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The Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

by John Robbins

The Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Becoming Epidemic

 Vitamin B-12 deficiency goes way beyond those that do not eat meat and most of the meat-eating population is suffering from this deficiency as well. 

 

Recognizing the deficiency requires an understanding of both how your body gets a nutrient into the body where it is needed and a diet that can provide the necessary nutrition that provides the pre-cursor as well as the nutrient, vitamin B-12 from that diet that can be easily extracted naturally by the body’s mechanism for doing so.

 

It is also important to understand how adequate vitamin B-12 is determined with our current evaluation that is backed by real science.

The average meat-eating person in America will typically store between 2,000 and 3,000 micrograms of Vitamin B-12 per day and loses about 3 micrograms per day. 

 

60% of this vitamin can be found in the liver and about 30% is stored in the muscles.  About ½ of the vitamin B-12 is excreted in the bile and a tiny bit of that is reabsorbed and if there is a deficiency, the reabsorption is increased.

 

Vitamin B-12 plays a big role in the health of our heart.  Methycobalamin is responsible for converting homocystein into methionine, but a deficiency of vitamin B-12, the homocystein can increase and is a component doctors look for to look for an increased risk for a myocardial infarction (sudden onset heart attack),  A deficiency of vitamins B-6 and folate can also add to this problem.  It is important to recognize that Folic Acid and Folate are not the same and that is a distinction to be discussed in another article.

 

For a long time, the method for determining a vitamin B-12 deficiency gold standard is to look at the methyl malonyl-CoA levels increase in the blood.  Using this method shows that 200 micrograms of serum levels has been replace because other things cause the CoA to be elevated as well.  Now a measurement of the urine level is being used showing the serum levels need to around 450 micrograms.  This means that levels need to be more than 450 micrograms, or the person is considered to be deficient.

 

What are the symptoms of being vitamin B-12 deficient?

This is especially important for vegans and vegetarians, even though meat eaters are now showing deficiencies as well for the most part.  Here are some symptoms of being vitamin B-12 deficient:

 

  • Low energy
  • nerve system degeneration (that can become permanent if it becomes chronic). depression, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, nervousness, paranoia, hyperactive reflexes, impaired memory and behavioral changes.
  • diarrhea, fever, frequent upper respiratory infections, impotence, infertility, sore tongue, enlargement of the mucous membranes of the mouth, vagina, and stomach, macrocytic anemia, low platelets, increased bleeding, low white blood cell count. Some of the causes of B-12 deficiency are low dietary intake of B-12 and/or poor absorption, which usually comes through loss of intrinsic factor and/or a lack of stomach acid.

 

Consistent research over the last decade has shown that vegans and live food people of all ages and sexes have a much higher risk of becoming B-12 deficient. This does not mean that everyone becomes B-12 deficient.

This deficiency is particularly true with newborn babies, especially babies of vegan live-food nursing mothers who are not using B-12 supplementation. newborns of mothers with normal B-12 have about 25 pg.

Studies have shown that the milk during the first week of life does contain large amounts of B-12. This means that the B-12 storage in infants at birth is normally adequate to last the first few weeks of life. Afterwards, they must get it from breast milk or other sources. As you can see, it is extremely important for pregnant women to watch their vitamin B-12 levels to give the newborn adequate supplies of this important nutrient. 

This lack of B-12 in the mother's diet during pregnancy has been associated with a lack of myelin production, which is the coating of the nerves.   After about 12 months after birth, infants start showing the symptoms such as being lethargic, lose the ability to use muscles, develop sensory decreases, and become anemic.

 

Does the diet you consume affect the vitamin B-12 in your body? 

Young children and teenage children who were supplemented with B-12 were found to grow normally. Adults who were vegetarian without B-12 supplementation for greater than six years usually had a lower B-12 than non-vegetarian adults in the general research. In one study of adults in 1994, 81% of the vegan adults had a B-12 lower than 200 micrograms.  We now know that 200 micrograms is way under the minimum now.

 

A Caution for Vegans and Vegetarians

Many are of the belief that if you have good supplementation with probiotic bacteria, you will be protected against this deficiency, but vegans and vegetarians along with “raw fooders” have been shown to be still deficient in vitamin B-12. It is true that B-vitamins are made by the probiotic bacteria, but all it takes is chlorinated water, fluoride toothpaste, bromine in most breads in America deplete the body of your probiotic bacteria.

 



John Robbins
John Robbins

Author

As a result of having many health challenges as a child, going from doctor to doctor with limited resolution to the problems, he spent years tying to find any way to get healthy. It was only the pursuit of nutrition did he get satisfactory resolution. Today he is a Nutrition Scientist, a certified nutritional therapist (CNT) with a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry . He also is an expert on Electromagnetic Frequency testing and remediation. John is dedicated to bringing you the best nutrition formulas based on science.


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