Fatigued? You May Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency


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In the process of choosing a new diet, a new lifestyle, there are some things to watch out for to make sure that healthy diet is actually getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals that the body needs.  For people who are testing out a new diet, it is always good to know what to look out for in vitamin deficiencies, as they are more common than most people think. 

There are many different kinds of vitamin deficiency, but there are seven most common types.   Iron, iodine, vitamin D, calcium,  B12, vitamin A, and magnesium make up the most common deficiencies.  Vitamin B12 is a common addition to many diet programs, and there are good reasons why.

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is water soluble.  It is used in the nervous system, and to make blood cells, but it is used by every cell in the human body, but the body is not able to synthesize it itself.  Food or supplements are the only way to get B12. 

Food sources for B12 are almost entirely from animal sources.  The exception to that is Nori seaweed, which is the seaweed used for sushi, and tempeh, which is a common vegetarian meat substitute that is made from fermented soy.  This sourcing problem makes vegetarians vulnerable to B12 deficiency. 

B12 is absorbed through the small intestine via a special chemical called intrinsic factor, but it needs to be altered in the stomach as well.  This means that the stomach and small intestine have to be healthy to absorb it.  The elderly has a higher rate of deficiency because they absorb B12 less efficiently.  B12 injections solve this problem.

B12 deficiency presents itself as megaloblastic anemia, which presents as a variety of symptoms, but most commonly as fatigue.

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