old-fashioned beef. (It’s what’s for dinner.)
Choose lean cuts of beef- not only are they healthier for your heart, but they also contain the richest amounts of vitamin B12 on the butcher aisle. Lean beef chuck shoulder contains 5.25 mcg of vitamin B12 per 3-ounce serving. To get even close to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, you would need to eat over 80 beefsteaks per week. Hope you like chewing!
One double-cheeseburger contains 2.1 mcg of vitamin B12.
One cup of low-fat milk has 1.2 mcg of vitamin B12.
A serving of low-fat yogurt has 1.1 mcg of vitamin B12.
A beef taco has 0.9 mcg of vitamin B12.
One hard-boiled egg contains 0.6 mcg of vitamin B12.
Coming next: What about vegan vitamin B12?
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How do you get your vitamin B12- from supplements in pill form, vitamin B12 shots, or otherwise?
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Usage of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is linked with B12 deficiency and other adverse effects, like osteoporosis. Your body produces stomach acids for good reason- to absorb vitamin B12 (cobalamin), iron and other essential nutrients. While heartburn is a painful symptom of acid reflux, having too few stomach acids can also cause debilitating symptoms.
What are PPIs?
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs that lower the amount of stomach acid your body produces. It’s a popular treatment for preventing acid reflux symptoms like chronic heartburn, and it’s more effective than other acid secretion inhibitors like H2 blockers (Tagamet, Zantac). Hospitals use PPIs to prevent stomach ulcers in 40%-70% of inpatients. Examples of proton pump inhibitors are Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex, and Protonix.
The following illnesses and conditions are treated with PPIs:
Long-term PPI usage has been linked with nutritional malabsorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and iron. Your body needs gastric acid in order to digest vitamin B12 foods sources like beef, chicken, fish, and eggs. Without stomach acids, vitamin B12 remains bonded to the food you eat and never enters the bloodstream, eventually resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency. Similarly, insufficient stomach acids also result in iron deficiency.
Because stomach acid production reduces with age, senior citizens, in addition to PPI users, are advised to check their vitamin B12 levels periodically. Other people at risk for B12 deficiency are vegans, people who suffer from autoimmune and gastrointestinaldisorders and anybody who has had gastricbypass or other gastrointestinal surgery.
Long-term PPI usage has been linked with increased risk of hip, spine, or wrist fractures resulting from severe osteoporosis. Researchers believe that PPIs inhibit calcium absorption and bone growth. In studies, high doses of PPIs were directly linked with osteoporosis, and that risk increased over time.
It should be noted that osteoporosis is also a vitamin B12 deficiency side effect from PPIs, as vitamin B12 benefits include sustained bone mass.
Increased chances of intestinal infection
Long-term and short-term PPI usage can lead to clostridium difficile infection (diarrhea), according to scientific studies published by the Archives of Internal Medicine.
If you stay at a hospital and are given proton pump inhibitors, your chances of acquiring pneumonia during your visit is increased by 30%, according to studies. While the use of PPIs for preventing stress-related ulcers is a valuable life-saving procedure, a significant amount of hospital patients who receive PPIs are not at risk for suffering from ulcers.
Rebound acid hypersecretion
If you try to wean off proton pump inhibitors, you’re likely to experience severe withdrawal effects, including sudden overproduction of stomach acids- hypergastrinemia. For this reason, PPI users become dependent on the heartburn drugs, and may suffer from adverse effects such as diarrhea, stomach tumors, and neoplasia. Dependence on PPIs happens quickly, as early as one month into prescription.
Studies have linked PPI usage with decreased effectiveness of clopidogrel (Plavix), a medication prescribed for heart disease. Also, decreased vitamin B12 is linked with increased risk for heart disease and stroke through elevated levels of homocysteine.
Have you been diagnosed with GERD, or one of the other illnesses treated with PPIs? If so, have you noticed vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like chronic fatigue, “pins and needles” in hands and feet, memory loss, and anxiety?
As always, we welcome your comments, inquiries, and suggestions!
Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and your gut:
What does Vitamin B12 deficiency have to do with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome? Vitamin B12 protects your nervous system, and many of the symptoms of pernicious anemia from B12 deficiency result in poor muscle control, including muscular spasms, nervous eye twitching, decreased motor skills, and difficulty walking.
Vitamin B12 benefits the nerves
Cyanocobalamin or Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it lends itself in red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, healthy cognitive functioning, energy production, and homocysteine control. Also, vitamin B12 helps your body produce myelin, a fatty substance that protects your nervous system’s sensitive nerve fibers in the brain and the spinal cord.
Without sufficient levels of vitamin B12, you may develop severe nerve damage- peripheral neuropathy.
Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency- peripheral neuropathy include:
painful tingling and numbness in the hands, feet, and ankles
burning mouth syndrome
decreased motor control
frequent clumsiness and tripping
difficulty balancing on one foot
Vitamin B12 deficiency and other movement disorders
It should come as no surprise, then, that other movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease (PD) have close ties with vitamin B12 deficiency. Involuntary muscular movements may or may not be caused by low B12 levels, but
In some movement disorder cases, scientists have noted improvement with vitamin B12 supplements.
Even when pernicious anemia is not a cause of muscle spasms or walking difficulties, researchers sometimes notice a comorbid relationship with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Another occurrence in diagnosing movement disorders is a tendency for doctors to misdiagnose vitamin B12 deficiency as a more serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s disease.
In a scientific report on Parkinson’s and neuropathy, researchers confirmed a high rate of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and recommended close monitoring of B12 levels and routine administration of vitamin B12 supplements. Results were published in Neurology.
Chorea- focal dystonia
Chorea is an abnormal involuntary movement disorder, part of a group of neurological disorders called dyskinesia. Chorea is a symptom of Huntington’s disease, but it can also occur in other illnesses, including focal dystonia. In one of many studies on vitamin B12 deficiency and focal dystonia, scientists saw favorable results with cyanocobalamin supplementation, attributing it to decreased homocysteine levels.
Restless leg syndrome
The most common symptom of restless leg syndrome is the urgent need to shake your leg to relieve “creeping, crawling” sensations, usually between the kneecap and ankle.Restless leg syndrome occurs often with peripheral neuropathy, a symptom of pernicious anemia. Other possible causes are kidney disease, diabetes neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and drug interactions.
Stiff person syndrome
Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurological disorder that occurs with autoimmune disease. Symptoms of SPS are muscle spasms in the limbs and trunk, hypersensitivity to touch, noise, and stress, and stiff posture. People who often suffer stiff person syndrome are patients of pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency), diabetes, thyroiditis, and vitiligo.
Ataxia is an inability to control muscular movements used in walking, jumping, balancing, or holding objects. Chronic ataxia is one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, along with muscular weakness, poor reflexes, spasticity, vision impairment, dementia, and psychosis, according to a Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center study of 153 patients suffering from cobalamin deficiency neuropathy.
Eye movement disorders
Nystagmus, uncontrollable movements of the eyeballs, might be caused by low vitamin B12 levels, according to a study focusing on downbeat nystagmus and vitamin B12 deficiency. Another phenomenon common with B12 deficiency is myokymia- eyelid twitching.
Read more about B12 deficiency and your nervous system:
According to a recent study, listening to music can ease pain, which is great news for fibromyalgia (chronic pain) patients. Many pain clinics already utilize the beneficial effects of music, finding that soothing melodies reduce anxiety and enhance pain relief treatments.
Music therapy for chronic pain?
It’s not the first time researchers have investigated the painkilling powers of music, but this recent study on music engagement confirms what many practitioners of chronic pain management already know-
-that listening to music puts you in a state of relaxation that enables you to cope with…and minimize pain symptoms. For sufferers of fibromyalgia, this could be a useful strategy for incorporating natural pain treatments with prescribed analgesic medications.
In this University of Utah study on pain management, 153 volunteers elected to receive painful electric shocks in varying levels of intensity while listening to background music.
In addition to listening to music, participants performed cognitive tasks that actively engaged them, such as following musical notes and focusing on the melody.
Scientists noted that volunteers who became engrossed with the music-listening tasks exhibited the fewest pain responses.
Researchers noted a correlation between personality and pain relief through music engagement. The most significant results occurred with people who experience anxiety. People who suffer panic, nervousness, or stress often find relief in occupying themselves with some sort of activity; in this case, music provided certain anxiety-prone individuals an opportunity to escape from pain symptoms.
On a much grander scale, fibromyalgia patients may implement these findings in their own lives; if listening to music helps relieve small shocks of pain, what strategies may be employed to relieve more severe pain symptoms, like aching joints, sore muscles, or gastrointestinal ailments?
