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