Today in this blog we are going to know about Vitamin B12 and its deficiency syndromes. We all know how important is Vitamin B12 in our body. All your questions regarding Vitamin B12 will be answered in this article.
What is Vitamin B12?
In our body, Vitamin B12 is responsible for the production of Red Blood Cells (RBC). In easy terms, it can be regarded as an essential vitamin that helps in the production of blood in your body.
Functions of Vitamin B12 in our body
The main functions of Vitamin B12 in our body are as follows
- Production of RBC.
- Plays an active role in the production of the genetic material known as DNA.
- Provides energy to our body and cells.
- Plays a major role in sending signals to your brain.
- Reduces homocysteine in the body, which causes inflammation and toxic damage if not properly metabolized.
What are the main sources of Vitamin B12?
The main sources of Vitamin B12 are non-vegetarian foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, milk products like cheese, curd, paneer, and various others. Complete vegetarian food might not contain Vitamin B12, but some are still there such as nutritional yeast, some mushrooms, and some algae.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
Most vegetarians face this problem of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Sometimes B12 deficiency is also found when there is a massive blood loss in your body. The symptoms by which you can understand that your body is lacking Vitamin B12 are as follows
- Body ache and dizziness
- Sores in mouth
- Problems in breathing
- Appetite goes down
- Paleness is seen in skin
- Digestive problems
Diseases caused due to Vitamin B12 deficiency
This symptoms if not tested results in various diseases. Some diseases are mild but some affects your health on a permanent basis. So B12 tests conducted on a frequent basis is recommended. The diseases that occurs due to Vitamin B12 deficiency are as follows
- Anemia (Megaloblastic)
- Neurological problems (Problems found in brain and nerves)
- Depression (Endogenous)
- Stroke in older people ( due to high homocysteine)
- Tongue swelling
Vitamin B12 tests
What are vitamin B12 tests?
The blood test that is done to determine the amount of Vitamin B12 present in your body is known as the Vitamin B12 test.
Why vitamin B12 tests are done?
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 in our body leads to several diseases in the body. As a result checkup is necessary in the form of tests, so that earliest preventive measure can be taken.
When should blood samples be given?
In empty stomach (8-10hours of no food consumption) the samples should be given. The sample should be wrapped in Aluminium foil so that sunlight cannot enter. The test cost you around Rs 800-1000.
The normal range of this test is 200-900pg/ml
When does Vitamin B12 goes down in your body?
Vitamin B12 is highly essential in your body. But other then food sources the vitamin B12 in your body does not go down.
Then how does the Vitamin B12 content goes down in your body?
The possible reasons are-
- Anemia or loss of blood
- During pregnancy loss of blood is seen
- Tapeworm infection in intestine
- If you have gone through a surgery recently
- Gastric surgery
- Excess of protein content in the body
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Additionally, Vitamin B 12 deficiency can cause muscle weakness and muscle cramps also.