Boost pain medicine! During fibromyalgia flare-ups, listening to music on your iPod may improve your mood and ease anxiety, increasing the effectiveness of your pain medicine.
Meditate! If you’re stuck in bed rest, or at the hospital, try turning off the television and turning on a radio. Close your eyes and picture the music in your mind (Think Fantasia). By actively engaging your brain with the music, you are also incrementally distracting yourself from the pain.
Sleep better! If pain symptoms keep you awake at night, listen to the sounds of relaxing mood music on your MP3 device. Many iTunes and Android apps provide the Relaxing Sounds of Nature, to help you go to Sleep!
Here are some more helpful tips to help you manage pain symptoms without the need for painkillers:
Take your B12!Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with a host of severe pain symptoms, including painful tingling in your hands and feet, painful numbness, burning mouth or tongue, stomach pains, joint achiness, and sore muscles. Also, B12 deficiency increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and severe nerve damage.
Incorporate exercise! Here’s a great tip- listen to music while doing some gentle exercise routines, like light yoga, Tai Chi, or low-impact aerobics.
Go under the needle! No, not B12 shots- acupuncture is proven effective at relieving numerous ailments, including fibromyalgia, chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, and chronic fatigue.
Learn more about fibromyalgia and vitamin B12 deficiency:
If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), then you probably won’t appreciate extravagant (albeit well-meaning) gifts like World’s Largest Cheese Ball, Seven-Spice fruitcake, or a subscription to the Beer of the Month club. It’s hard for non-IBD sufferers to know what kind of gift to get for somebody with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Make it easier on them- print out this handy list, and avoid unnecessarily awkward gift-giving scenarios.
Who wouldn’t appreciate this lovely, aesthetically appealing gift of tea? Drop a tea bud into a pot of hot water, and watch as it slowly “blossoms” into a breathtaking underwater bouquet. Choose from an assortment of organic black, white, green or oolong teas.
Part of coping with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis means always being prepared for bathroom emergencies, and these flushable bathroom wipes are the best thing since sliced bread! This is a great stocking-stuffer for anybody with IBD.
Let’s face it- you can’t always count on hand soap. And while you’re ready to negotiate on comfort and convenience at rest stops, you’re not about to invite extra bouts of diarrhea from fecal contamination. These soap sheets from Travelon are amazing- they’re compact, they last forever, they dissolve easily with very little water, and one small pack contains 50 sheets! Also available- body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving lotion, and laundry soap.
Take your bathroom supplies with you without looking conspicuous. This leather toiletry bag lets you bring your basic bathroom necessities like flushable wipes and Travelon soap sheets without raising any eyebrows.
If you spend an inordinate amount of time in bed, then you’ll appreciate having a compact refrigerator for storing things like iced tea, water, meds, or a soothing snack. This cooler is great for people who live on a second floor, and don’t have the ability…or energy to climb up and down stairs. Or, keep this in your car for emergency trips to the hospital.
Uncle John has been entertaining restroom readers for 25 years, and it’s easy to see why. Each tome is chock full of miscellaneous bits of interesting stories, anecdotes, facts, trivia games, and mini biographies. It’s like having a compact library, right where you need it most. You’ll probably never get through the whole book, but if you do, there are dozens of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers to choose from, including one for kids!
Not sure what to cook that won’t upset your tummy? Take the blah out of your staple dinner routine by following some of the innovatively healthy recipes in the Creative
Colitis Cookbook for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Vitiligo is a skin disease that often occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency- Find out if taking B12 supplements can treat your vitiligo symptoms and get rid of white patches on your skin forever.
What is vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes you to lose brown pigmentation, resulting in white patches on your skin. Hair growing in white skin spots caused by vitiligo may turn white, as well. About 1% of all people in the world have vitiligo, including roughly two million US citizens. Although vitiligo affects people of all races, it is more noticeable in darker skinned ethnic groups.
Doctors are uncertain what exactly causes the skin disorder vitiligo, but they believe it might be an autoimmune disorder. Also, they have noticed strong correlations with certain chronic conditions. People who suffer vitiligo usually fall into one of four groups:
Alopecia areata patients (people with patches of baldness)
What are the symptoms of vitiligo?
Vitiligo causes telltale patches of white skin (depigmentation), typically on parts of your body that get the most sun exposure, like your hands, feet, and face, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and lips.
