Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Background Information

Generally B12 is acquired from our diet and it come from animal products.

But there is natural source of the B12 in the Gut which being synthesized by gut bacteria by metabolizing digested food in the colon.

Why Vitamin B12 is important?

To know about vitamin B12 deficiency is so important because it’s needed for the production and health of red blood cells.

They are also required for healthy central nervous system.

Why body need Vitamin B12?

Our bodies require vitamin b12 for two specific reason for our body.

Generally when we ingest the amino acid methionine, it gets converted to methylmalonic acid by the enzyme methylmalonyl CoA mutase and this is the enzyme that actually requires vitamin b12. This enzyme converts methylmalonyl CoA to Succinyl CoA.  

During vitamin B12 deficiency, methylmalonyl CoA concentrations increases and gets converted to methylmalonic acid. Increased concentration of methylmalonic acid lead to axonal neuropathy. So this leads development of the axonal neuropathy.

Axonal neuropathy causes reversible neurologic and psychiatric symptoms including depression, irritability, insomnia, forgetfulness.

Vitamin B12 deficiency also leads to a megaloblastic macrocytic anemia. There are many symptoms of anemia. It could be shortness of breath, pallor, fatigue all those types of signs and symptoms of anemia are important to look out for as well.

What is vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms?

  1. Fatigue is one of the biggest indicative signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  2. Weak muscles
  3. Eye problems such double vision, blurry vision, and even vision loss.
  4. Red blood cells damage cause release of bilirubin, which gives the skin a yellowish color.
  5. Loss of the papillae on their tongue.

Diagnosis of Vitamin B12

This include measurement of B12 level and or the level of methylmalonic acid.

Sometimes homocysteine level can be elevated in b12 deficiency but it’s also elevated in folate deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is responsible for helping make the red blood cells and DNA synthesis.

Cause of B12 Deficiency

It has been observed that Vitamin B12 deficiency either through reduced dietary intake of vitamin B12 or poor absorption processes either due to certain medications or autoimmune conditions.

Two distinct reason for B12 deficiency includes, i) Disturbance in Gut microbiome which areresponsible for breaking down foods and absorbing nutrients. Due to imbalance of gut bacteria, there is poor absorption of essential nutrients including vitamin B12 and ii) Medications: The medication of chemotherapy drugs can cause inflammation and irritation of the gut. Which also disturb proper absorption of the nutrients.

Solution to get rid of B12 Deficiency

If one can following suggestions, he would not suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.

  1. By changing the diet. Incorporation for vitamin B12 sources such as fish, chicken, and lamb.
  2. Use of B12 Supplements: Methylcobalamin and Cyanocobalamin are two good choice for B12 supplement. For vegetarian this supplements are good options at place of meat.
  3. Use of Probiotics: Addition of good quality probiotics such as Yakult, Kefir and Kombucha.
  4. Avoid consuming Inflammatory Foods: For making gut healthy one should avoid food which causes inflammation. These food include packaged, processed, fast food and food with additives.
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5 thoughts on “Vitamin B12 deficiency: Importance, Cause, Symptoms and Solution”
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