Do you want to balance work and life and are often so busy that you are in a trance? There may even be restlessness and hallucinations! ? In fact, it may be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency! Today, Evelyn, the brand nutritionist of “PrimePlus Health Designer”, will introduce to you what vitamin B12 is, and what will happen if it is deficient!
Vitamin B12 Profile
Vitamin B12 (Vitamin B12, Cobalamin), also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin, which is the latest vitamin discovered by scientists. In the most recent national nutrition survey (102-105), it was found that it was listed as the vitamin most likely to be deficient in the Chinese people alongside vitamin D.
Healthy adults get nearly half of their vitamin B12 from their diet. Vitamin B12 in food is combined with protein, released in the stomach after digestion, and then combined with intrinsic factor (Intrinsic factor, IF) secreted by gastric parietal cells into the intestinal tract for absorption into the blood circulation. Therefore, as long as there is a problem in any link of digestion and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, vitamin B12 may be malabsorbed and cause a deficiency.
Where to Get Vitamin B12
Only microorganisms can synthesize vitamin B12 in nature, so diet is the main source of vitamin B12 for humans. Animal foods, especially liver and meat, are rich in vitamin B12, and dairy products also contain a small amount. Generally, plant foods without special fortification do not contain vitamin B12! so purevegetarian dietPatients are likely to have a crisis of deficiency due to insufficient dietary sources, and special attention needs to be paid to additional supplements.
In the human body, the liver is the main place to store vitamin B12. Through enterohepatic circulation, humans can continuously reabsorb and utilize vitamin B12. Only a very small amount will be excreted from the body every day. For long-term vegetarians In other words, the vitamin B12 reserves in the liver alone can be maintained for several years, so the body will not immediately appear deficient.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Although vitamin B12 is the latest vitamin discovered by scientists, it is very indispensable in the human body! We can know whether the body is deficient in vitamin B12 through blood tests, and the following symptoms of deficiency may appear:
•The lack of B12 in megaloblastic anemia will affect the differentiation and maturation of red blood cells in the body, causing the volume of blood cells to become huge, which will also affect the abnormal number of platelets and white blood cells, resulting in pernicious anemia. Common symptoms include pale skin, decreased activity, fatigue, shortness of breath, palpitations, and more.
•Nervous complications and decreased mental function
Patients with B12 deficiency may develop neurological complications, including numbness and pain in the lower limbs, unsteady gait, and even affect cognitive function, resulting in inattention, emotional disorders and dementia symptoms. The restlessness and hallucinations mentioned above belong to this aspect of vitamin B12 deficiency. In particular, it should be noted that advanced neurological complications cannot be recovered by supplementing vitamin B12, so more attention should be paid to the timing of treatment.
• Increase the risk of cardiovascular disease
The lack of B12 will cause the concentration of homocysteine (Homocysteine) in the blood to rise, and homocysteine can cause atherosclerosis, so it has been considered as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Cause myocardial infarction, stroke and other crises.
High risk group for vitamin B12 deficiency
Generally, healthy adults can get enough vitamin B12 if they eat a balanced diet. Usually, the deficiency occurs in the following high-risk groups. If you belong to the following groups, you should pay special attention to vitamin B12 supplementation!
B12 hardly exists in general plant foods, so it is difficult for vegans to get enough vitamin B12 through diet. In the “Vegetarian Diet Indicators” published by Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, it is mentioned that vegans can supplement vitamin B12 by ingesting algae (kelp, seaweed, etc.), but the American Society of Nutrition mentioned in the official white paper on vegetarianism that “algae are unreliable. Sources of Vitamin B12”. So far, the two factions still hold different opinions, so people who recommend vegans can still choose to supplement vitamin B12 from health food will be safer!
• B12 malabsorption in patients with gastrointestinal absorption problems
, and patients with intestinal diseases including celiac disease and damaged intestinal mucosa may also cause deficiency due to affecting enterohepatic circulation.
•B12 deficiency in the elderly
is very common in the elderly. Due to the decline in the absorption function of the gastrointestinal tract, the absorption of vitamin B12 will also decrease in the elderly, resulting in deficiency. Because vitamin B12 deficiency is not obvious at first and resembles many geriatric syndromes, it is easier to ignore.
After reading today’s article, do you know more about vitamin B12? In addition to eating a balanced diet and maintaining good living habits, the general public should also have regular health checkups to reduce the risk of these deficiencies!