B12 does a lot of important things in the body. But are you sure that you’re getting enough of it? It helps build DNA, red blood cells, nerves and carry out other crucial functions. An average daily dose of vitamin B12 for adults is about 2.4 micrograms a day. If your daily intake is less or you have trouble with vitamin absorption, you are likely to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency.
The body does not produce vitamin B12 on it’s own, so in order to get enough of it we need to get it from animal-based foods or supplements. And what’s more important, the intake should be steady and regular.
Although it is possible to maintain necessary vitamin B12 levels with a balanced diet, this deficiency is relatively common, especially among people over 50, premenopausal women and those who follow strict vegan diets.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms often develop very slowly and worsen over time. Moreover, it is possible to experience no symptoms at all (this is called silent Vitamin B12 deficiency). With no treatment, this deficiency tends to worsen and a person may develop severe nerve and brain conditions. If there are any reasons to suspect this condition, do not hesitate to see a doctor and get your vitamin B12 levels checked.
Are you at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?
If you maintain a vegetarian or vegan diet or underwent weight loss surgery, there may be a higher risk of developing this particular deficiency. It is also known that this vitamin can not be absorbed as effectively in elderly people than in children and adults.
What else may cause vitamin B12 deficiency?
If you have such a condition as pernicious anemia, it may be hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12.
Conditions that affect your stomach (e.g. atrophic gastritis) and small intestine (Crohn`s disease, bacterial growth or celiac disease) also can cause some trouble with B12 absorption.
Alcohol and substance abuse can make it harder for your body to absorb all the vital and essential nutrients as well as vitamins.
Taking certain drugs can interfere with the absorption of B12, too. These drugs include some heartburn medicine and certain diabetes medicine such as metformin.