Vitamin B12 Deficiency A Preventable Disease

Mickey | Health and Wellness | Friday, November 26th, 2010

Vitamins are nutrients that an organism needs to function normally. These nutrients are important in our body’s daily processes. But since our body cannot produce enough amounts of these substances, we need to take vitamins through our diet. There are many kinds of vitamins and all play a vital role in the body thus the name vital minerals.

One of the most important nutrients our body needs is Vitamin B12. What make this vitamin particularly important are its unique role in the formation of nerve and blood cells as well as its function in DNA formation. Normally, Vitamin B12 is derived from our daily intake of protein rich foods. However, there are unique conditions where the body is not able to produce intrinsic factors which are needed to absorb these nutrients thus leading to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Other common causes of inability to absorb these nutrients are gastrointestinal surgeries, medications and other disease state.

When the body lacks these nutrients, B12 deficiency symptoms start to ensue. This is a progressive course of symptoms which usually begins with subtle symptoms such as easy fatigability, loss of appetite and changes in bowel pattern. These symptoms occur as a result of the inadequate amounts of red blood cells produced by the body needs. As the deficiency continues to take its toll, nerve problems will be manifested usually numbness and tingling in the extremities. It can also be accompanied by poor balance and mood changes. It is at this point that patients seek professional help. There are lots of treatments available to halt the progress of the condition.

But if untreated, Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms will worsen and manifest irreversible symptoms like dementia, an Alzheimer-like state characterized by inability to perform usual functions. Commonly lack of vitamin B12 can lead to decreased production of red blood cells which results in a serious complication called pernicious anemia.

To avoid this condition, proper diet complete with all vitamins and minerals should always be maintained. Vitamin B12 is easily available on red meats, fish, clams, milk and yogurt.



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