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Posts Tagged ‘too much vitamin B12’

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: 9 Frequently Asked Questions

Monday, April 9th, 2012



If you’ve been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, then you probably have many questions. How did I get vitamin B12 deficiency, and how soon will I start to feel better?  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: 9 Frequently Asked Questions, b12 patch

Q: Why do I need vitamin B12?

A: Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient that controls many essential functions in your body.  People with vitamin B12 deficiency, who don’t have enough vitamin B12 in their blood supply, eventually start to suffer major disorders in parts of their bodies where vitamin B12 is most needed.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the following biological functions:

  • Protecting your nerve cells by sustaining the myelin sheath
  • Promoting healthy red blood cell production
  • Supporting DNA synthesis
  • Maintaining stamina
  • Enhancing cognitive functioning
  • Breaking down homocysteine, a hormone linked with heart attack and stroke
  • Preventing psychosomatic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, like depression, nervousness, paranoia, and anxiety
  • Preventing osteoporosis

Q: Where can I get vitamin B12?

A: Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble nutrient, one of the B-complex vitamins.  Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in all animal-based foods, including beef, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.  The richest sources of vitamin B12 are liver, clams, crabmeat, lean beef, and halibut.

Q: What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?

A: If you suspect you have vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to get your blood checked immediately.  Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve cell damage and many uncomfortable side effects.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: 9 Frequently Asked Questions, b12 patchCommon symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Brain fog
  • Sluggish thinking
  • Low concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • Partial paralysis
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Burning sensation in mouth, including lips, gums, and tongue
  • Vision impairments
  • Muscular weakness and pain
  • Bone loss
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Twitching
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor motor skills
  • Frequent clumsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux

Q: Who’s at risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency?

A: Vitamin B12 deficiency remains one of the most widespread sources of malnutrition.  People who are most at risk include:

  • Vegans
  • Anybody suffering from primary or secondary gastrointestinal disorders(gastritis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, autism, migraines)
  • People who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery (ex: gastric bypass, ileostomy)
  • People susceptible to autoimmune disorders (fibromyalgia, celiac disease, diabetes)
  • Diabetics using metformin
  • GERD patients using protein pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • The elderly

Undetected Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Why is B12 off the Radar?

Q: What is pernicious anemia?

A: Pernicious anemia is a disorder that interferes with production of intrinsic factor, a digestive protein that is crucial for absorbing vitamin B12.  Pernicious anemia patients must supplement with non-dietary vitamin B12 throughout their lives, as they are unable to access B12 from food or pills.

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Q: I have vitamin B12 deficiency. Do I also have pernicious anemia?

A:  Pernicious anemia is a specific form of vitamin B12 deficiency.  There exist only two ways of getting pernicious anemia:

  1. Damage to the stomach lining is one possible cause of pernicious anemia
  2. The existence of one of two intrinsic factor antibodies confirms pernicious anemia as an autoimmune disorder.

Q: If I eat plenty of meat, can I still get vitamin B12 deficiency?

A: YES.  If you are diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency and you’re not a vegan, then you probably fall into the category of people who are unable to digest vitamin B12 naturally from dietary sources, including food and vitamin B12 pills.

Some non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements  include vitamin B12 shots, b12 pills, and vitamin B12 sublingual tablets.

Q: What happens if I take too much vitamin B12?

A: There is no upper limit assigned to vitamin B12, so you can take as much as you like without suffering any side effects.  The same cannot be said about many other vitamins, so always consult in your doctor before starting any new vitamin regimen.

Can Too Much Vitamin B12 be Harmful? 5 Vitamins to Watch Out for

Q: Once I start taking vitamin B12 supplements, how soon will I start to feel better?

A: Once you begin your regimen of vitamin B12, deficiency symptoms will start to decrease immediately, although you might not notice it right away.  Some people notice decreased tingling in their hands and feet and increased stamina as early as hours after getting their first dose of vitamin B12, but for others, results occur more gradually, and may take several months before a noted increase in overall health is realized.

Timing is of utmost importance in treating vitamin B12 deficiency.  If caught early on, then your chances of complete replenishment are excellent.  In its latest stages, vitamin B12 deficiency can result in irreparable nerve damage.

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Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Not Getting your Vitamin B12- Mistakes Fibromyalgia Patients Sometimes Make


Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet:Vitamin B12

B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences


renjith krishnan, Michal Marcol

Can Too Much Vitamin B12 be Harmful? 5 Vitamins to Watch Out for

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012



Is it possible to get too much of a good thing, like too much vitamin B12, or too much of any vitamin, for that matter?  Experts say yes- overdoing it on certain vitamins can cause vitamin toxicity, and the damage can range from annoying to severe.  So before you down a bottle of vitamin C for immune system health, have a look at what health experts have to say about vitamin B12 and others.

Vitamin B12- How much do you need?


Vitamin B12- What is it?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in animal-based foods like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk.  Vitamin B12 supports many vital bodily functions, like shielding your nerve cells through myelin production, maintaining healthy red blood cells, aiding in DNA synthesis, enhancing cognitive functioning, and increasing stamina.

