Without vitamin B12, our health suffers, and energy loss is noticeable.
Namely, this vitamin plays a key role in converting carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy. Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with vegetarian and vegan diets because foods that contain it are not part of the aforementioned diets. Another reason is the lack of stomach acid, which is necessary for the absorption of this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 helps to create a protective membrane that envelops the nerves, without it the nerves can be easily damaged and thinned, which can make you feel like someone is stabbing you with needles or you can’t feel your hands.
One of the other symptoms is anemia. Namely, the body begins to produce immature red blood cells that cannot carry oxygen through the body, and due to lack of oxygen, you feel bad. When your skin loses its healthy glow, it is possible to suffer from a deficiency of this vitamin. This is due to the already mentioned lack of oxygen in the body.
One analysis, conducted in 27 study centers across America, showed that vitamin B12 levels are very low in a person with type 2 diabetes. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that causes both the brain and mood and scientists believe that serotonin deficiency can lead to depression.
As vitamin B12 works closely with metabolic processes in the brain, deficiency can lead to memory loss and even dementia, especially in the elderly.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
The signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- extreme tiredness
- pins and needles (especially in your hands and feet)
- mouth ulcers
- a swollen and sore tongue (glossitis)
- blurred vision
- poor memory
- In rare cases, it can cause heart and fertility problems.
If you have any of these symptoms it’s really important to check your vitamin B12 levels. Some of these symptoms, like nerve damage, can be irreversible.
Foods rich in vitamin B12
Chicken and beef liver are especially rich in vitamin B12. If you are a vegetarian and do not eat meat, an omelet with cheese or a glass of milk several times a week will raise the level of vitamin B12 in your body.