Vitiligo can also occur on covered-up parts of your body, like your stomach, hips, and armpits, though that is not as common.
Other symptoms of vitiligo may include premature hair greying, including grey eyelash hair. White patches can also occur in the inside of the mouth.
For some, vitiligo symptoms remain only in one area of the body. For others, patches of white skin may slowly spread over years to other parts of the body.
How will taking vitamin B12 supplements affect my vitiligo symptoms?
In one clinical study, vitamin B12 and folic acid were administered to patients who suffered from vitiligo. They were also instructed to keep records of sun exposure.
More than half of the 100 vitiligo patients noticed dramatic results- 37 of which had opted for sun exposure.
Six volunteers who took the vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements experienced noticeably superior results.
Scientists confirmed that supplementing with vitamin B12 and folic acid, combined with sun exposure, is more beneficial for vitiligo patients than simple sun exposure alone.
What is pernicious anemia, and how is it different from vitamin B12 deficiency or megaloblastic anemia? That is one of many questions that people have about pernicious anemia- questions that are answered here.
1. What’s the difference between pernicious anemia and megaloblastic anemia?
Pernicious anemia, a form of megaloblastic anemia, is a disease that impairs red blood cell distribution through vitamin B12 deficiency; for that reason, it is also called vitamin B12 malabsorption anemia.
(It is worth mentioning that pernicious anemia is only one of many factors that causes vitamin B12 deficiency.)
Other names for pernicious anemia are Biermer’s anemia, Addison’s anemia, and combined systems disease (a disorder of the nervous system).
2. What is the relationship between intrinsic factor and pernicious anemia?
Whenever you eat foods that contain vitamin B12- protein foods like beef, chicken, seafood, cheese, and eggs- your digestive system produces a chemical called intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme.
Intrinsic factor then grabs the vitamin B12 from your stomach, bonds to it, carries it through the small intestine, and delivers it to the ileum, at the base of your small intestine.
From here, the vitamin B12 is then either absorbed and dispersed into your bloodstream as “active vitamin B12,” or it is stored in the liver. That is how most people digest vitamin B12.
People who suffer from pernicious anemia are not able to manufacture or regulate the intrinsic factor enzyme. Even if they eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin B12, they are unable to digest the essential vitamin, and the result is a catastrophic depletion of vitamin B12 levels in the blood.
3. What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency- pernicious anemia?
Hands and feet often “falling asleep” or going numb
Sore, red tongue
Altered taste perception
Constant stumbling while walking
Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency causes low red blood cell production, forgetfulness, severe nerve damage, and increased risk for heart attack , stroke, and osteoporosis.
4. What natural remedies work best for pernicious anemia?
Since pernicious anemia results from vitamin B12 deficiency, the only remedy you need is…more B12! The real question is: How much vitamin B12 do you need? Only your doctor can answer that by taking blood tests, determining if your body makes intrinsic factor, and prescribing the proper venue of vitamin B12 supplementation.
If it is determined that you lack intrinsic factor, then you will need to take vitamin B12 supplements, most likely for the rest of your life, in order to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency again.
5. Why is a pernicious anemia patient unable to take vitamin B12 orally?
Without intrinsic factor, your body cannot digest dietary sources of vitamin B12- and that includes vitamin B12 pills. As a rule of thumb, if vitamin B12 passes through a digestive system that does not produce intrinsic factor, then the B12 will pass through without being broken down or digested. In order to get vitamin B12 into your blood supply, you have to insert it there directly- usually through B12 shots.
6. How long does it take before you start to feel the benefits of vitamin B12 supplements?
Assuming you are getting the correct dose of vitamin B12, and are taking an efficient method of B12 supplements…most patients start to feel notably better within 24 hours of vitamin B12 supplementation.
7. Is Pernicious anemia genetic?
Family history is one of many causes of pernicious anemia. If your family has a history of suffering from pernicious anemia, then you should take routine blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency throughout your life.
