Hello guys,

I just thought I’d check on you and see how are you feeling these days.

Are you happy and active? Do you wake up everyday with a new stream of energy flowing through your body? Or you have been struggling enough to get up and feel better unable to realize what could be the reason for this! You are eating everything healthy on time, your blood tests look good. But but… you are still fatigued! You have some strange sensations over your body plus few more unanswered symptoms and you don’t know whom to blame!

Well, here is a possible culprit- Vitamin B12.

You heard it right!! You might be deficient of Vitamin B12. Though there has been enough evidence that the deficiency of this vitamin can cause range of issues, surprisingly medical profession label it’s deficiency as a kind of blood disorder causing anemia (Though it’s deficiency can cause a type of anemia called Megaloblastic anemia, there are more symptoms to be worried about). However, in the recent years doctors are taking a moment to realize its importance and are asking people to take it as a supplement if needed.

What is B12?

According to National Institute of health, Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Our body needs thirteen different kinds of vitamins to remain in perfect health. Since our body can not make vitamins on its own, it is dependent on us to provide it all the thirteen vitamins it needs.

Vitamins are categorized into Fat Soluble and Water Soluble Vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins get stored in your body and even if we are deficient for few days, our body is smart enough to manage it from the stocked up content. However, water soluble vitamins like B12 need to be restocked everyday. If we do not take it enough, with time it can lead to severe deficiency affecting nerve, DNA making resulting in disease in our body.

Now, here is a catch! B12 contains a trace element Cobalt. Therefore, it is also known as Cobalamin. It is the only vitamin which is not produced by plants since they do not need it. It is produced in the gut of animal. Therefore, if our diet is devoid of animal protein or if someone is Vegan, and is not taking B12 supplement, the person is likely to be B12 deficient.

What B12 Deficiency does to your body?

The deificiency of B12 can relatively range from issues related to mental, neurological, vascular symptoms and much more. Below are the few to mention:-
  • Weakness or continuous fatigue.
  • Depression and memory loss.
  • Abnormal sensation like pain or tingling in the body.
  • Heart Palpitation.
  • Anemia. 
  • Shortness of breadth.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.

If we dive deeper, there is more but we will stop here. Now that we have talked enough about the problem, let’s concentrate on the solution!

What can you do to give your body enough of B12?

If you are someone who loves eating animal food ,you are good! Don’t read anything further. But if you are someone who is vegan or vegetarian, you should take a step back to check if you are getting enough of this vitamin.
Vegetarian people should include dairy products in their everyday diet to meet the daily requirements. Milk, cheese, yogurt are must have in daily diet. When it comes to vegan people, the best option is to take supplement or B12 shots. But what if you do not want to rely on external things to fulfill your body requirements? There is something which might help!

According to an article published in the “Journal of Applied Microbiology”  certain strains of the lactic acid bacteria used during the fermentation process produce B12 vitamins. Kefir, Tempeh, Miso, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Pickles are all examples of foods made with the lactic acid bacteria that can produce vitamin B12. (Hmmm…now I understand why do we have pickles in everyday’s Indian diet! interesting!)

Include fermented food. 

Easy peasy! 🙂

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common yet we ignore it most of the times. We try to figure out the reason for fatigue, depression or mood swings and blame it on other factors like unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, work stress etc. However, before you shrug off your symptoms after looking at your perfectly normal blood test results, make sure that you are not misdiagnosed.

And before you start looking for other ways to make you feel better, just give it a thought: ‘Could it be B12?’

Health and peace always,

Ankita

Note: I am not a medical practitioner. The information I share here is gathered from different books, articles and my own experience. Before you do nay major change in your diet, consult your doctor.

 

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