If you don’t have enough vitamin B12 in your blood, then you may get vitamin B12 deficiency, which causes symptoms like

  • fatigue
  • depression
  • frequent forgetfulness
  • brain fog
  • low attention span
  • painful “pins and needles” and numbness in the hands and feet
  • stomach problems
  • decreased motor control
  • muscular weakness
  • impaired walking

Vitamin toxicity

According to the Institute of Medicine’s list of Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, certain vitamins like vitamin B12 are safe to take in mega doses, while other vitamins must be used in moderation.  Taking too much of a certain vitamin may result in stomach discomfort, birth defects, or organ damage, according to many published studies.

Below is a list of vitamins, including recommended daily amount and risks of vitamin toxicity:

Vitamin B12

There is no upper limit for taking vitamin B12, according to the Institute of Medicine.  That means that you can experiment with as much vitamin B12 as you like without causing any damage.  Any amount that your body doesn’t use is excreted with your urine.

How much vitamin B12 do you need? Scientific evidence suggests that even people who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency gain enormous health benefits- increased energy and mental alertness- by taking generous doses of vitamin B12.

  • One clinical study focusing on high-dose vitamin B12 found that taking 2,500-5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 every few days led to a 50%-80% increase in stamina, mental focus, and overall wellbeing after only a few weeks.
  • In a double-blind crossover study on vitamin B12 for treating tiredness, people who suffered daily fatigue but didn’t have vitamin B12 deficiency or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) experienced a boost of stamina, enhanced concentration skills, and improved mood after taking 5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 twice daily for two weeks.
  • Another study on people who didn’t have low vitamin  B12 levels resulted in similar findings with varied doses of vitamin B12, from 3,000 mcg four times per week to 9,000 mcg daily.

Also read: Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

Vitamin A

The upper limit for vitamin A supplementation is 3,000 IU for adult males and females.  Health experts strongly advise meeting your vitamin A requirement through dietary sources like eggs, fortified milk, and liver, as opposed to pill form.  Unless you have vitamin A deficiency, a risk factor for Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, there is no need to supplement with extra vitamin A.


Vitamin A toxicity may result in:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscular weakness
  • Skin peeling
  • Liver fibrosis
  • Birth defects
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Osteoporosis
  • 18% increased risk for lung damage.

Vitamin C

The upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg per day for adult males and females.  Food source of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers.  While vitamin C is essential for immune system health, there is inadequate scientific proof that taking extra amounts of vitamin C will help to ward off a cold or reduce cold symptoms.


Vitamin C toxicity may result in:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Kidney stones

Vitamin D

The Institute of Medicine recommends taking no more than 100 IU of vitamin D per day, unless you have vitamin D deficiency.  While it is not possible to get too much vitamin D from sun exposure, taking excess vitamin D in pill form may cause vitamin toxicity.


Vitamin D toxicity may result in:

  • Rapid uncontrolled weight loss
  • Polyuria (excess urine secretion)
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Heart and kidney damage from excess calcium levels in the blood
  • Kidney stones

Vitamin E

The maximum daily dose of vitamin E is 1,000 IU for adult males and females.  Dieticians recommend getting your vitamin E from food sources like wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and broccoli, as opposed to taking vitamin E pills.

Can Too Much Vitamin B12 be Harmful? 5 Vitamins to Watch Out for

Vitamin E toxicity may result in:

  • Increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke
  • Osteoporosis

Please tell us…

Do you have vitamin deficiency, such as vitamin B12 deficiency or vitamin D deficiency? How has vitamin deficiency impacted your life, now that you have been diagnosed? Are you aware of any vitamin toxicity symptoms that are not included in this article?

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Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.

We love to hear from you…please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, or questions below!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

Diagnosing Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pernicious Anemia: Top 10 Tests

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?


Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, Vitamins

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets

Vitamin B-12: placebo or neglected therapeutic tool?

A pilot study of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness

Deficiencies You Can Deal With


YaiSirichai, winnond, Toa55, zirconicusso, healingdream

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012



Did you have vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia during your pregnancy?  If you’re currently breastfeeding your baby, it’s crucial that you continue to check your vitamin B12 (cobalamin) levels.  Here’s the scoop on taking care of baby with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Breastfeeding with B12 deficiency

Even after giving birth, if you breastfeed and have vitamin B12 deficiency at the same time, then your baby is also at high risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of how often you nurse.

Many studies have been conducted documenting the dangers of exclusive breastfeeding while suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency.

In them, researchers noted some disturbing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants, such as failure to thrive.

Most of these symptoms were alleviated only after B12 levels were restored to normal through immediate supplementation of vitamin B12.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency in infants

In numerous studies, exclusively breastfed infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency showed the following symptoms:

  • Failure to thrive
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
  • Poor muscular coordination (ataxia)
  • Feebleness
  • Anorexia
  • Developmental delays
  • Pernicious anemia

Permanent damage caused by B12 deficiency

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause:

Breast or bottle- it’s still up to you

The decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed is a personal decision, but vitamin B12 deficiency should not be the deal breaker.

You can rest assured that your baby is getting all the nourishment it needs, as long as you continue to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels.

Remember, it’s not possible to take too much vitamin B12, as there are no harmful side effects to taking large doses of vitamin B12.  

Not having enough vitamin B12 in your blood supply, however, can be detrimental, even deadly.

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 in infants:

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

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Infants- Developmental Disabilities


Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency: Two cases detected by routine newborn urinary screening

Manifestations of Low Vitamin B12 Levels

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12- Health Professional Fact Sheet

Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanisms


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