What is Vitamin B12?

B12 is one of the essential water-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins, if taken in excess of what the body normally uses or stores, are flushed from the body through the kidneys and urinary tract. Water-soluble vitamins are the B-vitamin group and vitamin C. Vitamin B12 is vital in the role of DNA production. DNA is your energy storehouse.
It carries the genetic instructions for growth, reproduction and functioning of your body. This vitamin enters your body attached to the protein that you eat. Meat, seafood, fish, dairy and eggs are all foods rich in B12. As your body digests these foods, your stomach releases B12 to be absorbed for metabolism. After that, Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver for years. While deficiencies are unusual in young, healthy people, as you age, B12 tends to start disappearing.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Unfortunately, as we age , the level of B12 can deplete due to intestinal absorption issues. An extended deficiency is known as pernicious anemia.

Some indications of Vitamin B12 deficiency include :

Fatigue
If you are frequently tired, in spite of adequate sleep, and see no obvious reason for your fatigue, your healthcare provider can order a blood test to reveal your B12 level.

Dizziness and Poor Balance
When you feel lightheaded due to suddenly standing or changing position; or feel off-balance when walking up and down stairs, it could be related to your level of vitamin B12.

Tingling/Numbness
If you experience the sensation often referred to as “pins and needles” in your extremities, without any pressure causing it, a B12 deficiency could be the trigger. In fact, any central nervous system conditions can be traced to low oxygen in the body. Red blood cells are needed for delivery of oxygen. Vitamin B12 is critical to red blood cell production.

Muscle Weakness
If you have noticed a decline in endurance and strength, it could be an indicator of inadequate oxygen to your muscles. B12 is relied on to enable the oxygenation, through red blood cells, of all your organs and muscles.

Forgetfulness
Forgetfulness and decreased ability to concentrate can be indicators of low B12. It is important to check with your healthcare provider for further evaluation of this condition.

Changes on the Tongue
A long-term depletion of vitamin B12 can manifest itself in the appearance of a smooth or bright-red, “beefy” tongue.

Pale Complexion
Because your oxygen-rich red blood cells are frequently depleted with a B12 shortage, the complexion could appear more pale than usual. Once–pink cheeks can take on a white, or slightly greenish hue.

Easy to Treat

Remember, a simple blood test ordered by your healthcare provider, will give immediate answers about your B12 levels. A deficiency of vitamin B12 is easy to treat through either oral or injected therapies. If you question a possible deficiency, it’s important to talk to a medical professional to find the best form of treatment for you.