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  • Writer's pictureBrian Dooreck MD

Benefits of Vitamin B12

Updated: Jul 24, 2023


IBD, Crohn's, UC, gas bloating, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system, see your gastroenterology doctor or gastroenterologist

What is Vitamin B12?


A vitamin is a nutrient known for keeping your body's blood and nerve cells in healthy condition and helps make DNA which makes the genetic material inside our bodies. Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in preventing megaloblastic anemia. Vitamin B12 comes in a water-soluble form that's absorbed by the stomach into the bloodstream. This vitamin is not naturally found in our bodies, so it is essential to incorporate it into our daily diet. Vitamin B12 can be found in animal products and dairy products.


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According to the National Institutes of Health vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 3% and 43% of older adults.

The importance of vitamin B12


Vitamin B12 helps produce oxygen in red blood cells, essential to keep the body functioning. When there is a lack of Vitamin B12, red blood cells enlarge, making it difficult to reach the bloodstream and leading to anemia.


Vitamin B12 improves overall health


It is said that vitamin B12 affects brain function when there is vitamin B12 deficiency; it will affect memory and cognition as we age. A lack of vitamin B12 can cause symptoms of weakness, and fatigue may be present. An increase in vitamin B12 causes a boost in energy. It is recommended to consume foods that are rich in vitamin B12. Low vitamin B12 can cause deficiency, and high levels of B12 increase energy levels.


Vitamin B12 deficiency causes anemia if it is left untreated.

What causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?


Vitamin B12 deficiency causes anemia if it is left untreated.


Individuals who are at higher risk of developing a deficiency


  • Those older than 65

  • Take medications for heartburn or diabetes

  • Those who are vegan

  • Those who are Pregnant


Experiencing specific symptoms may be a high indication that you may be suffering from vitamin B12


  • Observed a change in skin color; appeared paler than usual

  • Feel constant fatigue or weakness

  • Heart palpitations

  • Shortness of breath

  • Vision becomes blurry

  • Mood swings


According to the National Institutes of Health vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 3% and 43% of older adults.

What foods provide Vitamin B12?


  • Milk

  • Eggs

  • Yogurt

  • Salmon

  • Beef

  • Tuna

  • Cheese

  • Chicken

  • Banana


How is vitamin B12 absorbed?


The food we take can only be absorbed by the body after being split from the protein by hydrochloric acid in the stomach. To absorb B12 in the terminal ileum, the stomach's parietal cells produce a glycoprotein called the Intrinsic Factor (IF).


The free cobalamin attaches to an R protein removed when passing into the duodenum, allowing it to bind to the IF and its active absorption. The B12-IF complex then moves into the small intestine, where ileal receptors ingest it through phagocytosis.


Here is a video on Vitamin B12, "What You Need To Know About Vitamin B12 | Vegan Diets," from the Physicians Committee



 

IBD, Crohn's, UC, gas bloating, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system, see your gastroenterology doctor or gastroenterologist

Fun Facts

  • Your body stores 1,000 to 2,000 times as much vitamin B12

  • If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you may feel tired or weak

  • Might also have pale skin, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, weight loss, and infertility

  • Low blood levels of vitamin B12 affect the risk of cognitive decline in older people.

  • People with an autoimmune disease called atrophic gastritis might not absorb enough vitamin B12 because they make a low amount of hydrochloric acid and Intrinsic Factor (IF) in their stomachs.


If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you may feel tired or weak

Statistics


According to the National Library of Medicine, studies have shown that approximately 1% to 2% of patients with anemia are due to vitamin B12 deficiency.


According to the National Library of Medicine studies have shown that among patients with anemia, approximately 1% to 2% is due to vitamin B12 deficiency.

B12 deficiency is more common in people of North European ancestry than African-Americans.


Summary


There is no magic formula for long-term, sustainable weight loss.


Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿


Personally


I eat a high-fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

Gut Health ➕ Patient Advocacy with Navigation ➕ Life Balance


If you were looking for information about Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy from Executive Health Navigation


Connect with Dr. Dooreck on LinkedIn, where he focuses his sharing on Health, Diet, Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle, and Balance.


 

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