according to Mount SinaiVitamin B12 deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage if left untreated. Two signs of this condition can appear in the hands and feet; Specifically, if they notice a numbness or tingling sensation.
These complications are reflected by the NHS which added that other complications could include:
• vision problems
• memory loss
• Pins and needles
• Loss of physical coordination
Damage to parts of the nervous system
• stomach cancer.
Regarding stomach cancer, the NHS wrote: “If you are deficient in vitamin B12 due to pernicious anemia, your risk of developing stomach cancer increases.”
Pernicious anemia is one of the many causes of vitamin B12 deficiency along with diet, conditions affecting the stomach or intestines, and medications.
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What is pernicious anemia?
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks itself; It is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK.
How does it affect the stomach?
In the stomach, vitamin B12 combines with a protein known as intrinsic factor. This combination then allows B12 to be absorbed into the rest of the body.
Pernicious anemia causes the immune system to attack the stomach cells that produce this intrinsic factor; This means that the body can no longer absorb the vitamin.
At the time of writing, scientists do not yet know why pernicious anemia occurs, but they do know that women over the age of 60 are more likely to develop this condition, especially if there is a history of it in the family.
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How is vitamin B12 deficiency treated?
Each treatment depends on the cause of the deficiency. In the case of diet, your GP may recommend increased consumption of foods rich in the vitamin, such as:
• Selected fortified breakfast cereals.
If dietary changes are not enough, then vitamin B12 injections may be prescribed. There are two types of vitamin B12 injections: hydroxocobalamin and cyanocobalamin.
About the timing of these injections, the NHS added: “At first, you will have these injections every other day for two weeks or until your symptoms start to improve.”
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How much vitamin B12 does the human body need?
The recommended daily dose for adults between the ages of 19 and 64 is about one and a half micrograms per day. The level one should be able to maintain through the right diet.
However, it all depends on the diet. A vegetarian may not be able to get all the vitamin B12 they need and may need to use other means such as supplementation in order to get a healthy amount.
While it is possible to develop health problems from not taking in enough vitamin B12, there is less evidence about what happens if a person consumes too much.
The NHS wrote about vitamin B12 overdoses: “There is not enough evidence to show the potential effects of taking high doses of vitamin B12 supplements every day.”
While the health harms of vitamin B12 overdose are unknown, what is known are the health problems that can arise as a result of another common vitamin D overdose.
Vitamin D is the chemical that the body produces when it is exposed to sunlight. While it is not possible to overdose on vitamin D from the sun, it is possible to overdose through supplementation.
When this happens, a condition known as hypercalcemia develops. This weakens the bones and damages the heart and kidneys.
The recommended dose of vitamin D in the UK for adults is 100 mcg, however, the vitamin can also be found in oily fish, red meat, egg yolk and liver.