Do you know how much vitamin B12 you need in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency? Unless you supplement, you could wind up with dangerously low vitamin B12 levels. Find out if your B12 blood levels are normal and how much you need to meet the FDA’s RDA for vitamin B12.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is a water-soluble nutrient that your body gets from protein sources, such as beef, chicken, liver, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Your body uses vitamin B12 for DNA synthesis, protecting your nervous system, and strengthening cognitive skills. Symptoms that indicate a low vitamin B12 level include constant fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, tingling or numbness in your hands and feet, depression, agitation, altered taste perception, and red, swollen tongue.
How much B12 is in my blood right now?
By performing a blood test, your doctor can tell you if you are deficient in vitamin B12, or if you have normal B12 levels. Vitamin B12 blood screening requires a 6-8 hour fast before testing. Laboratory tests will measure how many picograms (pg) of cobalamin you have per milliliter (ml) of blood in your body.
How much B12 should I have?
- Scientists agree that a normal level of vitamin B12 in your blood is 200 – 900 picograms per milliliter (200-900 pg/ml).
- Test results showing less than 200 pg/ml signal vitamin B12 deficiency.
- For elderly adults, the recommended vitamin B12 level is much higher- Test results showing less than 500 pg/ml indicates B12 deficiency.
- In order to find the cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency, doctors may perform a Schilling test.
What is the recommended dose of vitamin B12?
- The FDA’s RDA of vitamin B12 for healthy adults is approximately three mcg daily for males and females alike, including pregnant and nursing moms.
- For elderly individuals, the recommended dose of vitamin B12 is 25-100 mcg per day.
Scientific study proves that the RDA for B12 is off.
- According to a study conducted in the Netherlands, elderly sufferers of vitamin B12 deficiency need more than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in order to achieve normal levels of B12.
- Using methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels as a gauge, scientists established that cyanocobalamin supplementation amounting to 200 times the RDA of vitamin B12 is required in order to stabilize B12 levels in patients showing signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
How much vitamin B12 do you really need?
- Vitamin B12 shots administering a daily dose of 1,000 mcg of cobalamin are prescribed for the first 10 days following diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency, continuing with a weekly dose of 1,000 mcg for a consecutive 4-week period.
Read more about B12 deficiency:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency after Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss
- Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia
- Vitamin B12 level: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
- Vitamin B12 Level – Tests, Test Results & Diagnosis – NY Times Health Information
- Vitamin B12: Dosing – MayoClinic.com
- Oral cyanocobalamin supplementation in older people with vitamin B12 deficiency: a dose-finding trial- PubMed NCBI
- Learn More about Vitamin B12 Deficiency.
- USDA: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: B-12
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