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Low Vitamin B12 Symptoms and Treatment

A water-soluble vitamin called B12 is necessary for many vital body functions. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for nurturing normal neural and mental function. It is also referred to as Cyanocobalamin.

B12 plays an essential role in many health conditions. Like bone health, red blood cell formation, energy levels, and mood. It performs cell metabolism, nerve function, and DNA production. All these significant functions are essential for life.

It is also important during pregnancy. Because it helps prevent birth defects in the baby’s spine and central nervous system. A lack of vitamin b12 can cause anemia, nerve, and brain damage if left untreated.

The body is unable to produce vitamin b12 like most vitamins.   Instead, you must consume it through food or supplements.

low vitamin b12
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Normal vitamin b12 per day

People with special medical conditions or dietary restrictions may benefit from B12 intake. The suggested dosage can differ according to your age, sex, and medical history. Here are the recommended dosages by NIH (National Institute of Health).

  • 0.5 mcg for 7-12 months
  • 0.9 mcg for 1-3 years
  • 1.2 mcg for 4-8 years
  • 2.4 mcg for 14-18 years
  • 2.4 mcg for 19+ years
  • 1 mg for 50+ years

Symptoms of low vitamin b12

Low vitamin b12 levels can cause a wide range of mental and health problems, including:


●       Weight loss

Unexpected weight loss is one of the most common symptoms of b12 deficiency. When you don’t have enough b12 in your system, you may lose your appetite.

While some people eat three meals a day and drink juice and soda. But they do not lose weight, others are in tune with their bodies and do not eat when they are not hungry. You may have a b12 deficiency if you are losing weight without trying.

Some studies show vitamin b12 deficiency can lead to appetite and weight loss. People with vitamin low b12 may lose their appetite due erenköy escort to digestive issues such as nausea. A decrease in appetite can result in long-term weight loss.

●       Low blood pressure

A lack of vitamin b12 according to the AHA (American Heart Association), puts you at risk for anemia. It is a condition in which your body does not produce enough red blood cells.  With fewer red blood cells, there is less volume in the bloodstream, resulting in low blood pressure.

People with extremely low blood pressure may become confused, develop cold, sweating skin, develop a weak or rapid heartbeat, or have shallow breathing.

●       Sleep inability

Studies indicate that low vitamin b12 may interfere with sleep. But available research is inconclusive. Many published case studies show that b12 can help patients with sleep disorders.

High doses of b12 restored the subjects’ sleep-wake cycles to normal in an effective way.  This suggests that b12 influences our circadian rhythm. But researchers have yet to determine the exact link.

Studies have shown that people with higher vitamin B12 levels have a lower risk of developing depression. Insomnia and other sleep disorders are often present in depressed people.

B12 also contributes to melatonin hormone production. It helps control our circadian rhythms. It’s likely that a low vitamin b12 could cause sleep patterns to become disturbed.

●  Depression

Vitamin b12 deficiency is . Yet, the relationship isn’t understood completely. Because depression is a difficult and complex disorder.

Researchers reviewed research in a 2005 article published in the . They found strong evidence linking increased depression with decreased vitamin B12 levels.

They also claim that high vitamin b12 level is more effective in treating depression.  Experts recommend one milligram of b12 supplements daily for people with depression. To know the full relationship between b12 and depression, there is more need to study.

●  Memory loss

A low vitamin b12 is a common cause of memory loss symptoms on a shocking basis. Since vitamin b12 is essential for memory. Otherwise, memory loss could result from low vitamin b12. According to WebMD, vitamin b1 and b12 deficiencies can damage memory.

Low vitamin b12 levels can cause cognitive effects such as confusion or poor memory. It can also cause dementia in severe cases. Vitamin b12 is vital for normal brain function and for protecting covered nerves.

Vitamin B12 deficiency and cognitive impairment were the subjects of an NIH study in 2020. The study found that 84% of patients who took  b12 supplements were able to improve their memory and focus.

  •  High Cholesterol

According to Nutrients Journal’s publishing study, vitamin b12 deficiency can raise cholesterol levels.

