In Brazil, some studies show that vitamin B12 deficiency is not a problem that affects only a few people. As I understand it, according to the 2017F18 data from the POF (Research of Family Budgets), 7.2% of adult men in the country have insufficient vitamin B12 intake, compared with 17.1% of adult women.
The latest national survey of children’s food and nutrition in 2019 shows that children under the age of 5 account for 14.2% of micronutrient deficiencies. In the elderly aged 65-74, it is about 5%. For those over 75, it is over 10 percent.
Next, understand how low levels of this vitamin affect different functions in your body.
Vitamin B12: What is it for? food and more
Where is Vitamin B12 in the Human Body?
vitamin B12also known as cobalamin, is directly involved in production DNA and RNA, as well as in the formation of blood cells and nerve cells, as it is very important for maintaining the myelin sheath – a structure that conducts electrical impulses and integrates communication between neurons.
It is therefore essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the cardiovascular system, as well as for the improvement of physical and mental functioning. It also works in the metabolism of fats and produces energy for the body.
What are the foods rich in vitamin B12?
Originally a vitamin B12 it is found in the bacteria in the soil that release nutrients as they break down in the digestion of herbivores, consuming them along the roots and pastures. Therefore, we get this nutrient indirectly from foods of animal origin (meat, eggs, milk and dairy products).
Find the best sources of vitamin A B12 and amount per 100 g according to the Brazilian food composition table:
- Money pay – 72.2 mcg
- Chicken liver – 18.9 mcg
- Seafood – 12 mcg
- Tuna – 8.19 mcg
- Chicken heart – 7.57 mcg
- Sardine -7.32 mcg
- Oysters – 3.63 mcg
- Crab – 3.91 mcg
- Salmon – 3.13 mcg
- Meat – 2.53 mcg
- Boiled egg – 1 mcg
- Yogurt – 0.29 mcg
- Milk – 0.37 mcg
Who may be deficient in vitamin B12?
The deficiency of this micro-nutrient may be mainly due to the low consumption of foods of animal origin, which are the main sources of this nutrient. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans should rely on supplements in addition to being subjected to blood tests at regular intervals to monitor their blood levels.
But the deficiency can also be caused by a deficiency in the process of vitamin absorption through digestion, as it depends on an internal factor in the stomach for this to happen properly.
This applies to elderly patients who suffer from aging-induced gastric mucosal atrophy, and to those who use antibiotics and antacids – drugs that inhibit the production of an internal factor and thus the process of absorption.
Other people are prone to vitamin deficiency B12 are those who suffer from a chronic illness such as diabetes.
HIV-positive patients who suffer from the disease in an active form (AIDS) also have difficulty absorbing nutrients and may have low levels. As well as those with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn or celiac disease, which often causes diarrhea and mucosal changes. Deficiency may also occur in people who have undergone bariatric surgery.
What are the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency on the body?
vitamin deficiency B12 can lead to a condition called megaloblastic anemia, in which the formation of giant (defective) red blood cells is observed. When the problem is due to insufficient absorption into the body and not low consumption, it is called pernicious anemia.
Therefore, low levels of nutrients affect the transport of oxygen to the cells of the body, causing fatigue, fatigue and depression. They also affect the neurological part and, for several years, chronic vitamin deficiency B12 can cause neurological damage such as memory impairment, cognitive impairment, dementia, and depressive disorders.
Are overall still appearance cancerous wounds, tingling, convulsions, burning of the tongue and abdominal pain, hair loss, loss of appetite and changes in bowel function, and constipation and other diarrhea.
Some studies even show a link to vitamin deficiency B12 higher risk of stroke (cerebrovascular accident), precisely because a lack of nutrients increases the risk of neuropathies and cardiovascular disease .:
But it’s not just that. Analysis of the topic Journal of Bone and Mineral research concluded that a deficiency of this micronutrient may be an important risk factor for osteoporosis because it affects bone formation.
Low vitamin levels in children B12 effect on growth, in addition to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and neurological problems, as well as irreversible cognitive damage as their brains develop. According to a study published in, pregnant women with nutrient deficiencies may have neurological problems The Journal of pediatrics.
