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
• Mood Changes
• Memory loss
• Pernicious Anaemia
• Numbness in extremeties
• Impaired cognitive abilities in some vegetarian children
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• 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
• Reduced Gastric pH due to age
• Partial Gastrectomy
• Reduced B12 Foods
Food Sources of B12
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
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.
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.
Efective results have been shown for this disorder upon supplementation intramuscularly.
High Homocysteine levels
B12 supplementation with folic acid and Vitamin B6 has shown to effectively decrease high levles of homocysteine.
Taking B12 on it's own or in combination does not help in preventing the recurrence of stroke in stroke victims.
More research needed on these Disorders
• High Cholesterol
• Shaky leg syndrome
There is conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of Vitamin B12 and these disorders, but stay in touch via the health blog.
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