Why would vitamin B12 be low?
However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.
Increased intake of B12, folate and B6 may lower the risk of breast (20)(21)(22) and cervical (23) cancers, but not lung cancer (24). In fact, long-term use of vitamin B12 supplement is associated with increased risk of lung cancer, especially in male smokers (53).
Is low B12 serious?
Low levels of B12 can lead to nerve damage, as the vitamin is essential to producing myelin, which protects nerve cells from damage. Symptoms of low B12 might initially feel like tingling or numbness in hands and feet, or difficulty with balance.
What is a dangerously low B12 level?
What Abnormal Results Mean. Values of less than 160 pg/mL (118 pmol/L) are a possible sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency. People with this deficiency are likely to have or develop symptoms. Older adults with a vitamin B12 level less than 100 pg/mL (74 pmol/L) may also have symptoms.
How long does B12 deficiency take to correct?
Once you begin treating your vitamin B12 deficiency, it can take up to six to 12 months to fully recover. It is also common to not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment.
What disease is associated with a deficiency of B12?
Either a lack of vitamin B-12 or a lack of folate causes a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia (pernicious anemia). With these types of anemia, the red blood cells don’t develop normally. They are very large.
What type of cancer causes vitamin D deficiency?
A vitamin D deficiency has also been documented in patients with prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, as well as multiple myeloma. Larger randomized clinical trials should be undertaken in humans to establish the role of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of these cancers.
What are symptoms of low B12 levels?
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
- a pale yellow tinge to your skin.
- a sore and red tongue (glossitis)
- mouth ulcers.
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- changes in the way that you walk and move around.
- disturbed vision.
Does lack of B12 cause weight gain?
Furthermore, while a deficiency in vitamin B12 may not cause weight gain, it can decrease energy levels and contribute to fatigue, making it harder to stay active and manage your weight.
What does a B12 deficiency tongue look like?
B12 deficiency will also make the tongue sore and beefy-red in color. Glossitis, by causing swelling of the tongue, may also cause the tongue to appear smooth.
How can I raise my B12 levels fast?
To increase the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, eat more of foods that contain it, such as:
- Beef, liver, and chicken.
- Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams.
- Fortified breakfast cereal.
- Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
How long does it take for B12 supplements to work?
B12 injections work quickly; they are the most effective way for your body to absorb Vitamin B12. Within 48 to 72 hours, your body will begin to make new red blood cells. For mild deficiencies, you may need two to three injections over several weeks to notice peak impact.
Can Vitamin B12 deficiency affect your eyes?
One symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is blurred or disturbed vision. This can occur when an untreated B12 deficiency results in nervous system damage to the optic nerve that leads to your eyes ( 18 ). The damage can disrupt the nervous signal that travels from your eye to your brain, impairing your vision.
Why is my B12 low when I eat meat?
However, many people, no matter their age or diet, have “unexplained low vitamin B12 levels,” which researchers attribute to “food cobalamin malabsorption,” meaning the B12 that’s naturally present in foods like meat is simply not absorbed. The absorption process from oral ingestion is quite complex.
Is it safe to take vitamin B12 injections?
Vitamin B12 injections are generally considered to be very safe. They have no major side effects. However, in very rare cases, some people can experience side effects caused by allergic reactions or sensitivity ( 29 , 30 ). If you experience any side effects, speak with your doctor.