Called by many a ‘silent epidemic,’ a B12 deficiency could lie at the root of your chronic health issues. Lacking one critical vitamin, both in supplement form and in the diet, could lead to a slippery slope of health decline. Many health problems related to a vitamin B12 deficiency are difficult to detect. They may be confused or misdiagnosed as other related health issues.
According to Harvard Health Publications 1 some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others can’t absorb enough, no matter how much they take in. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people.
WHAT DOES A VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LOOK LIKE?
As discussed above, a vitamin B12 deficiency can mirror a number of serious symptoms of illness, including:
- Alzheimer’s and dementia
- Multiple sclerosis and neurological disorders
- Mental illness, i.e. depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder
- Heart disease
- Learning disabilities in children
- Autoimmune disease
Other common symptoms of B12 deficiency may include:
- Weakness or light headedness
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Easy bruising
- Upset stomach
- Weight loss
- Diarrhoea or constipation
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be initially triggered by health conditions like anaemia, coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, lupus. or atrophic gastritis that causes the stomach lining to thin. The elderly are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as vegans and vegetarians who don’t eat a balanced diet
A GROWING PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN
Your body needs vitamin B12 to regulate multiple daily functions, including the formation of red blood cells and the support of healthy nerve tissue. While anaemia can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency in some cases, deficiency left untreated can also lead to anaemia and eventually irreversible nerve and brain damage.
Once pernicious anaemia develops as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency, serious intervention is needed. In the case of pernicious anaemia, the body is no longer able to produce intrinsic factor in the stomach. This intrinsic factor (IF) is critical to support the absorption of vitamin B12. Medical treatment for a condition Like pernicious anaemia requires vitamin B12 injections directly to the bloodstream, instead of absorbing the vitamin through the stomach.
Many doctors are aware of the reality of vitamin B12 deficiency — the effects of the condition are well-documented throughout medical literature. Yet many physicians fail to realise that vitamin B12 deficiency has grown increasingly common and may be an underlying factor in several serious health disorders.
B12 deficiency among older adults often goes unchecked as the symptoms are easily confused with what is called ‘natural ageing’. But make no mistake — cognitive decline, memory loss, and a loss of physical function are not a natural part of ageing. These issues should be addressed as a serious, potential vitamin deficiency.
Most doctors focus on B12 deficiency among the elderly population. However, a Tufts study confirmed that up to 40 per cent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have plasma B12 levels below normal range. This significant deficiency has the potential to cause neurological symptoms 2 . A vitamin B12 deficiency can affect your health regardless of your age. Low B12 levels are responsible for countless chronic symptoms in younger people that appear to have no known medical cause.
BALANCE B12, RESTORE YOUR HEALTH
The need for a vitamin B12 supplement for all age groups is clear. This problem will only continue to grow with age and could be responsible for mental and physical decline in older populations.
Vitamin B12 can be found in the diet in a number of really healthy foods, best consumed with a highly absorbable vitamin B12 supplement. Enjoy three to four portions of wild-caught fish a week, along with grass-fed beef in moderation, as a rich source of B12 in the diet.
To restore vitamin B12 and correct deficiency, however, absorption is key. Vitamin B12 is best absorbed in a sublingual spray through the mouth. Vitamin B12 spray as a supplement can restore deficiency, ease symptoms of the condition, and balance homocysteine levels in the body.
Homocysteine is a toxic amino acid. It is created as a by-product once other amino acids are broken down by the body. High homocysteine levels have been linked to an increased risk of heart and vessel disease over time.
When you correct an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency with a daily supplement, it is possible to preserve brain function and cardiovascular capacity. Supplementation can help to restore levels of vitamin B12 to fight unnatural premature ageing and improve your quality and length of life? Make sure vitamin B12 is part of your healthy living arsenal.
1. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful Harvard Health Blog RSS.
2. B12 deficiency may be more widespread than thought ARS
3. Selhub L Troen A. and Rosenberg, l. H. (2010) B vitamins and the aging brain Nutrition Reviews 68 (s2) pp S112-S118
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