8. If I have one autoimmune disease like pernicious anemia, am I more likely to have another autoimmune disease?
Scientists have noted a high correlation between pernicious anemia and many other autoimmune disorders. When other diseases are a factor, pernicious anemia often occurs from drug interactions, comorbid symptoms, or a cyclical relationship with that disease. Below are some conditions that may accompany pernicious anemia:
9. I’m only 20 years old. Could someone my age have pernicious anemia?
Pernicious anemia can happen to somebody of any age group. Because your body stores vitamin B12 in the liver for several years, you may not know that your body has stopped absorbing it until you start to feel the symptoms, by which time your B12 levels will have dropped severely. If you suspect you have any of the symptoms of pernicious anemia, then do not hesitate to get a blood test.
10. Can pernicious anemia cause gastritis?
Gastritis- painful inflammation of the stomach lining- has many possible causes. The most common are alcohol abuse, chronic vomiting, and overusing drugs such as aspirin. Untreated, chronic gastritis can cause blood loss. Other causes of gastritis are:
11. Can pernicious anemia shorten your life?
When scientists first discovered vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, they deemed it a fatal disease, and thus named it “pernicious (malicious) anemia.” Without B12, your body is unable to make sufficiency red blood cells. Today, doctors are easily able to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency through blood tests, administer treatment in the form of pure vitamin B12, and prevent further escalation of pernicious anemia. Untreated, pernicious anemia can lead to life-threatening illnesses, such as heart attack, stroke.
12. Can pernicious anemia cause stomach damage?
Pernicious anemia may cause gastric polyps, increasing one’s risk for getting stomach damage or gastric carcinoid tumors.
13. Are there any support groups for others with pernicious anemia?
There are many advocacy groups for pernicious anemia, and most of them are on Facebook. Here are a few:
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
If you feel tired all the time, then join the club- the vitamin B12 deficiency club, which is becoming the top cause of chronic fatigue allover. Vitamin B12 is crucial for brainhealth, and if you don’t get enough, you run the risk of suffering the red blood cell disease pernicious anemia- one of many vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Why am I so tired all the time?
Fatigue causes you to feel sluggish, slow, confused, and constantly in a “brain fog.” You’re exhausted before you even step out of bed, and all day at work. On the drive home, you catch yourself several times nodding off at the wheel. By the time you’re ready to pack it up and call it a day, you’re almost too tired to change into your pajamas, sorely tempted to climb into bed, clothes, shoes, and all.
Why are you so tired all the time? Many conditions can cause chronic fatigue, and most of them begin with vitamin B12 deficiency.
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is of the vitamin B complex vitamins, and occurs in foods like beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. Some of the best sources of vitamin B12 are organ meat, lean turkey, crabmeat, halibut, and yogurt. Normally, sufficient amounts of B12 are stored in your liver, unless you are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Tiredness is at the core of the most common symptoms of B12 deficiency: depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, short-term memory loss, disorientation, trouble concentrating or remembering words, painful numbness or tingling in hands and feet, loss of balance while walking, muscular feebleness, and insomnia.
Here are some illnesses and chronic conditions linked to vitamin B12 deficiency:
Sometimes, pernicious anemia is the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 helps your body produce healthy red blood cells needed to carry oxygen. With pernicious anemia, you have a shortage of vitamin B12, which leads to a shortage of red blood cells, which in turn causes a severe reduction in oxygen throughout your body, including the brain.
The resulting effect is overwhelming tiredness, lightheadedness, and an inability to concentrate.
Scientists found that a high correlation exists between vitamin B12 deficiency and sufferers of fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease that causes symptoms such as severe pain, skin sensitivity, sleep problems, and chronic fatigue.
People with gastrointestinal disorders such as IBD- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis- have extreme difficulty absorbing vitamin B12. Symptoms such as sluggishness, diarrhea, and unexplainable exhaustion might be confused with IBD symptoms; in fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is a likely culprit that often is overlooked.
Vitamin B12 supports cognitive functioning- low B12 levels are common among people suffering from severe psychological disorders, including schizophrenia, clinical depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD). Tiredness is one of many complaints of people suffering from depression and anxiety.
Vitamin B12 helps your body regulate the amount of homocysteine in your blood. High levels of plasma homocysteine are strongly associated with heart disease and stroke. By breaking down homocysteine, and thus reducing the risk for heart disease or stroke, vitamin B12 promotes cardiovascular health.
Treatment for B12 deficiency
A blood test is necessary in order to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency. Not all doctors screen for low B12, so you will need to request a plasma vitamin B12 test. If necessary, your doctor will prescribe B12 injections or sublingual B12.
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.
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…
“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.
Vitamin 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: