The b12 vitamin It is essential for the human body for various reasons. Also scientifically known as cobalamin, it is a vitamin that is especially stored in the liver and performs important functions in the human body.
Among the most important missions of this vitamin in the body, the formation of red blood cells stands out, it favors the maintenance of the nervous system and prevents diseases such as megaloblastic anemia.
However, one of the main characteristics of this micronutrient is that it is found mainly in foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs, shellfish or dairy products. It is virtually impossible to find this vitamin in plant-based foods, which can be inconvenient for many people.
Mainly, the foods richest in vitamin B12 are beef liver, beef tenderloin, pork loin, cheese, milk, sardines, octopus, salmon and mussels. By regularly including some of these foods in the diet, we can enjoy optimal levels of this micronutrient.
Effects of vitamin B12 deficiency
One of the main risks of having low levels of vitamin B12 is that it can be detrimental to DNA synthesis, causing the production of large and immature red blood cells. And this can lead to a serious illness like megaloblastic anemia.
Thus, the lack of vitamin B12 in the body is mainly caused by a poor absorption of the micronutrient or an immune condition. That is, if there is a failure in the digestive system, it can lead to poor absorption of the vitamin.
On the other hand, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are prone to developing vitamin B12 deficiency, since this micronutrient is mainly found in foods of animal origin.
In these cases, many people who choose to lead a philosophy of life without consuming foods of animal origin, must supplement their diet with vitamin B12 supplements, in order to prevent a possible deficiency and its consequences.
How to detect a lack of vitamin B12
Detecting the lack of a vitamin in question in the body is not easy. Although, when a person has a prolonged deficiency, in this case of vitamin B12, they tend to develop different symptoms. Let’s say that somehow the body alerts us that something is wrong.
Some of the most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are memory loss, tingling in the arms and legs, weakness, blurred vision or feeling tired. All these indications appear because damage is taking place in the nervous system of the human body.
In addition, the prolonged lack of this micronutrient in the body can lead to heart failure or the development of megaloblastic anemia. In short, through the following symptoms we could detect an efficiency of vitamin B12:
- Constantly feeling tired, weak, dizzy, and confused.
- Have a yellow or pale skin color.
- Feeling disoriented
- Memory loss or language difficulty
- Decreased reflexes.
- If you have started a vegan diet, monitor your vitamin B12 levels through a medical analysis.
Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to cognitive decline. However, it can be treated in time and in these cases the most common procedure is through an injection of vitamin B12. It is a faster method than the use of supplements to quickly alleviate the dangerous deficiency of this micronutrient.
Finally, it should be noted that people with Helicobacter Pylori, a bacterium that affects the stomach causing gastritis, are also more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiencies.