By: Dr. David Milanovich

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin is one of the biggest of the essential vitamins with a number of important functions in the human body.  Let’s take a brief look at why you need it, where we get it, and what happens if we don’t get enough.

 

 

Why you need it:

  • Production of energy (ATP) from the food you eat.
  • DNA synthesis
  • Red blood cell production
  • Nerve cell health, including your spinal cord
  • Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and bone marrow regeneration

Where we get it:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • **Note that since Vitamin B12 is only produced by micro-organisms and not by plants, those who do not eat meat or choose a vegan diet may require fortified sources of B12 supplementation.

Possible symptoms if we don’t get enough:

  • Cognitive and memory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Heart palpatations
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pins and needles sensation

Vitamin B12 deficiency is often seen in those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, colitis, gastritis, or celiac disease.  Other causes leading to Vitamin B12 deficiancy may include Alvohol abuse, smoking, vegetarian diet.  Some prescription medication such as antacids and anti-seizure medication could be contributing factors as well.

 

If you feel you may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, a naturopathic consultation may be helpful.  Feel free to call the office to schedule an appointment.