Febico Blog
Groups of healthy fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products containing specific vitamins. Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency – Symptoms And Causes

  • 5 years ago

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may resemble the symptoms of many diseases. Vitamin B12 deficiency most often causes anemia, but in some cases, the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may resemble mental illness.

Check how to recognize the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency in the body and what are its causes.

Deficiency of vitamin B12 causes symptoms from the hematopoietic, digestive and nervous systems, as well as symptoms that suggest mental disorders.

Vitamin B12 deficiency – causes

  • B12 deficiency in everyday food (e.g., vegetarian diet)
  • Congenital disorders
  • In the elderly, the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is lack of its absorption from food.
  • gastrectomy, i.e., total or almost complete resection of the stomach as a result of surgery, e.g., after perforation of the stomach wall through the ulcer
  • atrophic gastritis
  • intestinal diseases with malabsorption syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • tapeworm – tapeworm increases the consumption of vitamin B12 in the course
  • bacterial growth syndrome
  • chronic pancreatitis
  • Zollinger – Ellison syndrome
  • deficiency of transcobalamin II
  • celiac disease

The use of certain drugs such as metformin, nitrous oxide, colchicine, p-aminosalicylic acid, acetylsalicylic acid, sulfasalazine, proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole), histamine H2 receptor antagonists (cimetidine, ranitidine) may also lead to a deficiency of vitamin B12. ).

Role Of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, like other B vitamins, is involved in carbohydrate, protein, fat metabolism and other processes:

  • participates in the production of red blood cells,
  • affects the functioning of the nervous system,
  • allows synthesis in cells, primarily bone marrow,
  • ensures good mood and mental balance,
  • plays a role in reproducing the genetic code,
  • stimulates the appetite.

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the proper functioning of the body. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the proper development of nerve cells because it participates in the synthesis of choline, which is a component of the phospholipids of the myelin sheath of nerve fibers. Also, vitamin B12 determines cell division and synthesis of DNA and RNA nucleic acids and proteins involved in their construction.

The presence of vitamin B12 affects the functioning of carnitine, thanks to which vitamin B12 indirectly leads to a reduction in the number of lipids (fats) in the blood because it contributes to their use. Vitamin B12 affects the skeletal system, which is of particular importance for the development of children and for women during menopause, which are, at that time, threatened by osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency

The most frequent symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is anemia.

Other symptoms include disorders of the digestive system and the nervous system. In the latter case, neurological disorders result from demyelination of the spinal cord’s nerves and the cerebral cortex. Deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid also causes symptoms that appear in the course of psychiatric diseases.

Hematopoietic system – symptoms:

  • pale skin with a yellow-lemon shade with vitiligo outbreaks
  • painful sores in the corners of the mouth
  • weakness
  • headaches and dizziness

Digestive system – symptoms:

  • loss of taste
  • the burning of the tongue,
  • loss of appetite – a characteristic disgust for fried meat and dishes
  • weight loss
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation

Nervous system – symptoms:

  • paresthesia (tingling, numbness) of the arms and legs
  • Lhermitte’s symptom – feeling of a current passing along the spine while tilting the head forward
  • Prickling or tingling in the toes or fingers.
  • Gait abnormality
  • weakened eyesight
  • convulsive seizures

Psychology – symptoms:

  • depressive disorders
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • hypomanic syndromes (hypomania) – a state of excessively elevated mood
  • changes in personality, behavior
  • psychotic disorders – megaloblastic madness
  • mild memory problems
  • cognitive disorders – from mild to dementia

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may resemble symptoms of mental illness.

People who lack Vitamin b12 may have visual hallucinations and be unresponsive to treatment with drugs typically used in psychiatry. Acute psychotic syndromes usually appear in the case of long-term or very severe vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, in the case of the first manic episode in the elderly, the diagnosis should always include deficiencies of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 – Where to find it?

Vitamin B12 can be found mainly in animal products, i.e., meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheeses. The most B12 can be found in pike, kidneys, and liver (above 20 μg / 100 g). A little less can be found in other fish, such as herring, trout or mackerel, as well as in rabbit meat (from 5 to 20 μg / 100 g). The least (below 1 μg / 100 g) of vitamin B12 is found in egg, noodles, hams, milk and its products (yogurt, kefir, curd cheese, cream).

Top 10 sources of vitamin B12

  1. Beef Liver
    90g: 18 mcg – over 100% of the daily requirement
  2. Sardines
    90g: 7.6 mcg over 100% of the daily requirement
  3. Beef
    90g: 1.5 mcg 25% of the daily requirement
  4. Tuna
    90g: 2.5 mcg 41% of the daily requirement
  5. Long-ripened cheese
    45g: 1.5 mcg 25% of the daily requirement
  6. Cottage cheese
    45g: 1.4 mcg 23% of the daily requirement
  7. Lamb
    90g: 2.07 mcg 35% of the daily requirement
  8. Milk
    1 cup: 1.1 mcg 18% of the daily requirement
  9. Eggs
    1 large: 0.44 mcg 7% of the daily requirement
  10. Salmon
    90g: 1.1 mcg 18% of the daily requirement

Vitamin B12 For Vegetarians

How to get Vitamin B12 if you are a vegan or vegetarian?

Nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12. Apart from that, plants have virtually no Vitamin B12. The exception is those subjected to the fermentation process (e.g., miso) and chlorella. Chlorella is the best vegetarian source of Vitamin B12.

Leave a Comment: