Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient for the proper functioning of the organism. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly include this dietary vitamin in our nutritional structure through certain foods.
Also known as cobalamin, it is a vitamin that is stored mainly in the liver and carries out important functions in the body. For example, it is involved in the formation of red blood cells and the production of DNA, the genetic material found in every cell.
In addition, vitamin B12 is also beneficial for maintaining the nervous system and preventing the onset of diseases such as megaloblastic anemia.
So, one of the most striking features of vitamin B12 is that it is only found in animal foods such as meat, fish, seafood, eggs, or dairy products. Currently, no food of plant origin has yet been found that naturally contains this vitamin.
Therefore, people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet have a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. In addition, other people, depending on their characteristics, have a greater predisposition to have a lack of this vitamin.
One example is patients with ‘Helicobacter Pylori’, a bacterium that damages the stomach causing gastritis. These people find it more difficult than others to absorb vitamin B12 correctly in the organism.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
To know if we have vitamin B12 deficiency in the organism is not an easy task. However, when a person presents a lack of this micronutrient for a long period of time, the organism tends to alert about this situation through different symptoms.
Thus, when a person is deficient in this micronutrient for a prolonged period of time, the most common symptoms are weakness, blurred vision, constant feeling of tiredness, memory loss, tingling in arms and legs.
The following are some of the mild symptoms that a lack of vitamin B12 can cause in the organism:
- Yellow or pale skin tone.
- Reduction of reflexes.
- Loss of memory.
- Language difficulties.
- Constant tiredness
However, prolonged deficiency of this vitamin can lead to major health problems such as heart failure and megaloblastic anemia. Likewise, it can also cause cognitive impairment.
For this reason, in this type of case it is usual to establish a medical treatment to increase the levels of this vitamin in the organism. Among them, an injection of vitamin B12 can be used to quickly alleviate the situation.
In addition to megaloblastic anemia, one of the main risks of having deficient levels of this vitamin is that it can affect DNA synthesis, causing the production of abnormal red blood cells and giving rise to this type of anemia.
Specifically, deficiency of this vitamin occurs for two reasons: poor absorption of the micronutrient or an immune condition. When there is a problem in the digestive system, it can also generate a bad absorption of vitamin B12.