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Vitamin C and B12

Vitamin B12: Know Causes, Treatments And Symptoms


Do you get enough vitamin B12? You’ll need to be certain that you do, in order to remain healthy.

Vitamin B12 does lots of things for your body. It helps make your DNA and your red blood cells, such as.

Since your body does not create B12, you have to get it from animal-based foods or from supplements. And you should do that on a regular basis because your body does not store vitamin B12 for a long time.

How Much to Get?

The response depends on matters including your age, your eating habits and medical circumstances, and what drugs you take.

The Typically recommended quantities, measured in micrograms (mcg), change by age:

  • Babies up to age 6 months: 0.4 mcg
  • Infants age 7-12 weeks: 0.5 mcg
  • Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
  • Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg daily if breastfeeding)
  • Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg daily if pregnant and 2.8 mcg daily if breastfeeding)

Food Sources of Vitamin B12:

It is possible to get vitamin B12 in animal foods, that have it naturally, or from things that were fortified with it.

Animal sources include dairy products, fish, eggs, meat, and poultry. If you’re looking for food fortified with B12, assess the product’s Nutrition Facts label.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

Most people from the U.S. get enough of the nutrient. If you are unsure, you can ask your doctor if you need to get a blood test to verify your vitamin B12 level.

With age, it may become more difficult to absorb this vitamin. It can also happen if you’ve had weight loss surgery or a different surgery that removed a part of your stomach, or if you drink heavily.

You may also be more likely to develop B12 deficiency if you have:

  • Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
  • Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for the body to absorb
  • Requirements that affect your small intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or even a parasite
  • Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
  • Been taking particular medications that interfere with the absorption of B12. Including some heartburn medications including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (Aciphex), H2 Blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid AC); and specific diabetes medications such as metformin (Glucophage).

You may also get B12 deficiency should you stick to a vegan diet (which means you do not eat any animal products, including milk, meat, cheese, and eggs) or you are a vegetarian who does not consume sufficient eggs or dairy products to meet your vitamin B12 requirements.

In both of these situations, you may add fortified foods to your diet or take nutritional supplements to fulfill this need.



Pregnant or New Mom?

Are you a pregnant woman on a vegan or vegetarian diet, and plan to only breastfeed your baby? You need to speak with your physician before you have your baby so that you have a plan in place for how you’ll get enough vitamin B12 to keep your baby healthy.

Without sufficient vitamin B12, your infant could have developmental delays and not thrive and grow as though they should.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anemic. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms like:

  • Weakness, fatigue, or lightheadedness
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Nerve issues like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
  • Vision reduction
  • Emotional problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes


When you’ve got pernicious anemia or have trouble absorbing vitamin B12, you’ll need shots of the vitamin at first. You may have to keep taking these shots, take high doses of a supplement by mouth, or make it nasally after that.

If you don’t eat animal products, you’ve got choices. You can change your diet to include vitamin B12-fortified grains, either a nutritional supplement or B12 shots, or a high-dose oral vitamin B12 if you’re deficient.

Older adults that have a vitamin B12 deficiency will likely need to have a daily B12 supplement or a multivitamin that contains B12.

For most people, treatment resolves the issue. However, any nerve damage which happened due to this deficiency could be permanent.


Most folks can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by eating enough meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and legumes.

If you don’t eat animal products, or you have a health condition that restricts how well your body absorbs nourishment, you can take B12 in a multivitamin or alternative nutritional supplement and foods fortified.

If you choose to take vitamin B12 supplements, let your physician know, so they can tell you how much you need, or be sure they won’t affect any medications you are taking.

Ask your friends and loved ones for support. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…

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