The study discovered a link between your vitamin B12 levels and your lipid profiles. These are a series of blood tests that include your cholesterol and triglyceride. Both are fat types found in your blood.

Researchers studied 341 healthy women between the ages of 19 and 30. They gathered data on their vitamin intake, physical activity, and nutrition. They found a link between low vitamin b12 levels to higher cholesterol. Even after controlling their body mass index, abdominal fat, and total body fat %.

High cholesterol levels can result in a dangerous overgrowth of cholesterol. It may also cause other deposits on the walls of your arteries named atherosclerosis. These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, resulting in complications like:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

●  Birth defects during pregnancy

According to NHS, a vitamin b12 deficiency during pregnancy may cause birth defects. It raises the chances that your unborn child will have a serious birth issue known as a neural tube defect.

The neural tube is a narrow channel that in due course leads to the formation of the brain and spinal cord.

Neural tube defects include the following:

A baby with this condition develops an abnormal spine.

  • Anencephaly

It is a condition in which a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull.

  • Encephalocele

A condition in which a skin-covered sac containing a portion of the brain pushes through a hole in the skull.

●  Neurological damage

Vitamin b12 is vital for the normal function of all cells in the brain and nervous system. B12 deficiency can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the nervous system.

B12 vitamin deficiency, especially vitamin b12, often causes peripheral neuropathy (PN) in patients. The blood level of vitamin b12 is low in people with PN.

PN is a type of nerve damage that affects the entire peripheral nervous system. In the general population, the age-standardized prevalence of PN is 9.4%.

Because vitamin b12 deficiency can have long-term consequences. It is critical that you and your doctors take serious notice of this nutrient and its deficiency seriously. This is especially true if you have neuropathy or another neurological disorder.

Treatment for vitamin b12 deficiency

Your body’s cells of all types require vitamin b12. This includes the glial cells that guard your neurons and red blood cells. Yet, your body doesn’t produce this nutrient as a matter of course. Vitamin b12 deficiency is usually treatable with diet and vitamin supplements.

1.   Vitamin b12 use in diet

Vitamin b12 occurs in nature in the form of foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Increase your vitamin b12 intake by eating more foods that contain it.  You may also need to make dietary changes. These foods will help you increase your b12 levels recommended by WebMD.

●   Vitamin b12 in eggs

One hard-boiled egg contains approximately 0.6 micrograms of b12. That equates to 25% of your daily value. However, you must consume the entire egg. The yolk contains mostly b12.

If you are deficient in b12, eggs should not be your primary source. There isn’t much proof that they may improve your b12 levels to a great extent.

●   Vitamin b12 in milk

Cows pass b12 into their milk as well. What you will discover in the following is:

  • The amount in 1 cup of low-fat milk is 1.2 micrograms.
  • 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt: 1.2 micrograms
  • 1-ounce Swiss cheese: 0.9 micrograms

●   Vitamin b12 in fish

A 3-ounce serving of these foods contains the following amount of vitamin b12:

  • 1 microgram in cooked clams
  • 4 micrograms in the case of steaming mussels
  • 1 microgram of cooked Atlantic mackerel
  • 8 micrograms from steamed Alaskan king crab
  • 4 micrograms cooked wild rainbow trout
  • 4 micrograms from cooked salmon

●   Vitamin b12 in beef

Beef and lamb are examples of this. Large amounts of b12 are in their livers, wholly like humans.

Here’s what you can get from three ounces of each of the following:

  • Cooked beef liver contains 70.7 micrograms of cholesterol
  • 9 micrograms in grilled lean beef and steak

Red meat overeating raises the possibility of developing certain health issues.  This includes heart and blood vessel issues and certain types of cancer. You should limit it to a few servings per week. Consult your doctor to determine how much is safe for you.

2.   Taking b12 supplements

In each case, food is not enough to meet your daily vitamin b12 needs. The cause of your b12 insufficiencies will determine how you treat it. You may have difficulty absorbing b12 from meals if you have pernicious anemia or are older.

To determine if you have these issues, your doctor can perform various tests. To stay healthy, you might require routine b12 injections or nutritional supplements.


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