Vitamin B12 deficiency: symptoms and remedies

Vitamin B12 deficiency: symptoms and remedies

Vitamin B12 and needs

Vitamin B12 , also known as “the energy vitamin” due to its fundamental energizing power for the functioning of the body, is cyanocobalamin , a term by which this B group vitamin is commonly identified . Scarcely present in the body, it nevertheless represents the most stable form in which it is marketed in common medicines and  food supplements . The daily requirement of vitamin B12 is decidedly modest, but still essential for health. The daily dose required for adults is about 2 – 2.5 µg, while the deposits present in the body amount to about 4 mg. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is advisable to increase the requirement for the well – being of the mother and the fetus .

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is the primary cause of a condition known as  pernicious anemia . The onset of this disease is due not so much to the lack of the mineral, but to that of erythrocytes. The vitamin B12 complex  is in fact essential for the synthesis of  red blood cells  by the  bone marrow . Precisely this essential function is particularly known in the world of sport, where cyanocobalamin is considered, together with iron  and folic acid , in products effective in solving cases of ” sport pseudo-anaemia “.

These are the causes of vitamin E deficiency .

Vitamin B12 deficiency: the causes

The causes of vitamin B deficiency can be many: both food and psychophysical. Its absorption is very often conditioned by the use of medicines such as sleeping pills , contraceptive pills and antibiotics . Vitamin B is also minimally synthesized by bacteria present in the intestinal flora . The body is able to store it only in small quantities, which are immediately used and rapidly eliminated, therefore a constant replacement and daily supply is necessary.

When absorption is hindered or facilitated . In case of severe stress , or bacterial infections , for example, there is a significant lowering of vitamin B12. Absorption is instead favored by vitamins C and E, calcium and iron. To determine a significant drop in cobalamin in the body is also the excessive consumption of: coffee, sugar and alcohol , which also hinders the absorption of vitamins B1 and B2.


  • Chronic fatigue . Vitamin B12 plays an important role in preventing a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia , characterized by large red blood cells and a lack of folate or vitamin B12. The condition commonly leads to symptoms such as tiredness and weakness. Additionally, cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiencies can result in decreased energy and exercise tolerance, along with fatigue and mild shortness of breath .
  • It will be concentration. Several scientific studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiencies with cognitive impairment, including manifestations such as brain fog , or cognition fog , lack of concentration, poor memory, and even an increased risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer ‘s . People with higher vitamin B12 levels appear to have less brain shrinkage as they get older. Taking vitamin B12 when deficient can be beneficial for boosting memory, mental clarity, overall energy, and depressed mood.
  • Tingling in hands and feet. A pins and needles sensation felt when the foot is about to numb. If this happens often, it could be a sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency . Because the vitamin plays an essential role in the nervous system , when lacking, it can lead to  demyelination of the nerves of the central nervous system . In other words, the protective lining of the nerves can be damaged, leading to this tingling sensation .

Foods rich in vitamin B12

The  sources  of vitamin B12 are essentially of animal origin (liver,  milk  and derivatives,  beef , eggs ); for this reason the risks of deficiency are more concrete in  vegetarians . A diet of this type followed by the pregnant mother can be very dangerous for the unborn child. The  liver , by far, is the food of animal origin with the highest concentration of vitamin B12, followed by kidney , muscle meat , fish , but it is also contained in egg yolks  and, to a lesser extent, in  cheesesespecially seasoned.

On the other hand, it must be said that B12 is the only  water-soluble vitamin  of which there are important reserves in the body which, concentrated in the  liver , are able to cover its needs for long periods of time (up to three – five years).

It should be remembered that in food preparation , heat and boiling can destroy most of the vitamins present in fresh food. Vitamin B12 itself is lost in large quantities during the refining process of flour and cereals , but also during the preservation and sterilization of industrially prepared foods . In cases of vitamin B deficiency, it is preferable to take wholemeal and unrefined products , and fresh, therefore not industrially processed.

Seven foods to integrate into a healthy and balanced diet for the correct requirement of vitamin B12 :

  1. Nutritional yeast
  2. Fortified cereals
  3. Salmon
  4. Tuna
  5. Egg
  6. Fortified milk
  7. Beef


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