Which tests look at vitamin B12 levels?
vitamin research B12 Serum, measured in the blood, is a good indicator of the levels of this nutrient in the body. Doses also affect evaluation homocysteine and acid methylmalonas his levels rise when he is deficient.
How Does Vitamin B12 Work?
Supplements are usually taken by taking vitamin capsules or tablets. B12what may be sublingual absorbed into the oral mucosa. there is still spray nasal and injectable (intramuscular) form, which effectively restore food stores, especially in people with gastrointestinal absorption problems.
Who should take vitamin B12?
Usually every patient who has had blood tests for low vitamin levels B12 is directed at supplements as long as recommended by a doctor or nutritionist. For this reason, it is important that people who follow a restrictive diet or radical changes in their diet periodically check this nutrient – in the case of vegetarians and vegans.
Women who are planning to become pregnant and those who are already pregnant should also be advised to take a vitamin supplement. B12. This is because insufficient levels of nutrients during pregnancy are associated with malformations in the baby’s nervous system with irreversible cognitive impairment.
According to a study published in, patients with depression may also benefit from supplements Open NeurologyJournal. Patients who ate the vitamin were included in the analysis B12 with antidepressants and symptoms improved significantly.
The right vitamin levels B12also promote to improve neuropathies such as loss of sensitivity in the lower extremities.
What does a very high level of vitamin B12 mean?
Because it is a water-soluble vitamin B12 According to an article published in the journal, it is excreted in the urine and feces, so when its levels appear to be high in the body, they may indicate a serious illness. Elsevier.
These include haematological disorders such as certain types of leukemia and liver disease (acute hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular and metastatic liver disease).
How much vitamin B12 should you consume per day?
According to recommendations institute medical, consumption of vitamins B12 adults have 2.4 micrograms. Pregnant women should consume 2.6 mcg and breastfeeding women, 2.8 mcg per day. In children, this value varies with age:
- 0-6 months of age: 0.4 mcg
- 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
- 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
- 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- 9-13 years old: 1.8 mcg
- From the age of 14: 2.4 mcg
It is important to stress that these levels must be achieved through food. Only a doctor or nutritionist can recommend supplements.
Can Vitamin B12 Supplement Cause Side Effects?
In general, vitamin supplementation does not have major side effects. B12because it is water-soluble and excreted mainly in the urine.
However, intramuscular injection may cause acne on the skin, although the relationship to this factor is not yet clear, in addition to allergic reactions (pruritus, urticaria, bronchospasm and angioedema), diarrhea, dizziness, nausea and hypokalaemia (low levels of potassium in the blood).
Do additives have contraindications?
Supplement B12 it is contraindicated if a person is allergic (or hypersensitive) to cobalamin or cobalt in its molecule. Nor should they complement those who have Leberwho already have high levels of cobalamin due to the disease.
Patients with kidney problems should only take supplements under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist, as the excess is excreted by the kidneys.
Vitamin B12 fattens?
No vitamin or mineral carries calories, so they cannot lift weight. What makes you obese is the consumption of extra calories from a diet high in fat and carbohydrates that are macronutrients.
Does Vitamin B12 Help You Lose Weight?
It can be said to maintain good vitamin levels B12 promote metabolism, including the use of fats for energy, as the nutrient interferes with the beta acidification. However, studies show no evidence that people with low nutrient levels are more likely to gain weight or have difficulty losing weight.
So the best way to lose weight to be continued is a combination of a healthy diet, energy restrictions and physical exercise to achieve a calorie deficit.
Source: Cinthia Roman Monteiro, Professor of Nutrition at the Centro Universitário São Camilon (SP); Renata de Oliveira Campos, Nutritionist and PhD in Interactive Processes for UFBA (Federal University of Bahia) organs and systems, working as a Nutrition Professor at UFRB (Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia); Cynthia Antonaccio, Master of Human Nutrition from the USP (University of São Paulo) and CEO of Equilibrium Latam