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Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin B12 pills’

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 

 

To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to include an assortment of foods that have vitamin B12 in your daily diet. This is harder than it sounds! The majority of the foods that are highest in vitamin B12 are sadly missing from the average American diet. As a result, a rising number of people are suffering the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia, due to a lack of this crucial nutrient in the blood supply.

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

It’s important to note that eating foods that are high in vitamin B12 is only helpful for preventing vitamin B12 deficiency if you are able to digest it naturally. For many, vitamin B12 malabsorption prevents you from digesting vitamin B12 naturally from foods, causing your vitamin B12 levels to diminish steadily.

I Eat Healthy…So How did I Get Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

The rule applies for taking vitamin B12 pills. If you are one of many individuals who suffer from vitamin B12 malabsorption, then your risk of developing pernicious anemia increases with time, regardless of your diet.

Foods highest in vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 only occurs in animal-based products- meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Still, certain foods in that category contain significantly higher amounts of vitamin B12 than others. So you may think you’re taking in enough chicken or beef to keep your vitamin B12 at a normal level, when really you’re missing out on some of the richest sources of this essential B vitamin.

(If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, then it is crucial that you supplement with vitamin B12 regularly in order to prevent debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.)

What about Vegan Vitamin B12?

Shellfish

Seafood provides some of the most nutritional sources of vitamin B12. One hundred grams of cooked clams provides 98.9mcg of vitamin B12; that’s 1648% of the amount recommended to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency!

Other excellent food sources of vitamin B12 from the seas include mackerel, crab, sardines and caviar.

Organ meat

A 3-ounce serving of cooked beef liver delivers a whopping 70.7mcg of vitamin B12. In fact, before vitamin B12 supplementation, doctors used to prescribe a concoction of pre-digested beef liver (Ew!) as a cure for pernicious anemia.

Chicken Liver pate, moose liver, and grilled chicken hearts are also good food sources of vitamin B12.

Red meat

Not ready for pan-fried liver? A serving of lean chuck beef has about five or six micrograms of vitamin B12, which is the minimum to get your recommended daily allowance.

Lamb chops are also good; they provide half of a day’s worth of vitamin B12.

Milk and eggs

If you follow a vegetarian diet, then it’s important to include lots of dairy foods into your daily diet in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency. One cup of nonfat yogurt delivers 25% of the RDA for vitamin B12, while the same amount of Swiss cheese brings you to 60 per cent.

Chicken eggs are not the best source of vitamin B12; one egg yields 36mcg of vitamin B12, or 6% RDA. Comparatively, one duck egg provides 63% RDA of vitamin B12. And if you can get your hands on a goose egg, then you’ll get 122% of the recommended amount of vitamin B12 in one serving!

Please tell us…

Do you eat any of these foods that are highest in vitamin B12? If you follow a vegan diet, then do you supplement with vitamin B12 in order to prevent deficiency?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Five Fat-Burning Foods Rich in Vitamin B12

Benefits and Sources of Vitamin B12, and How to Avoid Deficiency

The DASH Diet: Good Source of B12?

Image courtesy of jiggoja/freedigitalphotos

Pain and Numbness from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Monday, October 7th, 2013

 

 

If you suffer from pins and needles and painful burning or tingling in your hands and feet, then you may have vitamin B12 deficiency. There are many causes of chronic pain and numbness, most of them strongly linked to extremely low vitamin B12 levels or resulting  pernicious anemia.

Pain and Numbness from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Getting enough vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for your nervous system, but sometimes we don’t get enough, either because of diet or underlying health issues.

Eating a vegan diet devoid of B12-rich meats, fish, and cheese is one way of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, but it is also common in the elderly and people who have had gastrointestinal surgery such as gastric bypass.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also occur with migraine, fibromyalgia, and other forms of chronic pain, as autoimmune history and gastrointestinal problems combine to further raise your chances for developing vitamin B12 deficiency and resulting nerve pain.

If you’re experiencing constant nerve pain and numbness, then you should consider vitamin B12 deficiency as a possible cause.

Vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy

Neuropathy is any kind of nerve damage that causes intense pain and numbness. Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common forms of nerve pain, but it can also occur as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency or, if prolonged, pernicious anemia.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy include:

  • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities
  • Burning or itchy skin rashes
  • Sore burning tongue
  • Difficulty controlling arm and leg movements
  • Muscle spasms

Vitamin B12 and your nerves

Vitamin B12 protects your nervous system by sustaining myelin, a fatty substance that insulates your nerve fibers and enhances intercellular communication, so that sensory messages travel along the spinal cord to the brain quickly and efficiently.

When vitamin B12 levels become depleted, you suffer symptoms resulting from demyelination, destruction of the nerve cell’s outer coating. This is the same process that occurs in patients of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Nervous impulses become slower, and symptoms of tingling, burning, pain and numbness from vitamin B12 deficiency become more frequent.

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can impair your nervous system and cause severe handicaps.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Diabetes

Vitamin B12 deficiency is often comorbid with diabetes. Diabetics taking metformin are at a high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as metformin is one of several drugs that prevent absorption of vitamin B12 from foods.

If you are a diabetic using metformin, then it’s crucial sustain vitamin B12 levels through supplementation.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Vitamin B12 deficiency is harder to diagnose in people with diabetes, as the symptoms of pain and numbness are already masked by preexisting diabetic neuropathy. Routine vitamin B12 blood tests are recommended for all diabetics using metformin.

