Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming a quite common condition, which can have very serious consequences for the health and life, which is why it is called by some “a silent epidemic.”
Unfortunately not many people and even health care practitioners realize how common this condition has become in the recent years. According to some shocking data from a study, 40% of the people from the ages of 26 to 83 suffer to a serious lower range of B12, which can lead to neurological problems, and 9% had official deficiency of this essential vitamin.
Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in the synthesis of the human DNA and the red blood cells in the human body, it is important for the production of the protective nerve myelin sheaths, as well as for the proper conduction of the nerve impulses in the body.
So, just imagine if this complicated network of nerves and communications within the organism are broken or do not work properly what the devastating effects of such a B12 deficiency could actually be.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause lethargy, weakness, fatigue, and memory loss, psychiatric and neurological problems. When it is left untreated and becomes severe, it can cause macrocytic anemia.
B12 deficiency can be caught in the very early phases with a simple blood test, but unfortunately, this test is very rarely appointed, even though as it turns out the condition is very common.
The reasons for the Vitamin B12 deficiency and malabsorption can be various, such as: intestinal dysbiosis, atrophic gastritis, leaky gut, autoimmune pernicious anemia, alcohol, PPI and acid-suppressing drugs, nitrous oxide exposure and others. These causes can explain the reason why a person can develop B12 deficiency even if they regularly consume meat and other animal products which are the best sources for vitamin B12.
The people who are most at risk of developing such a deficiency are vegans and vegetarians because Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products, which is why about 80% of the vegans suffer from a deficiency of B12. Also at risk are: elderly people over the age of 60, women with a history of miscarriage or infertility, people suffering from Chron’s disease, celiac or IBS, people who take PPI or acid suppressing drugs or those who take metformin and other drugs for diabetes.
This type of deficiency is especially worrying when diagnosed in children, because it may affect their short-term memory, their spatial abilities and fluid intelligence. Unfortunately this is common in children who have been raised as vegans until the age of 6.
The treatment of B12 deficiency is done through injections, or oral or nasal administration of high doses of Vitamin B12 supplements. Of course, the first step is to get tested in a laboratory and after that to find the underlying cause for the deficiency, and after that has been identified, the proper treatment will be appointed.