Despite maintaining a diet rich in meat- and dairy products, one in four adults suffers a vitamin B12 deficiency, according to experts. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years. This is a result of the fact that it is such an important nutrient the body ensures it has some amount stored at all times.
Vitamin B12 is crucial for the functioning of the nervous, digestion, vascular and reproduction systems. It regulates hormone production, supports a healthy immune system and synthesises red blood cells and DNA. Furthermore, it is important for the protein metabolism and the conversion of carbohydrates into glucos.
A vitamin B12 deficiency concerns the lowered levels of this vitamin in the blood. It manifests itself through many signs and symptoms, some of which concern psychological and emotional health. The most common symptom cause is decreased intake, the use of certain medication, genetics, malnutrition, poor absorption in the stomach or intestines, chronic gastritis, intestinal parasites and more. We state the 5 most common warning signals of vitamin B12 deficiency on the next page.
Vitamin B12 is really powerful and essential for the proper functioning of the brain, DNA production, nerve and blood cells and a healthy immune system. It is found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs and shellfish. Therefore, a vitamin B12 shortage, when left untreated, can cause severe blood diseases and neurological problems.
1. Unexplained fatigue
If you feel exhausted, even when you slept well, and do not feel energetic, it could be possible that your body misses this vitamin. It is caused by the lack of red blood cell production, which is one of the functions of B12. In that case the oxygen transport to the organs is obstructed and causes fatigue.
A shortage of B12 can result in dizziness and vertigo, as well as a feeling of unstability when getting up to fast from a seating position and when walking upwards or downwards.
Low B12 levels can also lead to often forgetting things. You could think it might be early dementia, but chronic and unusual forgetfulness is a common symptom of this deficiency. By taking supplements you can raise the B12 levels and give your memory a boost.
A shortage of B12 often causes tingling sensations throughout the body because the vitamin influences the production of red blood cells and therefore the oxygen levels. Numbness or a feeling of electrical pulses can be a result of nerve damage.
5. Muscle weakness
When muscles do not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen from the red blood cells, they weaken and become slow.