Have you recently been feeling tired and overwhelmed? Do simple tasks seem like daunting chores? Have you been wondering how to get your energy levels higher?
Perhaps you should take a close look at your Vitamin B12 levels. Vitamin B12 is known as the powerhouse vitamin, due to its countless amounts of health benefits. This incredible vitamin is critical for everyone for overall health and wellness. Vitamin B12 is not only responsible for supporting DNA and for producing healthy blood cells, but it is also responsible for the maintenance of proper nerve and immune functions and aids in body detoxification. Many people are unaware of the important role Vitamin B12 plays when it comes to the body as a whole or what a Vitamin B12 deficiency can look or feel like.
Vitamin B12 is often known as the energy vitamin because it can aid in digestion, food absorption, and can also metabolize both fats and carbohydrates, converting nutrients into energy.
Some other amazing benefits associated with consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 include:
- Increased Energy
- Reduced Fatigue
- Increased Iron Absorption
- Production of Proper Amounts of Adrenal Hormones
- Improved Metabolism
- Improved Sleep Quality
- Increased Mental Alertness and Concentration
- Improved Mood
- Relief of Depression
- Boosts Immune Function
- Increased Hair Growth
- Reduced Hair Loss
There are many health issues associated with a Vitamin B12 deficiency. A healthy liver can store Vitamin B12 for up to 2 years. When the Vitamin B12 storage is used up, your body will become deficient without warning. Because of this, Vitamin B12 deficiency can go unnoticed for long periods of time.
What exactly is a Vitamin B12 deficiency?
A Vitamin B12 deficiency is when the level of this vitamin becomes low. Vitamin B12 is crucial for the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through out the body. Without adequate amounts of red blood cells, the body can develop anemia and neurological disorders.
A mild deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause you to feel exhausted and burnt out. When you have a moderate deficiency you will notice symptoms such as a swollen tongue, as well as neurological problems like abnormal sensations such as pins and needles.
If these signs or symptoms are ignored, then your body can experience a severe deficiency. A severe deficiency may include reduced heart function and potentially worse neurological problems. These neurological conditions can include changes in reflexes, muscle function, memory problems, decreased taste, and in extreme cases, psychosis. Some things to watch out for in children are poor growth, poor development, and difficulties with movement.
Here are some more signs that you may be suffering from a Vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Rapid Breathing
- Pale Coloured Skin
- Sore Tongue
- Mood Changes (can cause Depression)
- Memory Loss (can cause Dementia)
Who is at risk of developing a Vitamin B12 deficiency?
It is estimated that 50% of Americans suffer from inadequate amounts of Vitamin B12 in their diets, so really anyone can be at risk. However, there are some common causes for this vitamin deficiency.
Older adults are more at risk due to the fact that after the age of 50 the stomach produces less acid, which affects the ability to absorb Vitamin B12. Vegetarians and Vegans are at greater risk of a Vitamin B12 deficiency because Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and shellfish. Anyone who suffers from heartburn is at risk because heartburn medication decreases stomach acid which may affect the absorption of the B12 Vitamin. Coffee or alcoholic beverage consumption on a regular basis can also lead to deficiency in Vitamin B12.
Anyone who is wanting to become pregnant or who is already expecting should increase the amount of Vitamin B12 (in conversation with their healthcare practitioner) consumed in their diet to avoid the chances of experiencing temporary infertility and to prevent neural tube defects.
Vitamin B12 plays a very crucial role in all aspects of our health and wellness. Ensuring that your Vitamin B12 intake is adequate will improve your everyday life and protect you from long term health conditions. The recommended daily amount for adults is 2.4 mcg/day.
IT’S YOUR HEALTH.