There are three main groups that are at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency dangers. They are: 1) persons over the age of 55; 2) the chronically ill; and 3) strict vegetarians that have chosen to not eat any animal products. If you’re in one of these groups, the information in this article is for you. If your doctor has diagnosed a vitamin B12 deficiency, links are provided at the end of this article for you to purchase your necessary B12 supplement from a reputable and reliable supplier.
Vitamin B12 is important for many of the body’s functions. One of its main functions is aiding in the production of red blood cells that are necessary for delivering oxygen to all cells in the body. When B12 is deficient, young blood cells don’t develop properly and therefore are unable to perform their job.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Since very little B12 is needed by the body and since the liver stores any additional B12 for later use that is taken in, signs of deficiency may take a long time to become noticeable. Anemia can be one symptom of B12 deficiency. Symptoms of anemia caused by B12 deficiency include:
— lack of energy
— being out of breath with only minimal exertion
— pale skin tone
— easily bruised
— weight loss
— bowel problems
These symptoms can be masked by taking folate. However, if the underlying B12 deficiency is not corrected, permanent nerve damage can occur. For this reason, it is recommended that whenever anemia is suspected you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.
Causes of B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is available to us by eating animal products: beef, fish, dairy, eggs. Most people have no trouble supplying their body’s need for vitamin B12.
Elderly people and those with chronic diseases may find their bodies are unable to absorb – and are therefore unable to use – the B12 that is in their foods. This is usually due to their body’s inability to manufacture sufficient intrinsic factor – a substance produced by the stomach that is essential for the absorption of vitamin B12.
In the case of strict vegans, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by their conscious dietary choices.
Supplementing with pharmaceutical vitamin B12 may help correct these deficiencies and protect you from serious medical complications.
Vitamin B12 Supplements
As with all the vitamins, vitamin B12 is essential for the human body to function normally. If the B12 in food is unavailable, then pharmaceutical B12 supplementation is a viable alternative.
Vitamin B12 supplements come in a variety of forms: pills, liquid for injection, sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets, patches, etc. However, before taking any supplement consult your doctor for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan.