Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world, especially among the elderly age group. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is very important in keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. So when there is insufficient levels of this vitamin, the body suffers.
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the production of DNA and RNA, two molecules that are quite essential in the coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. Moreover, just like other B vitamins, B12 plays a role in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.
Given its many uses in the different bodily processes, one is bound to suffer when this vitamin is lacking. For pregnant women, low levels of vitamin B12 could mean an increased risk of neural tube defects. For others, they may be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other health issues.
Fortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily addressed once identified and diagnosed. What’s also good here is there are certain signs and symptoms that could help determine the presence of this condition. There are even those that could be seen just by examining the eyes.
According to Mercola, a slight yellowing of the eyes could be indicative of the condition. Eye twitching and eyelid spasms are also signs that could help pinpoint vitamin B12 deficiency. In rare cases, optic nerve damage that could lead to vision loss may happen.
Should these signs become evident to you one day, you need to go see a doctor right away. Vitamin B12 deficiency may be easily reversed with intravenous vitamin B12 treatment and supplementation. The signs and symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually, so it’s best to have regular checkups.
Vitamin B12 can be obtained through diet. Meat and meat by-products are good sources of this nutrient. This means strict vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk of developing this deficiency. For these types of eaters, Medical News Today recommends consuming yogurt, low-fat milk, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals and nutritional yeast.
It’s also important to note that even meat-eaters are at risk of developing this deficiency. Apparently, there are people that absorb nutrients poorly due to the insufficient stomach acid needed to break the protein bond in the different meats consumed. So experts advise to take vitamin B12 supplements.