B12 vitamin deficiency is usually caused by digestive problems and when the body is unable to absorb this nutriment from foods and drinks. The most common cause is a lack of intrinsic factors from the stomach or inadequate stomach acid. Inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia, and pancreas diseases are all digestive ailments that can impact absorption, as well as well as a meat-free diet. In addition, several drugs interfere with B12 absorption.
Because this water-soluble nutrient is necessary for making mature blood cells, its shortage can result in anemia. Anemia may not develop until 3 to 5 years after the reserves of vitamin B12 in the liver are depleted.
Preventing B12 Vitamin Deficiency and Restoring Reserves to Stellar Levels
A B12 vitamin deficiency can lead to anemia and neurological/psychiatric symptoms because it’s a source for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. People who may be at risk include older adults and people following a vegan diet. Also included are individuals with increased mineral requirements due to specific health conditions.
Animal products, such as meat, fish, and eggs contain this nutriment in varying amounts. A person consuming these foods in moderation provides a healthy amount of B12. However, this approach is not practical for vegans. Instead, vegans can get it from plant milk such as coconut or soy milk, dairy-free yogurt, tofu, and some fruit juice may serve as reasonable alternatives, if it is fortified with B12. However, people eating a plant-based diet need an additional source in the form of supplements, especially when pregnant or breastfeeding.
There is practically no limit to the amount of this vitamin intake, but rather the risk comes when a B12 vitamin deficiency is likely due to diet, lifestyle, or age. Discover if you have a nutritional shortage by using our sensitivity & deficiency test kit . Then you’ll have firsthand knowledge of your nutrient status and be well-informed of your overall well-being and health needs.