Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that your body needs to function properly. To be specific, your brain, blood cells, nerves, etc. need B12 for proper development. Usually, B12 is found in fish, meat, and dairy products. Or scientists can make it in a lab.
What is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia?
A deficiency means that there isn’t enough of something. And Vitamin B12 makes red bloods cells that carry oxygen through your body. So, a Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia means that your body doesn’t have enough red bloods cells. As a result, you may feel weak or tired. And this deficiency could cause memory or thinking and nerve damage. Usually, people get anemia from the surgical removal of parts of their stomach or small intestine or issues with digestion. Plus, another common cause is pernicious anemia, a condition that causes your body to destroy stomach cells that help you absorb Vitamin B12. Ways to prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia include eating meat and dairy products, taking supplements, and getting Vitamin B12 shots.
What happens when your Vitamin B12 is low?
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Weakness, fatigue, or light-headedness.
- Pale skin.
- Upset stomach or weight loss.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Bleeding gums or sore, red tongue.
If the anemia has continued for too long, you may have:
- Lowered mental abilities.
- Loss of balance.
- Numbness or tingling in your toes and fingers.
How much Vitamin B12 should you take a day?
Here is the recommended daily dosage of Vitamin B12 by age:
- 1-3 years old – 0.9 mcg
- 4-8 years old – 1.2 mcg
- 9-13 years old – 1.8 mcg
- 14+ years old – 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant women – 2.6 mcg
- Breastfeeding women – 2.8 mcg
What does Vitamin B12 help with?
In general, Vitamin B12 is helpful with every part of the body. But research says that this vitamin definitely helps with a rare genetic disease (Imerslund-Grasbeck disease) that causes a Vitamin B12 deficiency. If patients receive 10 shots everyday then one shot per month for the rest of their lives, their deficiency should be manageable. In most cases, up to 10 grams of B12 can help with cyanide poisoning. Sometimes B12 can also help with canker sores, nerve pain from Shingles, and high levels of homocysteine in the blood.
What are the benefits of Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 has many benefits for your entire body. Here are some of them:
- 1) Creates red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body.
- 2) Prevents anemia.
- 3) May reduce major birth defects.
- 4) May relieve symptoms of depression and improve mood.
- 5) May lower your Macular Degeneration (eye disease) risk.
- 6) May prevent osteoporosis and boost bone health.
- 7) May lower homocysteine and increase heart health.
- 8) May boost your energy.
- 9) May prevent neuron loss and help your brain.
- 10) Provides healthy skin, hair, and nails.
What are the side effects of Vitamin B12?
For most people, there are no known side effects of Vitamin B12 when taken in any form, and even with large doses.
Who should take caution with Vitamin B12?
Usually, anyone can take Vitamin B12. But there are a few groups of people that should take caution. For instance, pregnant women should only take up to 2.6 mcg. While women that are breast-feeding, they should only take up 2.8 mcg. In addition, those with a coronary stent should not take vitamin B12, folate, vitamin B6. Finally, anyone with an allergy or sensitivity to cobalamin or cobalt should NOT use Vitamin B12.
Are there any interactions between Vitamin B12 and other drugs?
There is a major interaction between Vitamin B12 and Chloramphenicol. While B12 helps produce new blood cells, long-term use of Chloramphenicol could decrease your new blood cell count. But those that only use it short-term most likely won’t be impacted by this interaction.