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Vitamin B12 And Your Health
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Vitamin B12 And Your Health

Vitamin B12 is familiar to most of us and is recognized as an important vitamin in the B complex. It is linked with energy and well being. It assists in the making of red blood cells and helps to run the central nervous system. It is essential for our health and can be found in animal foods such as liver, red meat, shell fish, eggs and chicken.

Recent studies suggest there may also be promising new discoveries about Vitamin B12. Tests have been done that indicate it may keep the brain from shrinking as people age. It is very important for the body’s digestive system to be able to absorb Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies in the body can be caused by conditions such as pernicious anemia, where a protein that is made in the stomach called intrinsic factor is missing. This protein enables the Vitamin B12 to be absorbed.

When the lining of the stomach thins it is called atrophic gastritis. This is another type of digestive problem that hinders vitamin B12, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacteria or parasites.

A person should suspect a vitamin B12 deficiency if they have the following symptoms: a rapid heartbeat, breathing problems, weakness, bleeding gums, bruising and weight loss. The tongue may become sore. Upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation are also possible.

If the deficiency becomes advanced it can cause not only tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes, but memory loss and dementia.

The Rush University Medical Center in Chicago did a study on vitamin B12 deficiency and found that those who did not get enough of the vitamin had smaller brains and lower scores on memory tests.

For those who take supplements of vitamin B12, adults need 2.4 micrograms (mcg) every day. Women who are pregnant need 2.6 mcg daily. Taking large amounts has not been known to cause a problem, but it is probably best to stay close to the standard doses. Also, when choosing a supplement, look for these seals: U.S.P. (us.pharmacopeia website) and CL (consumerlab).

Eating a variety of foods to get your vitamin B12 is better than relying on just one particular source. Milk, eggs and yogurt can be added to the diet along with meats.

Vitamin B12 injections are becoming popular. You can get them at your doctor’s office and some pharmacies offer them. The injections are said to increase energy, help depression and speed up the metabolism for weight loss.

So if you want to be sure about the amount of vitamin B12 that you are getting, ask your doctor to test your levels at your next check-up.


Street Talk

Great article, I have known a number of people that have become ill and the diagnosis ended up being a B12 deficiency. Especially in women, this is very important to monitor.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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