Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Vegetarians Spike the Count for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Jun 11, 2019 08:32 AM EDT

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Vitamin B12
(Photo : آرمین) 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
Vitamin B12
(Photo : آرمین)
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.

Vitamins are important micronutrients that are essential in maintaining a body's proper metabolic health. However, not all people have a sufficient supply of various vitamins. The lack of these vitamins could affect various bodily functions.

One of the most common cases of vitamin deficiency nowadays is the lack of vitamin B12. This is because the said vitamin could be derived primarily from animal food sources. The increasing number of vegetarians have also prompted for a rise in the number of people with vitamin B12 deficiency, however, this is not the sole reason why vitamin B12 deficiency cases are on the rise.

According to experts, the increasing number of cases of Pernicious Anemia has also contributed to the count of vitamin B12 deficiency. Pernicious Anaemia occurs when a person's body can no longer absorb the said vitamin from regular food intake.

Bupa, an international health group from the United Kingdom, explained that Pernicious Anemia is an autoimmune disease which is caused when the antibodies from the immune system mistake the same body's tissue as a foreign element and attacks it. This would result in the inflammation of the body's stomach lining.

Experts admit that reasons why and how Pernicious Anemia develops are yet to be understood. However, studies have shown that the said deficiency affects more women than men. It was also observed that the deficiency could be hereditary.

Even if there is insufficient knowledge about Pernicious Anemia, experts pointed out that recognizing the symptoms is very important, as neglect could only lead to problems in the heart and movements. Some of the symptoms include headaches and heart palpitations. Pernicious Anemia could also affect movement and sensation in different parts of the body, feeling sensations of being poked by pins and needles.

Moreover, there are various treatments that experts recommend once a person exhibits symptoms of pernicious anemia. It begins with a diet that will reassure a food intake fortified with vitamin B12. It is also recommended to take supplements regularly of Vitamin B12 rich food is not readily available.

Other recommendations include vitamin B12 injections. Unfortunately, some people with pernicious anemia might be prescribed to use such type of administration for the rest of their lives.

According to experts, around 1.5 micrograms (mg) per day is required for adults aged 19 to 64, which is not a problem for people without pernicious anemia as they can get this amount from their daily food intake.

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