Most people believe that the only cause of anemia is iron deficiency, but sometimes, anemia can be a sign of low levels of vitamin B12.
A deficiency in this vitamin leads to numerous other symptoms as well, like muscle weakness, low energy, appetite loss, weight loss, feeling breathless, poor vision, mouth sores, menstrual disorders, and more.
These are the most common 3 signs of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Digestive issues
- Mental confusion
- Nerve problems (numbness, tingling, trouble walking)
- Skin infections
- Skin infections
A deficiency in vitamin B12 can also cause central nervous system disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers have also found that vitamin B supplements can be of great help in the treatment of psychiatric conditions, like schizophrenia.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this vitamin depends on the age of an individual:
- Adults and teenagers: 2.4 micrograms (mcg) per day
- Children between 9 and 13 years old: 1.8 mcg per day
- Children between 4 and 8 years old: 1.2 mcg per day
- Toddlers between 1 and 3 years old: 0.9 mcg per day
Babies younger than 6 months should get only 0.4 mcg per day, while infants between 7 and 12 months old require 0.5 mcg of B-12 per day. During pregnancy, women should get 2.6 mcg of this vitamin, while breastfeeding mothers need 2.8 mcg per day.
Rich sources of this vitamin include meat, fish, milk, and cheese. Make sure you increase the intake of snapper, venison, salmon, beef and beef liver, lamb, shrimp, scallops, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
Nutritional yeast is also high in B12, and is beneficial for vegetarians and vegans, as they are at an increased risk of a lack of this vitamin in the body.
The absorption of vitamin B12 can be reduced due to issues like insufficient stomach acid, heartburn, and small intestine disorders, like celiac or Crohn’s disease.