Causes of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
The most common causes of vitamin B-12 deficiency are malabsorption syndromes such as colitis, celiac and crohn’s disease. The elderly, strict vegans and individuals who have had gastric surgery or bypass are also at increased risk. The recommended daily requirement for vitamin B-12 increases considerably during pregnancy and deficiencies can be detrimental to the developing fetus.
Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
Low levels of vitamin B-12 in the body can result in a condition termed anemia. Anemia is characterized by weakness, fatigue, poor appetite and weight loss. Deficiency symptoms of prolonged anemia can affect the central nervous system resulting in memory loss, confusion, depression, numbness of the hands and feet, mouth sores and poor balance. Viitamin-B12 deficiency can be detected through blood routine blood work.
Food Sources of Vitamin B-12
Animal products, particularly meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy are the richest and most readily absorbed sources of vitamin B-12. Fortified breakfast cereals and soy-based beverages and meats are also plentiful in vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 intake can be enhanced through supplements administered by injection, nasal gel, powder or pills forms.