Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential vitamins for your body, and you may’ve never heard about it.
Also called cobalamin, it is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain, nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is one of eight B vitamins.
As you can see it is essential in fighting neurological conditions and long-term diseases. It is crucial for everyone to know what the deficiency of this key nutrient looks like, so that you can guard against the fallout. We’ll also be talking about the many benefits of having a regular supply of vitamin B12.
7 Signs you’re suffering From Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The experience of chronic vertigo is one of the first signs of B12 deficiency. Sometimes the situation can be dangerous. The thought of falling off chairs, or even worse, down the stairs should send you straight to the doctor’s office for a much needed consultation.
It starts with small thing. You find it hard to remember the names of the neighbor kids or you keep misplacing your keys. The danger here is that most people (especially old people) begin to fear that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia when in fact they have a deficiency of vitamin B12 which a regimen of supplements can correct.
3. Weakening of Muscles
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation and functioning of erythrocytes. In case you didn’t know, erythrocytes are the cells which supply oxygen to the blood. The lowering of the oxygen levels in the blood ends up weakening the muscles in your body. That leads to you actually feeling like your shopping bags will suck the life out of you.
4. Pale Skin
The lack of erythrocytes in the blood will also leave you with a sickly pale complexion no matter how often you frequent the tanning beds.
5. Pins and Needles
Insufficient amounts of this vitamin can cause paraesthesia – more commonly known as pins and needles. While a certain amount of it in your limbs is common, if this becomes too often and continuous it is a sign of nerve damage caused by a lack of proper oxygen flow which in turn is because you don’t have enough B12.
Insufficient amount of oxygen reaching your internal organs is one of the main reasons why you might feel fatigued. Even with a good night’s sleep, you feel hung-over.
7. Vision Problems
Your vision, especially central vision will be adversely affected. Blurred vision, shadows etc. are common eye problems of vitamin B12 deficiency. This is because the lack of vitamin B12 leads to optic neuropathy which may temporarily damage the optic nerve, affecting your eyes.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
1. Prevents Heart Disease
Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., taking some extra measures to protect your heart is something everyone should consider. New research has discovered that an increased level of homocysteine is a higher risk factor for heart disease than cholesterol. This non-protein α-amino acid can create inflammation if there’s a lack of vitamin B12. In other words, this vitamin reduced the levels of homocysteine, and with that the risk of heart disease and stroke.
2. Prevents Nerve Damage
Nerves have a natural covering called myelin sheath whose primary purpose is to protect them from toxins and free radical damage. Vitamin B12 keeps the synapses in the nerves running and thus prevents nerve damage.
3. Energy Production
Vitamin B12 is an effective agent in transforming cholesterol into usable glucose and thus keeps your body energetic naturally.
4. Aids Digestion
This vitamin aids in the production of digestive enzymes, thus helping the breakdown of foods in the stomach and supporting a healthy metabolism. B12 is essential to maintain the quantity of healthy gut bacteria.
5. Prevents Anemia
All the help the vitamin does for erythrocytes in the blood also means it’s a good counter to anemia.
6. Toughens Bones
Vitamin B12 is a recommended natural nutrient which helps prevent and combat osteoporosis.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B12
Here are the foods which contain the highest levels of this vitamin:
- Beef and chicken liver — 81 milligrams in 3 ounces
- Salmon — 19.5 milligrams in 108 grams (1 filet)
- Herring —18.7 milligrams in 143 grams (1 filet)
- Mackerel — 15.3 milligrams in 3 ounces
- Sardines — 13.3 milligrams in 1 cup
- Tuna — 9.3 milligrams in 3 ounces
- Trout — 9.1 milligrams in 1 filet
- Organic yogurt — 1.3 mg in 1 container of plain Greek yogurt
- Turkey — 1.1 milligrams in 3 ounces
- Raw milk — 1 milligram in 1 cup
- Beef tenderloin — 0.9 milligrams in 3 ounces
- Lamb — 0.8 milligrams in 3 ounces