Treating nerve pain and numbness

If nerve pain results from vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s important to boost your intake of vitamin B12 immediately.

The best, most digestible sources of vitamin B12 are non-dietary supplements that are absorbed into your bloodstream, as opposed to vitamin B12 pills that you swallow.

For best results, start out with 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 weekly or more often, as needed or recommended by your doctor.

Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants for neuropathic pain, or he may advise anti-convulsant drugs. All of these, over extended periods of time, may result in uncomfortable side effects, so use with caution.

Topical treatments used to relive arthritis may help to relieve nerve pain, without any harmful side effects.

Your turn!

If you suffer nerve pain and numbness, have you been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Do-It-Yourself Chronic Pain Management- 6 Helpful Tips

Help- My Legs keep Falling Asleep!

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Image courtesy of marin/freedigitalphotos

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency, Addison-Biermer’s anemia- Pernicious anemia (PA) has been called many things.  Though we have a cure in vitamin B12 supplements, symptoms of pernicious anemia remain similar to historical descriptions of this once fatal disease.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COM

“Starvation in the midst of plenty”

In 1849, if a doctor diagnosed you with pernicious anemia, he would have told you to say your prayers.  That’s because back then, the survival rate was 1-3 years.  Many scientists tried various experiments to find out what caused this fatal disease, which was as dreaded as leukemia is today, causing symptoms like tiredness, painful tingling in the arms and legs, muscular weakness, and finally, death.

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Anybody care for a shot of liver juice?

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COMFinally, Dr. William B. Castle made an important scientific breakthrough.  He conducted an experiment that involved feeding regurgitated raw hamburger meat to patients of pernicious anemia, and discovered the presence of intrinsic factor, an essential chemical found in gastric juices that is lacking in pernicious anemia patients.  Like many medical discoveries, the next one that occurred somewhat by accident.  In trying to find a cure for anemia resulting from blood loss, Dr. George Whipple produced the first cure for pernicious anemia- raw liver. Later, in 1926, scientists developed a more concentrated antidote based on the same therapy- raw liver juice, to be swallowed or injected.

Juvenile Vitamin B12 Deficiency- the Dinosaur of all Disorders, say Scientists

Vitamin B12 is born

It wasn’t until two decades later that scientists finally discovered the potent ingredient in raw liver juice. In 1948, two chemists from the US and Britain isolated cobalamin as the health-giving nutrient, and named it vitamin B12.  For patients of pernicious anemia, dosages of 1000 to 4000 mcg, prescribed daily, were given orally as vitamin B12 pills or through intramuscular injection, as a vitamin B12 shot. Another method of supplementing vitamin B12 are sublingual B12 tablets.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COM

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

Pernicious anemia symptoms

Scientists today understand that pernicious anemia is a form of megaloblastic anemia, resulting from weakened DNA synthesis in red blood cells.  People with pernicious anemia suffer from an autoimmune condition that inhibits your body’s ability to produce intrinsic factor, thus resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency.  Rarely does pernicious anemia ever result in death, since doctors today know how to diagnose the symptoms early on, and confirm diagnosis with a vitamin B12 blood test. Still, many of the symptoms of pernicious anemia are disabling, and often confused with other conditions like clinical depression, thyroid disorder, and diabetes.

Typical symptoms of pernicious anemia are:

  • PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COMDiarrhea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Pale complexion
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of concentration
  • Shortness of breath while exercising
  • Painful tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
  • Sore, red swollen tongue
  • Bleeding gums
  • Altered taste perception
  • Depression
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Frequent stumbling
  • Clumsiness

Read more about pernicious anemia and B12:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- 4 Causes, 1 Solution

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

What is vitamin B12, and why is it so important?

Sources:

William B. Castle

Pernicious anemia

Images, from top:

HikingArtist.com, Frank Muckenheim, Mario Caruso, genericlook

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

 

 

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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM1. 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).

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM2. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM3. What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency- pernicious anemia?

The most common pernicious anemia symptoms are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Painful tingling sensations in hands and feet
  • Hands and feet often “falling asleep” or going numb
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Constant stumbling while walking
  • Clumsiness
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Pale complexion
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pains
  • Trouble sleeping

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency causes low red blood cell production, forgetfulness, severe nerve damage, and increased risk for heart attack , stroke, and osteoporosis.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM4. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM5. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM6. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM7. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM8. 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:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Gastritis
  • Chronic heartburn
  • Hypothyroidism

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM9. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM10. 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:

  • Pernicious anemia
  • Stomach infection
  • Bile reflux
  • Viruses

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM11. 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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM12. Can pernicious anemia cause stomach damage?

Pernicious anemia may cause gastric polyps, increasing one’s risk for getting stomach damage or gastric carcinoid tumors.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM13. 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:

Pernicious Anaemia Society

Vitamin B12 Deficiency on Facebook

Pernicious Anemia Awareness on Facebook

Pernicious Anaemia – What do you know?…And what they don’t tell you! on Facebook

Read more about pernicious anemia and vitamin B12:

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Sources:

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)- University of Maryland Medical Center

Gastritis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and More

Pernicious Anemia- Medscape

Pernicious Anemia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention on MedicineNet.com

Image credits, from top:

Danilo Rizzuti, digitalart, Salvatore Vuono

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