Vitamin B12 Deficiencies

Vitamin B12, otherwise known as Cyanocobalamin can help many different disorders.

You are probably familiar with the common health disorders that it helps like fatigue and pernicious anaemia, but did you know it's been proven to help a number of other problems?

Why Do We Need B12?

B12 is needed for the reproduction of our red blood cells. You know that we have many cells die and reproduce in our lifetime, B12 has an important role in this. It is also needed to help produce myelin which is like the protective sheath around our nervous system. For example, multiple sclerosis sufferers have a degeneration of the myelin and this is why they lose the ability of motor function. Multiple sclerosis however is an autoimmune disease and is not caused by a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Our body is capable of storing large amounts of B12 so a deficiency can take months to years to manifest.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

• Depression

• Mood Changes

• Weakness

• Memory loss

• Pernicious Anaemia

• Numbness in extremeties

• Impaired cognitive abilities in some vegetarian children

• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

• Insomnia

• Hearing loss in the elderly

My Little Tip

A simple little test you can do anywhere to see if you are B12 deficient is to do the following:

With your hands, try and touch the first knuckles with the tips of your fingers on the inside of your hand. If you can't reach the padded skin, then you MAY have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Are You At Risk Of B12 Deficiency?

If you are lacking a glycoprotein called Intrinsic Factor which is produced by the stomach then you could be at risk. Absorption is reliant on intrinsic factor and a normal pH in the stomach.

You won't know this without being tested for it but if you have the following problems then you may be at risk of B12 deficiency:

• The use of antacids

• Gastritis

• Reduced Gastric pH due to age

• Partial Gastrectomy

• Reduced B12 Foods

Food Sources of B12

source of Vitamin B12 Meat




B12 Dosages

Recommended Dietary Allowances

Infants 0-12months - 0.5mcg/day

Children 1-3 years - 0.9mcg/day

Children 4-8 years - 1.2mcg/day

Children 9-13 years - 1.8mcg/day

Adults - 2.4mcg/day

Pregnant and breastfeeding - 2.8mcg/day

Elderly with low gastric acid - 25-100mcg/day

Pernicious Anaemia - 300-1000mcg/day

Hyperhomocysteinemia - 500mcg/day with folic acid and B6

Latest Clinical Evidence

B12 and pernicious anaemia Pernicious Anaemia

Vitamin B12 is highly recomennded for this type of anaemia and has plenty of evidence to say that high doses (1,000mcg) is just as effective as intramuscular preparations.

B12 Deficiency

If you have been tested for B12 and have low levels, supplementation is highly recomended. It is also recomended for those in thehigh risk category with some symptoms.

Imerslund-Grasbeck Imerslund-Grasbeck disease

Efective results have been shown for this disorder upon supplementation intramuscularly.

B12 reduces homocysteine High Homocysteine levels

B12 supplementation with folic acid and Vitamin B6 has shown to effectively decrease high levles of homocysteine.

B12 and stroke Stroke

Taking B12 on it's own or in combination does not help in preventing the recurrence of stroke in stroke victims.

research into B12 More research needed on these Disorders

• High Cholesterol

• Fatigue

• Angioplasty

• Shaky leg syndrome

There is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of Vitamin B12 and these disorders, but stay in touch via the health blog.

From Vitamin B12 back to Vitamin Deficiencies

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