With the holidays coming to an end and the New Year’s Eve festivities under our belts, you may be feeling the toll on your body. This can be demonstrated through feelings of fatigue, lack of motivation and an increased susceptibility to illness as a result of a weakened immune system. A large part of the reasoning behind your decrease in physical well-being and increase in mental fatigue could be due to vitamin deficiencies such as a deficiency in Vitamin B12. By indulging too much in the holiday season’s drinking traditions and perhaps not eating healthily, you can easily find yourself lacking in this vital nutrient.
So What Is Vitamin B12 and Why Do We Need It? Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is important for the overall functioning of the body. It is known to directly affect the nerve cells and red blood cells in supporting their daily activities. Beyond this, it helps to make the DNA that affects the genetics of individuals during their lifetime.
Typically, Vitamin B12 is attached to protein contained within food. When the stomach releases acid, the Vitamin B12 will be released and move through the intestinal tract in order to help with the cells and DNA of the body. You can find Vitamin B12 in high protein foods, especially meats, milk and eggs. If you don’t eat these kinds of foods, then you can find Vitamin B12 in certain types of breakfast cereals.
The requirements for Vitamin B12 on a daily basis have been measured according to the standards of a variety of scientific research areas. These standards have been measured and researched in order to find what it takes to maintain a healthy state with Vitamin B12. This doesn’t just include a minimum of what is needed, but also a maximum of what should be taken before the body begins to reject the supplement.
Generally, newborns and infants will need between 0.4 and 0.9 milligrams a day. Those that are between the ages of 4-8 need an average of 1.2 milligrams every day. Pre-youth, between the ages of 9 and 13 require more every day, at an average of 1.8 milligrams. Beginning at the age of 14 and throughout adulthood, one will want to maintain a healthy level of 2.4 milligrams every day. If you are pregnant you require 2.6 milligrams, and if you are nursing, 2.8 milligrams per day, as you will need the extra supplements for your baby.
Overall, maintaining these levels of Vitamin B12 every day simply means having a daily intake of a meat or egg that is high in protein. If you are unable to sustain a regular amount of this on a day to day basis, you may want to consider taking a supplement or vitamin that contains B12. These are affective in allowing your body to balance what it needs for its daily requirements.
If you are unable to balance your body with Vitamin B12 on a day to day basis, then you will create a deficiency. There are different types of deficiencies which can occur, all of which may be detrimental to your health. The most common problem with Vitamin B12 deficiency is with the inability to absorb the vitamin in the intestinal tract. At times, this comes from not eating the proper types or amounts of food. At other times, this inability to absorb Vitamin B12 is because of a disorder that occurs in the stomach or intestine.
You will be able to tell if you have a deficiency with Vitamin B12 because of specific symptoms. Most likely, you will begin to lose weight without a consistent supply of this Vitamin. As a result, you may also feel fatigued or weak. Most that do not have adequate supplies of Vitamin B12 also experience constipation. This is because the deficiency is linked directly to the intestinal tract and stomach.
If you do not remedy deficiency that occurs from Vitamin B12, then the symptoms will continue to affect you, not only through physical problems, but also through mental functions that begin to change. This will begin with neurological changes, such as numbness in the hands and feet. After this, depression, dementia, loss of memory and soreness may occur. If you are experiencing any of these problems, you must consult your physician to determine whether your symptoms can be attributed to alternative underlying causes.
As demonstrated, Vitamin B12 is an important supplement to your daily nutrition. If you want to ensure that your health is maintained, and that even the smallest levels of functioning in your body stay healthy, you must consume the correct dose of vitamins.