Vitamin B12

Nov 29, 2022

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many systems of our body. It is part of red blood cell formation, nerve function, production of DNA, and cell metabolism. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in meats (fish and chicken included) and dairy products. Vitamin B12 is added to fortified breakfast cereals and fortified nutritional yeasts.

There are certain groups of individuals who may be more prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency. People who are vegetarians and vegan are oftentimes more prone to a Vitamin B12 deficiency due to the lack of consumption. Increased age also affects the absorption of the vitamin, so older adults could be more susceptible to a deficiency as well. There is evidence that shows that individuals with Chron’s disease or Celiac disease may be unable to absorb sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12. An autoimmune disorder, Pernicious Anemia, directly affects the absorption of the vitamin and even if you consume enough, those who suffer from the autoimmune disorder will have Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Some common signs of a deficiency are difficulties with balance, fatigue, headaches, mouth sores, memory issues, feeling of pins and needles, and a swollen tongue. It can take years before symptoms of the deficiency are present. If you want to check your levels, Vitamin B12 deficiency can be tested on a blood test.

B12 injections are absorbed much better by the body because they are administered intramuscularly (into the muscle), and therefore directly into the blood. B12 tablets must pass through the digestive system, which leads to much poorer absorption rates. If you are aware that you are deficient or need a consult, Arvada Sport and Spine Group offers B12 injections. Call in and schedule today with our Nurse Practitioner, Karin!