Why Vitamin B12 is more important than you think!

 

According to a study conducted in 2015 by Metropolis Healthcare on Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) to observe the deficiency and sufficiency of vitamins within the inhabitants across India, 75% of population has shown alarming levels of deficiency! (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/7-out-of-every-10-Indians-are-vitamin-deficient/articleshow/49380097.cms)

 

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse. It helps make DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. It is a water-soluble vitamin, like all other B-vitamins, and is needed for nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells. B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin, occurring naturally in meat products and industrially produced through bacterial fermentation synthesis.

 

Indeed, vitamin B123 is vital for many functions throughout your body. B12 is required for:

Producing adrenal hormones Metabolizing folate
Digestion and metabolizing fat and carbs Formation of red blood cells
Iron absorption Proper blood circulation
Reproductive health Modulation of gut microbial ecology4
Nervous system function Nerve growth and function
Synthesizing of DNA Regulation and coordination of cell growth5

 

Who are at risk?

In an analysis of over 14, 96,683 patients who underwent Vitamin tests, it was found that
– 21.02% of all samples tested were deficient in Vitamin B12.

 

Pregnant Women

Women who are pregnant or are near the childbearing age also need to know that a Vitamin B12 deficiency puts their expected offspring at risk! This is because newborn babies do not have b12 storage in their bodies, unlike adults. So if the mother is deficient, and breastfeeds, the baby could develop not only neurological problems, but is also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes at a later stage!

Even Meat Eaters!

Interestingly, the research also showed that even meat/fish/poultry eaters were found to be deficient in B12, which is understood to be the main source of the vitamin. However, this has been attributed to the vitamin just not being absorbed properly by the body than due to lack of consumption. B12 is tightly bound to proteins and high acidity is required to break this bond. In essence, a lot of people simply do not have sufficient stomach acid to separate the B12 from the protein!

Others:

People who regularly drink alcohol, as B12 is stored in your liver.
Anyone with an autoimmune disease like Crohn’s or celiac, which may prevent your body from being able to absorb B12.
People who drink more than four cups of coffee daily are more prone to vitamin B deficiencies than non-coffee consumers.22
Those who’ve had gastric bypass surgery and therefore have altered digestive systems, as this may impair B12 absorption.
People exposed to nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which can wipe out whatever B12 reserves you may have in your body.
Adults over 50, because as you grow older, your ability to produce intrinsic factor decreases.

 

Signs of a B12 deficiency

The most common sign of the onset of a B12 deficiency is lack of energy, and constant fatigue. Anxiousness and depression may occur because a B12 shortage depresses the brain chemical serotonin. Some other symptoms include:

A numb, tingly, “pins and needles” sensation in your hands, legs or feet, which may indicate possible nerve damage.
A red, swollen, “beefy” tongue with fewer papillae “bumps” containing taste buds.
Mouth sores/ulcers.
Blurry or double vision, or shadows in your field of vision, caused by optic nerve damage from a B12 deficiency.

 

Foods helpful for a B12 deficiency

 

Milk

Meat

Chicken

Fermented Foods (Kimchi, Kanji, pickle etc)

Fish 

Curd

 

 

Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/04/23/vitamin-b12-supplementation.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20180423Z3&et_cid=DM202278&et_rid=283364060

 

About the Author

Rajan Mahendra

Mr Rajan Mahendra has worked for more than 25 years across almost 40 business verticals as a business consultant. Due to his hectic and irregular schedule, he had a health scare at the young age of 34, suffering a mini stroke. After taking medicines for almost 10 years, he started developing more complications as side effects of the medicines. After co-founding a pharmacy chain across the city and scaling it up successfully, he realized medicines were doing more harm than good and set up 'Aarogyahaar' to spread information about the power of food and healthy lifestyles!

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